9 October 18: The Hanged Man

Hamstrung. This is one of the weirdest cards to me, Number 12 of the Major Arcana, The Hanged Man. A human hangs upside down from a tree by a bit of rope tied to one ankle. There is a lot of mythology in the tree alone, linking heaven to the Underworld, but on the Morgan-Greer image it is not a tree but a scaffolding made from two dead trees with a pole stretched between them from which he hangs gracefully. He may have even built the structure himself. His face is serene, and he holds his hands clasped behind his back, one knee bent forming a triangle shape with his legs. Aerial yoga. He’s simply looking at the world from another point of view. Yogis assume the Sarasana pose – standing on your head – when they want to see the world from a different point of view  and stimulate the brain.

From above, he looks right side up. This is a card of surrender, no doubt, to a higher power which could be God or the Universe or the weather, but it’s as if the rope were a puppet string controlled by an unseen hand from above and we’re not in control right now. This card is unique in that when the card is right side up our human is upside down, meaning that’s exactly where he’s supposed to be at this juncture. To everyone else it looks pretty strange but this ‘suspension’ is necessary right now.

Neptune, the Patron Saint of the Hanged Man, loves all things foggy and weird and wobbly and wavy and misty and mystic, like the gray wall of fog we see behind the hanging man. Neptune also loves art and music, and this dedicated and passionate (the red pants give him away) artist is sacrificing all for his art. When he finally does come back down he will have created (1+2=3, the number of Creation) something divinely inspired, as did the Norse God Odin, who after having hung himself upside down for nine nights in the World Tree, the one that grew up from the center of the flat Earth, was granted the wisdom to create the Runes.

This is basically being ‘hamstrung’ for some reason, sometimes even literally. An accident victim in traction who came out of his coma declaring he’d had a revelation and was never the same, it changed his life. That’s obviously an extreme example, but the epiphany is the same. The Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, an invalid for much of her life, affixed a mirror to the canopy of her sickbed and created her beautiful and complicated self-portraits, considered some of the world’s greatest works of art.

This is delay, but a productive one in some way. Worth the wait, worth the ‘hangup.’ Be patient. This isn’t the time to move, that’s all. You may be having to wait on something or someone else before you can do much of anything anyway.

Or, a psychologist is giving you another perspective on your own ‘hangups’.

Which is Major.

 

 

 

 

13 March 18: The Hanged Man

You are free to go..where?  A strange card, for sure. The image of The Hanged Man is a disturbing one, origins of the image traced back to the Norse God, Odin, who hung himself for nine nights from the tree of the world,  was given the wisdom of the Runes.

We see on this card a man hanging upside down by one foot tied with a rope. On the Morgan-Greer card, it is not a tree he is hanging from, but a scaffold-like structure he seems to have built specifically for this purpose. His face is calm and serene, and one leg crosses the other from which he hangs. It’s a very self-sacrificing card. He’s almost in a yoga position, the Sirsasana, the upside-down pose the Yogis believe stimulates the mind. This Major Arcana card is ruled by Neptune, everything liquid and dreamy, artistic and musical. He’s probably writing a symphony in his head, or envisions a work of great art. He has not made his sacrifices for nothing. Odin probably cut himself down from the tree and wrote a triple-album of Heavy Metal classics…

For whatever reason, we are ‘hung up’. Can’t move forward, can’t move back. In order to move forward, we may need to sacrifice something – a way of life, a way of thought. We are in a ‘holding pattern’, but can make very good use of it. We may not be able to make a move yet, but can use the time, the stillness and solitude to dream and create wonderful and beautiful things when we decide to ‘come down’ from the tree. Or, when we are ‘cut down’ and free again to move about the cabin, as it were. Whether self- imposed or limited by external circumstances, you’ll find this ‘dead’ time will have proven to have been valuable and necessary.

This is a person who has literally removed his feet from the ground, and is not, for the time being, of this world. The number 12, which is the number of this card, is quite the celestial number: 12 houses of the Zodiac, 12 months, 12 hours. 1+2=3, creation, and from this period of withdrawal and contemplation, there will be creation, divinely inspired.

He’s tapping into the Source.

It may not be the happiest of times. The Hanging Man may be quite misunderstood, but is oblivious. Only he knows how profound his transition is and will be, and must be.

Hang in there.

This card can remind you to mind your blood circulation…definitely invert for 2 minutes a day, even legs up against a wall. The dogs will have no idea WTF you’re doing, it’s hilarious.