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Bohemian Gothic Tarot - 6 of Pentacles

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Bohemian Gothic Tarot - 6 of Pentacles


The crows are circling. At least one species of crow engages in "mobbing" behavior, complete with contact calls to the other members of its flock that it's time to circle the wagons and protect what is theirs.

The baby's mother is ready to protect what's hers, too. In this case, all that glitters is not gold, as the coin appears to be. She's not paying a bit of attention to the money, and I have the feeling that if he reaches up with his other gnarled hand to try and get a peek at the baby, he may just have met his match.

On so many levels, this card tells me to make sure to protect what is really important. There are some things money cannot buy.
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Actually, I get the feeling that mom might be considering the exchange. I mean, if she was just going to shout "NO!" and protect the child at all costs, then why would she be standing there listening to the man's proposal? She must be desperate in some way or other, because she is tempted. Uncertain, maybe even repulsed, maybe even defiant, but tempted.

We don't see the baby. Maybe it's not quite human and the temptation to enter into this exchange isn't a matter of needing money (or just needing money). Maybe she feels it'd be better off with it's own kind--and she'd be better off without it as well? There's something sad and almost desperate in the demonic-man's expression--far more so than the mom's expression--as if to say, "For the child's sake...." And maybe his argument has merit. Maybe, if that baby isn't quite human, it would be better off with him. Maybe it is the *mother* who is considering showing generosity in giving up the baby rather than the man with the coin?

The usual meaning of the card is generosity, but this is an exchange of goods. But as the money doesn't mean anything, and the baby likely means everything, then perhaps the message is that generosity is in what you give. And true generosity is when you give that which really matters, not that which, like a coin, you can just pull out of your pocket, give away and forget.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen
Actually, I get the feeling that mom might be considering the exchange. I mean, if she was just going to shout "NO!" and protect the child at all costs, then why would she be standing there listening to the man's proposal? She must be desperate in some way or other, because she is tempted. Uncertain, maybe even repulsed, maybe even defiant, but tempted.
To me, the look is a familiar "mom" kind of look. . .as in, "Just try it."

And I think your observation of being tempted could also apply - until she learned that the cost was too dear.
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Perhaps the man figure is the one who is actually offering help to the woman and her child, but she is trying to discern whether that help is genuine or not and whether this help would actually help her or perhaps compromise her in a different kind of way. Perhaps she is saying 'what will happen to me if I accept help from the man with the horns, and what does he have to gain by helping me?'

Lots of questions no answers, because that would depend on how this card was being read in a spread I guess.

The 6 of Pents is very often a card about sharing, and the practical assistance that can be given, to the benefit of both the giver and the receiver, I guess with this card the big question is why does a figure with horns who is obviously from the demonic want to help the lady with the child and what is the benefit of this transaction to both of them.

Does this card raise the issue of "something for nothing" and whether it does actually come totally free, I wonder.

Just musing on a Boxing Day Morning.

~HoneyBea~
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyBea
Perhaps the man figure is the one who is actually offering help to the woman and her child, but she is trying to discern whether that help is genuine or not and whether this help would actually help her or perhaps compromise her in a different kind of way. Perhaps she is saying 'what will happen to me if I accept help from the man with the horns, and what does he have to gain by helping me?'
Agreed. In most of this deck the folk with the horns are untrustworthy, but this guy has a whole different vibe. He may not be so awful and dangerous as the mom suspects. Maybe her "Just try it" expression is in anticipation of something bad when really the demon isn't going in that direction at all?

Funny thing, when I first saw this card I didn't see him as asking for the child, so much as asking to help the mother and her child. To be the child (and by extension the mother's) patron. I think Honey is quite right that this card is about some assistance that can benefit both. One interesting interpretation of the 6/pents is loans repaid, and success shared.

