Odin and the Hanged Man: Time to Face the Fear

Artwork by Jason Haddix

My path as a feminine force on this planet is resolute. I like men, I embrace my curves, I smell pretty and I dig feeling like a goddess. On the gender scale, I’m a high femme with no shades of gray. So then, how’s a true lady supposed to balance out her own masculine sense of self?

I turn to my spiritual practices to study with the masculine divine, hoping to master the certainty he offers within.










The first time I worked with Odin, he appeared in a shamanic journey—ornery, irreverent, one-eyed, and a bit sultry. As my training dictates, we don’t simply accept whomever appears. Rather, we ask for their highest possible version to teach us in that moment. I asked Odin whether he was the most suited. “Of course!” he bellowed, pulling out a chair and offering me mead.

In that instant, he gave me a valuable lesson: don’t ever take anything in these spirit realms at face value. If I’m here for sincere study, mead is probably not what I need. I looked at him with incredulity and asked him where my Odin was.

True to his trickster nature, he gruffly replied, “The one you want is downstairs,” nodding to a stone staircase. In a secret lair, I met a truer Odin, who taught me much that day.

My relationship with him has morphed over the years, feeling adored at times and others, in awe. Last summer, we flirted over rainbows and thunderstorms, he sending me booming claps of thunder at my command. I always seek to understand, embrace and heal from the lessons he’s offered me, knowing his masculine wisdom to be a beneficial perspective on my own feminine filters.

Odin appeared again recently, majestic and clear. He rolled in with a mission to offer a healing and insight which would alter my world, propelling my soul growth and further igniting my path.












In a ritual space, Odin showed me himself hanging on the tree of Yggdrasil, battered and weary, his life force fading.

Hanging there, he reminded me that I too could prostrate myself in this way, surrendering to the wholeness of the void and testing the absolute limits of my own faith.

For in those moments of complete hopelessness, God or Goddess always appears to remind you of your true nature, your radiant light which shatters the veils of separation and illusion of the human condition.



Odin not only gave me the lesson, he also gave me an antidote, showing me all the leaks in my energy field, the wounds in my heart, the cracks between my passion, faith and purpose, of which I was unaware.

Odin sacrificed himself to gain shamanic knowledge of the unseen realms. And in perfect fashion, he showed me the spaces which I needed to sacrifice in myself in order to gain greater footing on my path.




This was the Tarot card Odin gifted me that night. With each card in the major arcana acting as an archetype for our own wellness, perfection and wholeness, the Hanged Man offers mastery—if we can embrace his teachings.

The card shows a man hanging upside down, suspended on a tree. This tree can be seen as the cross of Jesus, or as Yggdrasil, or Kabbalah’s tree of life.

In hanging upside down, the Hanged Man has a halo encircling his head, reminding us we must dive into the depths in order to gain enlightenment. This wisdom is so much bigger than knowledge. It’s an absolute untaintable knowingness of the bounty of the world.

Fear of death is the least of my fears. Instead, my fear of this material reality plagues me—security, family, spiritual crises—these are the demons in my own thoughts that I must face.



Since that snowy moon, I’ve pulled the Hanged Man often, each time reminded of the places within myself where I still hide. The spaces that I hope are healed, but may not yet be.

The metaphor of the archetype is clear: we must go into these places which are uncomfortable, which we don’t know, to resurrect the truest depth of our soul.

It’s through Shadow Work that I find my strongest, clearest path to resolving these hidden pieces within. For it’s the only true work on this path to liberation from the illusions of reality.

All potential—all clarity to your highest destiny—is blocked until you do this work, for the expanse of the universe is bigger than anything you can imagine. If you can’t overcome the voices in your own head, you can’t be in absolute faith to meet your fate.












As I sat in ceremony with Odin that evening, I could feel my own fright. But with the blessing of the plant spirits, it merely tickled, with no cognizant connection to fear. My perceptions of what I feared seemed distant, as a mere fluttering sensation in my belly.

I recognize our perception in this universe is just that—limited, fragmented, only partially seen. I know in my heart of hearts that this universe is loving and good and kind; that all matter of blessing will come to me. And yet, I still have fear and I still have doubt.

I wonder, is this simply a human condition? Or is this doubt conquerable, healable, so that I may release it? Am I truly fearless? Do I know how much this universe loves me? Am I able to surpass every limitation and deception of my thoughts?

Odin encourages me to do so. And each time I pull him, that blasted Hanged Man challenges me to go even deeper.











While listening to Matt Kahn one evening, my Guides came in loudly and clearly, telling me that the grandest dreams I dream for myself—the most glorified version of reality I can imagine—is a fraction of what they have in store for me. Something so blessed, it’s impossible to envision the path laid out for me. I began to weep.

Odin is my reminder of this. The Hanged Man, with each appearance, is my reminder of this. I seek to embrace the masculine resilience within to remember my own.

“Don’t give up—you are so very close,” he whispers through breathless lips. And I appear again at the tree to drink my cup and face myself.


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