Here we see a man being suspended from a tree upside down by his ankle. The other at an angle that upon looking at it again makes the number 4 (an expression of the 4 directions). His expression is not one of angst but of peace, calm and an almost dreamy state with the golden halo around his head. The Raven holds a pentagram indicating the 4 elements: earth, air, water, fire all enclosed by Spirit. Although his hands are behind him he isn’t struggling and it could be that he is just easing his back against the tree. Why is he just hanging there? Perhaps he can free himself from the binds? It appears he is hanging here by choice?
The Hanging Man is a card about awakening and enlightenment. Rachel Pollack describes it as “the reversal of physical posture serves as a very direct symbol of the reversal of attitude and experience that comes through spiritual awakening. Where everyone else is frenzied, you will know peace. Where other people believe themselves to be free, but are actually pushed from one thing to another by forces they do not understand, you will achieve true freedom by understanding and embracing those forces.”
“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.” ~Lao Tzu
How do we achieve an awakening and enlightenment? Everyone has their own manner, some people will do a food fast or other type of physical deprivation. Others go a gentler route such as meditation, yoga, join a spiritual group or simply get out in Nature and go for a walk among the bees and butterflies. Once we have an awakening or enlightenment it gives us the opportunity to create space for something new by releasing that which no longer serves us. We are able to surrender and release our thoughts about whatever situation was bothering us. We release the stored up emotions that we have attached to the situation. Breathe easy now, look at things in a different perspective.
“Learned we may be with another man’s learning: we can only be wise with wisdom of our own.” ~Michel de Montaigne
In readings The Hanged Man shows that life may be in a period of suspension. This allows us the time to look at the goings on in our life in a different light, a new wisdom and fresh perspective is ours. We may need to regain our independence again as perhaps we have been giving in to others and not being true to ourselves. Being true to our own Soul can be a difficult task at times, people may think you foolish for trying to obtain your dreams and desires. Usually this is because they are not trying hard enough to reach their goals of their own!
This card can also mean self-sacrifice, the need to give something up in the short-term to obtain something far more beneficial in the long term. This is also about delayed gratification which is a form of self-sacrifice or a difficult trial. This isn’t a card to be feared as it is of a voluntary position. So look at things from a difference perspective and turn things on their head. Your new view may just suit you!
“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.” ~Confucius
Blessings on your Journey! ~Tricia