Today, as I walk slowly up the wooden stairs… a sense of heaviness accompanies me, like a thick velvet cloak…. Cloaking is an apt word, I feel, perhaps the Hanged Man is using a cloaking device, a muffler against the world, to protect him from pain…. But I go too far, I have not yet reached the door way… still feeling rather weighed down, I open the large wooden door …slipping silently through the silvery silken sheen of The Hanged Man.
Walking tentatively into what seems to be a misty landscape, I quickly realise that I can in fact see nothing, I am sightless in the usual way, but hold a different kind of vision. Swirling clouds of green and grey, shifting shapes and shadows pass through my mind, and the only sense apart from this that seems to be working is my hearing.
Far off voices, shouting, and screaming, echo around me like ghosts, as if I am standing on an ancient battlefield listening to the cries of soldiers and horses long since buried in a time that we have lost. The clashing of steel swords sounds very close all of a sudden, and I feel as if soldiers will suddenly appear out of the gloom… the lack of vision and the noise overwhelms me, and I feel very disorientated, very alone, and incredibly helpless…… I sink down into the hollow in the ground that I am standing in, and wonder what is to become of me.
As I sit there in the damp hollow, I slowly start to feel something moving beneath me, a scary creeping sensation of sliding, and that means something alive, is building underneath me…. And then I see them, with the calmness of vision, but also revulsion, for the moving things are beasts indeed….. Shining black snakes are emerging from somewhere in the shallow dip that I am huddled in, and they begin to cover me in their deceptively dry and scaly coils, slithering and slipping across my limbs, winding themselves around my body, until I start to relax, and then eventually become lulled into some kind of hypnotic trance. I sit motionless, as I watch the snakes cover more and more of my body, and eventually, just as they are beginning to reach my head, I fall into a dream filled sleep.
In my dream, within a dream…. I am hanging upside down, in suspended animation, sacrificial inversion, call it what you will, but I am hanging upside down. All the fluid in my body has drained down into my head, which becomes to all intents and purposes, an alembic for some alchemical process….. . The water of my emotions flows into my mind, so that the thoughts that are harboured there can be fed, and processed in order to become more in harmony with my emotional state. I am become a vessel, for an alchemical process, where the muck and dirt of an un-lived life, dissolves and mixes within the purity of water to form the Prima Materia that will rise to live in a new form….. I am the Solutio.
When I wake up, it is still dark, but the fighting seems to have stopped, there is no more clashing of swords in the air, in fact I can hear nothing. My sight seems to have returned too… for I can see that the mist has cleared, and I see in the middle distance, that there is a tree….. I walk quickly over to it, for the first subtle hints of light are showing in the sky. Carved into the rough skin of the tree is a picture, like an old alchemical text. It shows The Emperor, and the Hanged Man, with Lust between them… a triptych of mystery to meditate upon in the future. I look up into the distance and then know what the image means, for the Hanged Man needs Strength in order to return to the stage of The Emperor that he has lost…. and a new day will dawn as The Sun rises.
XII The Hanged Man
The Spirit of the Mighty Waters
The Elemental Trump of Water
Also Associated with Neptune