XII - The Hanged Man
At first glance The Hanged Man is a perplexing card. Why is this man dangling on a scaffold, suspended by one foot? Why does he look so calm? And why is there a halo around his head?
The Hanged Man is a card that shows us how appearances can be deceiving. What initially looks like misfortune can in fact turn out to be just what we need. Instead of fighting his predicament, The Hanged Man accepts it, and in doing so is able to find a beautiful sense of inner peace.
In fact, he looks quite enlightened. Perhaps he needed to turn his world upside down in order to appreciate it.
This card shows us how a disorienting change can give us a fresh perspective on life. It suggests that fighting our situation is a waste of energy. Instead, we should take the opportunity to look around and see how our view of the world has changed.
So if we find ourselves sick from working too hard, laid low from a recent conflict, or dejected when a plan didn’t come through, we are presented with a choice. Struggle against what happened and become frustrated, or lean into it, trusting that it’s just what we needed.
The Hanged Man asks us to reevaluate our assumptions about what’s good and what’s bad. He’s a cheeky fellow in this way. He might suggest that you laugh instead of cry, relax instead of struggle, or simply take a nap instead of plunging on ahead.
This card often shows up as a reminder that we need rest and reflection as well as action and productivity. And what’s more, he tells us that greater enlightenment comes from accepting all of what life throws at us, not just the good and expected.
Surrender, peace, enlightenment, relaxation, opening up, new perspective, breakthrough, epiphany
Letting go of the outcome, taking a break, leaning into your feelings/fears/a situation, giving up control, opening up to new ways of thinking, having an epiphany, meditation, a spiritual awakening, attaining peace, embracing a difficult situation and learning from it
Spiritual, open-minded, calm, accepting, in tune with the world, a unique way of seeing things
Passive, cut off from others, removed from life, unable to communicate views clearly