The Hanged Man is a card in tarot that depicts a man strung up by one foot seemingly by choice with the ability to free himself when he so chooses. His arms are behind his back leaving us to question if he has the ability to use them to his benefit or not. The most interesting part in this major arcana card is the ring of illumination present as if a lightbulb went off in his mind by hanging upside down.
There are many artistic renditions of this instrument of training just as there are many artistic renditions of the bible. Both tools not meant to be taken literally but interpreted through symbology. As an aside, symbols were and are meant to be a method of keeping context constant throughout the ages, not used as a basis for myopic reinterpretation. Through reinterpretation of universal law, we create laws that serve our own best interest, even if they come at a dire expense. These symbols then become tools for programmed messaging to attain an outcome rather than the inherent meaning of what they stand for – free wisdom to the seeker. This makes it easier to blindly spend our lives upright, never having to seek, but being fed, with too much fear to ever explore the reverse which calls us to challenge our understanding willingly.
The Hanged Man in his essence gives us a profound message of choosing to view everything in our life from the opposite perspective. The ability to do this not only assists us in moving through life freely without concrete ideologies, judgements, and projections, but it allows us to break free from a man-made construct of a chosen reality we may have come to know as fact.
The Hanged Man shows us that the reverse can also be true, that up can be down, and the sky can be the ground. The reason this is important is because truth is often multi-angular, and it is also often hidden in plain sight. An example might be a scientific observation that returns a clear result, being subject to academic funding and/or political motives. This is an intersection where the truth associated with the word science, may become skewed toward falsities to achieve an outcome for financial or political gain but is still associated with truth by those that believe that science and truth are synonymous.
It is as if our higher self, challenges us on the other side of the chess board. As artist and author Bruce Moon aptly states, “adequate compensation for a sacrifice is having a sound combination leading to a winning position; adequate compensation for a blunder is having your opponent snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.” Your opponent in this case is illumination. A blunder is made when you are skilled and know better. You are given options within the context of universal law to make your moves.
When you choose to remain standing and forego the discomfort of being The Hanged Man, you also sacrifice victory. A sacrifice is choosing to release something valuable to attain higher levels of achievement. If you lack the ability to encounter trials and endure sacrifice without the freedom to discern them as the reverse, your opponents which are really just sent here to distract you from your illumination will be victorious over you for all your days to come.
The Hanged Man infers that for us to gain wisdom and have prophetic insight which we are all capable of, we must consciously venture into a life of wanting to understand. Desiring to see things from all angles frees us from the prison of belief. Villains are only distortions of what you believe yourself to be and heroes are only idealizations of what you wish you had the discipline to follow through on within yourself. Sometimes heroes really are the villains, and those that harm us really are the biggest blessings, but only to the Hanged Man.
When we believe in something, we are not free to believe the opposite to be true. This is why we must not only as the saying goes, question our beliefs, but work on being the Hanged Man so that we can forget our beliefs and remember our knowing. We all have internal meters inherent in our being. Through conditioning and living in our thoughts and the emotions that they are tied to; we begin to live in our belief system rather than our knowing system. If you are not willing to retire beliefs it is safe to say you will never truly know. What is it to know? To know is to be in alignment with your higher order, to read between lines, see past illusions and have a sense of sovereignty within that is not in any way associated with superiority but with infinite and intricate beautiful complexity, indescribable but visible in all things. In order to do this however you must willingly say goodbye at least for a moment to having your head in the clouds and let the ground become the sky.