12. Hanged Man

The Hanged Man of the tarot is a card of inspiration to occult significance. The premise here is one of personal achievement, and of giving back to that infinite body of knowledge that we learn and receive in upon the seeker’s ways. In Eastern traditions, there is a concept of Siddhi’s, which means achievement or magical prowess after years and decades of training. It holds a similar vein to this tarot card. Western school of thought regards this as a culmination of a person’s ambition, their ‘moment has arrived’ sort of notion, still built upon that same threshold of achievement, ambition and inspiration. 

In occult terminology, the number 12 is known as ‘The Great Work’, and represents a person’s evolved point of view to existence in the world. 

Either way of regarding it recognises the greater cycle of 12 which in itself is a complete and consolidated, but yet only part of us. A larger phase in life, so to speak. It defines us, to a very large existence, a time of grooming, a learning curve and the culmination of something to show for it. There is immense wisdom in this tarot card, but it indicates the subconscious part of us that constitutes the eternal witness. This witness is a heightened version of us that sees all of life’s patterns, remembers the little incidents and can see the bigger picture. And the processing of all that information is usually only done in the back of our heads, and not to conscious volition. The result however, is the manner in which we change to life to experience. The wisdom manifest in us by passing the greater cycles of our life-experiences. 

The Hanged Man traditionally refers to Odin, finding, or being inspired to runes whilst hanging upside down. Or to Prometheus as his sentence for bringing to mankind the gift of fire, erstwhile reserved only for the gods and giants. 

Either way, the gruelling process that lead us to greater heights of accomplishment is what is represented by the Hanged Man as a tarot card. And in it is always ‘The Great Work’ of our lives. Even if we are it.