Hanged Man (reversed) § Six of Cups § Death

Our friend the Hanged Man not only visits us again but he does so from his reversed position. This unusual continuation of an inverted card comes as a fine omen for us. The Hanged Man is the card that signifies newly born visions—it is possible to choose to change our minds. The Hanged Man dictates his own destiny and claims his right to control his mind by deciding when and how he will course correct. When we double down on bad ideas, we increase our chances of tripling down and then going even further than that. The trap of sunken cost is avoided completely by this archetype because he knows how to take the advantage by undergoing a process of thoughtful mutation on his own terms, hanging upside down from his favorite tree. What he learned and decided while in repose for most of this Summer season is clearly full of insight as he becomes poised to make his next move. He is ready for what lay ahead, even though it may be related to something he actually fears (or has feared in the past). There is no map to follow here, just the earned confidence to deliberate effectively. Be conscious of those who make chaos for themselves, so that you don’t let them make some for you, too.

The Six of Cups is complex. The core of this card is about the trust between parties of differing power levels. We should evaluate how much trust is reasonable to share with persons or entities that have a power advantage over us—or the other way around. Trustworthy persons hold boundaries that acknowledge the hierarchies and roles in their relationships because that is basic respect. We can share connections with persons over whom we hold influence, but not if we fail to recognize the dynamic. Feeling a bond with someone and experiencing connection are not the same. Notice anyone, especially yourself, who is ignoring the harm that comes from exploiting trust even just a little. If we want to feel close to people, we must honor the roles we both play in the relationship. Some of us might be inclined to remain intimate with the specters of our past, but it is a mistake. The Six of Cups can carry a heavy dose of nostalgia, and we are advised to avoid the temptation to indulge it. Doing so will put us at a disadvantage for no good reason.

Death follows the Hanged Man both numerically and narratively, making this pairing in our August reading pretty special. We change our mind or develop a new mental picture when we take up the position of the Hanged Man. What we learn or decide during our time of reflection is then set into motion in the physical world through the process shown to us by the Death card. These cards are from the major arcana, meaning big secrets, and will make an impact on us. When the bewildering quickness of this impact settles down, we will be in a new state of mind. Feelings can and will change. This month is a peak time to shift our relationship with past experiences by disengaging with the intentions we have ascribed to others. Between what we gleaned in our time as the Hanged Man and what we successfully confronted in the Six of Cups, this metaphorical Death cycle will make us strong enough to find a little more peace in the world, as we dismantle it. A fulfillment we can actually taste is only possible when we are willing to engage reality as it stands. It is sometimes said that one should keep Death over her left shoulder. The idea here is that we live better when we remember that our time is right now, that this is what we have. Through the daily frustrations and insecurities that are the consequences of our era, we are best advised to make good memories, and to get around to at least one thing we most want to do. Just one. Pick one and do it. May we choose to exceed our wildest expectations.

reading by Michelle Embree | michelleembree.com
illustration by Gurleen Rai | zimteemo.com

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