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RWS Six of Pentacles

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RWS Six of Pentacles


Hey AT Crowd,
Just wanted to ask about one aspect of the six of Pentacles. In the lower right, where the man in blue seems to be begging. He has something red in his pocket. What could this possibly be? The way I read this card was that you may have to be careful who you give things to.
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The way I see it, they're both begging, since both are holding their hands out in the same way. The man with the scales is handing out money to both of them. Of course that's an assumption, since we only see him handing money to one person. But he only has one free hand, while holding those scales, so my presumption is that he's handing money to one at a time. The red in the pocket I'm not sure about, but I would assume it's a hanky. Figuratively or symbolically, I see the color red as having to do with basic survival. The color red, and a handkerchief being something that is used more during illness than during a time of health, could indicate that he's at the edge of survival and at greater health risk due to his poverty.

But your hint at not being trustworthy brings up an interesting point. This is a person who does what he must to survive. I personally am more forgiving of little sins like stealing (food, or money for food, for instance) in a poverty-stricken person than in a wealthy person (through usury for instance) who doesn't have to do that to survive. So I would hope that wouldn't be used as a reason not to help a person in true need.

The fact that the money is being weighed out hints to me that the man with the scales is being careful not to be overgenerous, or is being careful to distribute what he gives evenly among those in need, or is doing so based on some system of measurement.

Is he being a bit stingy in that regard, or judging who should receive assistance and who shouldn't? Perhaps that's something we can only surmise based on the dignity of the card in a reading.
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I have never understood that little business on the right figure's cloak to be a pocket, but rather two patches, which underscore his poverty, no?

I almost never quote Mr. Waite, but here goes--
From the Pictorial Key to the Tarot:
Quote:
A person in the guise of a merchant weighs money in a pair of scales and distributes it to the needy and distressed. It is a testimony to his own success in life, as well as to his goodness of heart. Divinatory Meanings: Presents, gifts, gratification another account says attention, vigilance now is the accepted time, present prosperity, etc. Reversed: Desire, cupidity, envy, jealousy, illusion.
On the other hand I should stress that you see what you see, and perhaps not what I see in the moment.

CED
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The idea that it was a patch occurred to me too. I also thought that pocket handkerchiefs are often a sign (at least today) of prosperity, so it could also be a sign of a person who once did all right but has now fallen on hard times. In other words, no matter how well off we are, no one is perfectly safe from disaster or poverty. "There but for the grace of God go I," etc.
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Here is my interpretation of the red flag in the man's pocket. If you look at the scales, they are balanced. They were not balanced until he took some money out to give to the beggar on the left. Perhaps the beggar on the left was there first, and the beggar on the right came over AFTER SEEING the man giving charity. Hence the RED flag, red for desire.

If the man giving charity gives to the man with the red handkerchief of desire, his scales will no longer be balanced.

Anyway, that's just an insight I had.
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