Tag Archives: redemption

Tarot Post – Hanged Man


XII-The Hanged Man(▽) (♆)


The Hanged Man (F)The Hanged Man by G A Rosenberg


For my beloved
I hang down sacrificing
myself to myself


Feeling my heart open
feeling my wounds bleed
My soul spilling out
of view and precious need
to reveal what’s inside
That spark of truth
that separates bifurcates
my age from my youth
I lied to myself
so easily when young
living my parents’ lives
the songs my culture sung
Now in reflection
I see myself true
must reach inside
and pull myself through
In view of my future
I dissolve my past
until I am finished
I struggle held fast
Now I am living
my own inner truth
I no longer need
the protections of youth
— Gary A Rosenberg


Reviewing my life
from a new perspective
wondering how i came to be here
hanging around but tied in place
unable to move
yet my mind dances
as I see new possibilities
now that I’ve met my true love’s heart
struggling with the ties from my past
unable to move
Revealing my self
and letting my self know
becoming the person I never knew
dissolving my being yet i find myself
unable to move
Letting my self go
to brand new places
I now am moving towards that star
I’ve feed myself through loves depths. Now
I’m able to move


The Hanged Man is one of the most powerful images in the Major Arcana. In Norse mythology, Odin hung upside down from the world tree for nine days and nights in order to achieve wisdom and received the runes as a reward. In Christian lore, Peter insisted on being crucified upside down because he didn’t feel he was worthy of dying the same way as Jesus. The Hanged Man implies sacrifice of the self to become something more. In many religions there is the idea of the sacrificed deity that brings about the redemption of his followers.
What does sacrifice mean? It means giving up something to achieve something more. In this case we give up something of ourselves to reach some kind of understanding.
If the Lovers represented the first meeting of the opposites in a relationship, then the Hanged Man represents the knowledge that in the relationship we must be willing to sacrifice who we are to join with our beloved and become something more. The ‘I’ must give way to the ‘We’. If the Lovers represents leaving home and building a life outside of the society we grew up in, the Hanged Man takes it to a deeper level where we must examine our internal values and determine which of them come from cultural conditioning and which are truly part of ourselves. In order to become who we truly are and who we are meant to be, we must be willing to sacrifice who we were. The self reflected in the water symbolizes the image of who we could be if our external self and life truly reflected the internal. Thus in many ways it is the realization of a need to change which leads to the path of enlightenment.


Astrological Correspondent-Water(▽) Planet Neptune (♆)-The Hanged Man like The Fool and Judgement (or Aeon) cards have a double astrological attribute, a planetary one and an elemental one. One of the reasons for this is that in the hebrew alphabet (used on the tree of life) the letters are split into three groups. These are the three Mother letters (Aleph, Mem, and Shin which represent the elements Air, Water and Fire), Seven Double letters (Beth, Gimel, Dalet, Koph, Peh, Resh and Tau which represent the seven known planets Moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Sun and Earth) and twelve Simple letters which represent the 12 signs of the zodiac. It all works rather nicely. However since these assignations were made three more planets were discovered in our solar system Uranus (who’s astrological nature fits well with Air), Neptune (a planet with a decidedly Watery nature and influence) and Pluto (a fiery influence). Some readers, deck designers and students of the tarot have connected the three planets with the three elemental cards. Since there is such a close fit and examination of any correlation can bring insight I include both possible influences in this writing.
Neptune’s influence is dreamy and illusory and governs among other things, insight and awareness that comes from a state of heightened or altered consciousness. This can be double-edged resulting in transformative experiences but also in its more negative form can lead to addiction and hitting the well too many times with little to show for it. Neptune influences our spirituality and beliefs and our intuition. Its important to develop the discernment to know the difference between when our intuition and heightened states reveal truth and when it reveals a message that is personal to our own development. Neptune also influences psychic receptivity and visions.
Water is the elementary influence over the signs, Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. Water has an emotional, sensitive influence with hidden depths and currents. It can be dreamy and moody, compassionate or brooding, empathetic or self-indulgent all in its cycle. It flows into everything around it and can be boiled by fire (or extinguish it), damned by earth (or interdependently nurturing towards it) and dispersed or interwoven by air.


Runic Correspondent-Eihwaz (“Yew”) Eihwaz-100x100Eihwaz is the rune of sacrifice and the connection between the material and spiritual worlds. It offers enlightenment and insight and the knowledge of ‘dying before dying’. The resin from the yew is poisonous and its vapours tho toxic can cause a hallucinatory state. Eihwaz also represents the World Tree that Odin hung himself upside down on to receive the wisdom of the runes. It is a rune of initiation, protection or confusion. The Yew tree is flexible and it bends but does not break. Other runes associated with the Hanged Man are Tiwaz and Isa


Path on the Tree of Life-Path 23-Mem-Mem means water or seas. It is the path of the water redeemer (esp in the Aeon of Osiris) and the sustainer on the water. It is the path of surrender and is called in the Sefer Yetzirah the sustaining consciousness. It is the path that connects the sephiroth of Geburah (“severity”) with Hod (“Splendour”). It is spoken of often in terms of enlightenment and indeed it takes the discipline of Geburah to take us beyond the intellectual understanding of Hod and bring the kindling of Wisdom. It also takes a willingness to surrender who and what we are for who and what we may become.


