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.

Elemental Love


“I guess all that’s left is to love the fire.”
― Norman Mailer


To love the fire
the spark that ignites and consumes
that feeds and inspires
and burns and illuminates.
To love the water
the elixir that fills and encompasses
that soothes and relates
and drowns and nourishes
To love the air
the wind that divides and discerns
that connects and describes
and spreads and communicates
To love the earth
the mother that loves and contains
that holds and feeds
and sustains and cherishes .
The spark of Fire
The wave of water
the breeze of air
the touch of earth
may our spirits unite with them all


Blessings, G


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Harlequin DescentHarlequin Descent by G A Rosenberg


Buddha SunSolar Buddha by G A Rosenberg

Quote of the Day – May 15 2012

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.
Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend.”
–Bruce Lee

Tonight seems all about water and reflection, meditation and thought, floating letting things come to the surface. This quote fits the image, The Hanged Man from the Tarot, a card I relate to more often than not. Odin hung himself upside down from the world tree to gain understanding (returned with the Runes better than the runs for sure) Be like water, let come to the surface come including silliness and sorrow…Sorrow for wrongs done this 64 years past and since..silliness because we humans become ridiculous..squabble over silly things and want control…so many people wanting to control so much when what they really seem to need is control of self or at least enough loss of control to flow…like water..
Water goes where it wills and seldom stays, it becomes stagnant that way and indeed my thoughts may slow and even stop but soon the flow continues unhindered…I’ve forgotten how long I’ve been on this tree…I need real eyes to realize–Dancing with my own development –part of the flow i need to let go — i forget my body is there –collecting consciousness in a jar, no it was a door but the door’s ajar or was…I left a note before I came here for my friends– “I hope you don’t mind but while you were away i took your limitations. It didn’t seem like you needed them anymore” — tho some of them couldn’t let them go thus we cling long after we need to…tho perhaps a reason, a season passes and something new begins..it gets cold here at night — I wanted to do something for my friends — I am so grateful for all of them..Lucky to have had so many great things happen and even the hard things, the lessons i’m grateful for too….

So here I’ll hang for as long as I need to and then…well I’m not sure
Blessings, G

Water below me

as I hang here upside down

reflecting inward

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Hanged Man by G A Rosenberg

Quote of the Day – December 6 2011

“The trick is to combine your waking rational abilities
with the infinite possibilities of your dreams. Because, if you can
do that, you can do anything.”
–Guy Forsyth {Waking Life}}

Funny thing is we do it all the time…tho way too often our rational abilities take the stuff of dreams, our imaginations and make them into nightmares. Encouraged by the media and by those conditioned to condition us that we are surrounded by we dream ourselves as powerless and weak when our reality can be so much more than that. We can be powerful, magical, glorious beings with limitless potential. And we are. We can surround ourselves with a world steeped in beauty and it will be. Heck we even make the popcorn of our lives and sell it to others, is it organic gourmet flavourful as all get out. No matter how much we are, we can be so much more. Namaste–GAR

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Ocean Contemplation by G A Rosenberg

Ocean Contemplation2 by G A Rosenberg

Quote of the Day – March 8 2011

“Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one can do it.”

–Lao Tsu

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Under the See by G A Rosenberg


Ripples of Love by G A Rosenberg

Quote of the Day – February 6 2011

“Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one can do it.”

–Lao Tsu

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Aquatic by G A Rosenberg