An Ancient Icelandic Illustration of the Hanged Man in Reverse

Wolfgang Giegerich (Post-Jungian Psychologist) summarizes an ancient Icelandic saga in the beginning of his book, “The Soul’s Logical Life”:

The Soul's Logical Life
Spear Chucker

The “saga is about a young man who was a stay-at-home.  His mother could not stand this and tried to rouse him with biting remarks.  Finally she was successful.  The young man got up from behind the stove where he had been sitting and, taking his spear, left the house.  Outside, he threw his spear as far as he could and then ran up to the place where it had landed in order to retrieve it.  At this new [vantage] point, he again threw the spear as far ahead as possible then followed it, and so on.  In this way … he made a way for himself from the comfort of home into the outside world” (page 9).

The Soul's Logical Life
The Hanged Man in Reverse

When we’re at a loss about moving forward (and stagnating behind the stove is no longer an option), it may be that the only thing left to do is simply take action—throw our spear long and hard into the unknown, aware that when we’ve caught up with it, and can see our situation from a new perspective, we can reevaluate and adjust.

In a Tarot reading, the Hanged Man may suggest waiting is appropriate, but in reverse it might be telling us it’s time to take action without needing to know exactly how.

The Soul’s Logical Life


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