This is a really fascinating coincidence (at least, for me!). Last week, I was invited by my dear friend (and Fairy Godmother), Bonnie Cohen, to give a brief presentation at her monthly soulful salon that she calls The Gathering. We were focusing on the fourth house of astrology, which corresponds to the theme of family and home, particularly in terms of security, comfort and sanctuary. I was to discuss how these themes might be represented in the Tarot.
As it turned out, our discussion time was so full and juicy, we didn’t need my presentation after all. But it seems that the card I had picked refuses to be forgotten. It jumped right into my hand this morning.
Interestingly, there are no cards in the R-W-S deck that portray indoor home scenes, like happy times by the hearth or domestic daily life. The Four of Wands shows the harvest home celebration, or perhaps a wedding. It is quite deliberately staged outdoors and away from the castle in the background. The emphasis seems to be on a special event, rather than ordinary times at home.
So my vote for best representative of the peaceful securities of being at home goes to the Nine of Pentacles. (For a different interpretation, please visit here). Before us is a mature woman of means, surrounded by a lush garden overflowing with fruit, her right hand resting easily on a double triangle of pentacles and holding upon her left wrist a hooded falcon. As I have written of her before, in many traditional interpretations, she is often thought of as a widow, or a woman of lonely solitude.
While she does look thoughtful, she does not seem at all unhappy or lonely to me. The sky is sunny yellow. With flowers on her dress that are reminiscent of the Empress’s Venus symbol, there is nothing barren about her. This is a strong woman surrounded by beauty and fruitfulness. Before her, a tiny snail crawls by, a reminder, perhaps, that all life matters, down to the smallest and most humble; or perhaps how time slows down when we are at peace in the natural world.
The hooded falcon is the wild spirit who obeys the will of its mistress. Surrounded by cultivation and refinement, she is a gentlewoman, but she can certainly tap into her fierce instincts if needed.
Of course, we have no proof that she is without a partner. There could be a lover indoors, or even children that are awaiting her. But why is this not shown? Perhaps it would serve us to consider that this card, the closest thing to domestic happiness in the Tarot, hints that happiness at home does not require human companionship.
This week, I invite you to consider what home means to you. What do you need, in order to truly feel at home? Is your “home” on hold while you await the relationship of your fantasies? What is growing in the private gardens of your dreams and desires? What wild, untamed part of your nature awaits your command?
With the gift of this beautiful, powerful card, I suggest that you cultivate your own sense of being deeply, happily at home in your world — exactly where you are.