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12 - The Hanged Man

At first glance, this is a strange card. A man hangs from a tree by one foot, bound upside down. His other foot is free, and bent to form an upside down figure 4. Usually, the manís hands are bound up. But in spite of being in this precarious position, his face is peaceful and serene, and his countenance is often shown "beaming", with a circle of light around his face. Some decks embellish the scene by showing foliage on the tree or near him, but he is always upside down and bound in position.

The Hanged Man is a card with several possible meanings, in keeping with its bound, yet serene focal point. It can suggest a new perspective, viewing the world "upside down" to gain clarity or a new way of seeing things. It can also mean introspection, or a step away from the world to gain wisdom. Finally, it can portend a rebirth or renewal, the end of some circumstance, and the beginning of another. Cards around the Hanged Man affect its meaning, but in all cases, the card calls for the querent to pause and reflect, and "suspend" normal thoughts and activities in favor of something new and different. One cannot remain indefinitely suspended, and the period of reflection and embracing the new (or reborn) cannot last forever, but while in the moment, the Hanged Man counsels careful and calm observation, introspection, and a desire to change oneís perspective.

11. Justice Back to Card Descriptions 13. Death