Entering the Age of The Hanged Man

There are oracles and prophets – some are inscrutable, some efficient, some dicey and some totally illuminating. It’s always a good thing to consult the oracle when you get your metaphoric knickers in a twist. 

I used to read Tarot cards with great enthusiasm in my youth — but after some really unpleasant presages of things that happened to people I loved, I went right off it. This is, of course ridiculous, because life is full of ups and downs, and just because you get a signpost of what’s to happen, there’s no reason to go all wimpy, but I did… so I just don’t read Tarot cards any more.

Recently I realised that the Tarot is also a good indicator of zeitgeist, and I realised that we have now entered the age of The Hanged Man. So who is the Hanged Man? Some people say he has a female face, and is smiling, but the most important thing about him/her is that she hangs upside-down suspended from a wooden gibbet and for all the world looks very calm… but above all things she represents sacrifice, something that we know nothing about. When Margaret Thatcher became prime minister and told the nation that we had the right to have everything we wanted, we forgot about sacrifice. But Thatcher is also a lesson on how being self-serving doesn’t necessarily work. I don’t think she was that happy in the end.

As we all know, we now occupy a crazy world, ruled by the likes of Trump, Johnson and Bolsonaro. Significantly those three have failed their countries conspicuously when it comes to Covid 19. Their creed perpetuates a world where money is the only goal worth pursuing. No wonder they have all fallen at the first hurdle thrown at them by mother nature.

Now we have to learn about sacrifice – it’s the new norm. Sacrifice is such a beautiful thing. The best side of it sees people doing astonishing things for others, risking their lives, taking time to nurture, care for people and think about them… and very sadly, sometimes even die for them. Sacrifice has us all hanging upside down from the gibbet with a smile on our faces knowing all the things we can no longer do, or see, or be, or eat, or achieve. And none of them are that important. But in the knowing of sacrifice we can, if we are lucky, be a great deal happier, wiser and more loving. It can be done.

And here’s a little film from the brilliant Sarah West to remind us of the joy that comes out of sacrifice: 

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