Today’s card is the Hanged Man, number twelve of the Major Arcana. Each of the Major Arcana cards represents a principle of occult worship or enlightenment, with this card being the 22nd and final card of the Majors, which are numbered 0 – 21. When studying these principles, one would start with the number 0, The Fool, representing innocence, the beginning of a journey, and the initiate, and ending with number 21, The Universe. Having traveled through the theoretical concepts of Magick, therefore, one would need only to apply these principles in real life to move forward on the path of enlightenment.
This card teaches us about sacrifice, not in the way of irrevocably giving up some person, opportunity, or experience but in knowing that we cannot possibly work on growing in all areas of our life, or our magick, at once. Just as you might choose the burger over the chicken sandwich on a menu of options doesn’t mean that you are never allowed to eat chicken again. You have merely decided that, now, in the present, you will have the burger. While this might be a simplistic version of the many choices each of us will make in our lifetimes, we will always be in a state of decision and change. One opportunity will end while another is just beginning. The sacrifice well made is one that is made with wisdom and foresight instead of making the same decision over and over and expecting different results. That, my friends, is the definition of crazy!
This card also tells us that, in our occult journey, we will be required to make sacrifices to grow and live our inner truth. The study of magick takes time; mastering the concepts held in the minor arcana alone can take a lifetime. This path will take time and dedication, money (some but not a lot), and effort in all four aspects (elements) of self. And while you are studying, practicing, purchasing, and worshipping, you will be giving up other opportunities and aspects of your life. This is just the nature and limitation of time and space. The key is to balance your esoteric efforts with your mundane ones, taking care of your job and your family and friends in generous proportion to your magickal pursuits. You will find that each of those opportunities to connect and grow and in themselves magickal, and that life is infused with positive energy at all levels if you know where to look.
This card can signal a period of self-sacrifice in which we are forced to make decisions for the greater good that are not necessarily the best for us as individuals. If this is the case for you, do so with grace to avoid feeling like a victim and creating a cycle of negativity surrounding this decision or event. As they say, ‘This too shall pass’ and you don’t want to regret your behavior when you look back on this time.
May the sacrifices you make lead to a happy, more powerful, and more loving you!