Like with yesterday’s card of the day, I am having some capital-f Feelings about this.
The Hanged Man.
Stuck. Powerless. My thoughts about the trope are separate, I realize, from my thoughts about the card. The card itself is beautiful, even hopeful. The little fae creature in front of his face looks loving and positive, almost as if she is about to boop him on the nose. The dryads look worried, sad, but the man himself looks peaceful. Almost like he is mid-dive, rather than suspended.
The purples and browns are calming, and the ankh hanging from a red thread in the top corner… I have feelings about that too. About red threads, and soul mates, and life. Red threads.
I’m working on the week 2 exercises now, the suits and elements of the minor arcana. So I notice that he’s hanging from a wand. From the fire and action that he will eventually take? Or the action he is suspending in order to surrender to this moment?
Last night when I did my week 1 weekly reading – The Reader’s Reading, which I’ll write up later today – the card in the “About you in general: what is your most important characteristic” was The Hanged Man. I had a long, long moment with that. It resonates. And that… hmm. I don’t want it to. But it does. Metaphor, metaphor, metaphor. Fuck you, accurate metaphor.
From the Shadowscapes companion book:
Letting go and surrendering to experience and emotional release. Accepting what is, and giving up control, reversing your view of the world and seeing things in a new light. Suspending action. Sacrifice.
Letting go and surrendering to experience and emotional release. Accepting what is, and giving up control. That does mark my entire journey right now – my effort to let go, to let whatever it is be what it is, to accept it, to give up control (whether it is in my controlling codependent behaviour or in my desire to control the outcome of what my springtime love will eventually do – giving up all those elements of control that are always already illusory. Illusory, but comforting. Fuck, so comforting. The Hanged Man does not look comfortable.)
I also purchased Rachel Pollack’s book Tarot Wisdom, Spiritual Teachings and Deeper Meanings and she writes that a fundamental meaning of the Hanged Man is:
to seem, at least, upside down, the wrong way around.
To others (who think that my holding on and holding the door open to my love is causing me pain, or who think that my spiritual journey is too woo-tastic, or whatever) but for me, now, mostly to myself. Because I think all that. Because I think this is all stupid bullshit and I should close the door on him and on this and fuck all this challenging work. I was just fine as a caterpillar. I don’t need to be a butterfly or moth or whatever I’ll be at the end of this. Fuck it all! It hurts! It’s hard! It hurts. It’s hard.
Rachel Pollack writes:
[M]any modern Tarot readers assume a negative meaning for the Hanged Man… being stuck, hung up, a painful sacrifice. To be honest, this surprises me, for I’ve always seen this card as a kind of liberation of the spirit. …
The Hanged Man… shows us at a stage where we can glimpse the great truths. We begin to understand, not just conceptually but with genuine knowing….
And that is why I’m still doing this.
That red thread, and my belief that I am not done with my springtime love, that we have more to explore together, and that the door needs to stay open in order for that to happen.
And the sense of readiness. The feeling that I am on this path right now because I’m ready to be on this path right now. I am doing this because I am ready to do this. I am ready to let go of old habits that no longer serve me. I am ready to let go of my need to control. I am ready to let go of my codependency, my old pains and traumas. I am ready. I am here because I am ready.
Yes, it sucks.
Yes, it’s hard.
Yes, it feels upside down and I hate it and I struggle with it and I don’t know how much longer I can do it for and I want to get down off this fucking tree, holy fuck, I hate this! Yes.
Yes, it’s amazing.
Yes, it’s easy, it’s right.
Yes, sometimes I stop struggle, call truce with myself, and see everything shifted and beautiful.
I love this, yes. Yes. Yes.
I’m not stuck. I’m growing.
And this, too. The Hanged Man is in a position very much like a caterpillar cocooned and ready for metamorphosis. And that’s a metaphor I’ve been using for myself for weeks now. So.
Onward, with grace and ease.