Card of the Day: The Hanged Woman

S W I M I N T H E S E A

Today’s card is the Hanged Woman from the Manga Tarot.

This card is more often named the Hanged Man, but you lovely readers already know that I like when a deck takes a different perspective on gender and sexuality.  The Manga Tarot IMG_0637does that often, showing women as warriors and men as nurturers in a lot of different ways. If they did a little better with difference in skin tone it would make the deck even more awesome.

In this depiction of the Hanged Woman we see a female bodied person standing on her hands underneath a waterfall.  It brings to mind that age old trope of the person seeking enlightenment by meditating under a waterfall.  I can only imagine the sensation of water roaring all around you, you’d have to close your eyes and all you’d be able to hear would be the sound of the water falling over you and crashing on the rocks around you.

Some of the meanings of the Hanged Woman (or Man or Person) are surrender and seeing things from a new perspective.  In the RWS illustration we see a man literally suspended by an ankle.  His suspension shows a presumably involuntary restriction, while this card takes a different approach.  The figure in this card stands on her hands suspended in the water of her own free will.  Nothing is hold her in place save for her own resolve.  She is surrendering to the rush of the water fall all around her in order to gain a new perspective.  Perhaps this is part of her training as she learns to become a warrior or a healer or a leader.  As she is shown here you can’t tell any of those things, we’re left without the visual cues, like a uniform, or a medical bag, that would normally signal those occupations.  I like that about this adaptation of the card, it’s a further instruction to surrender, don’t try to force a role onto her, accept the unknowable and you might gain a new perspective.

The Hanged Woman offers an alternative to the Fight/Flight dichotomy.  When we’re mired in a conflict those two options sometimes appear as our only options.  This card asks you to consider a third option, surrender.  When this card appears it’s a sign not to fight the issue or immediately run away, this card asks you to take a wait-and-see approach or to try to see the issue from someone else’s perspective.  Maybe this thing isn’t so bad, it could be that you don’t understand it yet.  As always, be gentle with yourself when you’re going through conflict, self care is very important, but be open to learning new things as well.

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