Sunday, 21 June 2015

Summer Solstice 2015 Tarot Blog Hop: The Hanged Man

Welcome to Alison’s Alembic!   You may have arrived here as a stop on the Tarot Blog Hop from either Cosmic Whispers Tarot or Ania M's blog.  Or you may have found this through TABI’s Facebook page, or though one of the many wonderful tarot bloggers in the ether.   However you came to be here, welcome to this instalment of the Tarot Blog Hop!

 For those of us in the northern hemisphere, it’s the Summer Solstice today (16.37 GMT) - the longest day, the shortest night. It’s the time when the sun appears to have reached a standstill; the word ‘solstice’ means ‘the standing of the sun’.  The sun has reached its zenith in the sky - its furthest boundary of power, if you like – and as such, its greatest potency.  For those of us below, it’s time to stop and look back at what we’ve achieved on our journey, since the Winter Solstice six months ago.  Now we can celebrate what we’ve created, as well as acknowledge what hasn’t worked.  It’s no surprise that this solstice (again, in the northern hemisphere) has been called the ‘Festival of Achievement’.

Our wrangler for this Blog Hop, Alison Cross of This Game of Thrones fame, has asked us to choose one of the Major Arcana cards and write about it. The reason for picking the card has been left up to us – we might love it or hate it, or it might inspire us. With the idea of celebrating something I’ve created (although not in the last 6 months!), I’ve chosen The Hanged Man because it’s the card that I created for the Major Arcana of the TABI Tarot Deck.

© Alison Coals

The Hanged Man is superimposed on a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. The chrysalis is suspended from an oak tree, representing the World Tree, with its roots in the Underworld.  Beneath it is a pool of water, symbolizing the unconscious world.  The pool is edged by poppies, argrimony, and burdock.  Poppies represent sacrifice, while agrimony and burdock in the Druidic tradition are both associated with being ready to let go of feelings, attachments, influences and habits that are no longer useful. The dawn sky and the approaching sunrise symbolize light coming after the dark night, and the hope and optimism that come with new beginnings.  The emerging butterfly represents vulnerability as it ventures into a new world.

I see The Hanged Man as a call to look at life in a different way.  In order to do this we may need to sacrifice something so that we can make room for something else to grow.  This may require descending into our unconscious, where we can find out what matters most to us, and help us to see things from a different perspective.  The butterfly waits in its chrysalis, suspended in time, waiting for the moment when it is time to emerge and see the world it has been born into.  By voluntarily letting go and surrendering control, we too will emerge with the ability to see the world in a new light, and be free of old habits and patterns.  This surrendering, or sacrifice, leaves us vulnerable, like the butterfly, but we will be ready to open our wings and enter a new dawn, hoping and trusting that what we’ve given up will be replaced by something more valuable.

The collage was created using watercolours, ink, coloured film, and paper – on paper.  

Thank you for stopping off here on your own journey through this Litha Tarot Blog Hop!  Please do come back and read some of my other posts.  

The next stops on the Tarot Blog Hop are - depending on whether you’re moving backwards or forwards through the list – Cosmic Whispers Tarot or Ania M's blog. The Master List can be found here.


  1. Whoa, this is such a gorgeous card, and so full of wonderful symbolism!!!

  2. I remember this card from our project! It made a huge impression on me at the time and I'm delighted to see him getting an outing here! Beautiful!

    1. Thanks for encouraging me to bring him out again!

  3. Beautiful card, and such deep symbolism! Lovely!

  4. Oh... I just love that image... the blue is sublime... :)

  5. It's a lovely card, Alison - I've always been a sucker for butterfly wings...and poppies :D

  6. Wow! What a beautiful card Alison. And so meaningful an image too,

  7. Love your vision of the Hanged Man. Wow. :D And yes, a change of perspective is part of it. I also ask my clients "what are you willing to sacrifice in order to get what you want? "

  8. What a beautiful card! I love the suggestion of The Hanged Man inside the butterfly wings, contrasting with the poppies at the base of the card. Gorgeous colours and lovely energy here :-)

  9. There's a beautiful gentleness to your image, which really appeals to me. It has a calm, peaceful feeling, yet so full of potential once the change comes/is completed. And that blue makes me think of speaking your new truth once it emerges... Lovely card, Alison, an achievement well worth celebrating :)