Meet “The Hanged Woman” Card

Meet “The Hanged Woman” Card

Posted by on Oct 4, 2013 in 23 Days of Tarot Majors, First Round Illustrations, Major Arcana, Portfolio, Stories | 0 comments

The Portland Tarot Majors – A Daily Commute

Day “12” – The Hanged Woman

Sometimes when you think you are ready to ride the train straight to your destination, you are put on pause by the great drawbridge of the universe. Take this opportunity to get a new perspective, you might have missed something!

Being blocked on your path can sometimes be a great gift. Just remember that holding intention for a positive outcome—leaning into your faith—is the best way to proceed when you are put on pause. Don’t be afraid to surrender your point of view if it is not truly helping you.

For me Hanged Woman represents new perspectives, but also sometimes compromise and sacrifice. Usually it appears when you feel rarin’ to go but the universe is putting the brakes on; probably in order to get you to look more closely at something, or to show you that there is some road block in your own ego you have to work through or release to step forward.

The Portland Tarot Major Arcana - 12 The Hanged WomanThe train station is so close you can taste it, with all its associations with movement, momentum, speed, and change of scene. THEN! The Hanged Woman hangs up your journey, almost saying in Monty Python style, “Stop! Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see!” Except it’s not so much a bridge of death as a bridge of traffic jams, and you may ask a lot more than three questions before you see the other side.

Oh yeah, and by the way… there also may be no such thing as a right answer. You can’t really trick the Hanged Woman into letting you cross with fancy words. You’re just ready whenever it is you’re ready. In the meantime, The Hanged Woman is happy to give you a show while you wait!

Frustrating enough? Yeah, that’s why I probably had so many troubles with this card for so long! I much prefer blazing forward to getting strung up in a “wait and see” mode. But since I’ve learned to make peace with this card, and try to find the humor in being forced to wait. I’ve learned from experience that it usually all ends up being for the better.

A couple of years back for the first Splendorporium Tarot art show that I participated in, I drew The Hanged Man card, and according to the participation rules for that show, that’s what I had to illustrate. It was my least favorite card at the time, which of course made me laugh… So I tried to look at why I didn’t feel comfortable with it and to see how I could explore that in my imagery. Ultimately, the takeaway that I embedded in that original image was the need to keep calm in the face of chaos, even if one is being forced into the scapegoat role. And this is certainly still a meaning I draw from it, though the newer image has a few different twists. In the original image I painted, I chose to create a Hanged Woman, and to make her an aerialist. Instead of being “strung up”, I wanted to show the Hanged Woman with a of feeling of choice and play in the mix. Not to say that we always have a choice, but that was can choose not to play the role of the victim.

Plus, aerialists are cool. There is a strong bohemian circus scene in Portland, and if I had my druthers I’d do a whole deck devoted to this scene and the various aesthetics associated with it! I met Jack StockLynn at one of the later Splendorporium art show openings, and I was so delighted when he agreed to bring his adorable charm to the card; we arranged a fun photo shoot at AWOL that was probably my most ambitious to date. It was tough to choose an image from all the super cute ones we ended up with!

A little bit about the scene in the image… The bridge is the Broadway Bridge, and it is technically the one you cross over to get to the train station, but I took a little artistic license and put it on the wrong side of the bridge for visual emphasis. And it just seemed appropriate to turn the “walk” sign upside down in the image, don’t you think?

The hand with the hummingbird tattoo belongs to Mari Saint-Pierre, an excellent Portland astrologer. In my original painting for this concept I had a small bird (impossibly) holding one side of the trapeze, but when I noticed Mari’s awesome tattoo, a very Monty Pythonesque image came to me of a hand out of the blue holding the trapeze, instead. The hummingbird represents the need to approach life with lightness and joy, and I think that is ultimately the key to going with the flow on The Hanged Woman card… not taking things too seriously when you are blocked, blamed, or halted on your path.

Locations/Landmarks/Portland-iness: The Broadway Bridge, The Train Station

Models: Jack StockLynn; Marie Saint-Pierre,

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