Ooooh, do I have a good one for you today! Welcome back to another Tarot Tuesday. I know I have been hitting you hard with the intense cards lately, but let’s face it, they are especially relevant at the moment. I know that some of the scarier looking cards in the deck can inspire fear and a desire to just uhh, put that card away and draw another one, but that’s not what they’re for! Upon further inspection, none of the “scary” cards are as doomy and gloomy as their dramatic illustrations make them seem. Sure, challenging situations that force you to grow can be intimidating, but the whole point of reflection during these times is to learn the lessons that need to be learned to get stronger. So today we’ll be hanging out with the Hanged Man! (Or, as my other deck calls it, the Hanged Unicorn.)
One of the biggest lessons the Hanged Man / Unicorn card has to teach us is surrender. No, surrender is not the same thing as giving up. Sometimes in life we fight the current of change around us. The difference between what we think we want and what we are currently experiencing can create resistance inside of us. This resistance can cause unnecessary conflict within us, which we may focus on instead of calmly remaining open to potential solutions. Sometimes the current of life just hits weird, man. (Like now.) And sometimes you need to take a moment to just say, alright, fate is fate. Here we are.
We know by now we cannot always control what is going on around us. But as I often say, we can control what happens within us. Acceptance of your current circumstances does not mean you like them just as they are or want them to remain the same or that you should be complacent. It is important just acknowledge that while things may not be going the way we want them to, they are as they are. Taking a moment to collect yourself in stillness amidst the chaos before you choose a course of action will allow you to act with wisdom and trueness to yourself. Act, not react, as the saying goes.
It happens to all of us at some point (and at this point it seems to be happening to all of us) – things go in an unexpected direction. You have every right to feel the feelings you’re feeling in response. The concept of surrender also includes accepting the thoughts and feelings you may be having. It is also important to recognize that you are not just those thoughts. Many of us base our entire identity off our thoughts, but the current of the Self runs so much deeper than the surface chatter of the mind. As we have seen, our world and our feelings toward it can change in an instant. We are being called to recognize that no matter what is happening around us, we must let go of our attachment to specific outcomes outside ourselves and focus instead on cultivating an oasis we can peacefully surrender to within.
If you take a closer look at the subject’s face in this card, it is an expression of acceptance and surrender, not resistance. The Hanged Man / Unicorn knows that the course of fate can change at any time. If you feel stuck on pause due to outside circumstances, it is time to lean into that, calm and silence the mind, and let your inner wisdom bubble up to the surface to guide your next move when the time comes.
A great way to incorporate these lessons into your life is through mediation or yoga. Surrender to peace. My favorite yoga pose to get into the mindset of the Hanged Man / Unicorn when I feel like a prisoner to fate is shoulder stand, but with this modification: taking turns bending one leg at a time to mimic the pose in the card. “Hanging out” in this pose and taking a few deep breaths always reminds me that it is okay to slow down, take a moment to accept where I am, and allow wisdom to flow through to guide me.
One more friendly and wise reminder: please hang out at home!