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Why I love the message of the Hanged Man

I have many favourite cards, but the one that gives me chills every time is the hanged man.

There are so many layers upon layers of wisdom in that one card, when it crops up in a reading I always pause.

#1 Look at life from a different perspective.

New students are often confused by the card, turning it around so he seems "the right way up". At it's simplest the Hanged man is asking you to look at your situation from a different perspective.

In the position the hanged man is his heart is above his head. When we have a problem it is really easy to over think it, trying to find a logical solution. the hanged man is asking you to stop thinking & "feel" with your intuition, or right brain. Funny how you find your keys when you stop thinking about where they could be- and then you just know where they are, or how your best ideas come in the bath, or just as you wake up in the morning. That is exactly the sort of thing I am talking about.

#2 Surrender

Not a word that many people like to hear! Surrender to what? That is up to you, and your world view. I believe in a universal spirit, a wider energy that is bigger than me, & often the Hanged man is asking me to trust that things are happening in just the right way- even if I can't see it.

It may be that you are being asked to surrender your ego, "needs" & desires to focus on something that is worthwhile to you.

I associate this card with Odin who hung himself on the world tree to receive the gifts of the runes. It is said he surrendered himself to himself. I liken this to when I read tarot , my ego has to step aside to allow me to fully connect with the reading. Clients want the wisdom of the cards, not my own personal opinion.

#3 What has the Hanged man surrendered? His body, the ability to do things physically.

Sometimes it’s easy to be deluded by the physical world. To be busy, busy, busy- and forget about the power & importance of the mind, energy body & soul.

Now I appreciate that your personal beliefs may mean that you don't believe in an energy body or soul. But I hope we can all agree on the power of the mind to allow us to make the best of life, or to trap us in self-limiting beliefs. (not sure? Take a look at the 8 of swords)

The most important meaning of the hanged man, I believe, is to still the body and let the mind, energy body & soul take over for a little.

Amazing things happen when we are still, connect, reach out to understand in an internal way.

Whether you believe you are working with your unconscious, or spirit guides, doesn't change the power of the work.

Why does the hanged man give me chills?

I started my tarot reading business to avoid working as a shaman.

My worst experience happened on a shamanic journey, and I did not want to be responsible for anyone else expiring that.

Then in one of my tarot workshops I looked at a student’s spread. There was the hanged man right at the centre. "I get the whole reading" he said, “it all makes sense- except for the hanged man". As I looked at the reading I understood the Hanged man meant shamanism, and I understood it represented me teaching him.

Sure enough the emails started, I agreed to a few sessions, and have been teaching shamanism ever since. I have continued by shamanic training and am in fact grateful beyond words for that gentle shove form the tarot.

But I will never forget how I stared at the Hanged Man and glimpsed how my life would change from that one card.

In the end it is shamanism that brings me the most joy- whether with drum, or chant, or even sweat lodge.

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