The Hanged Man

When I was younger, two Tarot Cards turned up repeatedly in readings done for me: The Hanged Man, and the Fool. The Hanged Man was interpreted at the time as a sign that I was destined for a life of self-sacrifice, and possibly asceticism. This explanation seemed implausible, and while my youth was not particularly happy, I have in fact been blessed all my life with great fortune, and whatever struggles I have faced have been largely of my own doing.

In more recent years, the Hanged Man has not featured in the rare readings I have had done, or done for myself.

Until last week that is, when, returning from a short trip to Wales (mostly to attend a meeting about non-duality, but also to visit with my remarkable Welsh family, and to hike in the Brecon Beacons with my friend Ben Brangwyn), I decided to ask the Tarot: Where do I go from here, now that I have come to accept the ‘hopeless’ message of radical non-duality?

I did a three-card (past/present/future) spread, and there, in the all-important future spot, was my old friend the Hanged Man. Here’s what the interpretation was this time:

A man hangs by his ankle from a T shaped tree. The calm expression on his face and the fact that his hands are hidden behind his back indicate that he is not struggling; he has chosen to do this to gain enlightenment.

The Hanged Man in your future indicates that your situation will best be improved by letting go. This may mean that your struggle to manipulate and control things may make your situation worse. The action you should take in this case is to choose to be passive. If you relax and let events unfold, rather than second-guessing others and their motivations, you will discover the truth. The Hanged Man may indicate that you should do the opposite of what would be expected of you.

This is why I love the Tarot, and, in general, the genius of randomness.

Tarot card in the public domain, from wikimedia.

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