How’s It Hanging?

When we reconcile ourselves to the law of karma, understanding that Justice will have her way as the Wheel of Fortune spins, we are able to give ourselves over to the celestial wisdom that runs this whole game we call life. This is where we become the Hanged Man. At first glance, this does not look like a very fortuitous position to be in as the card depicts a man hanging upside down from a Tau cross by one foot. However, the placid look on his face and the casually inverted figure four drawn by his bent free leg tells a different story.

The Hanged Man card is number 12 in the series, the numerical calculations aligning it with the 3rd card of the Empress. Just as she showed us how to marry our understanding of duality into congress with the greater whole, so does the Hanged Man show us that our understanding of the merger between our physical and spiritual worlds is also part of the greater whole. It is this sacrifice of outdated perspective that gives the Hanged Man his peace.

In some decks, the Hanged Man has gold coins fall from his pockets. According to myth, when he looks down at them from his new vantage point, he no longer recognizes them as money, but simply metallic disks. Obviously, as I have allowed myself to hang from my particular tree, I can appreciate this perspective.

The sacrifice of the Hanged Man is not torturous as if it were a crucifixion, for it is not a hanging of death, but of life. Even the cross from which he hangs is sprouting with leaves and flowers. the sacrifice is simply letting go of the old way of seeing things and opening up to a new perspective, the realization that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, and that it will always sustain us.


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