All change brings discomfort. Sometimes temporary and passing, sometimes extended and tedious. Both responses — to move through rapidly, and to stay — are valid at different times. Pause. Take time to read situations and tune into your intuitive response, to know which to do when.
What feels most challenging is the state of powerlessness that change brings. When things are not in control, and we try desperately to control them, whether it’s circumstances or people’s feelings, thoughts and actions, we lose the capacity to listen to our intuition and tend to ourselves.
The structure of the tarot deck is a reminder that all of life is change and flux. The Hanged Man is preceded by Justice (all that is right, true, fitting) and followed by Death (endings, transformation, great change). It stands for that important pause between the two states in transformation — the old and the new. Where the discomfort lies, worlds turn upside down, logic upended and intangible forces invite us to refresh our perspectives.
In our urgency to exert control in the hope that hardship quickly rolls over to make way for the new (which we expect will be shiny, happy and easy again) we resist and altogether miss out on that beneficial moment in between. The pause that invites us to explore new ways of thinking, being and living. It questions all that we know to be absolute and true. It is this that we find most challenging about change.
The Hanged Man is a reminder to continually get comfortable with staying, with the space in between changes, with the discomfort that precedes the greatest transformations. To stay with it, to soften and learn to relax, rather than exert control. So we can allow for change to guide us to operate in new ways, for new outcomes, new goals, new destinations.