Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

The Hanged Man β€” Pearls of Wisdom

Pictures & Words: Roxi Sim & Caeli Fulbrite


This is one of those decks about which I read, β€œI really wanted to love this deck but I found it so cluttered.” I would not complain about the clutteredness. I would complain more about the fact that every face has the same smile and that the quantity of curls and spirals in the bodies makes them look like articulated mannequins. It is difficult for me to see beyond that to other details, such as the fact that much of this card is upside-down. In the background, the water is the sky and the upside-down mountains are reflected therein. The potted plants in the upper corners grow inverted. This gives the impression of leaves falling upward.


β€œHow will I fare in business?” I ask, and draw The Hanged Man. I am immediately tempted to throw itβ€” hide it in the middle of the deckβ€” deny my draw in one way or anotherβ€” maybe use another deck altogetherβ€” but I manage to control myself. What can I learn from this card?


The Cute Little Book that comes with this deck tells me:

β€œThe surrender to water, representing the deep emotional content buried in the subconscious mind and made available to consciousness through the shock and exigency of the situation, opens the way for new wisdom and transformation while in physical form.ΒΆ


“The Hanged Man, though bound, is available to the totality of the experience. He is free from fear of loss. Able to sense the fullness of his own divinity, he is emancipated. In that sensing, all the exigency of sacrifice and difficulty is lost and forgotten. What is left is the wisdom and knowledge of who he is and who we all are. ΒΆ


“The snake reminds him that the shedding of skin, though difficult, brings beauty and blessings. Paradise is wherever you are, not a place from which humans are exiled because of stolen knowledge. Knowledge that leads to wisdom is ours by right of being human.”


So, how will I fare in business? I have always been terrified of doing business for myself. There are too many decisions to make. If the business fails, I am a failure. I don’t want to be a business person because I want to be a _____ (fill in the blank). Sheer terror! Running my own business has always been the most unappealing thing I could possibly do.


Whether or not I am going into business for myself is not a question I am asking at the moment: to a certain degree, every artist or writer is in business for his or herself. I cannot be successful at what it is I enjoy doing if I remain too timid or lazy to market it. In order to be successful at business, should that be what I choose to do, I need to shed the skin of fear that surrounds what I believe I can and cannot do and perhaps even my ideas of what I like and do not like to do.


While it is relatively easy to invert my body and gain a different perspective on the world around me, it is a bit more difficult to gain a new perspective on my own self. No matter which way I turn, my own body still appears in the same orientation to my eyes. Perhaps the first step would be to stop reciting an old mantra sculpted of the primordial clay of my formative years: β€œYou will never be successful as an artist. You will never make money as a writer.” Although it is true I do not personally know any β€œsuccessful” artists or writers, it would be failure indeed to spend my entire life refusing to give myself a chance at following my heart because I have labeled myself doomed to failure from the start.


The Hanged Man need not hang his own heart in preemptive failure.

Leave a Reply