The Hanged Man, Universal Waite
What's your first reaction to this card? Does it seem a little weird that the guy is clearly trussed up but totally unconcerned? In fact, in this rendition, he actually looks almost meditative to me and he certianly is not at all upset. Or maybe he's been trying to get untied and we catch him here in a moment of catching his breath before he tries once again to wriggle free. What do you think?
Hanged Man always reminds me of the grand illusionsists, starting with Harry Houdini, getting themselves out of the straight jacket. It seems impossibe to us, but they always manage to do it. How? Maybe it's by looking at a situtaion with a different point of view. Maybe it's by calmly evaluating the situtation before taking action. Maybe they see the impossible as merely a challenge to our preconveived notions of what is and isn't do-able.
I've also heard of this card compared to images of Jesus on the cross. Now, that's a little far fetched for my understanding, but if it floats your boat, go for it. I can almost see the connections between willing sacrifice, especially that of one person sacrificing for the greater good, but that's not my real understanding of this card.
Some keywords for this card are contemplation, perspective, patience, resourcefullness, surrender, letting go, trust, giving up, overcome.
When I draw Hanged Man for a weekly overview, I see it as a time to look for a new perspective on something in your life. It's a Major Arcana card, so it is of importance and deserves thoughtful consideration. What's going on in your life that isn't working quite the way you hoped it would? That's the place to become the Hanged Man and look for a different solution. Maybe you'd benefit from physically changing yourself in response to the issue. How? It can be a simple as just taking the discussion to a coffee shop instead of your kitchen table. It could be an impromptu trip to a new destination... anything that gives you some new input. Maybe it's just a random word said by a chat room pal... be aware and you'll understand the Hanged Man's powerful impact.