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”.
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
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- Arifi of Herat - The Ball and the Polo Stick - In his locks he had a thousand hidden curls
- Braveheart - Parallel bars
- Burst appendix
- Caravaggio - Crucifixion of Saint Peter
- Chagall - green man
- Cohen, Leonard - The Future
- Crowley - 12 The Hanged Man
- Freddie Mercury - Made in Heaven
- George Harrison - While my guitar gently weeps
- Harivamsha Purana - Krishna upholding the Govardhan mountain
- Hawkes, Jacquetta - Symbols and Speculations - Soliloquy
- Kabir - Between the conscious and the unconscious
- Mallarme, Stephane - The Window
- Naglowska, Maria de - The Light of Sex - Creation and destruction
- Nietzsche - Thus spake Zarathustra - Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman
- Nizami – Makhzanol Asrar (The Treasury of Mysteries) – from Discourse on the excellence of song
- Nizami – Makhzanol Asrar (The Treasury of Mysteries) – from In praise of King Fakhrod-Din
- Nizami – Makhzanol Asrar (The Treasury of Mysteries) – from Poets and Poetry 01
- Nuremberg Chronicle - Inverted crucifixion
- Poetic Edda - Sayings of the High One [Odin's sacrifice]
- Rider-Waite - 12 The Hanged Man
- Rops, Félicien - La répétition
- Samuel - The Water Drawing Ceremony
- See Saw Marjory Daw
- Shabistari, Mahmud - The Gulshan-i raz - Actions give rise to endless multiplicity
- The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead
- The Lotus Sutra - 13 Peaceful practises - 2 Reality
- Through the Looking Glass - Ch 08 - 5 Head downwards
- Waterhouse, John William - Saint Eulalia