The LilyStone Quarry

Tarot Card Meanings: Five And Ten Of Pentacles

“Be it ever so humble,” says John Howard Payne, “there’s no place like home.”  The tarot cards Five of Pentacles and Ten of Pentacles are like flip sides of the same coin: the destitution of poverty and homelessness, starkly contrasted to the luxury of wealth and the family estate.

The Tree Of Life In Coins

Dividing these two conditions, seen in each card, is something like a Tree of Life expressed in Pentacles, also known as Coins.  As we all know, coins make the difference between being out in the cold, not able to even look in the window of the home, or safe and warm inside surrounded by loving family and wrapped in lush decorated robes.

The Veil Of Exclusivity

I lived for a time as an ordinary person would in Santa Barbara, California, a town in parts of great privilege.  For an even longer time I lived elsewhere but went back there as to home, and described myself as from there.  We could drive through the Wealthy neighborhoods and see the really large houses, or we could drive through the Very Wealthy precincts and see no houses at all.  That’s how you can tell true exclusivity, they can push back prying eyes all the way to the curb.  If they have such crass things as curbs.

In Card 5, the pentacles in the stained-glass window are arranged as the upper portion of Card 10, preventing us from seeing through the wall that excludes us from shelter.  In Card 10, the Tree of Life made of Pentacles floats like a veil before our eyes, allowing us only glimpses of La Bella Vita.  Wherever we live, it might seem hard to achieve true comfort, no matter how much we have.  We sometimes think if only we had more we would be really okay.

Tarot Card Meanings: Shelter

“In a world of steel-eyed death and men who are fighting to be warm,” says Bob Dylan, “come in…I’ll give you shelter from the storm.”  At the moment I’m lucky enough to live in a little cottage behind my brother’s house.  We have two squatters, in the garage and the storage room, and we each do our parts to keep the plantation running smoothly.  My brother shelters an entire coterie of the potentially homeless, and for all four of us our home is our haven every bit as much as the Five of Pentacles denies and the Ten of Pentacles promises.

Tarot Card Meanings: Five And Ten Of Pentacles

“There’s no place like home,” says Judy Garland, “there’s no place like home.”  In the Five of Pentacles the people are on the move and that’s the trauma of it, that they don’t appear to us to have a landing place.  No matter how stressed we are trying to find our dwelling, keep our dwelling, or improve our dwelling, we each need some corner of the world, some Ten of Pentacles, which is ours and which we use for rest, even if it’s shanty or car or box or grate.  Or cottage or garage or storeroom.  And there’s no place like Home Sweet Home.

Blessed be,


The opening cards are from the Waite Smith Tarot deck.
The Tree of Life graphic came from, a fascinating site.
The photo of Santa Barbara is unattributed.
The Five of Pentacles is from an unknown deck. Information is welcome.
The graphic of Judy Garland is from the movie “The Wizard of Oz.”