Harry Houdini’s Daughter

The Hanged Man. Conjunctions and conditions. Paradoxes. “The Hanged Man is about letting go of control – controlling ideas, behaviors, attitudes that affect not only ourselves, but also how it is we interact in exchanges with others. This card reminds us that we impose and therefore restrict by continuing to engage in the same cycles and patterns.” wildchild47 for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Tarot: The Hanged Man. 

Harry Houdini has been handcuffed to my mind lately. He is the quintessential “hanging man.” I conjured up a daughter for him. A spirit? A ghost? A dream? A wish? She exists/non-exists on various tactile levels.


Houdini’s daughter, Nighean, seemed a vanishing act. A disembodied conversationalist. Smells of morning ritual: strong dark coffee painted with swishes of rich whipping cream; lavender flowers arranged in upswept hair. Or fairy bell tinkle laughter mixed with a sweet ephemeral voice; the luxurious slip of silk against bare skin. To some, a luminous shadow; nibbling a piece of sweet roll; or waltzing to invisible symphony orchestras. A light kiss upon the cheek; a squeeze of the hand during thunderstorms.

Houdini’s daughter is who you need her to be. She can be power; she can be compassion. She can be a lover or a listener. Nighean as playmate or play maker.

Some times I need the familiar cycles and patterns – seemingly to ground me. Other times, I recognize the dangers those same intricately embroidered petit point pieces represent.


What the eyes see and the ears hear, the mind believes. Harry Houdini


One thought on “Harry Houdini’s Daughter

  1. wildchild47 says:

    Thanks for sharing your response to the writing prompt adh :)

    I like how you have interpreted and fashioned this creation – this ghost person into life. And the possibilities she may offer or afford, depending on needs? This is an interesting concept, from a psychological point of view. (But I won’t even venture that avenue as it would take at least 3 hours and end up being an entirely different conversation, fascinating, yes, but not right now.) And the images you have chosen to portray her – are apt, stunning, elegant, yet innocent too.

    Your exploration of the some of the elements of this particular Tarot card are indeed interesting. The idea of being “hung up” and routines, patterns, cycles – they, can and do serve useful purposes, structures, when they are healthy. But when they become stumbling blocks, reinforced and “safe zones” – and even as they morph into “danger zones” – well …. as you know, then, the “power of the illusion” becomes more destructive and painful than whatever the deeply rooted and seeded truths are. Unfortunately, too often, we believe we have not the strength, faith, or courage to face and accept these truths, not recognizing, in the moment, and even later, when in a better state/frame of mind, that if we can continue to live in the destructive cycles, and often we live wholly and completely engaged, then we do have the strength to face our truths. Thus the paradox.

    But I’m not saying anything that you don’t already know, understand and personally are working through yourself. And I wish it could be an easier, less frightening and difficult path. But you aren’t alone.

    And finally, as I’ve already said, your exploration of this prompt is really interesting, “exciting” in that you have extrapolated some very key ideas and have related them in a wholly unique way.


the time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things . . .

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