I am a scientist with a fascination for reading about tarot card meanings online. It is an area of an otherwise rational, factual existence where I can truly indulge my desire to question “…but, what does it all meeeeeeeaan?”
It is my dirty little secret. My philosophical sweet treat.
Recently, I was reading the interpretation of The Hanged Man card. And I found this card so interesting. The Hanged Man has willingly suspended himself upside down – his face is calm to symbolise his comfort with helplessness. There were two main meanings that I thought were share-worthy.
1) A sacrifice/surrender is necessary to obtain desires.
2) Truth often exists in the opposite.
In my usual fashion, I pondered the interpretation for a few days. I sat in the pantry (my thinking spot), eating apple covered in peanut butter and I wrote. I wondered what significance these ideas have to people as we live our everyday lives.
My instant reaction to the word surrender or sacrifice was a negative one. I don’t surrender, I fight. I don’t give up, I’m always driving forward.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realised that surrender in our life has nothing to do with weakness or stagnation. It is the act of giving something up to attain something much more wonderful in our lives. It is releasing the control, bad habits or old fears and hang-ups we hold dear.
At ground level – it may be sacrificing independence to live with your parents, whilst making future plans.
On a much higher level – it may be letting go of a way of life – a safety blanket – whether it is a fear of being hurt or a negative belief, in order to begin truly living.
But most interesting of all was the idea that a greater truth may exist in opposites. This stumped me for a while, but as the realisation filled me, I felt a wave of relief and knowing wash over my body.
On the one hand, it tells us that we may find what we are looking for in the opposite action. So if we want to control someone, we should give them freedom. If we want to act, we should pause.
But it also relates to faulty thinking.
We have heard it many times, our negative thinking patterns can be the number one thing holding us back. The Hanged Man reminds us that things are not always as they seem, and not to believe everything we think. That in fact, the opposite may be true.
The Hanged Man asks us to question the reality we have created with our current thinking patterns. To willingly suspend ourselves upside down and see the world from a different perspective. The other perspective. What it would look like if our negative thoughts were reversed.
I think you’ll find that the view is pretty astounding.
Much love xx