The Hanged Man I Am

Today, I drew the Hanged Man, the Knight of Swords Rx, and the 3 of Pentacles. This was my first row.
On my “second choice” row, I pulled the Ace of Cups and then the Devil.

The Hanged Man is someone who is “in limbo”. He’s pretty damn stuck, obviously, and if you ask me, he looks like he got himself there by stepping into a trap. He can see the options around him, but he can’t exactly… do much. His arms are tied and he’s hanging upside down by the foot. He has to just WAIT and try to figure out how to get himself down from there.

When drawn in a past position, this card can mean that the querent’s current situation is a result of their decision to walk away and let things just “take care of themselves”. This is an aspect of my own past that I am SO not proud of and certainly wish I could go back and re-do. But alas, I haven’t figured out time travel yet, so I’ve been feeling pretty stuck for quite awhile…

Stuck in what ways? Well, by choosing NOT to act, I screwed myself over in my attempt to continue my education. First I somehow let myself stop caring and did horribly one semester with the easiest of classes. So I decided to take one semester off, justifying it by telling myself that if I kept at it in the mindset and with the workload I had going on at the time, I’d just fail even worse and lose all hope for financial aid to continue. I then carelessly let way too much time pass. Then THE EVENT happened. After that, school was like a distant dream from some other past life. I never got back in. The bills are coming in now and I’m financially destitute. I don’t qualify now for the loans I was getting because I’m now in full default mode.

By choosing not to act, I missed my chance to save so many things from that apartment. I could have… really done a lot more than I did, and I’ve mourned and grieved my losses for 20 months now. I know that a big part of what happened to me was not in my control. My family and friends can vouch for that. But only I know the multitudinous “little things” that I could have done. That’s a hard bit of knowledge to live with sometimes.

So my present options appear to be a bit odd, to say the least. When I look at this spread of cards, I see that these two paths are quite opposite.

The Knight of Swords, reversed leading to the 3 of Pentacles. I have reason to believe that this is not indicating a person, as there is only one person I’d follow to the ends of the earth right now and that is my King of Pentacles.

I see some of my OWN characteristics in the reversed Knight of Swords… spinning all my wheels yet accomplishing nothing. Distorted timing issues. Promising things and then flat out forgetting. Falling off of his horse and onto his own sword! Well now he’s fucked. Now he’s trapped without his getaway and is going to have to rely on other people to help him get anywhere. This sounds eerily familiar. I am without a vehicle and have basically settled into a life of agorophobia being completely home-bound. At 28 years old. Ah, the taste of failure. You never really get used to it.

Following this reversed Knight is the glimmer of hope. The 3 of Pentacles may not be the sudden, unexpected miracle swooping into my life and turning everything into joy and rainbows, but it is a way OUT. It is moving from being that Hanged Man (stuck and alone), the reversed Knight of Swords (stuck, alone AND needy as all hell), to being a strong and capable worker. Successful work projects. Building. I’m not in the field of construction, but, building a framework for my new LIFE would sure be a good idea. The 3 of Pents has a lot to do with finding success within a GROUP effort. This could mean it’s back to work for me, perhaps. Or it could mean that it’s time to get serious about getting better— find a ride, find a voice, make some calls, and get into a more helpful therapy. I’ve been thinking lately about group therapy, actually, and how I’ve never really had any. Hearing other people’s stories and getting to share my own is very healing to me, so this might be a solution to the pressing issue of how to go from being almost non-functional with PTSD and agorophobia to getting myself onto some kind of forward-moving track. In the end, this card promises that as long as I choose something I’m actually committed to and WANT to accomplish, accept help from others and be willing to work alongside others, I will be successful.

Path number two looks like HEDONISM to me. The Ace of Cups is my favorite card. I even printed out the image of it from the Morgan-Greer deck I love so much and hung it on my wall. It’s so freaking beautiful, all those blues and greens and brilliant whites, and the gorgeous lotus flower… it is the card of utmost positive potential in the realm of emotions. Love goes in this category, for the most part. And can I tell you a secret, teehee? When I see this card, I sometimes thing about someone who’s rolling on molly. I know, bad reference, but the feelings of emotional joy and inter-connectedness, overflowing positive sentiments… it’s like the Double Rainbow guy. Remember him?

So isn’t it rather interesting then, that I’m looking at this Ace of Cups and thinking about emotional hedonism, which is certainly something I am prone to falling into… there appears the stark Devil, staring at me with his yellow eyes…? The card of addictions. The card of “all things nasty”. One of the handful of tarot cards you DON’T want to see in your future position.

Now hold on— the Ace of Cups is such a positive card. How am I making it negative? I suppose that if I had drawn this card in the reverse, it would be easier to justify my assertion that it has negative connotations in my life. But I read reversals as distortions to the upright card’s major themes. So the Ace of Cups in reverse would tell me not that there is an abundance of positive emotions but a deficit. An imbalance. A blockage.

See how the meaning of each card can really be interpreted in myriad ways?

When I, as an intermediate reader, look at the Ace of Cups and see the Devil next to it, HEDONISM is what booms in my head. Psychic moment? Eh, I dunno. I’d say it’s more about having an ever increasingly dynamic understanding of the cards, paired with the fact that I know myself all too well, and I see in the Ace of Cups + Devil row MY weakness leading to MY downfall. It could have a totally different meaning if I were reading for someone else.

Using this two-path thingy for my daily draw today was awesome. Not only did it start out with the Hanged Man (a card I NEVER get when pulling for myself, but theoretically SHOULD)… the two paths are so obvious and re-affirming in what I already know to be true.

The only question that I still have, and I’ve been trying to figure it out for a long time now, is how to I get from my present point to my future point? What bridge do I take? What actual actions should I make?

(I pulled another card. The 10 of Wands. In my journal, the 10 of Wands page has “Do you enjoy living this way, or are you just afraid to change?” scribbled in the margins.)

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