The Hanged Man - A Reward, Not A Punishment




Our card today is perhaps one of the most misunderstood in the Tarot. To some extent this is because the Hanged Man is quite complex and embodies arrows pointing all over the place to other Tarot cards and various mythologies through the ages. However, it is also because as humans we simply reject the Hanged Man and Neptune’s call for us to disengage from our normal lives and our normal means of thinking. It is much easier to receive this card and say “ok, you’re on hold for now, so just wait it out.” Whatever “it” may be. While, yes, the Hanged Man requires a certain flavor of passivity to achieve his goals, it is a dedicated and intentional passivity with a commitment to desiring that the veils created by constant physical and mental activity fall away to reveal the truth behind illusion.



The Hanged Man - Why Upside-Down is A Good Place To Be


I would like to include a somewhat lengthy quote from Rachel Pollack’s Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom regarding the Hanged Man’s upside-down-ness:

“The reversal of physical posture serves as a very direct symbol of the reversal of attitude and experience that comes through spiritual awakening. Where everyone else is frenzied, you will know peace. Where other people believe themselves to be free, but are actually pushed from one thing to another by forces they do not understand, you will achieve true freedom by understanding and embracing those forces.”


Things have been going so fast lately, and we have gotten so accustomed to outsourcing our psychological and spiritual wellbeing to “the news.” Obviously this is necessary to some extent, but we must remember that we are multifaceted beings and we need to nurture all aspects of our minds (unconscious, subconscious, conscious and superconscious) in order to be well. Spiritual wellbeing specifically is accessed by way of embracing the multi-truths of reality. And yes, one of the only ways to do this is to sit in silence with the same willingness and acceptance as the Hanged Man hangs in the Tree of Life. I recommend anapana meditation for this purpose as it is also known to finely tune the psychic senses.


The Hanged Man guides us towards accessing these multi-truths, especially the subtle ones by suggesting we change our perspective, that we pause and suspend normal activity. And no, I don’t mean just the new “normal” of pandemic-induced suspension of externalized activity. Reevaluate your attitudes, goals, priorities and spiritual values. Be willing to make a sacrifice to achieve a better goal. Let go of relationships that are obviously detrimental. Reflect, pray and meditate like it’s your damn job.


Do a hardcore honest check-in with yourself regarding your beliefs and philosophies about these things: commitment, dedication, enlightenment, flexibility, learning lessons, higher wisdom, reflection, calm, letting go and letting God, your martyr complex, false senses of security, depression, dissatisfaction, effort, spiritual attunement, materialsm, selfishness, other people’s expectations of you, denying your inner needs. You get the idea.




The Hanged Man and Neptune


Let’s drop into the relationship between these two archetypes through some prompts about each of them (but I won’t say which prompts are traditionally correlated with whom, though some may obviously be both).


  • The Soul has its origin beyond the material world. The reality beyond sensory time and space could be called the true home of the Soul, or even “Heaven.” The world of your dreams is as real as any other.

  • When you put your foot in the ocean or have it tied to the Tree of Life - you are connected to The All-There-Is and attuned to the subtle vibrations of the World.

  • Spiritual and psychic enlightenment

  • Escape the ordinary bounds of physics through meditation, prayer, sleep and dreams.

  • Embracing dreamlike illusion but understanding its difference from delusion.

  • The struggle to establish boundaries.

  • Willing self-sacrifice through the suspension of everyday cares and concerns.



Neptune in Pisces - Working with Our Daily Astrological Chart


Most simply put, the transit of Neptune through Pisces gives us access to achieve massive personal and collective spiritual awakening, cosmic love, and a sense of All One through the avenues of introspection, imagination, sensitivity and intuition. We must first process and gestate our dreams before we can birth them into reality.


We are blessed to have Neptune in his “home” placement of Pisces for another 4 years. This should give us plenty of time to allow their forces together to guide our consciousness towards transcending the physical. Together Neptune and Pisces home placement is in the 12th house of the zodiac - the house of secrets, mystery and illusion.


I like the idea of aligning my meditation with this Hanged Man transit. Where I am in Upstate New York, today that window of time occurs from approximately 9:30-11:30am. This will shift slightly each day and I recommend you check in with a daily astrological chart of the moment like the one available on astro.com’s right hand side bar menu. Along with the many charts that I save on this website (by setting up a free account) most of which are for actual humans in my life, I reserve one chart for playing around to figure out what time certain placements move in and out of each of the houses.


Here are some prompts from to align ourselves with why meditating during Neptune in Pisces in the 12th house could be extremely helpful in our personal efforts towards unveiling the mysteries and connecting more deeply with the truths of the Tree of Life from the roots of the unconscious to the branches of the superconscious.


  • Inspire others with your dreams, as you may be the person in your community most committed to seeking oneness with All-There-Is.


  • Explore your tendency towards sugar-coating spirituality in order to ultimately truly experience your faith.


  • Be prepared to sacrifice some attachments to your idealistic concepts regarding philanthropy, especially when it comes to large institutions or overwhelming events. For example, if you have wanted to be anonymously involved in an endeavor, the practice of ego-dissolution via continually getting comfortable with yielding (like the Hanged Man) will be essential.


  • Trust your psychic knowledge of yourself and others in order to face head-on any previous confusion about hidden tendencies (habits, compulsions, addictions).




Build Your Intuition With The Tarot


If you’ve enjoyed today’s column, I invite you to join my weekly email group where we practice the mystical art of scrying with Maria DiStefano’s Circle of Life Tarot to improve our psychic senses and deepen our relationship to the Tarot. You can also get email notifications for this very weekday Tarot-Astrology collective readings posts that you’ve just read. Last but certainly not least, we use Lettie Jane Rennenkamp’s Many Queens Tarot for all of our weekday readings this year which is the source of the beautiful images in these posts.


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