10 of Coins: Placeness
(c) Cheryl Lynne Bradley 2005-10
"I have an existential map. It has "You are here." written all over it.
We have all had those moments when we have felt very out of place with certain people, places and situations. The sense of out of placeness is actually a common place experience. While we may give thought to the feelings surrounding a sense of out of placeness when we are removed from our comfort zone, how often do we give thought to where and how we derive our sense of placeness?
The 10 of Coins in Tarot is often viewed as a card of family history, ancestry, tradition and gathering. It is also a card which indicates how we are set up to succeed in life. It is a card that speaks of family values, businesses and dysfunctions that are being passed from generation to generation. Family is meant to be our basis for certainty. Certainty in our childhood that we are loved, wanted, respected and will be nourished and sheltered, gives us the stability to deal with the uncertainty which will come with the inevitable progression towards adulthood.
Often our sense of family is very much tied to a place or places in time. We form very strong attachments to our home and our communities based on history and shared memories. A family farm, a swimming hole or a summer cottage are often places we form fond attachments to. The churches where we were baptized, confirmed, wed or will be buried in also hold a sense of this placeness. Schools can be a serious marker for both placeness and, more often, out of placeness. Cemeteries containing generations of a family are also part of this same placeness - true markers of how long a family has dwelled, thrived, struggled and grown from one generation and leading into the next. Places are spaces which have value to us and for us.
Our sense of placeness in family and community is impacted positively or negatively by the amount of recognition and respect shown for our personal independence and our independent person. It is also necessary that within the place we have our own space and environment reflective of our individuality. A strong sense of placeness will encourage our imagination, playfulness and the freedom to express exuberance. Our need to preserve our own sense of mystery and adventure must have space too - everyone has a need for privacy. Sense of placeness is also established by the evidence of our shared history through heirlooms, mementos, souvenirs and pictures. These are the things that connect us to reality and which link us to our past, exist in our present and will be passed on to preserve our future. Feeling strong in ones place allows for spontaniety in discussion and debate which help to form and affirm our identity.
In a family we have issues relating to relationships and reciprocity. We have a shared reference of what it is like to live in the same space. This space is physically structured the same way for others as it is for us but we all may use that space differently. Sharing a space is about the proximity and placements of things and the actions taken in the house - a place for everything and everything in its place. Arranging furniture in certain ways creates a better atmosphere for conversation or relaxation. If everyone gathers around the table for dinner, we all share the commonality and communion of that experience and understand what is occurring.
Sharing space and sense of placeness with others requires the establishment of realistic boundaries and respect of those boundaries. Practically speaking, setting boundaries has a lot to do with the noise level in a place and having a place for socializing and a place for quiet times which are separated physically by some type of partition. With the growing trend towards people being self-employed and/or working from home the need for a boundaries between the home place and the work place requires negotiation, boundaries and co-operation. Our shared sense of place and our individual sense of place is about our own presence in and awareness of it and the actions we take in the place.
We have all heard the expression "being put in your place" and some of us have had the experience of someone "putting us in our place" or "reminding us of our place" as if in someway our place is less worthy than theirs. If you cultivate and acknowledge where your sense of placeness is derived from and invested in, and have chosen to only keep the beauty of the past, then let them put you in your place. Their place should be so good.
This place where we feel safe and right, feels safe and right because it is full of understanding. We know what is expected in terms of appropriate behaviours both in a cultural and a social sense. We feel accepted for who and what we are. While pysically we are a located in space, places are where we act, take action and are activated. Any house can provide shelter from a storm but our home is where we live and invest our lives. Honour your sacred places and recognize the sense of placeness in your own life then take it with you everywhere you go.