2019 The Year of The Hanged Man- Sacrificing the Self for Knowledge

January 5, 2019


Combining Tarot and numerology for me is a potent way to reflect and vision possibilities. Looking at the numbers of this this year 2+0+1+9 we see the combination of these numbers yields 12 which in the Tarot corresponds with The Hanged Man.  This card calls to mind themes of Sacrifice, Suspension of action and turning the world upside down so that we might see things from a new point of view.


The 12th trump depicts a man hanging from a tree  upside down. No other person appears in this image and we may surmise that the being depicted has placed themselves in this position of their own free will. This being hanging upside down has willfully suspended their action in the outside world to listen more deeply to their own inner world. The Hanged Man’s position of inversion and the placement of the legs in a triangular position  recalls a yogic posture in which one gives over the ego awareness and surrenders to deeper levels of consciousness not accessible to the  waking thinking conscious mind. In this posture there is a giving over, a letting go of control, a release of the thinking mind that as we see from the halo and the serene expression on the beings face yields to open the way beyond the egoic consciousness.  


In taking on this posture a new knowledge is attained, the self is transformed, the ego released and new power gained. The Hanged Man always calls me to remember the act of Odin, the Germanic All Father who hung from the World Tree for nine days and nine nights in a self- sacrificial act to attain knowledge.


I hung on that windy Tree
nine whole days and nights,
stabbed with a spear, offered to Odin,
myself to mine own self given,
high on that Tree of which none hath heard
from what roots it rises to heaven.


The key here is the giving of self of Self, “to myself to own self given”. Unlike martyrs or sacrificial beings whose deaths are offerings to some higher transcendent being, the All father enacts a self- sacrifice that gives the small self to the Larger Self.


Similarly The Sumerian Goddess Inanna enacts a self sacrifice for knowledge and power; 


From the Great Above Inanna opened her ear to the Great Below.

My Lady abandoned heaven and earth to descend to the underworld.

Inanna abandoned heaven and earth to descend to the underworld.


In her descent to the underworld undertaken willingly to obtain power and knowledge known as Me Inanna is stripped of all her clothing and possessions symbolizing the egoic self. Undergoing a symbolic and a literal death like Odin she spends three days and three nights hanging from a meat hook in the Underworld to then reemerge and reclaim her place as a the Queen of Heaven, returning from the land of Death and holding knowledge of that place as none had done before her. 


In both stories of Odin and Inanna a sacrifice of the  self, a kind of death and suspension of action in the world takes places to open the being to an expanded power and consciousness. For Mystics  and magical workers this expanded sense of consciousness that  dissolves the ego to unveil the ultimate unity and complexity of the cosmos is a trancelike state of Samhadi, of bliss of cosmic consciousness. It is interesting to note here that the Hanged Man is associated with the Hebrew letter Mem and the archetypal power of water, a elemental power that blesses, cleanses and dissolves Herein the experiences of this card and its associated works is the dissolving of the small self that the Larger Self might emerge from the amniotic fluid of the cosmic consciousness.  


Some practical actions you can take to work with the hanged man energy

Learn to Meditate or deepen your existing meditation practice


Distance yourself from people who consider themselves martyrs or victims, you know those people who constantly go on about how much they do for other people or how everyone is out to get them. These people manifest the negative or unproductive aspects of the Hanged Man and will drain your energy

Examine your beliefs and make a choice to let go self limiting stories or ideas that no longer serve you

Take time out regularly to be still 

Examine all thoughts, ideas & feelings from a different up side down point of view

Learn to enjoy just hanging out!

Explore trance states and acts that cause altered states of consciousness of all kinds to learn new ways of seeing and being in the world. 


Stories of these sacrificial beings call speak to us through the image of the Hanged Man, calling us to contemplate what are we each willing to sacrifice to attain knowledge of ourselves. They teach us that to wield power we must give up something of ourselves we consider to be essential, we must take time away from the everyday world, to suspend our action and paradoxically give away some part of our power, to let some part of ourselves die, to attain more power.









































































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