The more I look at this card, the more I wonder...is that child the result of some union between these two? Could the original "contract" between them have involved a sexual exchange and the baby is the unexpected results? Could this well off, demonic fellow just be trying to make the first of many child support payments? And perhaps the woman's expression is simply that of a mom uncertain of whether she wants to continue being entangled with this demon...and yet, how can she raise this child alone and unaided?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen
The more I look at this card, the more I wonder...is that child the result of some union between these two? Could the original "contract" between them have involved a sexual exchange and the baby is the unexpected results? Could this well off, demonic fellow just be trying to make the first of many child support payments? And perhaps the woman's expression is simply that of a mom uncertain of whether she wants to continue being entangled with this demon...and yet, how can she raise this child alone and unaided?
What an interesting thought. . .
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6 of Pentacles


Thirteen- I love the child support idea. I can totally relate to that.
For a while, I got child support for my daughter but after the ex
quit contacting us and quit paying child support due to working under the
table we didnt see him anymore. He was not a good father and did damage to my daughter when she spent time with him. A few times I was alone with him in the yard and I felt afraid of him. When he and the child support dissappeared we were better off. Less money but better off.
I see there are many ways to read this card.
Bee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumble bee
When he and the child support dissappeared we were better off. Less money but better off.
That's rather what I was thinking, the way one evening's exchange (sic) can result in a child and entangle you with someone for a very long time. You may want to end the relationship, but now there's this kid and suddenly you're stuck with this person intruding in on your life and that of your child. Even if it's just financial aid that you're receiving from them (or that you're giving to them), you know that the more that's exchanged, the more tangled the relationship gets.

It's a very powerful metaphor for the way a loan or gift can end up forming a bond between the giver and receiver. You donate to a cause and suddenly you're on their mailing list and they're calling you. You accept a gift and suddenly you have, at least, an emotional debt to pay. Giving or taking can create responsibilities and connections. Doing either should be done with some consideration, not lightly or thoughtlessly.

I think this is particularly apt this year when so many people gave money to political parties and causes.
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All the posts above have one thing in common - power over or power under someone.
The Devilish Man doesn't look particularly evil, he almost looks uncomfortable, the woman looks uncomfortable too.
Who is happy accepting charity and who is happy giving charity?
I know the traditional meaning is generosity but ponder that too. To be generous implies that you have something more and someone has something less. Sometimes those that can give end up feeling caught, trapped, in the fact that now these people either depend or demand that you keep giving because of the perception (rightly or wrongly) that you are generous or that you have more and therefore should share the wealth, whatever that may be - finances, time, talent. That may be why he looks so uncomfortable.
To receive charity, even when it is needed, can be a downer. The perception of being "less than" or somehow not deserving or when charity is given the perception of not receiving enough and having someone who has "power over" because of a need is uncomfortable. To be on the receiving end of charity because of another person irresponsibility when you used to be strong and independent is uncomfortable too.
It is perfectly beautiful that the child is there because when I look at this card the only being who isn't uncomfortable is the child, who is innocence and unaware of the uncomfortableness that charity brings. Is the child uncomfortable because of the mother's "charity" in looking after, feeding, clothing the child? I don't think so. The little babe just is.
Also, who is that little tyke? We don't actually see him/her and I like to think what she is holding is a mirror of herself and the Devilish Man.
For me this is a very cool card because it makes me perceive charity in all it's guises.
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The devilish man may himself be a freak of nature (not a devil), and might really like to take part in society...have a place in it, not be locked away in his castle (reminiscent of the Beast, in Beauty and the Beast.) Maybe that is his child, maybe not. Maybe he would like to offer charity, perhaps thinking he can buy gratitude. Perhaps he would like to foster the child that the mother cannot afford to raise, and give her monetary compensation.

Then again, he's dressed in red and black, and there is a coin-like cloak-clasp at his throat. The thought I'm trying to articulate here is that money, the guise of a charitable transaction, is keeping a wrap on the true, hidden nature of the man underneath. He is looking above the head of the woman. At what? Is her soul hovering above her, half-bought already?
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