Poetry of the Tarot: The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man

Intent on finding her spiritual self
the poet presses the pause button,
a dazzling and dreamlike moment.
Hung upside down from one foot,
her standing in the world changes.
Suspended, she pauses till rebirth,
shadowing the pregnant darkness,
knowing she must die unto herself.

Many a saint and sinner will hang
until wakefulness arrests the heart.
In tension there is always paradox,
truth often hidden in the opposite.
Hold tight, we lose, let go, we win,
then oftentimes the reverse is true.
He who elects not to wear a watch.
He who knows time does not exist.

Upturned, misery enjoys company,
for the martyr’s mat says welcome.
His anguish offers no resurrection,
no ascent to heaven come Monday.
For this scapegoat with victim ego
meets life in masochistic servitude.
His poverty mentality, loss of Self,
finds heroic pleasure in self-denial.

Swing to a different beat dear poet,
let your pen fall, quest Odin’s tree,
gather up his runes and surrender.
Learn how to mirror and meditate,
retrace your steps to the Goddess.
Elevate your soul, open your eyes,
know your presence here on earth
is a holy baptism leading to Death.

Copyright © Deborah Gregory 2016

Dear Readers, Thank you so much for your wonderful support, pure inspiration and kind-hearted words on my Fool’s (Poet’s) Journey so far. I will be pausing at The Hanged Man for the next three weeks. Until we meet again dear poets, blessings always, Deborah.

10 thoughts on “Poetry of the Tarot: The Hanged Man

  1. This card sends a shiver of fear through me–although the body is more like a yoga posture than a man in anguish. I know the importance of being suspended when nothing seems to change, but inwardly a huge shift is taking place and the old is dying. What a threat to the ego who wants all as it was before. My old life with my husband had to die. I couldn’t hurry the next life along, so I waited, hanging by a cord.

    It was a tense and anguished time, strung on the opposites. I tried to let go of what was but it wasn’t fully up to me. The only choice was surrender. I get the third verse–the victim, the poor-me sufferer who doesn’t look for redemption in the transition that must be made. I know that part of myself well.

    The last verse sends shivers up my spine. An acceptance of the cycles of life that makes life meaningful and purposeful and, I think, joyful. We are helplessly mortal and in the hands of the Goddess. I love Anna’s poem to you. I’ll miss your Tarot teachings the next few weeks, but bow to this time of pause. I’ll be thinking of you with deep gratitude for your generous heart, shared wisdom, and honeyed tongue.

    1. Thank you so much Elaine for sharing your profound insights and rich reflections with this Tarot card. You describe well the (ego’s) tortuous journey of waiting for our old lives to die while we hang there suspended, somewhat cocooned … and yet, within the inner realms of our yogic pose, huge tidal shifts of transformation are occurring, despite appearing the contrary.

      To bear such pain and suffering, breaks one’s own heart. For only in surrender, by some means, do we find our way back through the labyrinth and follow Ariadne thread that guides us back to the Soul. In Susan Scott’s remarkable book, “In Praise of Lilith” she acknowledges, ”The wound is the path … A part of us must die, so that another may live.”

      “We are helplessly mortal and in the hands of the Goddess” … that’s so clear, and neatly expressed! I have a favourite group of trees to call on in the next few days. So when my poetry book arrives, turn it over, you’ll see a photo … I’ll be there, meditating upon those ancient roots. Upside down, and swinging to a different beat! Blessings always, Deborah.

  2. Upside down and suspended – such a rich image thank you Deborah. Which makes me think of the mighty paradox which in suspension momentarily, views its opposite and knows both sides to be true .. and which way to go to now we wonder … which beat or rhythm to align to. Which way to hang on to or to let go …

    Enjoy all the trees on your travels – its branches, trunks, leaves, the birds on it – may it give you shade when needed, and always remember those deep roots –

    1. Thank you so much Susan, I love your reflections on being upside down. For you describe well the paradox and questioning we face of where to go next … and yet, it is here in this place of contemplation that we often find the right and truthful answers, while we rest, and suspend ourselves from all activity in the outer world and go deep within.

      Oh what joys trees provide! Not only for us but a whole host of other admirers including the animal, bird, insect and plant kingdoms. I love that you remind me of all the tree’s parts, each vital to the other. Many thanks for your wonderful words and wishes. Blessings always, Deborah.

  3. Sit yourself down under Odin’s Tree. Drop your pen and your poetry! Swing now poet to a different beat. One that doesn’t require two feet!!

    Deborah, wherever you wander enjoy your travels. Until we meet again dear poet, your reader, Anna.

    1. That’s great! Thank you so much Anna for your little poem! I feel like I’m going off on a “tree hunt” now … I’ll come back and let you know how it all goes, until then, warm spring wishes, Deborah.

  4. Ah Deborah what a perfect card to suspend your poetic creativity on and one that flows so beautifully. You must be so pleased you have reached the thirteenth card – a very auspicious place to pause.

    Sometimes the Hanged Man comes up in my readings at challenging times and in others when life is running smoothly…yet he is always there at the right time – when a suspension or break in my activity and a time of going within is just what is needed to look at things differently and move on at the appropriate time.

    I hope that your stop at Odin’s tree proves to be restful but also fruitful and look forward to the continuation of your poet’s journey – at the right time of course!

    1. Thank you so much Sophia for your own flowing words, truly appreciated. Yes, the thirteenth card! There have been moments on the journey so far when I wasn’t sure I’d be able to move on to the next one … yet as I called upon the card, and stepped within, help seemed to arrive in providential ways.

      I have to stop writing as I watch a newly fledged bluetit desperately trying to come through my window, poor little thing … I can see the reflections of the shrubs in the glass, so I’m sure they believe the reflection is the bush. Bless! I agree, The Hanged Man always comes at exactly the right time.

      Stopping at Odin’s tree, the World Tree, I love that! Timing couldn’t have worked out any better. Relaxation, exploration and other journeys to be taken now. Warm wishes to you, Deborah.

  5. Hello Deborah, how lovely and wise to combine the story of the hanged man with Odin’s quest for the Mead of Poetry. And poetry indeed can turn all things around and upside down.

    Hanging upside down can induce trance, so I always consider the hanged man an opportunity and not so much someone who is captured and has to surrender.

    1. Thank you so much Susanne for your wonderful comment and rich insights. Somehow this blessed Tarot card has arrived at the perfect time, when deep restful suspension is required, while I take other journeys … hopefully, there and back again!

      As I’m currently studying the Grail Legends many adventures and heroic visions come to mind. It’s true, poetic inspiration called me to drop my pen, and hang all action … I agree, much opportunity is at hand! Warm wishes, Deborah.

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