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Hanging Man and Odin

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 07 Aug 2001, and now archived in the Forum Library.



JC  07 Aug 2001 
I did not get a chance to read any posts to my question before Solandia moved, so if you would not find it *too* boring to answer me again . . . ?

I understand alot of people equate the Hanged Man - someone suspended between two worlds - with Odin, who hung on Yggdrasil, in-between all worlds, to receive the runes. I was wondering if this was the only correlation?
I thought the Hanged Man was also tied to an attachment to material desires. Is there anything about Odin's ordeal which would reflect that? 


Kiama  08 Aug 2001 
Yes, there are many correlations between Odin's hanging and teh Hanged Man. Here is what Odin says about his quest for the Runes, in the Havamal:

"I trow I hung on that windy Tree
nine whole days and nights,
stabbed with a spear, offered to Odin,
myself to mine own self given,
high on that Tree of which none hath heard
from what roots it rises to heaven.

None refreshed me ever with food or drink,
I peered right down in the deep;
crying aloud I lifted the Runes
then back I fell from thence."

The 'none refreshed me with food or drink' part seems indicative of his trying to detach himself from the material side of his psyche, in order to achieve a higher state of consciousness, which is shown by his final achievement of the Runes.

There is also a correlation between the Hanged man and an angel from the Apocrypha called Shemyaza, who decended from the spiritual (Heaven) to the material (Earth), and fell in love with women, showed them how to make themselves look pretty (Makeup), and for his troubes he was punished by God by being hung upside down in between the worlds until the day of Judgement where he would take his place among the angels once again..... So there we have the 'taking his place' after his punishment being his traversal between the two planes of material and spiritual.

Both those correlations (Odin and Shemyaza) show sacrifice of one part of yourself in order to pbtain something better.... Something which the Hanged Man corresponds to.

Some also think that teh Hanged Man has some stead in the story of Jesus on the Cross, cuz some say that Jesus was actually hung from a tree, not crucified. And of course, Jesus sacrificed his life (The material) in order to obtain life with his Father in Heaven. And in some early depictions of this, Jesus is shown as having the head of an ass, which is symbolic of the material side of teh human self.

Hmmm... So many unexplored sides of the Hanged Man.

Kiama 


MeeWah  08 Aug 2001 
Kiama: I like all the correlations you've made :) Great job!
Way back there was a discussion on Spirituality on the same subject, which I think evolved from another discussion of the similarities between folklore & myths in relation to aspects of mainstream religions. It was generally agreed it could represent Odin & Jesus; the sacrifice of self to achieve a spiritual objective.
It also pertains to suspension of the material concerns such as in meditation, where one listens & waits in patience for promptings. 


Rhiannon  08 Aug 2001 
I really like the images that all of this brings to mind. I recently purchased the Fantastical Tarot and the Hanged Man is very pale and hung from his neck. That turned me off to the card for a while! It just seemed so dark. Now I can picture him as more of an Odin figure. What a relief! Thanks!

Rhiannon :) 


.dc  08 Aug 2001 
To me the hanged man card represents gaining new insights or perceptions. And Odin's view of the world changed from being on that tree. This was the first gift he gained.

Secondly, he was given the runes... now i am not much on runes or their history but if you look at what they are rather than at their spirituality you see that it is material gain. He received the runes, a material possession that did indeed help bring new insight and perspectives to his people.

Just adding my thoughts,
.dc 


JC  08 Aug 2001 
Thanks guys! I had never read that poem before, Kiama. Are there some Norse pagan or Rune links I could follow that would have more information? I also happen to be wondering how runes correspond to the major arcana. 


Kiama  09 Aug 2001 
Quote:
.dc (08 Aug, 2001 23:50):

Secondly, he was given the runes... now i am not much on runes or their history but if you look at what they are rather than at their spirituality you see that it is material gain. He received the runes, a material possession that did indeed help bring new insight and perspectives to his people.

Just adding my thoughts,
.dc


The Runes were the first means of writing for the Nordic peoples, and in that way, they could write down their lore, poetry (Havamal, Poetic Edda, etc...) and teach it to others aswell as preserve it somewhat. That is why Odin is known as the God of Poetry and word of mouth...

Also, there is another story involving Odin: When he wanted desperately to drink from Mimir's Well of Wisdom, in order to gain ultimate knowledge, he offered one of his eyes to Mimir.... Anothe rexample of sacrifice for spiritual and higher understanding.

Another reason why I think Odin hung on that Tree for spiritual and creative understanding, is because he only had a right eye, which governs the left side of the brain. The left side of the brain governs spirituality, creativity and stuff like that.

The Runes are also believed to be derived from Sumerian Crunform, a form of (Possibly the first ever form of) written writing.

Using this, I would say, in my personal opinion, that what Odin gained was spiritual: I know that when I write, I unlock my soul and get really spiritual. So, I would probably not agree with you .dc... Sorry.

Anyone else got any opinions on this?

Kiama 


The Hanging Man and Odin thread was originally posted on 07 Aug 2001 in the Using Tarot Cards board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the threads in Using Tarot Cards, or read more archived threads.

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