Reflections on The Hanged Man

Some health issues have materialized in my life in recent weeks, and my doctor, who is somewhat concerned for my well-being based on the results of some recent blood panels, has asked me to undergo some diagnostic tests at a medical imaging facility. Try as I might to put this out of my mind, I’ve been a bit frightened at the possible ramifications (it could involve a terminal illness!), and because of this, I’ve been postponing the appointment for over a month. Ignorance is bliss, right? Except, of course, it isn’t—and this inaction on my part has only exacerbated all of my worst fears. So, meditating with the cards today and asking for some peace of mind in the matter, I shuffled the deck, and turned over the top card:


I could have guessed this would happen . . .

Of course, there are number of ways I could view this card in my current state. One would be the literal interpretation, that I should be prepared to have my world—or at least my perception of it—”turned upside down,” and that I should be likewise prepared to adapt to some sudden changes that may be coming in my life. Another reading, perhaps less ominous, would be a call for a change of attitude on my part—that I should be willing to “suspend” my worries in the matter; there’s no use fretting over things that haven’t yet been made manifest, after all. Still another reading mirrors one we’ve discussed previously, in which the operative principle of The Hanged Man is not sacrifice but surrender—giving up one’s fears and apprehensions to the Divine healer through prayer and meditation. Obviously, this is much easier said than done. It’s easy to counsel others when they are in a state of unease, but when it happens to us, it becomes a difficult task indeed!

Fear of the unknown can be a paralyzing force in life, and when we succumb to it, we experience a kind of “waking death,” where there is is never any rest for the soul, and no state of bliss one can hope to attain. Yet the Hanged Man would have us always be in a state of contentment—the halo that bathes him in light shows that he has managed to transcend whatever pain and sadness have been visited upon him. But this can never happen so long as we allow ego’s vain strivings to govern our waking existence, so after reciting a silent prayer and taking some deep breaths, I picked up the phone and set a date for my medical tests. Whatever happens afterward, I’ll deal with it then—but in any event, mindless fear is no longer an option.

Dante DiMatteo

Update (6/27): This post was written a couple of weeks ago for posting at a later date. As it turns out, my medical condition turns out to be a nonthreatening chemical imbalance that’s a side effect of one of my prescription meds. A moderate adjustment to the daily dose, and your humble blogger should be back to normal—or what passes for it on this blog—sometime soon. —DD

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