The Hanged Man
- XII -
"In the face of disaster lies opportunity for renewal."
The Hanged Man is a paradox. They win by losing, they gain by letting go. Only by looking inward can they move outward. Perhaps they give of themselves for a high cause, or perhaps they discard what parts of themselves hold them back. Many carry burdens with them; these may or may not be self-inflicted. It's possible that the Hanged Man might feel helpless because of them, caught up and left to hang between heaven and earth as they struggle to regain control over their lives. However, even here their essential paradox shows: this gives them a fresh perspective on the world and their situation and may provide them with what they need to discover to release themselves, and find the way forward to their future.
In reverse, the Hanged Man is the person who clings tightly to what they have. That they must give up, that they must lose, is a reality they don't want to face. They reject all the wisdom their suspended position affords them, and because of this, remain stuck in whatever situation in their lives has so mired them. Selfish, while they have the capacity to give of themselves, they reject the very idea entirely. The idea of loss pains them; they remain attached and so continue to suffer.
- Orthrus, a two-headed dog sired by Typhon and Echidna, slain by Heracles
- Vasuki, a giant serpent of Hindu myth who was used to churn a sea of milk
- Taowu, one of the Si-xiong from China
Sacrifice, Letting go, Surrendering, Passivity, Suspension, Acceptance, Renunciation, Patience, New point of view, Contemplation, Inner harmony, Conformism, Nonaction, Waiting, Giving up. The scientist who forgoes his vacation time because funding is tight, and while working through it makes a breakthrough discovery.
OPPOSITE: Stubbornness, Selfishness, Refusal to sacrifice, Refusal to change, Short-sightedness. One who clings to the status quo even though they know giving it up would benefit them and everyone around them.
BLOCKED: Lack of perspective, Feelings of isolation, Unable to convey insight. One who understands what they need to give up, but can't follow through or make others understand too.
UPSIDE-DOWN: Inability to change, Lack of insight, Unwillingness to do what's necessary. One who's unwilling or unable to even consider giving anything up.