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The Hanged Man and The Star

The first process ends with “The Lovers” card, and now The Fool keeps going on the second and third level.

The Hanged Man and The Star

The Hanged Man

Both “The Star” and “The Hanged Man” cards come right after the help which The Fool gets in “The Tower” card. It is the same force which sets him free and allows him to exit the cave. This is both a transformation of emotions and preparation for rebirth that occurs in “The Sun” card. But before being reborn, The Fool must die first.

He must willingly give up and sacrifice all of his identifications, clean himself up from all that keeps him back and drags him back to the cave. The Hanged Man does it by willfully accepting everything, especially suffering, and by so doing he gives up all the resistance, the self-pity, the false ego, the lies, the delusions, the imagination and so on. All of those are symbolized in the card by the coins that fall out of his pockets.

“The suffering becomes deliberate if you do not rebel against it, if you do not try to avoid it, if you do not accuse anybody, if you accept it as a necessary part of your work at the moment, and as a means for attaining your aim.”

P.D. Ouspensky

The Hanged Man’s words:

“Accept all that’s happening to you without judgment or analysis. Accept the judgment and the analysis. Accept both the pleasant and unpleasant sensations. Accept the thoughts and the feelings. Accept those who wish to make a change and not accept the moment. Accept even those who claim that the experience of accepting the moment was supposed to be different. Accept yourselves the way you are, without wanting to change. Some will call it love, others will call it living the moment.”

“There comes a certain stage in which a person must separate from his Fool. To separate from The Fool, he must accept The Fool as he is, without trying to change him. To accept his Fool, a man must know him well. To know his own Fool, a man must learn his behavior. To learn his behavior, he must create situations which will allow him to observe his Fool. To create these situations, one should try to act against his Fool…”

Helpmate idea:

“To create a constant reminding factor, I need to take something that already exists inside of me and separate from it. This separation will emphasize its absence in such a way as to create a constant reminder. As long as it is absent, the same feeling/sensation will float and be triggered again and again and will irritate my mind. Therefore a constant reminder is created in myself, and I can use this alarm-clock to wake up from my sleep and reach my goal.”

The Star

In “The Star” card, the character is engaged in transforming emotions and uses a helpmate idea. It is no longer merely a reminder, but it is a transformation of emotions into positive emotions, that is, the transformation of energy into finer energy.

In the Sumerian myth, “Inanna’s Descent to the Underworld” we see an obvious case of a helpmate-idea. With the help of the creatures created by the god “Enki,” Inanna successfully returns to life from the underworld, but she is required to sacrifice someone else who will replace her in the underworld:

“Who shall rise from the underworld, from the underworld shall rise whole? The day Inanna shall rise from the underworld, a replacement, a head for a head, shall be given!”

The Star in Plato’s “Cave” Allegory:

Eventually, with considerable effort and with the help of external power, The Fool comes to the opening of the cave and is exposed to the light of the sun. Because his eyes are not accustomed to the light of day, it is going to blind him. Therefore, he must be pulled out of the cave slowly and gradually. Initially, at nighttime to the light of the stars, and even then, he may only look at shades and reflections on water. After his eyes adjust to that level of light we can allow him to look at his surrounding environment as it is, and even on the stars. “The Star” card illustrates what is described in the Allegory of the Cave: A character looking into a pool of water and the stars are above it. Later we will expose The Fool to stronger light, the light of the moon, and eventually, when he’s ready, to the light of the sun as well.

Of course, here we are talking about the next cards, “The Moon” and “The Sun.” This process is similar to human development: when we talk about human development, a gradual development has to be undertaken. If The Fool gets exposed to something he’s not ready for, it may cause harm, just like the light of the sun which can blind him. Therefore, we need to do it in phases. Initially, we need to expose him to the faint light of the stars, then to the stronger light of the moon, and only then to the light of the sun.

* Only a certified instructor can understand what can be harmful and how to act in these cases.

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