a first start
I'll try to keep adding to this list as people post specific dates & references.
14th to 15th c. - According to Evelyn S. Welch's _Art in Renaissance Italy_: immagini infamanti 'shifted from illustrating financial shame to illustrating political shame.'
15th c. - On the Cary-Yale Visconti card Hope stands on a figure who has a rope around his neck and the words Juda Traditor on his garment. "The virtue of Hope has overcome the traitor Judas, who represents disloyalty and hypocrisy." Kaplan LWB.
1450-1480? - Sermones de Ludo Cum Aliis (Steele manuscript): "12. Lo impichato" (not in my dictionary - see 1587 below).
1521 - Sigismondo Fanti of Ferrara, Triumpha di fortuna: Picture of a man hanging upside down by one foot: “If you are inhuman, or traitor to Lords or relatives, in fact or in word, if you are without any respect, without reason, I see you end your hours in the air.” [Chart shows: Saturn/S Node opposition Mars/N Node and Grand Fire Trine of Mars/N Node trine Jupiter trine Sun/Moon. I interpret this roughly as great danger and loss due to overwhelming pride and daring.]
1527 - Caos del Triperuno by "Merlini Cocai" (aka Teofilo Folengo)
But you cannot kill hearts, you only Suspend (12) them.
1540 - Giulio Bertoni in Tarocchi Appropriati: "Il Traditore - Lucia Forna. - Don't trust her, unless you have an hostage."
1543 - Andrea Alciato in "[Parergon] Juris libri VII posteriores" - names the card "Cross" [crucifix?].
1565 - Francesco Piscina in "Discorso sopra l'ordine delle figure dei tarocchi" (Monte Regal (modern Mondovì, G. Berti), pp. 17-18:
"...there follows this old man the Impiccato, who arrived at this point for having scorned good counsel, and whom the Inventor has placed there to represent a sad, false, vicious, bothersome, and quickly finished man (since good Counsel depends on virtue), to show in fact a man lacking in any virtue, that without counsel, in desperation, has hanged himself; to demonstrate and illustrate the worst end that comes to those who despise prudent counsel, and, by consequence of virtue, which sort of person deservedly dies in every sort of contempt, bereft entirely of his reputation, and his name as if he were never born; and because of this follows Death, who expunges from all their memory..." trans. Ross Caldwell.
c. 1570 Anonimo: Discorso perch? Fosse trovato il gioco et particolamente quello del tarocco, dove si dichiara a pieno il significato di tutte le figure di esso gioco [Venezia?], ms. 1072, vol. XII. F.: Bologna: Biblioteca Universitaria: "Then after these follow the Hunchback, the Traitor, Death, and the Devil. By the hunchback, who is none other than time, it is shown that all these are vain and transitory, thus it is the sum of folly to love them and desire them so intensely that nothing else is considered, since in a short time old age is reached, with all of the miseries accompanying it, and then one begins to know the deceptions of the assassin world, placed before the eyes by the traitor, but having acted on the hardest neck (most stubbornly?), and bad habit , he finds it difficult to be able to hold back at all from nefarious errors, comes upon unforeseen death, in the horror of which, the devil, that is to say the cause of all this, brings him away terrified and desperate. And this is the miserable end of human action, I say, of those who are so immersed in vain and lascivious delights which the world promises, and can give, following madness for a guide, and having no regard to his end, or of God, from whom only are born and depend the greatest goods, and perfect and everlasting happiness." trans. Ross Caldwell & Dr. Arcanus.
1587 - Thomaso Garzoni, names it l'Impiccato (The Hung/Hanged Man). [Note: Impicciato (adj from the verb) means embroiled or perplexed. Impiccio = perplexity; trouble.]
1750 - Pratesi's Cartomancer (interpretations on 35 Bolognese tarocchi cards): The Traitor, betrayal.
1781 - 8th volume of Le Monde primitif by Court de Gébelin - the Hanged Man [being suspended] is replaced by "Prudence."
"No. 12. Prudence is numbered among of the four cardinal virtues: the Egyptians did not allow themselves in this painting to forget human life? Nevertheless one does not find her in this deck. One sees in its place, under the no. 12 between Force and Temperance, a man hanging from his feet, but what is it that is hung? It is the work of an unhappy, presumptuous card-maker who did not understand the beauty of the symbol contained in this tableau. He has taken it upon himself to correct it and thereby disfigured it entirely.
"Prudence cannot be represented in a manner sensible to the eyes[able to be perceived] as an upright man, who having placed one foot before the other and holds himself suspended examining the place where he could surely set/place himself. [He watches where he is going.]
"The title of this card was therefore 'the man suspended by his foot', pede suspenso: the card-maker did not know what it means, to be a man hung by his feet.
