Keywords: Exchange. Opposites. Having or Not Having…. Knowledge, Power, Resources. Giving/Receving. Teaching/Learning. Measuring. Weighing. Doling Out. Rich/Poor. Balance of Power. Affluence/Poverty. Support. Control/Lack of Control.
What Is Going On In This Card: A seemingly affluent and well-dressed man holding a delicately balanced set of gold scales carefully appears to measure out morsels of food to give to the poor beggars who kneel at his feet. They appear cold, hungry, worse for wear, and very grateful towards him for the small crumbs he’s doling out. Their hands are outstreched as he drops the food into them. He does not hand it to them gently, and has an air of authority or power over them. He doesn’t seem haughty about it, more or less that it’s his duty to help, although he displays little warmth towards the poor souls. He’s not compelled by compassion, perhaps more by civic duty. They are desperate, clothes in tatters, and will take whatever they can get. They do not have the resources he has, but they are each given an equal share in what he can give.
How It Makes Me Feel: This is one of those cards that has always confused me. I usually have to look to what is around it to know what it means. There is a balance of power in the exchange, regardless of what is being negotiated. Someone is in charge, and another is submitting. It isn’t bad, persay. The person doling out the soup to transients at the soup kitchen isn’t the leader of the free world, but they do have a bit of authority… They have the ladle! The homeless dude holding the bowl has no power at all, only gratitude and maybe a bit of shame for losing any power in the first place. The babysitter who teaches her charges how to properly roll a J. is sharing useful knowledge, and helping to teach the kids some behaviors that will no doubt get them all in trouble, but she’s the one with the control in the situation. The kids may not have known before, but they certainly know now. Knowledge is power, and it can make for a fun Friday night. It’s not a struggle. The receiver/follower/submitter/student/apprentice/child/innocent accecpts the authority or implied superiority of the giver/leader/teacher/foreman/parent/wise one. It’s not neccessarily bad. When you don’t have what you need, sometimes you may need to deign yourself to ask someone for help. This card can bring up either side of the balance, whether your the one with the scales or the one who has to kneel.
I also keep thinking of the movie “The Reader” with Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes. Kate Winslet’s character uses sex as a means of power and *control* over Ralph Fienne’s young character, who doesn’t know that he holds power over her in his *knowledge*. Later on in the movie, as a law *student*, he can’t help her when she goes to trial. She is pretty much *powerless* against charges brought up by people whom she used to have *power* over, as a guard in a concentration camp. Man. That shit is exhausting. As… well… exhausting as the damn movie. I haven’t read the book it’s based on, but talk about having a 6 of Pentacles party in your pants… Sheesh! It’s not so much about giving, which I think is the easiest and most obvious theme, it’s about power and who does or doesn’t have it, and how to get it back.
How It Interacts with Other Cards: I’m going to take a look on how seems to change with other cards. I haven’t done this too much before, but with this card in particular, it has a big effect. The frustrating thing, is it doesn’t always obviously imply who is the “have” and who is the “have not”. I suppose that is part of the challenge. I guess it depends on what is around it, and the nature of the question.With the Four of Pents, some Greedy Gus is not sharing what they have. They’re holding out. With the 5 of Pents, someone is badly hurting and wanting for something they don’t have. The Ace of Pents, or perhaps The Empress… I’d say the flow of knowledge, or the give/take is working to positive ends for everyone. Someone has abundance is is giving it, or someone is receiving it. If someone like The Star shows up, I’d say maybe although things look dark, you will get what you need because someone will help you, or… perhaps you’ll need to help someone else. If the Magician shows up, you’d better help yourself. Gah! This doesn’t help anything. How do you know which role you take on with this? Well, I suppose you just look at the spread and figure it out. Gaaaahhhh!!!
What Does The Card Have To Say? “Give it away- give it away- give it away now!” You got the goods? Give em’ here! A man has needs, baby… Who’s got the power in the relationship? Who’s got the crack? Please don’t take it back! Sharing is Caring.
Bow down before the one you serve, you’re going to get what you deserve… A cookie, perhaps?