The Hanged One – #12
Meditation/Looking at life in a Different Way

The Hanged One hangs upside down in the cosmic womb of the subconscious. The cosmic womb is still and quiet and one can find peace of mind. The Hanged One has signaled a time out, a time for retreat or voluntary withdrawal from the craziness of life. He represents delving into the mystery of who we are, the hidden side yet revealed. The Hanged One has let go of the ego and removed himself from everyday matters to seek his true spiritual nature. The old ways of knowing die out, making room for a new spiritual perspective. With The Hanged One you are re-thinking the purpose of your existence and trusting the deeper aspects of who we are. You are surrendering to higher wisdom. It is a time when one withdraws from social and preconditioned opinions and life-styles. You are looking at life in a completely different way, 180 degrees differently. You need to take time before you re-enter the lively world of day-to-day life, before applying your new wisdom.
The Hanged One is in deep meditation and introspection. Usually one goes to this quiet place when one needs to retreat from one’s busy life, some situation, or have an experience that needs deep contemplation. The Hanged One represents sacrifice and surrender – quieting the self and not taking action. The Hanged One is about looking at things in a totally different way, opening one’s self to other ideas. He symbolizes adopting views that might be totally out of character with one’s normal thoughts and actions, shifting one’s whole perspective. Many times we look at experiences and situations in our lives through our own personal tunnel vision, not seeing the bigger picture, living our lives for many years this way, before something happens that causes a shift. Then The Hanged One steps in. He helps one surrender and reflect on the bigger picture of spirituality. He represents the ultimate retreat. Sacrifice is involved with The Hanged One, giving up or letting go of values, ideas, projects, lifestyles, judgements, old patterns, any situations that are causing struggle in one’s life. The Hanged One enters to bring peace to one’s heart and soul. When we feel limited or bound we are not living our life in a free and creative way, as the Divine intended. The Hanged One takes our inertia to a deeper state of rejuvenation so that we may release our limitations and bondage and move along our journey with a more supportive perspective and purpose. The Hanged One offers options, solutions and perspectives that help one shift.
The position of The Hanged One, with his foot encircled in a magical rope of the cosmic consciousness, symbolizes his connection to divine inspiration from above, the source from which we came. His suspension symbolizes a pendulum. When the pendulum finally stops moving back and forth and comes to its center of stillness, then there becomes quietude. His crossed leg forms the divine triangle of body, mind and spirit working together. He hangs upside down to view life from a different perspective. The Hanged One brings peace through deep contemplation.

Symbolism in The Hanged One Image

The Hanged One is suspended upside down by the cosmic spiral of the Divine. The energy of the cosmic spiral moves through the solar plexus, to the heart chakra, to the third eye and into the crown chakra, then descends into the roots of the lotus and back up through the roots and stems blossoming into the violet lotus above. The Hanged One’s cap weaves this energy from the subconscious to the conscious. In the traditional image The Hanged One has his hands tied behind his back, representing total surrender. In this image his hands are in front, in conscious prayer and meditation, thus expressing dedication to his path that is felt deeply within his heart and soul. The Hanged One is in deep meditation in the watery world of the cosmic womb. Behind his head the sun shines out, the spirit of the Divine. Its 12 rays shine into the 12 worlds of the zodiac. The triangle pointing downward represents water. The symbol in the triangle is the Hebrew letter Mem, meaning water, self-reflection, stable intelligence.
The lotus at the top of the card represents the opening of the crown chakra. The lotus stem is part of The Hanged One descending into the depths of the subconscious. The complete lotus cradles the womb of consciousness in the universe, with its roots and stems winding in and out representing the cycles of the subconscious and conscious on many levels. The colored lights along either side of The Hanged One represent the six chakras ascending to the seventh top crown chakra of unfoldment, the violet lotus. The planet associated with The Hanged One is Neptune.

The Hanged One as a Lifetime Personality Symbol

As a Lifetime Personality symbol, The Hanged One represents one who dislikes limitations and blocks. You have a great gift for freeing yourself from patterns and lifestyles that stifle you. You have a broad perspective of life and can see and evaluate situations and people in a nonjudgemental way. You don’t walk ‘the normal’ path in life and you look at life in a different light than most. You are a personality that will totally submerge yourself into a project. You are very dedicated to what is heartfelt to you. Many times how you approach a project or situation is very different from the norm. You like to decipher and weigh out all options and possibilities. You don’t get stuck in everyday thinking. You are a dreamer and your imagination is vivid. Make meditation a practice in your life.

The Hanged One as a Yearly Growth Symbol

The Hanged One year is a good year to break old habits and patterns. Someone from your past may re-enter your life, functioning as an important mirror to you and revealing patterns in your lifestyle that you may need to address. Anything that is self-limiting or blocking needs to be released. It is a year of cleaning up your karma. This also may be a year where you feel your life is at a standstill and you don’t have any idea what to do. It is a year that you may have to make some sacrifices to get things going – a year of letting go and looking at life with new perspectives. You need to allow yourself some time to review where you are, what you want and where you need to go. It may be a year when you decide to do something totally out of character. It can also be a year when you want to withdraw from the mainstream and do some inner spiritual work. Most important, if you don’t meditate it’s time to start.