Card by Card – The Hanged Man

Radiant Rider-Waite The Hanged Man


If you missed last weeks card by card post on the Nine of Cups, you can read about it here.

Just like last week, I’ll be taking a look at several variations from different decks and gathering that particular Author and/or Artists thoughts and perspectives.

The Hanged Man is the randomly drawn COTW-card of the week.   What does it mean when you receive this card in a one card daily drawing or it turns up in a spread?

The first Hanged Man we’ll be looking at is from the Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. 2003.

Here is a man turned upside down, inverted, in a position contrary to that in which we find most people.  Tradition says, by the way, that St. Peter was crucified in this position, and the tradition may have more than a hint for us, when combined with the idea that Peter was crucified in this position, and the tradition may have more than a hint for us, when combined with the idea that Peter is the “rock of foundation.”  The mental attitude suggested by the Hanged Man, then, is “Not my will, but thine.”  This is ever the position of the adept, as, indeed it is the position of every person who works in any field of applied science. 

~The Tarot, A key to the Wisdom of the Ages by Paul Foster Case – Jeremy P. Tarcher, Penguin 2006

“The gallows from which he is suspended forms a cross, while the figure=from the position of the legs-forms a cross.  There is a nimbus about the head of the seeming martyr.  It should be noted that the tree of sacrifice is lining wood, with leaved thereon; that the face expresses deep entrancement, not suffering; that the figure, as a while, suggests life in suspension, but life and not death.”  ~Arthur Edward Waite

Our first example is from the Secret Language of Birds Tarot by Adele Nozedar and Linda Sutton (Schiffer Publishing 2011) & the Pirate Tarot by Carrie and Lucas Amodio (Schiffer Publishing 2008)

The Hanged Man - Secret Language of Birds & Pirate Tarot

Secret Language of Birds Tarot:  Suspense, change, sacrifice, waiting, regeneration, rebirth, wisdom, prophecy.  The Hanging Man cards tells of a profound process of initiation, an accelerated learning that is brought about by seemingly adverse circumstances.  It’s essential to strip away the ego, to go back to rock bottom, and to trust in the process, no matter how difficult is might seem to be at the time.

Pirate Tarot:  Sacrifice, Understanding, Detachment

The next pair are from the Dark Grimoire Tarot by Michele Penco (Lo Scarabeo 2008) and the Universal Tarot by Massimiliano Filadoro and Roberto DeAngelis (Lo Scarabeo 2005)

The Hanged Man - Dark Grimoire Tarot & the Universal Tarot

Dark Grimoire Tarot:  The terror triggered by reading the grimoire gives rise to the deepest desperation in those who know that “the window in the room under the eaves is a gateway to other dimensions, to times and spaces not of our world…”

Universal Tarot:  The Hanged Man embodies the courage needed to completely abandon oneself to the will of the Higher Self, renouncing all disguises.  The Hanged Man shows us that we are trapped in a situation, unable to go forward or backwards.  Mysticism. Ability to sacrifice oneself.  Overcoming Ego.  Wisdom -Spiritual force.  Adjusting to problems.  Altruism.

The last pair are from the ShadowFox Tarot by Richard & Jennifer ShadowFox (Schiffer Publishing 2010) & The Incidental Tarot by Holly DeFount (Self-Published 2011)

The Hanged Man - ShadowFox Tarot & The Incidental Tarot

ShadowFox Tarot:  Choices, cleaning out the emotional closet, commitment to a cause, complete turnaround, devotion, dilemma, enlightenment, foresight, freedom from limitations, humility, empasse, initiation, inspiration, isolation, letting go, limbo, rebirth, turning point, withstanding temptations.

The Incidental Tarot:  Eclipse is a very special card in the Incidental Tarot. In place of the Hanged Man, Eclipse represents the magical space of the threshold, the veil, the mist between the worlds. It lies squarely in the middle of the Major Arcana, quietly pointing inward and marking the gateway to wisdom. As many myths and legends tell, there is a moment of great sacrifice and surrender that many a hero must undergo before he gains the strength and wisdom to fulfill his purpose.

The Hanged Man is Card 12 in the Tarot Dynamics system is is about Karmic/Tranquility.  “The More objectively you view yourself and matters, the more you stand to gain.  With Card 12, your sense of composure and objectivity are about to be tested.  As long as you understand that you can’t have matters both ways, The Hanged Man will enable you to make realistic decisions and retain the focus you need to prioritize and achieve your goals.   At your best, you can view your best and worst experiences, as friends who enable you to continually bring out the best in yourself and matters.”  ~Anna Burroughs Cook, Tarot Dynamics Unleashed – 2011

Reversed (Rx) or ill-dignified:    Ready for action but with nowhere to go, nothing to do.  Too good to be true.  Ulterior motives.  Arrogant.  “Holier than thou.”  Useless or unmade sacrifice.  False promises.  Apathetic. Released from detention. Unstuck. Relieved of duty.  Spiritual turning point.    ~Tarot for Yourself by Mary K. Greer

Please join me over the next week as I’ll be looking at the Hanged Man more in depth and combined with a new COTD each day.  Stop over to the New Paths Tarot -Facebook page and get in the discussion!

I hope this has shed some new light on the Hanged Man!

Until next time, Happy Tarot’ing and May Your Journey be an Enchanted one.



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