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The Hanged Man

Major Arcana’s The Hanged Man Card

The Hanged Man is one of the important tarot cards belonging to the Major Arcana deck. This card is the twelfth card in the deck, just in between the Justice card and the Death card. When it comes to this card, this is important because this can be used in tarot card games, tarot card reading, and divination. Without this card, the Major Arcana deck – and even the whole tarot card deck – will be useless.

the hanged manThe illustration of The Hanged Man card is in accordance to its name. The card is depicted to have a man hanging from a wood beam, which can be a cross or a gallows, or a tree. But instead of the conventional position of suspension, the man is being hanged upside down. This makes an ambiguity in interpretation since the card can also be viewed inverted.

Another depiction is the one that is clearly illustrated in the Rider-Waite tarot deck. In this tarot deck, The Hanged Man is depicted the same way as most tarot cards – a man hanging upside down from a wood beam or a tree. However, the wood beam from which he is suspended from forms a Tau cross. In addition, the figure, outlined by the position of his legs, makes a fylfot cross.

The figure is also drawn to have a nimbus on his head, making the figure to look like a martyr. It was also noted in the book The Pictorial Key to Tarot that the tree on which the figure is suspended is a living tree. This fact is being proven by the leaves on the wood that were illustrated along. It is also noted that the person has a face of deep entrancement, instead of suffering which is the common expression of hanged people. This means that the figure is the epitome of life in suspension and not death.

The Hanged Man Symbolism

The card is also loosely connected as a symbolism to the Passion of the Christian religion, especially to The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Some of the symbolism even tread on the narratives of Osiris from the Egyptian mythology. Another one is the story of Mithras in Ancient Persian and Roman mythology.

The Hanged Man card is also associated with the story of Odin, who is the chief god of the Norse mythology. This rooted from the fact that Odin was hanged upside down from the sacrificial tree name Yggdrasil for nine days in order to attain wisdom. As a result of this feat, he was able to attain the runes of the Well of the Wyrd, which is where all sacred mystery and knowledge begins and ends.

The card is mostly interpreted revolving around sacrifices and letting go. It means one must be familiar with surrendering and passivity. It is also hinted that this card means suspension and even acceptance. This may mean renunciation and patience too. One may also be triggered to have a new point of view in life. He should immerse himself in contemplation for the meantime in order to attain inner harmony.

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