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The Hanged Man - What does he do?

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Gazel's Avatar
Gazel  Gazel is offline
Join Date: 16 Aug 2006
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Question The Hanged Man - What does he do?

What is it that he does hanging on the tree? To extent that he can be said to *do* anything. Is he dreaming, hallucinating, thinking, meditating, starving, bored - or what - any suggestions?

I had him coming up in a three card spread answering the question: What can I do to discipline my spirituality?

I think his somehow telling me that the question is in fact stupid. The premise is stupid, in that I shoulden't discipline my spirituality, or if that was the case, it would had been the Hierophant coming up instead.

Maybe the question had to be phrased "what should I do to work more disciplined with my spirituality" - but it wasn't and now the Hanged Man is telling me to get another perspective on spirituality. Maybe it is not about discipline or ambition or trying to hard to be spiritual, but simply just to be ... hanging there.

So maybe I just now answered my question myself. But still it could be fun to have your interesting suggestions to what he is experiencing in the tree.

Yours truly, Gazel
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lark's Avatar
lark  lark is offline
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Two disipline your spiritual growth you may have to make "willing sacrifices."
And that sacrific maybe to give up your notion of "what' being spiritual is...not to put it in a box, but to let it open up to you as you go along.

And what is he doing in that tree?
Well, I always tell my clients he's absorbing all the info around him as he waits for the next phases of his growth.
So be present, be aware...absorb all that is coming in to you whether it be by book, teacher, or experience.
Absorb without a pre-concieved notion of what it should be.
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balenciaga  balenciaga is offline
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I agree with the sacrificial element. Also, you may need to "sit with it"; meditate on the concept of spirituality.
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memries's Avatar
memries  memries is offline
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You will have to wait it out. Pleasantly as The Hanged Man is happy in his tree. Spiritual work is sometimes funny. You get a lot and then it just goes "dead" for a while. I think meditating is a good suggestion.

The card following is Death which is the end of something or change before you go forward.

Develop what you already have or know. Struggling to advance is pointless.
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Ange's Avatar
Ange  Ange is offline
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This appeals to me cos it's the sort of thing I'd ask and wonder trivia... Oh I love it...

I too had wondered why he was there....what he was doing.....and I could never decide. That was until I got the Mystic Faeries, and he appears to be playing....giggling and enjoying himself.....

Ang x
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Weed Woman's Avatar
Weed Woman  Weed Woman is offline
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Weed Woman 

(As I answer, I'm thinking specifically of the Hanged Man in my DruidCraft deck, who's not only hanging in a tree, but who's hands are bound behind his back, as who is unable to speak, because Oak leaves are in his mouth.)

Because the hanged man is physically bound and restrained, because he can't move out into the world to seek answers, it would seem this card is suggesting you look inward for the answers and wait patiently for them to arrive -- a call to meditate and reflect. As others have said, to me, the card suggests the need to surrender to experience. That said, it doesn't suggest to me that more disciplined, rigorous practice is required. Instead, it suggests that's what required is awareness, mindfulness, attention to the hidden knowledge in each experience that comes along. Hanging in the tree, he's forced to accept what knowledge and experience will come to him, rather than being able to seek for that knowledge in a more active way. In addition, because he's in a tree (at least on my card), this card always indicates to me that I must reconnect to nature (hike, get back into my garden, sit with my plants, etc.), and that answers will come once I've reconnected and focused on my "natural" self and nature's rhythms.

I hope this is helpful, and I've really loved reading others' posts, as I find this an intriguing, yet difficult card.

Weed Woman
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Nisha's Avatar
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The Hanged Man is like a caterpillar in a cocoon, awaiting in wisdom and patience the beautiful transformation into a butterfly. Things look different upside down and a shift in perception is taking place, seeing everything anew.
So, the Hanged Man surrenders to the divine flow of transformation with wisdom and hope.

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Thirteen's Avatar
Thirteen  Thirteen is offline
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Originally Posted by Gazel
What is it that he does hanging on the tree?
Pretty much what everyone else said...he's changing his perspective. Seeing the world in a different way...thinking outside the box, if you like.

There is a way of teaching people to draw where you're taught not to draw the thing---like a vase, say--but the negative space around it. The space around the vase. They say that this method can help people who have trouble with art be better at it. This is what the Hanged Man is doing. He's sacrificed his old way of doing things, and trying something the opposite or just different.

Often when you "sacrifice" your old ways and try the opposite (or new way) things that weren't clear suddenly become clear. You make connections you never made before, and sometimes you see the whole picture instead of it's parts. A man hanging from a high branch in a tree gazing down is going to see a much different forest than a man sitting at the base of that tree looking up at all the leaves.

The advice the card is giving you is to "climb the tree and view your spirituality from a different perspective."

On a personal note, the Hanged Man is one of the most potently real cards to me because I have had (I think all us tarot readers do) "Hanged Man" moments. I don't mean they come daily, but every now and then, I feel this "disconnect" from the world and I become an observer rather than a participant (very much as weed woman described). It's a period of time when you float in your head as in a suspension tank, watching the world pass by. It is by no means boring, nor is it a hallucination or a dream. At such times, you feel totally aware, but also completely and peacefully fascinated by all that you're seeing. You aren't meditating, or thinking, and you don't notice if you're hungry. You just...are. And the world just is.

Very Zen. And pretty darn cool.
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AJ  AJ is offline
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Thirteen said: It's a period of time when you float in your head as in a suspension tank, watching the world pass by. It is by no means boring, nor is it a hallucination or a dream.
Depending on the enormity of the situation you can be Hanged Man for a few hours, or a year, but...even though it seemed you were watching the world pass by, in truth, when you wake up you will be quite somewhere else, with a much different viewpoint. Sometimes people call this a bolt from the blue or sudden insight, but mostly it was Hanged Man and they didn't realize it.

(that is an agreement with Thirteen, not the opposite)
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Sophie's Avatar
Sophie  Sophie is offline
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He doesn't do anything. That's the point of the Hanged Man. He just BE. He's surrendered his will - probably because he hasn't got a choice - and he's busy doing nothing, until he can reach Death and start transcending.

That's what fascinates and repels us in this figure. In the West, we hate the idea of doing nothing, of being - or making ourselves - totally still and helpless. Of renoucing our will.

But that's what he does...
Top   #10



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