The Six of Pentacles is the 6th tarot card in the Minor Arcana suit of Pentacles and depicts a wealthy merchant giving alms to the beggars at his feet. This card raises questions about the power dynamics inherent in relationships where money is exchanged, and it invites you to consider if the energy, time, and money you give to and receive from others feel balanced and fair.
The Six of Pentacles is associated with the element of earth and the second decan of the astrological zodiac sign Taurus (10-19 degrees), which is ruled by the Moon. The Moon represents our sense of security and is, therefore, intimately tied to money. The Moon's continual shape-shifting relates to the way that we constantly balance the inflow and outflow of our money in hopes of feeling balanced, stable, and supported.
Where the key meanings of the Major Arcana focus on life’s overarching themes and events, Minor Arcana cards like the Six of Pentacles explore and reveal the more subtle changes impacting one’s day-to-day life and near future. The Six of Pentacles also bears similarities with its sibling cards the Six of Cups, Six of Wands, and Six of Swords, in that all four deal with themes of balance, sentiment, and reflection.
Six of Pentacles Keywords
giving and receiving, exchanging time and energy, financial stability, generosity, power dynamics related to money
feeling unsupported, imbalanced exchange of energy/time/money in relationships, fear of asking for help, giving to self
Description of the Six of Pentacles Tarot Card
After the experience of deprivation and scarcity depicted in the Five of Pentacles, the Six appears as a card of rebalancing resources to those who need it most. Here, the law of karma or justice (indicated by the scales) dictates that those in positions of power who have more than enough must share their excess with those in need.
In the Rider Waite Smith tarot deck, a wealthy man dressed in richly colored red robes offers a tithing or handful of coins to a man begging on the street. In his left hand, he holds a pair of balanced scales, indicating that his desire to redistribute his resources is in accordance with what is fair and just and that he’s driven by a sense of moral duty to share his excess abundance with those in need.
The beggar on the right looks up at the merchant in anticipation, hands outstretched in hopes of receiving his charity as well. The buildings in the background suggest that this is a center of commerce and that the beggars aspire to one day inhabit the city that they live on the outskirts of.
Six of Pentacles Upright Meaning
In a tarot reading, the Six of Pentacles upright can indicate that you’ve achieved a level of financial security and stability and are now in a position where you can give to others. This card encourages you to tap into the spirit of generosity depicted in this scene. When you give from a place of trust and goodwill, you open the channel for more to flow back to you.
If you are in a position where you need financial assistance, this card may indicate that you can receive the support you need when you ask for help and open yourself up to receiving from unlikely places. It can suggest a kind of rebalancing of resources so that you feel bolstered in times of need and held within the context of your larger network of support.
The upright Six of Pentacles speaks to power dynamics within relationships where money (or time or energy) is exchanged. Do you feel worthy of receiving support, or on the flip side, do you trust that what you give away will come back to you? This card invites you to examine your relationship to giving and receiving and consider if these exchanges feel balanced within your relationships.
Love and Relationships (Upright Meaning)
The upright Six of Pentacles may signify a period in your relationship that involves renegotiating shared financial responsibilities so that each person’s duties are fair and balanced. You may be contributing more financially while your partner contributes more to household or family duties, or vice versa. The goal is to ensure that the agreements and expectations for each person feel fair and reasonable according to their capacities.
The Six of Pentacles upright may also indicate that you could benefit from examining your attitude towards dependency within your relationships. If you identify with the wealthy merchant, you could reject closeness because you see others as needy and burdensome. If you identify with the beggar, you could see yourself as needy and place prospective partners on a pedestal.
Love/relationships upright keywords
Career/finance upright keywords
renegotiating shared finances, establishing fair agreements, examining attitudes toward dependency
success and accomplishment, abundance, giving back, examining self-worth
Career and Finance (Upright Meaning)
The upright Six of Pentacles suggests that you’ve reached a period of success, good fortune, and accomplishment as a result of your hard work, and you feel financially abundant and self-sufficient enough to be able to give back to others. Whether you donate your time, expertise, or money, you can perpetuate the flow of abundance when you participate in sharing your blessings with others.
The Six of Pentacles can also indicate that you are examining questions of self-worth in your work or new business. This card asks if you feel worthy of receiving the support you need and if you are willing to take risks to ask for it. You may be considering if the compensation you receive is commensurate with your experience, time, and skills or if you are settling for less than what you deserve.
Six of Pentacles Reversed Meaning
In the reversed position, the Six of Pentacles suggests that there’s an imbalance of time, energy, or money between you and another. You may feel unsupported within the context of a relationship or job and are worried about having your needs met financially or emotionally. This card suggests the need to renegotiate your agreements and expectations so that the exchange is more balanced and fair.
In the reverse, the motivation to give to others may be distorted in some way. Whether you are giving or receiving, there may be an imbalance of power within this dynamic. The willingness to give may be motivated by a desire to exert control over a situation, establish a hierarchy of power within the relationship, or virtue signal through fund-raising in order to bolster one’s own self-image.
The Six of Pentacles reversed may also suggest that your willingness to give to others is being taken for granted. You may be giving your time, money, or energy to those who do not appreciate it or who cannot reciprocate, leading to bad debts. While this card encourages generosity, in the reverse, it may signal that your generosity is misplaced.
Love and Relationships (Reversed Meaning)
The reversed Six of Pentacles in a love tarot reading may indicate that the balance of energy or money within a relationship is off-kilter, with one person contributing more than the other. This imbalance may be due to one person’s desire to exert control over the situation by creating a condition of dependency that may work against each person’s best interest.
The love meaning of a reversed Six of Pentacles can also speak to issues around dependency within a relationship. There may be an imbalance between yourself and your partner when it comes to attachment style, with one person tending toward neediness and the other towards avoidance. It can also reflect an overly-enmeshed or codependent dynamic, where you’re solely dependent on each other for a feeling of internal safety.
Love/relationships reversed keywords
Career/finance reversed keywords
imbalanced exchange of energy, neediness, avoidance, codependency
unfairly compensated, cultivating feelings of deservingness, feeling depleted, giving back to self
Career and Finance (Reversed Meaning)
In the reverse position, the Six of Pentacles can indicate that you feel underpaid or unfairly compensated for your time, skills, and energy in your workplace. This card encourages you to advocate for yourself and to cultivate feelings of deservingness in relation to your work. When you ask for what you need from a place of empowered self-worth, you can receive the support you need.
The reversed Six of Pentacles also suggests that you may feel depleted from giving to others and that it’s time to focus on self-care and giving back to yourself. Not everything is a scam or comes with a hidden agenda, but you may feel unappreciated and would benefit from taking time to make sure that you give yourself the care and attention you need.