THE HANGED MAN, number 12
The basic elements are a young man, a wooden plank supported by two trees that have been pruned, and a gaping hole in the earth.
The situation: the young man is strung up on the limb, hanging by one leg, hands tied behind his back, his head hanging in a hole leading to the depths of the earth.
Has your life ever come to a standstill? Has everything gone wrong either because of illness, someone’s betrayal, loss of a job, position, demotion, or failure? When everything seems either bleak or to have no sense? Such a situation is what the Hanged Man represents.
He has made a beginning in life and now he has come to a standstill. Despite his position, he still has a leg free and his face does not show distress, rather a quiet musing, He may be asking questions such as: what happened? Why did this happen to me? How can I get out of this?
Despite his position, a kind of crucifixion, he is alive and not threatened with death. It is a time of reversal of fortune, a time to review, to enter into the depths of himself and the situation of his life. There is a the possibility of examining what went wrong in case he may rectify a bad situation, or better still make a new start. Like a seed his head is into the depths of the earth waiting for new life to emerge, blood is rushing to his head to feed his brain. Perhaps he needed to come down to earth and get recharged by Mother Earth and prepare for a new start.
Despite his hanged situation there is hope. His legs form the number four which is the quaternity, a sign of completion. He may have finished a stage in life and is now ready to enter the next stage of his life. Like the pruned trees this may be a time to divest himself of the old to let new life emerge in him. And if you turn him upside down, he is dancing a jig! A sign of what the next stage may bring. New life, an improved situation more in harmony with what is best in him.
How will we meditate on him? First review your life briefly to note a situation in which you may be stuck, or in which there is a stasis. In the Meadow of the Archetypes call the Hanged Man to get fully into your situation. It is a time to examine what you must release, let go, become unfettered and then proceed to find the next step you must take. Also this may be a time to review a time when you were in the Hanged Man’s situation to review how you handled it and what resulted. You may also call upon two other Archetypes to help you make a new decision, the Wise Person and/or the recent Archetype you connected to, Strength depending on what you need.