Sunday 20 September 2015

Creating A Gem Of A Tarot Card For The Autumn Equinox

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This blogpost was written as my contribution to the 2015 Tarot Blog Hop themed to celebrate the Autumn Equinox or Mabon which falls on 22 September, marking the start of the Autumn season.  Our bloghop wrangler, Maureen AislingDuffy-Boose had asked that we pick a card from the Tarot deck that we associated most with the Autumn Equinox and attempt to create our own depiction of that card.

Celebrating Autumn Equinox With The Hanged Man

The Tarot card that I associate the Autumn Equinox with, is the Hanged Man, which is a card that reflects the process of letting go, healing, surrender, taking on different perspectives, change, and taking time out for learning new skills and gathering of new knowledge to lay the foundation stones for renewal.

Autumn as a season is much like the Hanged Man.  It is a time of release and letting go when we see the leaves turning colour from green to brown, and finally dropping off the trees with absolutely no resistance. As Mabon marks the second harvest where people gather and store crops to prepare for the impending winter months, it is also a reflection of a time to gather knowledge and skills to prepare us for what is to come.


A Time Of Letting Go

The Hanged Man, and its association with Autumn is particularly meaningful for me at this time,  In more ways than one, this has been a period where I had been giving myself some time and space to manage the letting go of several aspects of my life:

·       This was a period of spiritual renewal where I was forced to confront limiting factors from my past, let go of my ego, and deal with my anger issues caused by my fear of lack of control. Before I struggled with my intuition from time to time, but with this spiritual renewal, my intuition developed further from a space of heart-centredness.

·       This was a period of learning, studying, finding myself and honing my intuitive skills.  As a consequence of that purification process of letting go, I started letting go of my total dependence on my usual metaphysical tools of tarot cards, numerology and astrology as I developed my claircognitive and clairaudience skills.

·       This was a period of dealing with my resistance to the changes in the dynamics of my relationship with my son. This again, has to do with my fear of lack of control. Our relationship went through a roller-coaster of emotions from anger, to disappointment, to sadness simply because it was difficult to deal with his growing up and his preparing to “leave the nest”. I wanted to hold on to every last vestige of him.  Only when I learnt to let go of this fear of lack of control, and allow him to thrive as an independent young man, watch him learn from his own mistakes and explore the world around him without me, that I found peace again with my son.

·       This was a period of changes at my workplace.  Organizational changes always brought about uncertainty, stress and fear.  However when I learnt to let go and change my perspectives that the new environment could be a good opportunity to further push the boundaries of creativity and strategic thought leadership, that I was able to better manage the change and be a better mentor and manager to my team.


Designing My Hanged Man Card With Crystal Energy

When I thought about creating my own Hanged Man card for the Autumn Equinox, I felt I was not going to do it justice by copying the usual image of the Hanged Man depicted in most Tarot decks, that is, a figure suspended upside down from a tree. That image etched in the minds of most Tarotists  has already done a wonderful job of teaching us so much because that card is chocked full of meaningful symbolisms. 

From the Morgan Greer Tarot deck by Lloyd Morgan and Bill Greer

I wanted instead to create a card image that had the symbolisms of the Hanged Man card, yet was a reflection of my current journey and the support that I had been given to walk that journey.  So I chose to design my Hanged Man card using a combination of crystal gemstones and photography.


Co-creating The Hanged Man Crystal Gemstone Bracelet With Jennifer Toka

I loved working with crystals, and the energy of crystal gemstones are what had been supporting me through this period of change, when I had to manage stress, anxiety, the reluctance to let go, my anger issues and my vulnerabilities. So I got my friend Jennifer Toka, a fellow intuitive and jewelry designer who owned to design a bracelet for me to reflect this period of change, letting go and renewal that I was going through.  I wanted her to pick the gemstones and design the piece using purely her intuition and my vision.  Part of the brief, was that because Jennifer was also a professional photographer, I wanted her to take a photograph with that jewelry as the subject but composed the image by using purely her intuition, in such a way that would allow the image to depict what the Hanged Man card was all about.  

Take note that Jennifer lives thousands of miles away from me.  She is in America and I am in Singapore.  Yet when we worked on this project together, it was almost like we were speaking to each other in our dreams, telepathically building a piece of jewelry together and linking that jewelry to my past, my present and my future. We co-created the image of the Hanged Man card together using her creativity, our intuitive skills, and our vision.

Designed and photographed by Jennifer Toka,

Metaphysical Properties Of The Gemstones Within The Hanged Man Bracelet

For the main imagery, the final outcome resulted in a bracelet made up of gemstones that were very much Autumnal in colours and had properties to support me in my process of renewal and letting go:

·       Gold Rutilated Quartz which cleanses, energizes and removes barriers to spiritual growth,

·       Cat’s Eye Quartz to transform negative thoughts, ground and enhance intuition,

·       Garnet for illuminating darkness, lessening anger, build courage,

·       Amber to balance emotions, clear the mind, ease stress and manage fear,

·       Carnelian to give courage to move forward onto a new path

·       Ruby to recharge energy and stimulate creativity

·       Amethyst for healing and calming emotions

·       Moonstone to support intuition and connection with higher self.

