Many people seem mystified by my love for the tarot. I get questions like, ‘When did you start?’ and ‘How do you know this?’ Occasionally I get strange looks. And I get it! I do. I come from a long line of Christians AND skeptics alike and I am a skeptic of note. There are also those who join me for the ride.

Also – and no – I am not a faddist – the tarot is not a fad for me. It is true love, this thing. It’s endured decades of close connection, of daily collaboration.

But I digress. Let me get to back to the Hanged Man.

2023 has offered me a bag of mixed blessings. On the upside, I got to work with an amazing organization, the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Group. I enjoyed immensely learning more about how they do what they do. And one of the key things they do is produce a monthly Household Affordability Index based on working class Black women’s experiences of pricing on basic household goods, using data gathered by women themselves. And they do this in a thorough and systematic way. And they’ve produced this basket consistently for the past four years, monthly, without fail, not faltering a single time, despite a lack of or inadequate funding. I have deep respect for them.

Another upside is the special “things” in my life, firstly the beings – my son, my brothers, my father, my lil sister Preshi-Presh, my ex-husband, comrade and friend, and my two doggies in particular. Then there’s my beautiful and ‘in need of TLC’ home and the area I live in that affords me the space to go for walks regularly and safely and with beauty all around me. I am so blessed really.

Then I launched my beloved book, Gentle Like Water: a path for the selful soul on Women’s Day.

But this year has been tough in some ways, especially financially. Work has been slow and slack and a hard slog of putting in proposals and having them turned down over and over. And that’s not a complaint – no one said those jobs were mine in the first place. We are all in this thing together.

Which brings me back to The Hanged Man in the tarot. (Did I just RE-digress?) The Hanged Man depicts a person hanging upside down, suspended from a tree branch or variances on that theme, being held by one or both feet, with their hands tied too. This may sound onerous, scary even, but the Hanged Man is shown with a calm face, just chilling there in their bound state. Around their head is a light.

One of this card’s messages is to let go and allow and it shows up to tell us that despite all evidence to the contrary, everything is all right and will be alright. This is not always easy – to accept, when times are tough, that a rejection is not a slap but a life lesson. That things not going smoothly is not to victimize you but perhaps to help you see the victor that you are.

And I kept getting the Hanged Man. I would draw it in my readings (the readings I do on YouTube) both for my sign, Capricorn, and for my pick-a-card readings. And I know I am not the most popular tarot reader out there. Scratch that, I probably have the least number of followers and slowest building following, but I’m okay with that. I do what I do the way I do it and that’s about being true to my values. I try, I really do try, to focus my readings on the advice rather than the outcome. I also read with uncertainty and I believe that’s a good thing. Not popular necessarily, but a good thing nevertheless – the spiritual is political.

And back again to the Hanged Man – the message got through. And so I would walk my walk/runs and come back sweaty and puffing and lie on my bed like the Hanged Man, and imagine myself being the Hanged Man. And I did this over and over, between my raging and questioning (and feeling sorry for myself). And then the breakthroughs began. I started seeing absolutely clearly what needed to be done; what my next steps should be. And I followed those impulses and did what I could within my limitations. Those things I cannot do right now, I started to write up in plans. And it created a big shift in me.

And that is what the Hanged Man is about. That light around their head symbolizes gaining enlightenment or, in more practical day-to-day terms, a breakthrough or an aha moment. And that breakthrough can only come when we accept the fact that we are immobile right now, that we cannot move. When we accept our stuck state. (It is also a reminder to look at things from a different perspective).

And that’s just one of the reasons I love the tarot. Not for its divination powers but for the meaning WE can make of it and can reinterpret into making life a little smoother and less worrisome in the moment; and for its ‘power’ to help us meet a challenge head on and transform it into a deep and meaningful learning.

If you’re interested in how I do what I do, you can find me on all social media platforms @selfulsoul and you can also take time to browse through my website. I also do other interesting things like evaluations and assessments as well as writing support and writing for organisations. You can find more about that here: