Stories > Tarot > The Hanged Man
For the Cathar the death of the natural man stands for the beginning of spiritual life, once Perfection has been achieved. The soul must enter the spiritual world with humility, hence this soul’s humiliating predicament.
The Hanged Man as The Caretaker
The Hanged Man represents the surrender needed to continue the journey into the spiritual world. The man has a calm expression on his face and the tree he is hanging from has leaves, suggesting life rather than death. The halo around the man's head symbolizes higher learning and enlightenment. Psychologically this card might point to the sacrifice and humility required to devote oneself to healing and growth.
Likewise, in the Caretaker the seahorses are holding on by a thread for the sake of growth and life, even if they're doing it in an upright position. At the bottom of the ocean, they're feeling the same kind of pressure that's likely accumulating in the Hanged Man's head. This is the pressure leading to wholeness and eternal life (being connected to the transcendent), symbolized by the Hanged Man's halo and the full sun above the seahorses.
The Hanged Man's red pants represent the physical body while his blue shirt refers to the mind, pointing to the union of body and mind, which is also symbolized in the Caretaker by the crowns on the head of the seahorses being part of their body.
This card works in tandem with The Abdicator, which I associate with Death in the Tarot.

More From The Tarot

Back to Top