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Hanged Man — Spiritual Message of the Day

April 3, 2011

Hanged Man -- Tarot of the MastersOne of the spiritual implications of the Hanged Man card is that of a renunciation of materialism, and this scares a lot of people. They think that means that they will have to give away all their goodies.  Some versions of this card, including my Tarot of the Masters version, do show the Hanged Man releasing coins from his grip, but that depiction is metaphorical. The Divine advises us to let go of our attachment to material things, not our actual possession of them, which is irrelevant in and of itself.

The release of our material attachments is not just to make us less materialistic so that we can become more spiritual. It is (contrary what many people belief) to bring us a life of increased joy and fulfillment. We think that having things makes us happy, but we ignore the fact that our attachment to those things has the inevitable consequence of bringing us suffering. This is because all material things are transient, so eventually we will lose them, and sooner than that (pretty immediately, actually) we will suffer the fear of losing of them. And even more fundamentally, our possessions tend to own us every bit as much as we own them.

Ultimately it is irrelevant whether or not we let go of material things because none of those goodies are actually real anyway since whatever is transient is illusory. In other words, the renunciation of materialism really means giving up the illusion that the material plane is real. This metaphysical concept is hard for most of us to deal with, though, so for now it’s enough to realize that our attachment to material things creates suffering, and that’s what we are being advised to release.

We are not being called upon to be martyrs or to take a vow of poverty. We are being called to awaken to a new reality, to see the eternal value of our spiritual connection versus the fleeting value of our material possessions. And in doing that, we also help others awaken to this higher realization as well.

If you enjoy these words of spiritual advice from the cards, you will love my new Tarot book called The Soul’s Journey: Finding Spiritual Messages in the Tarot





  1. “…the renunciation of materialism really means giving up the illusion that the material plane is real.”

    Hi James. I really like this thought. It brings to mind “A Course In Miracles.” I feel this may be an instructive point to remember when deaing with this card’s implications.

    Be well!

  2. Nice assessment – it gives me an enhanced view of this card. Thank you.

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