At the end of each year, I like to calculate my tarot card for the following year, to give me some clues as to what I should be focusing my energies on. The idea is that there’s one card in the major arcana that will be the underlying theme of that year, and also serves to teach you lessons that are sorely needed at that particular time in your life. The major arcana numbered 0-22 represent “The Fool’s Journey”, in other words every person’s path of self discovery from naivety to fulfillment and integration.
My card for 2013 is #12, the Hanged Man. Which sounds pretty terrifying, but in actuality is very hopeful. The Hanged Man is a card of paradoxes. He tells us that we control by letting go, we win by surrendering. By suspending time, we have all the time in the world. It represents the point in the fool’s journey when he realizes if he stops struggling to control everything, things work themselves out effortlessly. He learns that surrendering to your experiences can bring you joy.
I have this problem, and maybe some of you do too, where I try to force my life to go in a certain direction, stuffing and cramming it into a box it doesn’t fit into. We’re told that if we try hard enough, we can make anything happen. That inaction is lazy and will lead to lethargy and despair. So we kick and scream and try to swim against the current in order to fulfill some dream we think will keep us content for the rest of our lives. I have a sneaking suspicion that achieving a big goal would only give me a brief feeling of accomplishment, before I felt the need to come up with an even more unattainable goal.
When I looked at the card, a man suspended upside down from a cross made out of a living tree, I immediately thought of Hattie Wiener, the 76 year old spitfire featured on TLC’s super classy special Extreme Cougar Wives. She attributes her youthfulness in part to an exercise machine which suspends her upside down and allows her to do crazy splits that most women a third of her age are unable to do. Hattie does not give a shit what you think. Her persona is simultaneously vulnerable, open, oversexed and tough as nails. She doesn’t subscribe to the notion that you have to act a certain way based on your age. She seems to have all the time in the world (and chooses to spend that time lusting over very hairy 25 year olds, poolside).
So this year I will try to take on the attitude of Hattie and the Hanged Man. I’ll stop fighting at every turn, and see if something even more interesting than I could have imagined comes floating my way. I’ll surrender, even though every bone in my body wants to fight. I’ll live outside of that stifling urgency that tells me if I don’t figure everything out RIGHT NOW, it will be too late and I’ll never accomplish anything. I’ll enjoy the five minutes that are happening right now rather than constantly be focusing on the upcoming days, months, years. And maybe I’ll get one of those upside down machines, to literally see everything from a new perspective. Also so I can be that goddamn sexy when approaching 80 years old.