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The Hanged Man: Acceptance of Fate

by Tilly Tarot

I believe this card resembles The Hermit as he is also on a spiritual journey to find answers and light up his path in life. However, with the Hanged Man he has no choice but to remain where he is, suspended by life and powers out of his reach. But, from this suspension comes a surprising amount of renewal leading him to see beyond the problem and accept what has happened. In healing there is no way of forsaking the time he has to spend alone and it cannot progress at a faster speed. In his current state he cannot see the bigger picture, for his judgement is clouded and he worries that his actions are no longer so wise. With a light shining so brightly around his head we know he is well and by the end of this suspension, when he progresses to the next stage, he will be full of optimism again.

As the Hanged Man there is a feeling that he has betrayed himself, and to overcome this guilt, he is spending a time away from the world. Feeling like an outcast in society he seeks to find inner peace again in the only way he knows how, that is punishment and separation from society. There are not any expressions of sadness, only contentment that what he is doing is best for himself and others around him. Whatever this grave mistake his service of imprisonment and lack of physical movement grants us pity on his behalf. I feel pity for him but understand that for him to know this would not be his intentions. Although this form of punishment is extreme he is also making an example of himself for others to follow. His sins are private and unable to escape and leave his conscience driving him to such dramatic actions as seen. But, he begins to see everything in a new perspective. The world through his eyes has turned upside-down, and with it, his life and all he believes in. Life still carries on around him depicted by the vines continuing to grow along the wooden cross whereby he hangs. His strength, determination, stubbornness and calm draws life ever closer, instead of turning it away so he can bury his emotional turmoil. This begs the observer to feel that life must go on however bad circumstances have been in the past. Although this card refers to a feeling of suspension, it is the man himself who has delivered himself to this position and now is riding the storm by sitting it out. His emotional placidity is addictive and enchanting to see for someone so embroiled by a past event he has the strength even now to settle and remain patient that all will be well. Knowing the future will bring only a renewed strength of character he holds fast in his position and is not afraid to face observers. Again, similar to The Hermit he is hoping for a spiritual awakening. The Hermit holds a lantern to the darkness whereas already The Hanged Man has signs of great energy and strength inside his being. From offering himself as a sacrifice he has been gifted with the powers of enlightenment and blessed for his act of suffrage. Similar to the act of fasting in other such religions he puts aside the comforts of daily life to adorn his mind with renewed psychic ability and foresight. He knows he will not die because of this and within his trance begins to see in the future his resurrection.

When people are in this state of mind they simply disappear but time away will help rejuvenate the deepest of broken, confused and worried hearts. Although it is a dramatic move to make and will gain the attention of many, it proclaims a sense of urgency and a strong need to find the truth. As with such dramatic and devastating events in our reality such as a suicide attempt, he begs that now is the time to notice life in an alternative way. By hanging upside-down he already symbolises this and to feel blood rushing to his head delivers all emotions into one place. Here in the mind he can concentrate on overcoming certain issues and find solitude in his thoughts. He asks for blessings and forgiveness so now he can move on and live in a world where guilt has passed. The number twelve represents this in a completeness of all the months of the year, the signs of the zodiac and the opposite side of the World card being the number twenty-one. Not only has he embarked on this survival mission but he challenges all planetary rulers as well. Wishing for complete forgiveness, time is not of the essence and he is simply in the hands of outer forces that will help him understand the error of his ways. They will inspire and help him reflect on his misfortune so he can learn and grow from this experience.

Symbolic of a resurrection and the will to renunicate all negativity from life, the man in this card gives us the strong notion that by doing nothing now, he will gain inner strength. Similarily in our modern-day lives sometimes it is best not to take action, for example, apologise after an argument for the other may simply not be ready to accept. Therefore, patience is of great significance to this card and begs the recipient to not rush into anything just yet. Time is the great healer that can solve so many of our problems and the test to which we are all put sometimes. This could be awaiting a phone call or reply to an important opportunity. To reply sooner rather than later will instil hesitation on the opposite end. When we act patiently we embody a higher degree of respect and trust, whereby a strong common relationship grows. This is when the best of business relationships work when one or the other does not ‘show their hand’ or reveal themselves fully to the other. Many are blamed for ‘sitting on the fence’ but this may prove wise for the Hanged Man and during this time he gains further insight into how to aim for our next goal. When meeting someone for the first time they form an impression of us within the first three seconds. It is our natural instincts to do this and beyond our control but with patience in our speech we are in control of the final actions.

