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Pithy Tarot meanings — The Hanged Man

August 30, 2014

Hanged Man -- Tarot of the Masters The Hanged Man

For today’s pithy meaning I want to do something a little different. The following is a quote that may or may not be apt for this card. It all depends on how you look at it (which is a Hanged Man sort of meaning too, by the way). The great thing is that consideration of this quote and differing perspectives of it leads us to a deep discussion of life as well as of this card. Isn’t it wonderful how the cards lead us to that?

“Most people say that as you get old, you have to give things up. I think you get old because you give things up.” — Theodore Green

The problem with short quotes (as well as their beauty) is that they are so open to interpretation. I think the validity of this quote depends on what we’re talking about giving up. Are we talking about our attachments or about our dreams? Is this about our possessions (which, frankly, own us at least as much as we own them) or our compassion for others? Is this about our physical abilities, or is it about our emotional strength?

I believe that getting older does involve many losses and relinquishments, but it also involves many gains and it involves holding on to some things. It involves clearing out what is inconsequential and holding on to what is vital. So I agree with Green’s quote … and I don’t. It all depends on how we interpret it.

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