Friday, October 19, 2012

the art of hanging

A man hangs, stuck between above and below. He is tied up, crossed into triangles, shapes and forms said to have some kind of meaning. Do they really? Is this truly a sacrifice, and if so, what is it for? What could he gain that would be worth this hanging stasis for so long, what wisdom? Look at the landscape of this card, how far separated he is from reality as others experience it.

In the Thoth this card is not associated with a planetary or zodiac astrological sign, but rather with the pure element of water. Water, which is associated with emotion, with dreams and intuition. Will those be improved, strengthened by his time tied up and submerged? Water is also associated in Crowley's system with the ancient Aeon, a time long passed, behind. The new Aeon is made of fire, of impetus, action, movement forward. In this sense the hanged man is stuck in the past, nostalgia-heavy, dwelling with and bound by things no longer relevant.

The answer is to move forward then, yes? Put behind this idea of self-sacrifice, sticking with what you know because you know it. But what if it isn't that simple, if the hanging situation isn't altogether in your power to change. What if you have done everything you could think of to help yourself to no avail, and when you try to reach out for more professional assistance you are met with a litany of unreturned phone calls, ignored messages, outright don't have time in my schedule rejections? In that case perhaps you must continue in the hanging place a while longer. Might as well try to extract that wisdom after all, those Odin-style nuggets of epiphany. Clouds and rain, water. Perhaps the hanged man goes on hanging because he has found a certain kind of serenity with his lot, rather than dealing with constant cycles of frustration.

Serenity: the art of hanging on.


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