“I am Neo in The Matrix. Bullets soar at me, yet with a wave of my hand, they slow and freeze. I am able to pluck them from mid-air, and shoo them to the side like metal flies. I alter time. I am stealthy. I am way cool.”
Such is the concept of the 12th card in the Major Arcana: The Hanged Man. The Hanged Man represents meditation, sacrifice, foresight, insight, decisions – but most of all, suspension of one’s self over issues.
Okay. I am not Keanu Reeves, and I am not the chosen one in a blockbuster hit movie. However, I do have the ability to suspend myself in the proverbial air, and let my conflicts fall to the ground. Which ones do I pick up and choose to deal with? Which ones stay on the ground for another day? Which ones do I abandon altogether?
The Hermit is a man who has chosen to forfeit life with men, in order to live in solitude. We never see him in his home, though we assume it’s a shack, a cave – or under a bridge. He is always on the move. Carrying his lantern and staff, like Gandalf, he seeks knowledge and goes wherever his light and staff lead him. Drawing the Hermit in a reading tells us that it’s time to take pause, take stock, and get clarity. It’s a time for thinking – not doing. Inverted, the Hermit suggests someone who is hiding, in retreat, or forced into withdrawal.
The 14th card of the Major Arcana is Temperance. In my deck it features an angel carefully mixing the contents of two earthen pots. One contains the bluest of waters – and in the other, there is fire. These two elements, if thrown together, will cancel each other. However, in the proper proportions, the angelic alchemist will make the most astonishing balance of the two. He creates an amazing violet atmosphere that surrounds him. Because of his steady hand and head, the angel shows us that staying calm and cool creates something amazing. The Temperance card may represent balance, moderation and living at ease. In Temperance, we see the impossible become possible with well thought-out plans and patiently carried out application.
I had a very interesting experience in June. I was at lunch with a vexingly beautiful friend who is always being approached. A super-hot tattooed guy approached our table, and she started to fluff her hair. He turned to me – a shoot-down for my gal-pal – and remarked, “Excuse me, but do you tell people’s fortunes?” (Of course, the “Crazy Lady” neon sign I carry was on – duh!). Anyway, I let him sit with us for a bit and then he remarked, “I won’t take up ya’ll’s time, I just want to know the sign of the man I’m supposed to be with.” (Oh, well… strike two).
“Well, I don’t usually carry a deck…” I started to protest. But since I had that neon sign, of course I had the deck. I relented and got out the cards. The ones I threw for this guy were the Hermit – and Temperance. Then I did a spread, and laid out 12 cards, one for each month of the year. In the 9th month I had the King of Cups – and in the 11th month, the Emperor. “Well, we have a Virgo and a Sag here,” I told him. “See, the Hermit here is Tarot’s Virgo, and the King of Cups is in September. The Temperance card is ruled by Sagittarius, and the Emperor is in November.”
“Well,” the guy responded, “Since I am a Sag, I guess that means I need to hunt Virgos.”
“Not only that,” I pointed out, “but the Hermit and Temperance cards are telling you something more important: you need to chill! Take your time.”
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