The Circle is Cast.
We are between the worlds .
And what happens between the worlds
Affects all the worlds.
~ Traditional Circle casting
In this powerful week of the Full Taurus Moon, and the celebration of Samhain, the most solemn holiday in the Wheel of the Year, The Hanged Man makes a very rare appearance.
The Hanged Man Major Arcana card often startles those who are new to Tarot. Its name sounds grim, but look at the card, and you will see that this is not a card about physical death, torture, or punishment.
Instead, the Hanged Man has a halo around his face, his eyes are open, and he is at peace. It becomes clear that he has chosen to hang in this way upon the living, leafy T-shaped Tau cross.
His position is the yoga pose of The Tree, and the Druid magical pose of The Crane. He is the sovereign, who willingly steps down from his throne in order to give his life for the fertility of the land.
He is the shaman, turned upside down, preparing, as he hangs on the World Tree, to descend into the Underworld (for the card in the Major Arcana that follows the Hanged Man is Death).
The potential of his eventual triumph is visible to those who can see it, for if you reverse the Hanged Man, you will discover he is in the same pose as the Dancer figure in The World card.
However, unlike The World figure, who extends the magic wands she holds, The Hanged Man has his arms behind his back. His power is not yet revealed, but is withdrawn, or still in the process of being discovered.
In every good story, before any happy ending, the protagonist must face the test.
But for us in “real life,” this is not an easy thing. We live in a culture where even the slightest physical or emotional discomfort fuels an industry of medicines, remedies, and advice.
Sacrifice is considered, at best, old-fashioned and preferably avoided. At worst, it is a fearful taboo, something that befalls only losers and fools.
How unsurprising, then, that so few people have the patience to learn what is in their own hearts, much less the hearts of others. Little wonder that few possess true awareness. Such knowledge comes at a price – it can be a difficult, painstaking, slow path, during which we must suspend our ego.
The Hanged Man represents this surrender of our personal will, in order to accept the calling of the Divine. He is the one who often guides artists, visionaries, explorers, and those who are willing to sacrifice conformity and the status quo for true knowing.
In what way might he be inviting you to learn that things are not what they seem? In what ways, once you get out of your comfort zone, might you discover that you have become too well adapted to people, choices, or situations not in your highest interest?
This week, how might you be called to pause, pay attention, have patience, and go deeper? How do you react when control slips away from you?
In Between Heaven and Earth
Last week, the Sun moved into the sign of Scorpio, and our world is changing on a deep, Scorpionic level. And when the Sun is in the sign of the scorpion, the Full Moon is in the opposite sign of the zodiac, which means it will be in the sign of Taurus.
According to the ever-wise Annie Heese at Cafe Astrology, on Tuesday, “The contrast between earthy, practical, peace-loving Taurus and emotional, transformative, crisis-oriented Scorpio comes full bloom. The Moon in Taurus wants us to find emotional fulfillment through the simple, tangible things in life, while the Scorpio Sun draws our attention to complexities, intangibles, and mysteries.
“The Full Moon illuminates this conflict between form (Taurus) and transformation (Scorpio), and between collecting (Taurus) and sharing (Scorpio).”
And our blog friend Lorna Bevan at Hare In the Moon Astrology describes the this Full Moon’s Chandra Symbol (which is a similar to the more widely known Sabian degree symbols). It could hardly be more evocative of the Hanged Man:
Everything begins with an inward cast, and then if you wish to get anywhere you must go there on the inside and meet yourself there when you arrive.
You feel a desire to memorize the territory of all the inner ways–to remember them, to recognize them, and to be able to follow them when it counts.
You feel like you’ve been taught in the dream state, shown everything in dreamless sleep and through dreams. You’re subtly and pervasively closely accompanied by a protective guiding spirit.
Held within the soul’s alembic. Living in threshold sensitivity, attuned to the edge. Led by the spirit through darkness into light. Subliminal, enchanted, anxious, and at peace. Always searching for something more.
Remembering in your soul the lost Earth ways and giving over to spirits, you belong to the infinite and wander through the finite worlds. You are like a stranger, knowing something else is at stake here.
Something else is going on here. Something else is completely involved.”
The Ancient Threshold of Mystery
This week, we arrive at the most holy time of Samhain. The old year dies, and the promise of renewal is only a whisper in the gathering dark. This is a week of edgewalking. We are between the worlds.
We may more easily move between the invisible realms, as do the Mysterious Ones. Beloved ancestors, spirit guides, the Good Folk, the Mighty Dead — any of these may be invited to share time with us, or may indeed appear without invitation, but anticipating the welcome of our hearts.
One constant, when working with our magical allies and friends is that we must slip away from our mundane control systems. We allow the gentle guidance of those liminal worlds, relinquishing our insistence on managing the interaction.
Like the Hanged Man, we surrender to the Divine experience, and receive whatever it (or They) may wish to share with us, even if it is not familiar or easy. Often, that is precisely the point.
This week offers an opportunity to see the truth of your life from a different angle. Use this as a reality check.
What path of soul initiation do you now find yourself upon? What radically different perspectives are needed now, to open your awareness in profoundly enlightening ways?
Do you feel like you are being thwarted from what you desire, or even stuck in a holding pattern? That is often the Hanged Man’s backwards-seeming gift to us.
Perhaps the wisest choice is to cooperate and stop. What if you just breathe, and wait?
The great paradox is that when we let go of our need to be in control, but instead simply surrender to the process, true wisdom and power are given.
Only when you completely yield will you discover you never had to struggle in the first place. You are always being supported by Divine love.
Just remember that when you are between the worlds, what happens there affects all the worlds.