Pardon the Hanged Man

by Melanie Harris
Dorothy Gale says, "There's no place like home," but if you know how to look, you can find home just about everywhere.  I just got back from a long roadtrip to Georgia, my former home, and I've realized that "home" is not really a place at all.  Just as the Ten of Pentacles primarily symbolizes the emotions we associate with home, rather than the actual house, the love and friendship I found along my journey were what made each destination feel like a place where my heart could reside.

I found home in the smiles of my children's grandparents, aunts, cousins and uncle.  I found home at a boiled peanut stand where I was glowing like The Star and grinning like a monkey, filled with excitement for again tasting the yummy Southern treat.  I found home in an old friend's roaring laughter and goading when my vegetarian self accidentally bit into a beef taco.  I even found home at a Motel 6 in Kansas where a pleasant girl struck up a signed conversation with my son, who is Deaf.

Wherever I felt happy, loved, and welcomed, that was home.  With a positive mindset and a friendly spirit, home can be anywhere and everywhere.  Everywhere except the inside of a car with a sick, shrieking toddler, that is.
Unfortunately, my usually very pleasant and mellow daughter became ill on our trip, and she was incredibly fussy on our return journey.  I felt so bad for her, but honestly, my sympathy and understanding did not make the yelling and crying any easier to bear.  

The baby wasn't the only one crying, either.  Trying to get back home as quickly as possible, we were stuck in our car for far too long, and I felt like our Chariot had become the Devil, trapping and confining us until we were all growling like grumpy tigers.

It got even worse when the King of Swords pulled us over for a broken headlight, but luckily, we managed to play The Fool and we got away with just a warning.
When we finally got back to our house in Colorado, it felt very strange and unfamiliar, not like home at all.  The empty house felt, well, empty.  No one had been in it for 2 weeks, and it felt as desolate as The Moon, devoid of its usual abundant flow of life energy.  Ironically, after finding home all across the country, I felt like a stranger returning to my own house.  It was awkward.

I did a Tarot reading for myself to figure out what was wrong, and I was covered by The Hanged Man, my spirit in suspension between everything and nothing, between somewhere and nowhere at all.  The card reminded me of what was missing: home in its highest state, that essence of sacred love and light that can embrace a soul like a mother's hug.  

After a good long sleep, a spilled bowl of cereal, a lot of laughter, and some playtime with my kids, my house felt like home again.  Like The Hanged Man who learns to channel divine awareness even while chained to the world, we had put the spirit of home back into the material house, and it once again felt "right."

The idea of home is unique to each of us.  "Home is where you hang your hat," "Home is where the heart is": both sayings are true.  Above all, though, home is wherever you think it is, wherever you're willing to let your true self shine to build a house of love, wherever you're supported by the Ten of Pentacles, wherever you can drink from the Ten of Cups.

Answers to Tarot Trivia from Reflections page
1. Water
2. Pentacles
3. Papus
4. The Moon

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