Textual Arachne

A weaver of threads.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

From hiatus: Justice, Hanged Man, Death

While on vacation, I worked my way through those three. They are at the center of the 22 cards of the Major Arcana, and yet they're some of the hardest for me to parse. The Hanged Man especially; even more because Haindl's version isn't suffering or ascetic but embracing and bright (possibly the brightest card--colorwheelwise--in the Majors).

What I did come up with was a small progression. Justice is the weighing of two alternatives, neither of which is obviously better or worse than the other. The Hanged Man is the process of embracing one of those paths or choices, including the initial sacrifices (typo: "scarifices") and shifts of perspective. Death, though, is the cataclysmic shift that comes from choosing that path. You might anticipate it, but it is more than you reckoned with. The choice of an action, preparation for the action, and action--action that leaves you forever changed. Like a marriage, or lovemaking, or moving: even if you regret it or annul it, you will forever be marked by it-- an ex-spouse or an old lover or a former inhabitant.

Death comes so early in the Majors, for those of us who perceive it as the end of all. Perhaps I am wrong.


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