Tuesday 4th February 2020: (12) Hanged Man

Mars is deep within Ophiuchus today, the constellation of healing and redemption, so it is most fitting that we encounter the (12) Hanged Man on the day dedicated to Mars. What does it mean to experience the redemption of Mars in Ophiuchus through the self surrender of the (12) Hanged Man? What is it that the (12) Hanged Man is surrendering to, or accepting today if it is not all the thinly concealed boiling of Martian wrath and passion?

Mars has his vicious streak, the self-assertion, the outbreaks of violence and malice which we seek to conceal beneath a veneer, or a hard shell if possible, of respectability and civility in our daily lives. But deep down, it is there, that shadow self which, when brought to mind gives us cause for shame. As Mars breaks into our consciousness we recall, as T. S. Eliot put it,

… the rending pain of re-enactment
Of all that you have done, and been; the shame
Of motives late revealed, and the awareness
Of things ill done and done to others’ harm
Which once you took for exercise of virtue.

T. S. Eliot, Little Gidding

For be in no doubt, although Ophiuchus is a healing and a redemptive constellation that assists us in throwing off the carapace of the past so that we may expand our wings in Sagittarius, several of the major stars that comprise the constellation are themselves full of ill-omened mythologies.

What the (12) Hanged Man does – with a kind of dynamic passivity – is to accept the shadow side, which in today’s context has much more to do with Martian viciousness, and to acknowledge, accept, love and integrate it into his consciousness as part of what it is to be a whole human, but now channelled into a more expansive and positive direction: the chrysalis breaks open and the butterfly flies away; scorpion gives way to Sagittarius through the metamorphosis of healing Ophiuchus. The (12) Hanged Man teaches us to accept and harness the energy of Mars so that we may fly from the chrysalis whole and free.

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