Six of Pentacles
Function: Possessions, riches, material things, practicality
A man dressed in Tyrian purple, probably a merchant, gives money to two beggars. He does this willingly, even lovingly, and the men are grateful. Tyrian purple was a color that only the wealthy could afford. It was a color of status. The beggars wear the same colors as the beggars in the Five of Pentacles. It’s not winter anymore, and there’s enough to go around for everyone.
That the man is probably a merchant is significant, because it means that his wealth was earned through his own skills and talents, and not merely inherited or handed to him. He understands that nothing comes easy, and that times can be rough. Thus, he understands that the men on their knees before him now could rise up and do great things.
After all, they are equal. The merchant holds a scale in his left hand, symbolizing the balance of all things. Times of scarcity are balanced by the times of good. The scale is at equilibrium. The merchant maintains some equilibrium by giving some of his wealth to the beggars, who in turn look up to him. The merchant has earned this deference and respect.
The Six of Pentacles isn’t straightforward. It symbolizes balance, and it symbolizes charity. Moreover, though, it symbolizes that things can change, and that the possibilities co-exist. There are rich merchants, and there are beggars, and why a merchant isn’t a beggar is not straight forward.
This card also represents stability and the ability to be happy with what you have. The merchant is aware that there is poverty, but he’s not terrified of it. He embraces it as he embraces the beggars. It’s not where he wants to be, but he understands that in life, there are those that have, and there are those that have not. However, the merchant isn’t powerless to change it. In fact, he knows that the real value of his money is being able to control and change the world around him. After all, if he’s willing to give to those in need, who does he have to fear?
When the Six of Pentacles is Reversed:
The Six of Pentacles Reversed can mean a few things. It can definitely mean an imbalance of power, but it’s more than that: it means the imbalance of power that causes material imbalances. The querent may be doing all the earning while someone else is doing all the spending. Or, the querent is supposed to share resources with someone, but one of those people is always getting more than their fair share.
This card reversed could also indicate that the querent may find their fortunes changing while someone close to them is seeing their change in the opposite ways. Instead of causing feelings of charity and compassion, it makes the parties untrusting and stingy.
The Six of Pentacles reversed can also mean feeling out of control of one’s environment, or not having the resources to help others or to change their world, even though they hate the status quo.
In a three-card reading, this card means…
Past: In the past, the querent was in a good financial or material position, having everything they needed and appreciating it.
Present: Currently, the querent is enjoying having earned all they need and the ability to share the joy with others.
Future: In the future, the querent will be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor and share the wealth with those around them.