15 June 2011

Today's Tarot - Hanged Man

The Tarot deck is larger than the modern game-playing card deck. There are two divisions to the tarot deck - the major arcana, and the minor arcana. The word arcana is now mostly associated with the Tarot deck, but, as dictionaries will tell you, it comes from the Latin word arcanum, which just means "secret". So the major arcana of the tarot deck symbolizes the major 'secrets' to life (you know, like 'beauty secrets', top tips, advice, etc.) and the minor arcana symbolizes the more day-to-day kind of hints and tips.

This card is from the major arcana. I think much of what the major arcana teaches is predicated on the idea of balance.

Here the balance point has to do with challenges. The classic interpretation of the Hanged Man is related to "stagnation" or being stuck in the mud. But like I've said before..."one man's stuck in the mud is another man's day at the spa".

If you feel the message of the Hanged Man is for you today, the message could be one of two things. It could be a hint that you are stuck in a rut, too complacent, and the advice is to challenge yourself a little bit. Shake things up in a positive way...learn something, exercise a little extra, recapture something from the past that was good for you before, call an old friend, make a new one...you get the idea.

The other message the Hanged Man can hold is that when life gets too challenging for too long, we can become burned-out, drained, "hung out to dry" (to borrow from the card's imagry). If that is the case the advice becomes a reminder that it is ok to rest and "hang out" for a while. Don't stay so long that you become stagnated and the situation flips to the opposite. (Here is where the Tarot reflects a little bit of the yin-yang theory from the orient...anything taken to the extreme can become its opposite). But if you are over-stressed, the Hanged Man reminds us to balance activity and rest...progress and stagnation...challenging ourselves and being a little more gentle with self-expectations.

Wishing you a day filled with expanding horizons and much needed rest


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