Friday, July 21, 2006


TODAY’S CARD is The Hanged Man. This version is The Hanging Man from The New Tarot for the Aquarian Age (a/k/a The Reverse Tarot) by John Starr Cooke:

For comparison, here’s The Hanged Man in the Rider/ Waite/ Smith deck:


In addressing The Devil in my last post I was drawn to get out The Reverse Tarot, my first deck ever (published in 1969). After going through the deck, I chose The Hanging Man for today because it has always puzzled me, even more than many of the dense and intriguing images in the Reverse Tarot. I quote from the book accompanying this deck as the design is different enough from the more traditional Hanged Man to deserve some exploration:

“As the Hanged Man was trapped physically, [The Hanging Man] is trapped morally and he is weighed down by the two figures dangling by his outstretched arms. ... He must drop the ego illusion that he is indispensable to others. .... The Hanging state awaits the redemption of the act.... The Hanging Man represents the Christ state. This involves the balancing of all opposites by permitting all to flow through him. .... Between earth and sky, matter and spirit, the Hanging Man stands not only as a balancer but as a bridge, a mediator, and by this very token a sacrifice. The redemption lies in the effort to bridge, reconcile and bring together the seeming opposites. .... As an observer or witness, the Hanging Man is weighted down by these two principal enacters [the two hanging people/polarities] within his own mind-projection stating the law of opposites. He weeps since he can seemingly do nothing to resolve their plight. He knows infinite consciousness and infinite unconsciousness simultaneously yet cannot move forward until the male and female sides of his own projection are going in the same direction, no longer divided, but in the harmony of Unity. Unity alone produces redemption ..... He awaits his place in the heavens, but he knows he shall never attain it until every living entity is redeemed. Redemption is a universal act. ... But the responsibility is first of all to Self – for only thus can universal redemption be accomplished."

The above is not all that was “shaken out of the tree” by my previous post on The Devil. Cooke, the designer of The Reverse Tarot, also designed a triple deck set, “The Word of One Tarot,” and I felt compelled to pull out this set, as well (published in 1992). The decks address three different levels of the development of consciousness – from Atlantean, to Gypsy/Medieval, to The Aquarian Age. (The deck for the Aquarian age in this triple set is the complete Reverse Tarot plus one additional Major, The Wanderer; the other two are original decks by Cooke with the Majors only.) I may devote a post in the future to this triple set, and share the results of a reading I did for myself with it last night.


Many years ago, I read that adopting the posture of a figure on a card can deepen one’s relationship to it. And, yes, back then I managed to get myself upside down against the wall. That was quite a rush, one I’d not had in a great many years, and all that readjustment of perception! This generated an insight into The Hanged Man for me: You need to shake your viewpoint up. It is your perception that needs changing, not the situation.

You are hung-up on this issue. Give it a rest and come back to it later.

Someone is not to be trusted. They may “hang you up” or “out to dry,” or leave you to “blow in the wind.”

Action delayed too long.

Preoccupation with money or material things.

Your conscious “hang-ups” at this time make action risky or improbable.

Some situation is about to turn upside down.

Be prepared to fall “head over heels” for someone or some area of endeavor.

Try suspending your own feelings/thoughts on this matter. It could make room for higher wisdom.

You need a vacation, either literally or metaphorically. Relax.

* * * *

Resource: Review of the Word of One Tarot, with images from the Reverse Tarot and a link to images from the Atlantean and Gypsy/Medieval decks, too.

Please see the top of the sidebar for my background with the Tarot and a recommendation to beginners.

‘til next time, keep seeking unity and enjoying The Tarot,


[aka: Patricia Kelly]

****If you wish to copy or use any of my writing, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)**** SEE ALSO: Roswila’s Dream & Poetry Realm for some articles about Tarot.****



Blogger Eccentric Scholar said...

I liked this bit on the Hanged Man, from Italo Calvino's Tarot novel THE CASTLE OF CROSSED DESTINIES:

"He says: 'Leave me like this. I have come full circle and I understand. The world must be read backward. All is clear.'"

2:33 PM  
Blogger Roswila said...

Hi eccentric scholar,

Yes, that's an intriguing way to see The Hanged Man. Reminds me of those t.s. eliot lines:

"We shall not cease from our exploration
And at the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time"

Thanks for reminding me also of my XII post. I re-read it following an intuitive itch and found something rather to the point for me in my own life right now:

"He knows infinite consciousness and infinite unconsciousness simultaneously yet cannot move forward until the male and female sides of his own projection are going in the same direction, no longer divided, but in the harmony of Unity."

I had a dream maybe two nights ago in which I was embracing/lifting a tom cat and a female cat, to my heart/breast. Too much to go into here, but that was the closing image of the dream and it clearly showed me what I'm doing is helping me achieve a dynamic balance I've not known in myself before.

3:03 PM  

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