THE HANGED ONE
UPRIGHT: CONFINEMENT | PRESPECTIVE | SACRIFICE
REVERSE: DISCONTENTMENT | DISINTEREST | EMPTY-HANDED
A silverbird hangs precariously from a branch; its wings are extended, but it doesn’t try to take flight. It can’t. The red strings of fate hold it in suspension, one foot interlocked in the tangles while the other hangs free. Its wings are looped with threads that pull them in opposing directions. The Hanged One is held tight by the forces around it but doesn’t struggle against the ties that bind it. It reminds us to be aware of situations that limit us and keep us from living to our full potential.
When upright, the Hanged One suggests that the user was moving forward and has lately found themselves struggling to keep going. This position arises to remind us that occasionally the best way to progress is to stop moving entirely and surrender to the whims of the universe. Don’t try to push past the blocks; you’ll only succeed doing more harm than good. The universe is telling you to slow down, to pause for a moment and look at things from a different angle. Use this as an opportunity to check in with yourself. You may realize you’ve gone about things in the wrong way. Sometimes being ‘stuck’ doesn’t mean stagnation. There is more than one way to move forward, so take the time to see things in a new light. It may surprise you what comes of it.
When reversed, Hanged One implies that the user is resisting surrendering to the forces that hold them in place. You may be aware of this. Taking on more and more, pushing harder and harder, won’t make things easier. Take a moment to truly consider what it is that is keeping you from letting go. Maybe outside circumstances have compiled against you, locking you in place against your will. Gridlock isn’t easy to swallow, but it’s necessary to understand exactly why you are headed in the direction you’re going. If you’ve been treading water for a while, this position can be a sign that the end is nigh. In the case of a relationship or decision, you may have found yourself stuck in one spot, afraid to progress for fear of the unknown. You will never be 100% ready to take the leap, so why not hold your breath, close your eyes, and take it today anyway? The Hanged One is a card of surrender. Be brave enough to do just that.