You’ve seen something that looks a bunch like the Gaian Tarot XII The Tree before. And you’ve probably already guessed that it was called XII The Hanged Man.
When you’re working with unfamiliar decks, if the image looks like something you’ve seen before and the numbering is the same, figure that you’ve got a bit of background with what you’re looking at. So, what you know from Tarot . . . It’s Easier Than You Think will apply.
As always, though, you want to look at the elements of the image before you. So let’s dive in . . . .
My first question is why the title of the card asks us to focus on the tree, rather than the lovely lady hanging from it. Could this be a reference to the outside influences that are out of our control in the Majors?
And what about that tree? Lots of colour in the leaves. So we’re in autumn, at the end of a cycle. As we discovered, XII The Hanged Man is that point of assessment at the end of an experience where we make it a part of us.
And, in a wonderfully fun twist, our lady is hanging in an inverted vrksasana, the yogic tree pose. Her hands in Namaste are a meeting of yin and yang, masculine and feminine. We tend to think of waiting times as feminine. So what’s the masculine doing in this picture? That’s our clue that there’s a lot going on while we’re hanging. There’s lots of mental and emotional work going on beneath the surface.
How do we know it’s mental and emotional? The sky is connected with air and the mind. The hanged lady is clothed in sky. Her entire self is involved in figuring things out. Emotions are represented with watery images. She’s suspended above a big body of water. So she’s risen above her emotions. But they still figure in her process. Her sky apparel has clouds in it. And what are clouds made of?
There are also indicators that this is a voluntary process, even if it seems like an imposed circumstance. Did you notice that rope loop she’s hanging from? She could easily end this suspension. But she’s come to terms with her position; her placid face reflects her inner state. She’s made herself at home where she is.
She’s very much one with the natural world, with her environment. Her clothing makes her look like she’s a natural part of where she is. This “hold” is a natural process.
And it’s led her to clarity. Notice that it’s her body that’s clear. She’s let go of her hair – and maybe of her mind – and moved beyond the mental and emotional process. She’s moved into a deepening of intuition, the kind of deepening that comes from integrating experience.