THE HANGED MAN
hanging upside down from a tree. The reversed position indicates the need to
look at oneself from an entirely different perspective. The words
"man" and "mind" come from the same root word in the ancient
and sacred language of India, Sanskrit. Thus the card indicates that mind has to
be "suspended" and the way we think about ourselves must be reversed.
will notice that the tree is alive with leaves and growing vines, indicating the
possibility that the situation will bear fruit. Turn the card around. You will
see that the man's body is in the shape of a cross. The cross is representative
of the number four (manifestation in physical form). If you draw a line from his
elbows to the top of his head, you will come up with a triangle,
indicating the number three (creativity in action).
you multiply four times three, the result is twelve, the number of signs of the
zodiac. This indicates a full cycle of creative expression. Thus the job is
done, but the results (and the future) have to be reconsidered. The man is not
in pain; his facial expression is both peaceful and contemplative. This card,
therefore, does not represent suffering, death, or martyrdom. The person's life
is simply suspended for a time in order to recognize what needs to be changed in
the personality in order to embody more Light (the nimbus around the man's
the reading-The Hanged
Man tells us that the querent should be willing to lose something lesser in
order to fulfill a greater goal. An investment of time, energy, and/or
money may have to be made. Whatever is at stake, some form of sacrifice is
needed in order to attain the envisioned goal. The querent is devoted to the
cause or the relation- ship of the moment and is open and ready to take on the
task in front of him. But first, there has to be time to pause and consider.
this position reflects selfishness. The person may be putting on the appearance
of willing sacrifice but isn't really ready to give up anything at all. The
goals he has in mind are purely selfish. The support he is seeking from others
is egocentric in orientation. Care should be taken in case what is sought is of
lesser value than the effort put forth to achieve it.
up the lesser for the greater. The sacrifice of personal desires in order to
fulfill a higher principle or ideal.
reflection that results in the recognition of habitual poor patterns of thought
and feeling hindering spiritual development.
from the Pocket Guide to Tarot by Alan Oken