There are a lot of 2’s in this week’s reading.
From the II of The High Priestess and the Two of Wands, to the 2 in The Hanged Man and his two legs suspended in mid-air (making the shape of a “4,” interestingly), the rope tied to his ankle separating the II from the X. Twos. And what of that circle overlaying his foot, as if highlighting his heel? Curiouser and curiouser.
All the 2’s. Twos everywhere. Too many twos? Is there something that’s two much?
Put it this way: we have a lot of water in the first two cards of this reading – indirectly in the first card, and directly in the second. It might currently feel like too much water. Let’s see why.
The High Priestess corresponds to the Moon – and in the card the Moon is taking centre stage along with the head of the Priestess herself. They are, at their essence, one and the same:
The Priestess is lunar. As the bringer of veiled knowledge, she reflects those hidden aspects of consciousness to us in the same way that the Moon reflects the light of a concealed Sun. And the Moon draws the tides, while we – as emotional creatures swayed by what shifts in our oceanic depths – are drawn along with it, subject to its psychic, emotional, and physical ebb and flow.
The Hanged Man corresponds to Neptune, Roman god of the sea. For good reason: The Hanged Man describes a state where you and your life are metaphorically suspended and up-ended so that you have the time and opportunity to take a dip into the dream-like realm of the unconscious.
Like The High Priestess, The Hanged Man depicts a reflection of what has remained hidden until now.
The difference is that, with The High Priestess, you are the one doing the reflecting: there is the availability of hidden information that you can divine for yourself, or have divined for you. With The Hanged Man, however, you pretty much don’t have a choice about the matter. You’re getting dunked into the unconscious one way or another. In The Hanged Man, you are a stranger hanging out (to dry?) in a strange land, while The High Priestess is very much in her element.
Which brings me back to the phrase, “curiouser and curiouser.”
It may be that in some way you are used to a bit of reflection, or receiving information from the unconscious in one form or another. Maybe you follow your intuition. Maybe you dream. Perhaps you day-dream, or you surrender to creative forces – whether those forces take the form of a particular art, or you simply feel aware of a thinning of the veil and the sense that there is more to life than the one you experience on the surface, in the day-to-day.
However, when The High Priestess and The Hanged Man come together like this, then the lines between what is conscious and unconscious get a little more blurred. You may feel there are forces at play that go beyond your usual tête-à-têtes with the unseen and with your intuition. Instead of being at a distance, this watery world may feel immersive.
Instead of looking into a magic mirror, it could feel like you’re stepping through it.
What you need to find are your sea legs. Both of them. You’ll need them if you’re going to navigate this new sensation of being in two worlds at once.
Good thing you have The High Priestess as an archetype, then. She may not be of that immersive Neptunian world of The Hanged Man, but she knows how to be in it.
Because she speaks its language.
The High Priestess is fluent in the language of intuition, which is the language of metaphor, dream, poetry, sensation. It is non-verbal. It is felt rather than thought; it is sensed rather than seen. Her eyes are closed. She looks within. She finds that reflection. She trusts her connection to it. Because she is the connection.
She doesn’t speak of wishes, or desires. She doesn’t get swayed by opinion or censure – her own or others’. Her attachment to what she is hearing is lunar-cool; it is passive. Judgements, and agendas constellated through thoughts or strong emotions, are not in her vocabulary. She sees; she speaks what she sees, remaining as true as she can to the spirit of what she intuits.
When you learn the language of intuition, and learn to separate it from emotion and memory, then The Hanged Man can be a place of revelation, where you can heal (heel?) from what it is that caused you to need to be strung up in the first place.
Paradoxically, this art of subtlety in feeling out the waters of the unconscious brings you to the third card, and the experience of the kind of active, focused, and fiery agency that can only mean that you’ve landed in the realm of the Wands.
By adjusting your vision to your new environment – one where those lines between what is literal and what is metaphorical, what feels real and unreal, are permeable – you find a new way of seeing and being in your life.
What once seemed strange and perhaps uncomfortable becomes navigable. You simply had to change your perspective and learn its language.
When you do this, things become clearer. There may be a sense of renewed purpose, and a capacity to take charge. Reflection leads to action.
You may even feel like you were made for this. Which isn’t strictly true.
You weren’t made for this. You become the one who is making it.
Astrology Correspondences: The High Priestess (Moon), The Hanged Man (Neptune), Two of Wands (Mars in Aries)