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Symbols - What does heaven look like

Hanged Man, the

The twelfth enigma in the Tarot pack and which takes on all the symbolism of Suspension.

The Hanged man in the Tarot, however, is also inverted a symbol according to Cirlot of purification because it inverts the terrestrial order.

The Tarot card depicts a figure hanging by one foot from a rope tied to a cross bar generally supported by two leafless trees.  The interpretation is that the Hanged Man does not live the ordinary life of this earth, but instead, lives in 'a dream of mystical idealism'.

Cirlot says “The strange gallows from which he hangs is yellow in colour to indicate it consists of concentrated light  - that is concentrated thought.  This it is said that the Hanged Man hangs from his own doctrine, to which he is attached to such an extent that his entire being hangs upon it.  The two trees between which he hangs are related – like anything that is connected with the numerical symbolism 2 – to the Boaz and Jachin pillars of the Cabala.  They are coloured green tending to blue – natural or terrestrial nature tending towards heaven”.

In other words the two trees are actually the Twin Pillars.  And light is Light.

The Hanged Man's clothing is often red and white, these being the mystical colours of the two headed eagle of the alchemists.  His arms are often tied together, and hold half opened bags out of which gold coins are tumbling, this being an allegory of the spiritual treasures to be found in the person who performs this self sacrifice as they fall to earth.

In the positive sense, number twelve of the Tarot pack stands for mysticism, sacrifice, self denial, continence.

Aleister Crowley’s Tarot ‘Hanged man’  [left]combines the symbols of the ankh and the web and is a less conventional portrayal.  In contrast the Rider Waite tarot [right] is more conventional.  Notice that the man has a  halo.

 From the Hanged Man Tarot card a number of other images have been derived, for example

Observations

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