The Hanged Man.
The Fool settles beneath a tree, intent on finding his spiritual self. There he stays for nine days, without eating, barely moving. People pass by him, animals, clouds, the wind, the rain, the stars, sun and moon. On the ninth day, with no conscious thought of why, he climbs the tree and dangles from a branch upside down like a child. For a moment, he surrenders all that he is, wants, knows or cares about. Coins fall from his pockets and as he gazes down on them – seeing them not as money but only as round bits of metal.
It seems to him that his perspective of the world has completely changed, as if his inverted position has allowed him to dangle between the mundane world and the spiritual world, able to see both. It is a dazzling moment, dreamlike yet crystal clear.
Timeless as this moment of clarity seems, he realizes that it will not last. Very soon, he must right himself, but when he does, things will be different. He will have to act on what he’s learned. For now, however, he just hangs, weightless as if underwater, observing, absorbing, seeing.
What is important to remember is that this is a card about suspension, not life or death. The querent might well feel that one thing has ended, yet the next has not begun, and they are stuck in a kind of waiting room. Things will continue on in a moment, but for now, they float, timeless.
Yet this isn’t just a position of rest as the querent is inverted. Which means so is his/her view of the world is very different from the rest of us who walk upright. Thus, this waiting becomes a time of trial or meditation, selflessness, sacrifice, prophecy. This new way of seeing things often leads to insights and enlightenment. Answers that eluded the querent become clear, solutions to problems are found. All of which the Hanged Man hoped to buy with his sacrifice.
It is a time when you change your perspective.
Such moments don’t last, and they usually require some kind of sacrifice. Sacrifice of a belief or a wish, dream, hope, money, time or even selfhood. The sacrifice may be made to get into the inverted position, or it may be made to get out of the inverted position. Either way, in order to gain, you must give. Great or small, spiritual or mundane what you gain from making that sacrifice and allowing yourself to see things differently is insights and solutions. These can help you and everyone else you care about. Which is often why one goes through it all in the first place. One thing is certain, once you have been the Hanged Man you never see things quite as you did before.