Hanged Man β€” Tarot of the Absurd

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

il penduThe hanged man sacrifices himself
for some purpose greater than his own well-being.
A willing victim of his own up-ended perspective,
he pushes aside the popular opinion,
forsakes the temptation of easy gratification
and goes without things commonly seen as β€œneeds”
in attempt to open others’ eyes
to a different world view.


A martyr to some is a traitor to others;
a thief to some is a savior to others.
Bear witness to your true beliefs:
Which side are you on?


*Β Β  *Β Β  *


I went to the printer’s with my 80 files: 78 cards plus the extra moon plus the silly copyright card. The silly copyright card will be numbered (1 thru 600) and signed, but I’m not going to let you know all the silly words.


I’ve never gone through the process of putting something in print format for the printer before. I needed to make all the files the exact correct dimensions (7cm x 12.5cm) and add bleed and crop marks and make sure the color was correct. Tedious.


I hear the millions (I wish!) asking, “What color?” Oh, if only I could have known before-hand that files need to be in CMYK for print and RGB for screen. For some mysterious reason (feel free to enlighten me in great detail if you know), RGB black does not translate to the same black as CMYK black. Now that I’ve re-learned my lesson the hard way, I recall being told something to that effect a dozen years ago.


Anyhow, all my files were printing some horrible muddied black. I am a person of muddy grays in theory, but I wish the pigment on these cards to appear BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK.


The upshot is, I should get to see a proof sometime next week. Yahoo! After I measure how thick the stack of cards is, I will design a box. The box will not be a regular tuck box, because my printer does not have a die to cut them out and I do not wish to cut out 600 boxes by hand (why not? who knows!) so I am making my task even more difficult by having a partly printed, partly handmade box. Thus, no two boxes will be exactly alike.


If anyone is interested in a copy, do feel free to let me know (see the contact info) and I will keep track of you in a very organized manner and let you know when it is ready.


You notice I have not yet mentioned price. This does not mean they will be free. It means I detest setting prices. Ultimately, it will be the low-average price for a LE self-published deck, which is $41 including shipping in the US. Assuming the box is not too much work…


*Β Β  *Β Β  *


Happy Summer Solstice!

The Hanged Man β€” Pearls of Wisdom

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

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.