Did you get what you wished for but are wondering if you might have wasted your wish? Are you overseeing a lot of money but have access to little or none of it? Are there strings attached to a relationship that are affecting your material security? Did someone accuse you of being on your very first power trip? Who told you that you were giving your money to a good cause? The Six of Pentacles is a card that indicates your identification with material wants and needs may be out of balance with who you really are, whether your needs are being met and what you really want anyway.

Under a slate gray sky, a man in elaborate clothing, complete with a stylish cloth turban tosses a kneeling beggar some coins. Another beggar waits for the chance to be seen and thrown a pittance. In the man’s other hand he holds an evenly balanced scale. Six Pentacles adorn the card, floating in the illusionistic space of the illustration, playing no actual part in the unfolding scene of charity and obliviousness in the card.

The evenly balanced scale that the man holds should be an indicator of justice and righteousness, but this anonymous man’s version of what is just and right may be out of balance with reality. The floating Pentacles having no relation to the unfolding scene indicate that this is not a card of certainty or assurances. This card reveals that what you thought you wanted was not necessarily best for you. Success and failure are arbitrary and capricious; the appearance of balance is an illusion. In the preceding card of the Pentacles suit (the Five of Pentacles), two beggars walk past a stained glass church window. In this card, two beggars appear to be getting what they want. But when they were on the outside looking in, they were standing. Here they get what they want, but they are kneeling. Which position is worse? Meanwhile, the man standing in this picture is obviously a man of worldly means, but there is no glamour in his charity, no one watching or applauding him. He carries the balance as a personal gauge of what needs to be done. His heart and mind are not in this at all.

Meaning in Past, Present and Future Positions

Every Tarot reading is divided into distinct sections. Your past, present and future are each indicated by the cards landing in specific areas. On the road of life, a Tarot card can have a much different meaning in your rear view mirror than it does as your current passenger.

In the past position, the Six of Pentacles indicates a parental relationship that was wrapped up in the desire for wealth to the point of being controlled by materialism. If your reading is dealing with the more recent past, perhaps a lover or boss was more obsessed with money than in making a relationship connection that would have benefitted everyone.

The Six of Pentacles is strong in the present position and can be one of the most confrontational cards in the Tarot deck. You need to be woken up from your state of denial about your relationship to the material plane in general and money specifically. This card here indicates that some forces are controlling your finances. Be it a stingy parent, an aloof partner or a credit card agreement that charges too much interest, you are stunted in your growth as a person due to limitations on your material situation. The lack of control over your own destiny is the most frustrating aspect.

When your Tarot reader places the Six of Pentacles in the future position, the Tarot deck is hollering that familiar phrase: “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it!” In the future position, the Six of Pentacles asks you now to question your motivation. You can lessen the damage of future obligations by making better choices now. This is not a powerful card of predestination; this card constantly reminds you of the difference between the illusion of your desires and the reality of what they are when made real.

Card Combinations

Tarot readings are called “spreads” as the cards are spread out before you and the energy of each card influences those around it.

The Six of Pentacles is the lower echo of the Tarot’s Major Arcana cards with the number 6 in them: The Lovers (#6) and The Tower (#16). Like The Lovers card, the Six of Pentacles features a central union with another as its theme, also manifesting as a surrender of part of your destiny to this person. The Tower card illustrates destruction, but it actually is a card of being unable to control your destiny relative to forces in the universe over which you have no power. The standing man illustrated in the Six of Pentacles is a metaphor for what destiny might bring. If either of these cards appears in your reading along with the Six of Pentacles, the role other people play in controlling your situation is heightened.

If you receive the Justice Tarot card in a reading along with the Six of Pentacles, the balance held in the hand of Justice balances out the trivializing affect that the man in the Six of Pentacles has and your reading indicates a situation resolving itself in your favor.

Paired with the Six of Pentacles, The Hierophant is a card that foretells an interaction with one or more people convinced of the certainty and righteousness of their cause. Be careful to avoid letting them set an agenda that affects you, no matter how peace loving or open-minded they appear. If your reading features Temperance in your spread, you will have to do without a pleasure-seeking ritual of yours. A lover might be out of town or indisposed for the next week or two.

The Magician card turns the Six of Pentacles from a card of little control to one of total power. This pair indicates that you are in charge of something about which you hardly realize. Your actions are affecting lots of people and you do not even know the influence and impact you have. The Fool card carries this potency as well when paired with the Six of Pentacles. The experiences you want most badly are out of reach but meanwhile you have at your disposition things that others crave but about which you care little.

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