The Hanged Man in a reading may indicate someone who is very independent with a unique take on the world. It may refer to someone who is breaking free of old conventional ways of being and becoming themselves. The Hanged Man can also mean that there is a delay and hold up in plans and the querent may need to reflect on whether what they are hoping for is really true to themselves or not. It may also indicate a transformative relationship for the querent where they will have to surrender a bit of how they see themselves in order to make the relationship work. This does not mean becoming someone who they are not but more a realization of how by bending they may become something more than they had known. The Hanged Man may also mean that the querent has to sacrifice something in order to get another thing that they want. In all of these cases there is a vulnerability but also an opportunity for growth if one is willing to stretch and bend. The card can also represent delayed rather than instant gratification or a surrendering of momentary pleasure for joy.


When the Hanged Man comes out reversed in a reading, it may indicate someone who is conforming to social expectations rather than living their more unconventional dreams. It may refer to inflexibility or moving forwards. It may also refer to the querent feeling as if they are sacrificing a lot and having nothing to show for it. It may mean a time in the querent’s life when they are reacting passively, waiting for life to happen rather than making it happen especially if they have to give up the comfort of their everyday life to do so. The inversed Hanged Man may also mean that someone is dwelling in the shallow end of their life and needs to find a deeper purpose.

Quote of the Day – May 22 2012

“If one wants to be active, one must not be afraid of going wrong, one must not be afraid of making mistakes now and then. Many people think that they will become good just by doing no harm — but that’s a lie…. That way lies stagnation, mediocrity.”
Vincent Van Gogh

And now for something at least slightly different….

Journey Down the Dream Corridor… a story fragment in early draft

In my dream I was standing when I heard a voice, I was uncertain of the gender but it was soft and mellow

“Have you forgiven yourself yet?

I started walking or at least moving like I do in dreams and walked into the next room
A woman was there, unfamiliar and yet known. Heavy set yet short with a face framed by brown hair, looking old fashioned but sweet with eyes that shone like they used to maybe with a touch more weariness

“Rosante?” I asked

“Yes, its been awhile.”

“It’s been thirty-two years since Jan forbade me from seeing you again. Because i…”

“Because you told me you knew about me and Jan. That he would touch me and ask me to touch him. I’ve never seen him so angry and I never felt so shattered. Or maybe so free.”

“He was my best friend”

“He was my brother and my lover. He was also yours”

“No, well only the two times” I laughed tho its the kind of laugh that scrapes glass across your inside.

“You wanted more.” She said softy not accusingly and took my hand. “I knew you didn’t want me for myself but for what I represented. A way to be closer to him”

“No.” i shook my head “That’s not true”. Tho I knew it was.. I felt my surroundings start to spin

“It’s ok. I moved on, got some therapy got myself together. You were kind to me. I forgave you long ago.”She moved over to a window I hadn’t noticed before.

“The question is have you forgiven yourself”

I thought I had. I had long ago reconciled with the loss of friendship not only of Jan but of Rose as well. I had felt guilty about that bit of innocence, my spoken knowledge and Jan’s anger had ripped from her but I had always thought that it was her that I wanted for herself. Could it have been all about Jan. He had been my first teacher in the realm of magic, spirituality, qabalah and Castaneda. He seduced me, saying he sensed that element in my nature. We had been roommates for a few years and occasionally double dated girls whom Jan worked with at the mall.

Then he introduced me to Rose and told me the story of the sister whom he comforted and held through the tyranny of their mother’s second marriage. The sister whom he took advantage of, describing to me all the times he had disrobed her of the negligees that he bought for her. I met her and fell hard or so I thought. Could it have realy been all about Jan?

Still it had been so long ago. It taught me discretion and that sometimes it is better to not say what you know just because you have shared knowledge with another. I kept tabs for awhile. I found that Rose had started to date Jack, another friend and student of Jan’s so I figured in the long run no permanent damage was done.

Now I realized that I had wanted Rose not for herself but as an object of affection I knew what that felt like . I looked at Rose. “Yes..”
“Goodbye then,” she started fading and where she had been standing was a new door partly ajar

I heard the question again as I reached for the doorknob.

“Have you forgiven yourself?”

There will be more to the story as the Dream Corridor has many rooms and  forgiveness and redemption an ongoing process.
Blessings, G

Click on image to see full size

Inside the Dragon’s Mouth by G A Rosenberg

Funhouse Corridor in Chapel Perilous by G A Rosenberg

Quote of the Day – May 3 2012

“The world is not imperfect or slowly evolving along a path to perfection. No, it is perfect at every moment, every sin already carries grace in it.”
― Hermann Hesse

So many of the writers who have meant a lot to me have a myriad of fantastic quotes to explore and choosing between them can be difficult. Hermann Hesse and his books inspired me and helped me get through my high school and young adult years and his words still speak to me. Perhaps I should go back and reread Demian and see whether it still resonates as strongly. But then I may have to read Narcissus and Goldmund and The Glass Bead Game as well. That’s how my reading list grows so long.
Somewhere beyond our concepts of space and time is the universe already complete and perfect all layers and all dimensions? If that is so and these days i lean towards that in my thinking than everything that is to happen has already done so (or is doing so now in a very dynamic way). Everything has balanced out and is complete. Which means that everything we do, every way we react in moments or in lifetimes is part of that completion. We sin (my definition of that these days is that we go against our true being) and through that sin we expose who we really are or who we will become. Each sin we have been involved in is but a snapshot of a moment in our soul’s becoming. If nothing else, it teaches us compassion and forgiveness for the sins of others.
Blessings, G

Click on images to see full-size

Heart Centred by G A Rosenberg

Serpentine by G A Rosenberg