The Hanged-Man On A Rooftop

As I explained, Strength is the dominant arcane of our time. Even though many young people are turning their backs on her, she remains the rule of conduct in most countries. Yet when we have amassed enough material goods, we have a sudden shock, we tip over head, and nothing resembles anything. Welcome to this new world, welcome to Hanged-Man.

The road traveled is already long: the Magician followed by the four educators, then comes the Lover, the Chariot, Justice, the Hermit, the Wheel of Fortune, then Strength which consecrates the completion of the terrestrial chivalry. The material cycle ends with it, while the next arcana, the Hangman, signs the entrance into celestial chivalry. The way of life is still long, but now I am not of the world, even if I am still in the world. Over the next arcana, I will grow up to find my true stature, become who I am.

Celestial chivalry

It’s a great adventure that starts with the Hangman. The rest of my life is a journey in terra incognita. An unknown land that is not a land, since it is not of the world. An unknown land that is not unknown, since we celebrate the reunion with ourselves. With our deep nature. Which is not natural, since it is supernatural. Yes, that’s it. I am preparing to discover the human supernatural. Another name for Flornoy‘s: celestial chivalry.

The supernatural is not at the end of the world. It’s right around the corner. At the corner of my roof, rather. I discover the Hangman almost by chance, and in disorder. I did not really start the Force or make the Wheel of Fortune. But I still get a taste of Hangman on the roofs of Paris, my dear hometown. With my friend Gilles, we are 16 years old, and get the same dislike for the courses of maths and physics-chemistry. So we escape the college. We enjoy the recreation to play the girls in the air. Behind a big plane tree, there are rungs in a wall of moëllons. Child’s play ! Every weekend we go rock climbing to Bleau – nickname that climbers give to the forest of Fontainebleau and its fabulous rocks. Here the climbing is too easy: Gilles has only to make me the short-scale and en route to the sky.

This wall is only delicate point of the course. In winter, when the bald branches of the plane tree no longer hide us, the whole playground can see us. Fortunately for our buttocks, no student or supervisor has ever looked up. And yet it is at the top that it happens. At the top of the wall, the rungs lead to a tin roof. According to Parisian fashion, these characteristic roofs are almost flat at the top, and steeply sloping on the edges, to house the garrets. So many royal avenues that open right and left under our feet of intrepid explorers between heaven and earth!

We walked a whole block, discovering with pleasure that all the roofs communicate by ladders or passages suspended. To go down again, we have only to raise a skylight and let us fall in the corridor of last floor, that of the good rooms then occupied by students who do not disdain to give us a hand. Some are tempted by our crazy escaped, and more than once we found a half dozen to trudge on the zinc sheet. Fifty years later, it becomes the fashionable excursion.

Once you are surprised by the concierge landing in the hallway with a skylight. “Who are you ?” he asks us. I remembered a quote from Maurice Tillieux: “If you’ve never seen Santa Claus in civilian clothes, it’s done, old man.” This guy has neither culture nor humor. He chases us down the stairs to the street. “Bloody assholes! Do not step into my building anymore!” he shouts. Shame on him! Normally he should have answered, “Well, you know, I like to know who’s coming up and down the stairs!

Another time, I slip on the wet zinc and find myself two meters lower … in a hammock! Luckily, at the foot of the zinc roof he had a flowered terrace with his providential hammock. Life, death, it was played at almost nothing. My time had not come … This is how we discover the terraces and other wonders of altitude. From this day, we take our picnic, including wine, and we settle on the terraces and penthouses to enjoy the crust contemplating the most beautiful landscapes of Paris. We change sector, we begin to explore the wealthy buildings in front of the Seine or on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne. The super class. Bourge from bourge’s house.

Slumped all my life in a wicker rocking chair filled with soft cushions, I go backwards in the infinite azure. I am literally hanging by my feet. Everything has rocked. For a moment, I leave planet earth. Here I am cosmonaut of the future. Like the Arabic of the same name, I defend the unknown with equal ease. I do not recognize anything, but I like everything right away. No more school worries, partials, math-physics, guidance counseling, finished adult futures, career prospects, metro-job-dodo, all this human comedy in which I never believed. Finished the flesh, finished the material, I am a free electron in search of cosmic orgasm.

At this moment the sky opens. I see the afterlife. I hear the music of the spheres. My soul opens its wings while opening my arms. Awakened from birth, at least in childhood, I often had marked pre-tastes of what was waiting for me in this life. But this is the top. I rejoice, I enjoy, I exult. Everything is suddenly so clear! There is no land, no matter, no human life, no incarnated soul. Only is the eternal soul that reigns forever. Everything else is pantomime. Goldfish turning in circles in too small a jar.

A few decades later, when I touched the Hanged-Man for good, I find this feeling of wonderful lightness, when all the real becomes unreal. I already know. I find myself on the roofs and I do not like it anymore. Nature attracts me more and more. So begin my wandering out of the big city. Everything that has made me must be unraveled when I pass on the other side. Mesh by mesh, link by link, chains fall. My wings are opening. I take off in a new world, finally, that looks like me.

The real Hanged-Man starts for me in 1983, with the terrible accident that occurred to my five-year-old son who stayed eight weeks between life and death. As you can imagine, this event shocked me, shot me down, and I reacted by understanding the real values. My work, my career, the attachment to material success, all evaporated with a magic wand. As I do not have the regularity of metronome that characterized my benefactor‘s life, I lived the major mysteries in the greatest disorder, with jumps forward, backtracking and steps of side. I had felt Strength before taking a puff of Hanged Man on the Paris roofs, I will have a new outbreak of Strength later, after living this very Hanged-Man.

Years of Arcane XIII practicing plus different helping relations I gave, showed me that my case is not rare. On the way of initiatory tarot, many courses are as rough as mine, if not more. The important thing, in my opinion, is not the meticulous order that Flornoy has respected, but the fact of doing all the arcana, even if it means to come back later to a jumped or incomplete arcane. That’s what I did.


If Christianity had been stopped in its growth by some deadly disease, the world would be mithrasic.
Ernest Renan