Our World Upside Down: The Hanged Man

Note: This is a guest post by Heather Gaffney Darnell. Heather is an experienced Tarot Reader in the Charlotte Metro Area and is currently offering remote tarot readings here.

Upside down, indeed! In some ways, the world is flipped on its head, so when thinking on what card best reflects our circumstances, The Hanged Man stuck with me. Look at his posture? The typical reaction I observe in others when viewing this card is discomfort. There is an assumption that our friend in this card is extremely uncomfortable hanging from a single foot without hope of escape.

With the changes that the COVID 19 pandemic demands, we have become the Hanged Man. Many people are uncomfortable in small ways… missing social time, boredom, wanting that haircut, missing the gym… and for many, the discomfort is looming. Their livelihoods are put on hold, their necessities are scarce, and then you have those who are truly at risk because of compromised immune systems.

The Hanged Man offers us a choice. We can focus on the uncertainty of the situation, complaining about the small things we are missing, or we can use this time to gain a new perspective. The hanged figure may be in an uncomfortable position but consider his face: It is serene. He is in a state of grace. He is aware that what is happening is temporary, and an opportunity to surrender to the situation.

What does this mean for us? This means that those of us who are able can be resourceful. Many have shifted their jobs to home, have moved their work to online platforms, and some are working on creative ways to do business. Some are finding their creativity and industriousness. They are taking up art, gardening, sewing, baking; skills our foremothers and fathers used when shopping for certain goods was not possible.

What this also means is that we have an opportunity toward a more communal frame of mind. This may seem counterintuitive given that we cannot meet each other in person, yet, we can find ways through our networks to take care of each other. Those who cannot work and lack resources need our support. The gallows from which the Hanged Man is tethered is flourishing. There is life and growth present. This is to remind us that lifeforce is always with us. Life always finds a way, and so do people, especially when working in collaboration. We are stronger when we work together, and many hands make light work.

As we hang from our personal trees, feet to the sky, and head to the ground, I invite you to turn this period of uncertainty, fear, grief, and loss into an opportunity. This can be a rebirth if we allow it, full of hope and promise. This is a chance to do better and be better. I feel strongly it is a time to move past simple discomforts to be in assistance to those who need our help, support, and shared strength. There are people truly struggling, and healthcare, and death workers putting themselves in harm’s way to tend those who are sick, and those taken from us. It is time to be better to our world, and better to each other.

Love, strength, and comfort to all,


Heather is an intuitive reader, teacher & energy healer in the foothills of NC. Her love of tarot began over 30 yrs ago when she commandeered her father’s deck of cards. She uses it with empathy & intuition to assist in finding answers to create healing and transformation. She is co-host of Tarotunes on International Pagan Radio, where tarot reading intersects musical magic!