Hang in There

How do we know when to act and when to do nothing? Sometimes, the best thing to do is nothing, even if the urge to act is the strongest ever. Sometimes, things will work out on their own, and in a better way than if we decided to meddle with them. Sometimes, you have to simply sit back and trust that things will be alright. Or maybe they won’t work out for the best, and there’s simply nothing we can do about it. You have to swallow your anxiety, take a deep breath and deal with that concept.

I really like The Hanged Man. I’m not an expert in Tarot, far from it, actually, I’m barely an amateur, since I’m beginning to get to know the cards. But I really like this arcanum. Looking at it, it strikes me as surrendering, submitting, letting go. He is hanging and his hands are tied, but he is calm, peaceful and serene. Maybe he is even there by choice. Maybe not. But he accepts it completely, it doesn’t bother him, it doesn’t unsettle him like it would most people. He sees the world from a whole different angle.

There’s a halo on his head. He achieved knowledge by accepting his predicament instead of fighting it and thrashing, trying to break free. Maybe he’s been hanging for so much time, that he gained perception, understandings he could never have got any other way. Some things cannot be understood simply by reading about them or hearing about – they need to be experienced in order to be truly grasped. After a long time hanging, new thoughts and ideas started coming to his mind, and he became aware of many new things.

Hanging so serenely on a tree, with a halo on his head, he reminds me of Buddha, who achieved enlightenment after sitting in meditation for days beneath a tree. Or even Odin, who remained hanging upside-down on the Tree of Life for nine days in order to achieve the knowledge of the runes.

All three of them sacrificed the stability of the ground, the comfort of standing on your feet, the safety of the familiar feeling of being right-side-up, and in turn gained knowledge. They gained awareness of things that had been unfamiliar until then, they gained better understanding of the world.

So, when I look at the Hanged Man, I think that, even if you are walking in the dark, even if you’re feeling completely hopeless and overwhelmed, even if your plans look like they’re inevitably going to come short, hang in there. At the very worst, you will come out on the other side more experienced, and, most likely, wiser.


~ by 1cellinthesea on August 25, 2011.

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