Two Sundays ago my stepdad called to say that his dear friend, a woman whom I had known only for a few short months, passed away on Good Friday. He was shocked by the sudden news of her passing, but I was not.
I didn’t fully understand why I felt the way I did – my lack of surprise, and the curious way in which I felt at ease about her transition. When I heard the news, instead of shock, I was filled with deep appreciation for having met her, for having known her even just for a tiny sliver of time. I felt immense gratitude for the synchronicity of our meeting, for the gift of the personal stories that she shared with me. She gifted me by reminding me that it was okay to be who I am. She soothed my lingering reservations about expressing myself through my intuitive work by sharing the deeply personal way in which she herself answered the call of Spirit to heal others. I too experienced the gift of her healing hands as I lay on her Reiki table three months ago.
As it turns out, she had been ill for some time – not that it showed. I didn’t know. She was as elegant, and as beautiful as ever, the last time I saw her. Taking care not to share my lack of surprise about her passing with my stepdad, I took out my Tarot deck, and privately inquired of Spirit: “why am I not surprised about this?”
Spirit’s answer: The Hanged Man, and the Two of Wands.
What I had intuitively and unconsciously picked up on was her quiet surrender to the fact that it was time for her to move on. She knew she was dying, even as she lovingly treated me on her Reiki table. Her physical grace matched the inner spiritual poise with which she met her transition. She planned her memorial service herself – down to the last detail.
This is the spiritual elegance of the Hanged Man. The place where personal “impotence” – the inability to do anything about one’s situation – gives way to true spiritual power. The Hanged Man’s power resides in his complete non-resistance to what is.
I reflected upon this message in the days that followed. I thought about the times when I became the acrobat. When I became the Hanged Man. When things came crashing down around me, when I was brought to my knees, and all I could do was put my hands behind my back and surrender my control to a higher spiritual logic and purpose. I recalled the times when, as difficult and as heart-rending it was, I submitted to the workings of Spirit.
The Hanged Man is strength of spirit and inner mastery of the highest order. And in this dear woman, whose impact on my life cannot be measured by the time we spent together, I was privileged enough to witness mastery in action.
You see, Tarot is a dynamic and alive thing. It lives within us. It resides in the grace of the human spirit. As a reader, there is something deeply humbling about these teaching moments – when Life reminds me what my work is really about. When Life reminds me that Tarot is neither fundamentally conceptual nor intellectual.
I considered taking a little time away from my blog in order to spend some quality time with my Tarot deck. The irony is not lost on me that this experience has brought me closer to my deck than any study of it would accomplish. It is not lost on me that my connection to my deck has been reignited by witnessing the grace and poise of this dear woman, through which the Hanged Man speaks.
In memory of Sharon
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