The hanged man reversed

I didn’t recognize this card at first because reversed, the hanged man doesn’t look like he’s hanging at all; he looks like Peter Pan touching down for a landing, if Peter were older and blond and haloed. The branch from which he is suspended looks more like the ground, and its leaves look like bushes. The sky is a light silvery grey, a color that could be any time of day here in the Northwest. He’s in an environment with little context, and what is there can’t be trusted for an accurate impression.

The hanged man can mean wisdom, intuition, and sacrifice, but reversed represents selfishness – the selfishness animating the crowd and the body politic. Perhaps this is a caution not to interpret yesterday’s queen of pentacles too literally. She may have been traditionally styled as the queen of coins, but new age metaphysics is hardly the only line of thinking to suggest that the pursuit of generosity and spiritual abundance is in the end more satisfying than amassing money and possessions. I like nice things and well-appointed spaces as much as any Taurus, but I have to keep an eye on my tendency to focus on the act of acquisition, rather than whatever sense of contentment being surrounded by beauty can provide.

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