I’ve been thinking about the Tarot as of late, so I thought I’d share some of my feeling about the Hanged Man. I’ve always felt called to Odin, the most common myth associated with the Hanged Man. So, I think now is a good time to focus on this card and what it means to me. The Hanged Man is about decision making – namely the decision to sacrifice yourself for yourself. The Hanged Man sacrifices himself and gains wisdom and insight as his reward. This is why the story of Odin on the World Tree shows this so well.
138 I know that I hanged on a windy tree
nine long nights
wounded with a spear, dedicated to Odin,
myself to myself,
on that tree of which no man knows
from where its roots run.
139 No bread did they give me nor a drink from a horn
downward I peered;
I took up the runes, screaming I took them,
then I fell back from there.
Havamal from Poetic Edda
translated by Carolyne Larrington
Odin hung upon the World Tree, Yggdrasil, for nine days and nights. He was a sacrifice unto Himself, seeking wisdom and knowledge from Well of Wisdom. From His sacrifice came the Runes – the gifts of magic and writing. He also sacrificed one of His eyes for a drink from Mimir’s well, giving Him great fore-sight.
The Hanged Man teaches us that we have to make sacrifices in order to attain our personal truths and wisdoms. Not physical sacrifices but spiritual and personal sacrifices. Learning takes time, takes energy, takes dedication. There are times when we will have to set the word aside and hang by ourselves in order to understand and find what we seek