Learning From Key 12, The Hanged Man (Thoth Deck)
I don’t write New Year resolutions. I do take a moment to ponder the past year and look forward to see what direction I am headed, smell the air, feel the winds of time in motion and consider the next course of navigation. I also don’t spend hours in front of my television allowing the media to report on current events, as I don’t enjoy scintillating reports of others suffering and sorrows. The media cries, “just in” yet I only see the clamor of repeated conditions and situations wearing new faces and places. I choose to see with my own eyes, and discern with my own mind.
Instead, each year I take time to suspend my current angle of view and seek new angles of perspective. Some of us create lists and affirmations. We promise ourselves less waste and more gain, we devise new disciplines and corrective methods which we line up but let sit, awaiting the perfect moment of application.
The Tarot offers us new perspectives through seventy-eight cards of symbology in various artistic interpretations in which each card is like the little doors of an advent calendar that we open to see the gift underneath; our mission is to willingly and gently with patience, pry open the door and partake of its iconic image.
Such is the world of the Hanged Man, the pattern breaker through new perspective. This card is of the major arcana, key number twelve and path number twenty-three of the Tree of Life and carries the vibrational intelligence of Stability. It’s color is a deep blue, its sound G#. The number twelve also adds up to three. This is Binah of the supernal triangle, the third Sephira on the Tree of Life. Here is where all life forms are released downward, dangling by the chord of life until she cuts us free.
Once birthed into the new perspective of a fresh form, we begin to paint the story of our life, storyboard by storyboard. Seeking stability we often sacrifice an old perspective for a new one, ever judging and correcting the artwork of our living presence. And much like turning artwork-in-progress upside down to see the truth of the design, flow and balance, so too does this key show us that through the process of self reversal, we see the world not as our mind expects and wants to see, but as it truly is presented. For in reverse, we must take in what is, identify the pieces and then construct the image for clarity.
In that moment, our mind, our heart, our physical presence is suspended in trance-like silence. Here, like a child, hanging from a tree in trust of the foundational support of life extended, we relax and allow our arms to release their grip and daringly with eyes open, dangle from one leg, crossing the other for balance. In quietude, we ponder, we observe, and through gentle breath we stretch the spine of our own internal tree.
In the Thoth deck, the man hangs from the ‘ankh’ a symbol of limitless living force, available to us at any time and for all needs both spiritual and material. There are no other restrictions, save sacrificing fear and mistrust from the ego into the possibility of gained insight.
This key is also connected to the Threes of the four suites, Cups-Abundance; Wands-Virtue; Disks-the Great Works; and Swords-the great Sorrow of the Great Mother. The Empress, key number three and path fourteen. She is the Door through the planet Venus in her emerald green presence, singing in F#, representing the Illuminative Intelligence, which comes from new ideas and perspectives. The Hanged Man card reminds us that there are multiple views to all things, and sometimes to move forward we step backwards. Sometimes we must sacrifice through personal effort to gain wisdom and understanding, built through ever-changing perspectives coupled with corrections and adjustments, we expand and evolve our presence gaining continued growth.
As we progress into each new month, each quarterly cycle of the seasons, we need to continually seek new perspectives of our actions, feelings and thoughts. New ideas, are symbolized by the coiled snake below the hanging man as he dips his mind into the formative waters. Here the gifted seeds from the tree fall downward and await release by stirring the energies below, loosening the soil of our psyche allowing the seeds to germinate into opportunity. But to dangle from the tree of our presence requires trust of self, confidence in one’s abilities to right our self when needed and ignore the speculation of others’ judgment. There is no sorrow here, no pity and no anguish. By dipping our head into the cosmic waters of possibility we manifest the change we wish to see through our own effort.
The world is an outward reflection of the whole of human-kind, through the perspective of each individual. Collectively we can change the global perspective of the group consciousness, but each of us must release the past concepts by shifting personal perspective. Whether you squint an eye or tilt the head, the situation in front of us remain; it is we who shift to gain the new insight. Printed word or artwork can be reversed and tilted to various angles, but the world around us requires that we dangle our sight to a new perspective. It is we who construct and deconstruct the consciousness of our reality, and thus, it is we who must redefine the angle from which we view ourselves and each other. Together we must collectively trust each other, lovingly support and nurture our momentary suspension as we share our gained insight through new perspective and work together for the greater whole.
I think I shall find a tree, ask permission to dangle, and maybe she will whisper a secret or two from her perspective.