(an excerpt from Linda’s book “Ticket, Passport, and Tarot Cards“)
The Hanged Man waits patiently at a T-intersection in his life, represented by the living tree from which he hangs. He is in a strong position – the trunk is sturdy and straight, as is the branch that crosses it at right angles. The leaves on the left represent the man’s past, while those on the right symbolize what lies ahead. His left foot points towards the future. If he chooses this direction, seeds sown in his recent past (the single leaves on the left) will grow and take shape in the future (the cluster of leaves near his foot on the right).
The man is well-balanced and his demeanour serene. The red tights represent his energy and capacity for endurance, the blue tunic the clarity of his spiritual understanding and the yellow slippers, hair and halo his intellectual understanding. He has gone through the process of calling himself to account in the preceding card of Justice. He is now taking time to reflect on what he learned about himself so that he can reconnect with his spiritual purpose.
The grey background, devoid of any distractions, is reminiscent of the Hermit, but the Hanged Man is further along the path to enlightenment than the Hermit, who had to carry a lamp to light his path. The Hanged Man, on the other hand, knows what he must do to achieve his spiritual purpose and the Hermit’s lamp has been transformed into the golden aura of understanding around his head.
The Hanged Man is going with the flow of his thoughts, he is looking at everything from a different perspective – he can’t do otherwise since he’s hanging upside down! But ultimately he must swing himself upright, truly accept what he has learned about himself and others, and release what he no longer needs. Then he is free to move forward.
When the Hanged Man appears in your spread, you are being asked to let go, relax and trust that something better will come into your life to replace whatever you need to release. Hanging on to outmoded ways of thinking or to unfulfilling relationships leads you nowhere, leaves you hanging in limbo between the past and the future.