·       Smoky quartz for grounding, and removing negative energy

Stringing The Bracelet Together To Symbolize The Hanged Man

Aside from the metaphysical properties of the stones that aided me in my time of change, letting go and renewal, Jennifer was guided to string them all together in such a way where the focal gem of Gold Rutilated Quartz paired with the Garnet actually symbolized the Sun Goddess emerging from an eclipse.  Because Autumn equinox was about the balance of light and day, the Amber in its Autumnal colour was positioned to balance the strength of the Gold Quartz and the Garnet.  She put 4 dark cherry polished Amber stones on each side of the bracelet because the Hanged Man is usually depicted being hung upside down with his legs crossing to make the number 4, the number of building of foundations through  the gathering of knowledge and skills.  Because Autumn and the Hanged Man were symbols of changing perspectives and renewal, the bracelet started with dark coloured Amber at the top and then separated by the green pearl to symbolized change, followed by the brighter gemstones that symbolized renewal.

She then fastened a gold Chinese coin at the end of the bracelet. This coin honors my Chinese heritage, and as a coin, it not only had protective energy but much like the ancient days where coins were buried with the dead to aid them in their passageway across the other world, this Chinese coin symbolized my passageway from my old self, to a renewed self.

When Jennifer held the completed bracelet up, the piece resembled the original Hanged Man imagery where the focal gem of that Gold Rutilated Quartz  resembled the head of the Hanged Man, the Chinese coin resembled his torso, and the gems on each side of the focal point of the bracelet were his arms.

I loved this beautiful piece of jewelry so much that I had dreams of co-creating a piece of jewelry with Jennifer for the rest of the cards in the Tarot deck, and I would have called it the Healing Dragon Gems Tarot Deck!

After putting this bracelet together with the highly symbolic gemstones that reflected the essence of the Autumn Equinox and the Hanged Man card,  Jennifer then put her photography skills to work by composing an image of what we both thought would best depict the Hanged Man card in Tarot using that bracelet.


Behold Our Version Of The Hanged Man Card

Photo credit: Jennifer Toka and Strve Murphy
Concept direction:  Joanna Ash

Our version of the Hanged Man card depicts an image of a mother suspending her baby up in the air.  She wanted to play “airplane” with her by tilting her downwards with her arms outspread just like an airplane swooping down the sky.  Her baby clearly felt uncomfortable in that position and was poised to cry.  Just like the Hanged Man, the mother was hoping for her daughter to surrender in trust that Mummy will never allow her to be accidentally dropped from her hands.  In assurance, Mummy held her close, and that was a representation of the Divine help that we get when we faced challenges that required us to step back, recalibrate our thoughts and just Let Go, Let God.

Just as the Hanged Man card was about learning knowledge and garnering skills, Jennifer was teaching her daughter the skill of flexibility, building trust through play, having fun by letting go of fear.

Just as the Hanged Man card was about sacrifice, release and letting go, Jennifer’s relationship with her daughter was a manifestation of the same because of the sacrifices she had to make along the way as a Mother for the love of her daughter.  She would be spending these years, nurturing her daughter, knowing that it would be a relationship of a lot of good times as well as bad times but at the end of it, she would need to let her go as she walks into adulthood. 

Finally, on the mother’s wrist, is the Autumn Equinox bracelet which she had specially made with the gems that reflect the essence and color of Autumn. We also opted to name the card SURRENDER instead of calling it the Hanged Man. Surrender, most aptly defined the Autumn Equinox and everything that the season stood for, knowing that annually, the season brought with it the typical changes of mother nature which served to prepare us for the harsher months of Winter.

I hope you like the Hanged Man card created by Jennifer and I.  If I had the opportunity to develop a full Tarot deck of 78 cards using Jennifer’s intuitive jewelry designing skills and her photography, I definitely would.  Do check out Jennifer’s awesome work at and if you were to place an order for a piece of jewelry from her, do quote Sun Goddess to get your 15% discount.

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About The Writer:

The writer of this blog post is a marketeer by trade, and an intuitive reader by accident who deploys the combined modalities of a Tarot, Numerology and Astrology overlaid with her Clairvoyant and Clairsentient skills to deliver her readings with authenticity. She was awarded a Certified Professional Tarot Reader qualification from the Tarot Certification Board of America (TCBA) and is also a certified numerologist.  She is currently running a consultancy based in Singapore called Sun Goddess Tarot,  which provides confidential intuitive readings combining the metaphysical disciplines of Tarot, Numerology and Astrology via face to face and emails as well as readings at corporate and private events and workshops.  As a member of the American Tarot Association (ATA) and the Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI), Joanna governs her practice under the associations’ respective codes of ethics.  She is currently mentoring fellow intuitives on the path of developing their intuitive potential and teaches Tarot and Numerology as well.

 Instagram: @SunGoddessTarot


  1. Interesting process. I very much like the final card image.

    1. Thanks Joy. This particular blog hop really had my creative juices flowing. XxJo

  2. Wow, what a beautiful bracelet, and what an amazing path to get there, and make the bracelet and the card! I wish you the gentle strength to surrender, accept, and learn, as you continue to do, Joanna. And especially, with the baby on the card and your son turning adult, the ability to find your new balance with him. Cxx

    1. I have truly grown from this rocky journey. Thanks Chloe! XxJo

  3. So much thought has gone into this and what a great result :)

    1. Thank you Ania! I think when the topic surfaced, the universe conspired to pull my friend and I together to work on this:) I can't take the credit.

  4. From top to bottom, that was simply delightful. Well done! :)

    1. Thank you! Lol! Very Long post but I didn't know how else to detail the process:) xxJo

  5. This is a very beautiful representation of the Hanged Man, I love it. Motherhood is a wonderful symbol of the glorious benefits of sacrifice :)

  6. Absolutely! And of all the roles I's the hardest.

  7. Great call to use the Hanged Man in this context. Love the bracelet and the image!

    1. Thanks Christiana! Was a difficult topic for me at first because I thought I had to draw and all. But when I started thinking about what was happening with me at that just got so clear:) xxJo

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