With many contradictions it is easy to read a negative or positive view into The Hanged Man, but one that always serves to enlighten. As a frustrating card to receive, it has much promise of a better outcome from the time you have spent literally hanging around waiting for life to begin. Such is plain in readings for moving house and waiting for important decisions. However, it is not only patience that is an important quality you must withstand, but the art of letting go when all does not go as well as expected. The Hanged Man is not symbolic of waiting but of overcoming events that have past. When all else fails all we can do is hope for a time of renewal to help understand and explain why these events did not go as planned and how this path is not our destiny. Another dimension to this card is the notion that time has passed and we have now regained our energy. With enlightening rays around his head we see he is now again happy and reached his state of stable consciousness. There is a message here that although patience is a virtue, we must not linger on what has happened in the past and once ready to move forward, take the path and go. Another phase of our lives is yet to begin and the time to pick ourselves up and step back into reality is now. If we struggle to free ourselves too early there is also a damaging flaw and it is almost as though the noose around his feet will only tighten. Performing a reading with The Hanged Man present, the questioner feels problems began solely by themselves but with this card comes the surrounding significant ‘others’ also involved. The querent seems only to blame themselves and this time away has given them the peace and calm needed to overcome feelings of guilt and worry. In fact, instead of being someone who has caused trouble to the world, The Hanged Man is more a person who thinks of others before themselves and thus feels they are to blame for what happens around them. From torturing themselves they experience an emotional release and end a rapture of emotional turmoil.

A mysterious and constantly changing card for every individual there are so many meanings about all areas of our lives. Overall, to feel control is what The Hanged Man delivers and to break free is to embrace our human nature and fight against all odds. Prepare for enlightenment, not to underestimate personal talents and begin to reignite a passion for life. The message he gives us is; ‘to be optimistic, is to play a part in creating a positive future’. The flip side of this is; ‘to serve judgement on ourselves, is to sacrifice our moral integrity’. Overall, I feel for proper progression in all of our lives, we must know that everyday is brand-new, a gift and punishment, if wished for, will come to us quickly through Karma. A feeling of restraint in life may be for a valid reason to help us with taking one step at a time or not rushing into a project too quickly. Experience comes with age and wisdom serves to be the best form of judgement. As when we have a dark and disturbing part of our life, the Hanged Man can relate on many levels. However, if we do not read into him in a negative sense, we can break free of the physical and emotional ties that govern our life. Pause now to reflect on how you will never forget completely, but instead grow stronger and free in the knowledge that you are ever more in control of emotions.

He is not dying but now ressurected from the depths of his own home-made hell. What he does not realise is that forgiveness is his and the ties and restraints are now only within the subconcious. Stop punishing ourselves, come back down-to-earth and believe that ‘time’ served is now complete. If left hanging we are all in danger of becoming institutionalised, or, unable to fully live in harmony with ourselves. With a new dawn comes a new day to use in anyway you so wish. Embrace your new day with confidence, enchantment and know you have new heights to reach. Take on the challenge and do not look back any longer for the past is gone and the future awaits your arrival. We all need a feeling of release and at some points, to our own detriment. But, to be in control of our fate we overturn the status quo. On reflection let us take a moment to remember the plight of the Falling Man from 9/11. A photograph that is so vivid in all our minds taken by Richard Drew at 9:41 a.m. A man falls with his leg crossed over the other in the symbolic stance of the number four. His hands are clasped together behind his back as he took the fall instead of being consumed by the flames of his certain death. He fell with grace and in control of his end in what must have been a moment of absolute clarity in the position of The Hanged Man.

© Tilly Tarot

Tilly Tarot is a self-taught Tarot Card Reader, freelance writer, and aspiring author. She has been reading Tarot Cards for over twenty years for friends and family, and also performs personal readings by email and live online.

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