Updated: Nov 22, 2022
How The Hanged Man Can Help Us Gain Perspective and Release Fear and the Illusion of Control
We are currently in Scorpio season who's card is Death. Pulling the Death card does not mean that you are going to die tomorrow, The Death card represents transformation.
Nothing is ever born without a death and nothing can die without rebirth. When a child is born, there is a death of a pregnancy. When a marriage begins, there is a death of an engagement.
The Hanged Man precedes the Death card, and it is really in The Hanged One that we do the preparation for the liberation that comes with Death.
By the time the baby is born the mother is ready to no longer carry the child inside her. Once a wedding has been planned and the vows have been spoken, the couple has long since been ready to legalize their union. Similarly, if a marriage ends, by the time divorce papers are signed, the union has long since dissolved.
In the Hanged Man, we see someone strung upside down. A golden Halo surrounds his head. His posture is somewhat unnatural, and yet he is relaxed. If you have ever held a challenging yoga pose like tree pose or a headstand, you may be familiar with the feeling of The Hangman’s surrender to discomfort.
There is no telling how long he has been hanging or how and when he will come down. He occupies a sense of timelessness, a liminal space.
While The Hanged Man can feel like a stuck place in which nothing is happening, he is there by his own free will. He stays in this pose until he has gained the spiritual insight that comes from looking at the world with a new perspective, from upside down.
When we find ourselves in Hanged Man energy, it can feel like we are stuck and nothing is changing, but that's because the change is taking internally.
It's natural to experience resistance in the Hanged Man. How we handle that resistance is really the lesson here.
For example, while nobody enjoys it when suddenly the sun sets at 5 pm, how we react to this external change can help prepare us for the winter months ahead. What are the unexpected gifts that come with early nights?
Did you get some extra sleep? Did that experience inform you that you may need to go to bed at an earlier time more regularly?
While I don't love that I now must walk my dog in the dark, I do look forward to seeing all the other puppers with their light-up collars in the park.
Sometime Hanged Man energy can also come up when we are struggling through growth.
For example, in my business I know there are new offerings that want to come through me, and yet, I know I must give up some of the effort that I am currently spending on more reactionary tasks.
The brain likes to kick up all kinds of stories that if we allow one part of work to be phased out, there wont be enough for us on the other side of what we now desire most. The more we struggle to keep doing it all, the more difficult the discomfort will feel. What we resist persists.
A beautiful way to work with this discomfort is by taking a retreat. That can mean a silent meditation, or a physical retreat to a space without the pulls and distractions of our everyday responsibilities.
I plan on taking a retreat both for myself, for my work, and from the news this week. Once we've cast our ballots, it is time to step away from the news. Results will not be known for some time, and the consequences of these results will be unfolding for years and decades to come. And so, we can surrender.
If the word surrender sounds like blasphemy given all that is at stake for our democracy, bodily autonomy and climate habitability, it's not. The ego demands that we maintain the illusion of control over all things big and small, but is just an illusion.
In The Hanged Man, we get to stay in our discomfort until we realize that the only real control we have is how we approach our own thoughts.
This can be tough reality to contend with, because those controlling beliefs mascaraed as safety, but in fact, they cannot come with us into our next phase of expansion.
On Monday the 21st we will exit Scorpio season and the Death card and enter into Sagittarius and Temperance.
If we allow The Hanged Man to support us beyond the discomfort of not knowing, not having control, we can shed some of the ego's illusions. When Temperance greets us on the other side, we see that the Divine is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Between now and Thanksgiving, I encourage you to stay curious about any discomforting 'stuck' feelings that arise. It may not be that there is an actual problem to solve, but rather, that some limiting belief is ready to be released.
No matter what the external outcome of an election, a project or a relationship, in this work we can gain a greater and more profound connection to our highest selves, one that we might not have ever have known was possible.