"So one asks why a hanged man in this deck? One does not lack an answer, it is the just punishment of the inventor of the deck, for having represented the Papess.
"But placed between Force, Temperance and Justice, who would not see that it is Prudence who would want to and would have to be represented in ancient times?" [my translation]
1781 - The essay by M. C. de M*** (le Comte de Mellet) in Le Monde Primitif: "Twelve, the mishaps which attack human life, represented by a man hung by his foot; this can also mean that to avoid them, he must in this world go with prudence: suspended by the foot."
1789 - Publication of the first Etteilla deck in which 12 is La Prudence (Prudence/The Masses - equated by Papus with the Hanged Man) and 18 is Traître (Traitor - equated by Papus with the Hermit).
1855 - Eliphas Lévi, Rituel de la haute magie ("Transcendental Magic"), Vol. 1, Ch 12: "It represents a man with his hands bound behind him, having two bags of money attached to the armpits, and suspended by one foot from a gibbet formed by the trunks of two trees, each with the stumps of six topped branches, and by a crosspiece, thus completing the figure of the Hebrew Tau. The legs of the victim are crossed, while his head and elbows form a triangle. Now, the triangle surmounted by a cross signifies in alchemy the end and perfection of the Great Work, a meaning which is identical with that of the letter Tau, the last of the sacred alphabet. This Hanged Man is, consequently, the adept, bound by his engagements and spiritualized, that is, having his feet turned towards heaven. He is also the antique Prometheus, expiating by everlasting torture the penalty of his glorious theft. Vulgarly, he is the traitor Judas, and his punishment is a menace to betrayers of the Great Arcanum. Finally, for Kabalistic Jews, the Hanged Man, who corresponds to their twelfth dogma, that of the promised Messiah, is a protestation against the Saviour acknowledged by Christians, and they seem to say unto Him still: How canst Thou save others, since Thou couldnst not save Thyself?"
c. 1865 - written on Edmond Billaudot's hand-drawn deck (Madame Lenormand claimed him as a student). Published as Belline Tarot.
"The Hanged Man or Sacrifice: Self-denial, prudence, patience, public example, lack of concern. Devote yourself to others: this is the Divine Law, but do not expect anything but ingratitude from most men. Hold your soul always ready to give account to the Eternal, because an unforeseen and violent death is setting its traps on your path. But if the World makes an attempt on your life, do not die without pardoning your enemies, for he who does not pardon, is thrown into Eternity armed with a dagger. He gets lost in the solitude and horror of himself." trans. Ross Caldwell. (Seems an attempt to merge several Tarot traditions, esp. de Gebelin, Lévi & Christian.)
1870 - Histoire de la Magie by Paul Christian (J-P. Pitois). The Law revealed - in the divine world. The teaching of duty - in the intellectual world. The Sacrifice - in the physical world.
1889 - Papus, Tarot of the Bohemians: "This Hanged Man serves as an example to the presumptuous, and his position indicates discipline, the absolute submission which the human owes to the Divine." "Trials. Sacrifice."
c. 1890s - Golden Dawn Adeptus Minor Ritual in reference to the Hanged Man: “Except ye be born of Water and the Spirit, ye cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. . . . If ye be crucified with Christ, ye shall also reign with Him. . . . It is written, that he who humbleth himself shall be exalted. . . . And the Light shineth in Darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not. . . . Out of the darkness, let the light arise. . . . Buried with that Light in a mystical death, rising again in a mystical resurrection, cleansed and purified. . . . Poverty, torture and death have ye passed through. They have been but the purification of the Gold.”
6=5 Ritual by Mathers: “The 12th Key of the Tarot, “Hanged Man” but also more properly called the “Drowned Giant” and its position is horizontal rather than perpendicular. In this position, the lower side of the Key represents the Bed of the waters and the upper side the Keel of the Ark of Noah, floating above the Drowned figure. Or, in Egyptian Symbolism, the Baris or Sacred Barque of Isis; whilst the Figure is one of the Bound and Drowned followers of the Evil Forces; through yet again, in another sense, it may represent the Body of the Slain Osiris in the Pastos, sent down the Nile to the sea: whilst above is the Keel of the Baris or Barque of Isis in which she travelled to seek him.” –Mathers
1902 - Le Serpent de la Genêse--Livre II; La Clef de la Magie Noire. Par Stanislas de Guaita. 8vo, Paris, 1902. "the Hanged Man is magical bondage."
1906/26 - Le Tarot: Signification et Interprétation du Tarot Italien by J.-G. Bourgeat (4th revised edition of his 1906 work): "Expiation, sacrifice, martyrdom."
"At the same time as being the symbol of accomplishment of the Great Work, this hieroglyph shows the castigation which waits for the revealing of the secrets of the shrine."
1909 - Manuel Synthétique & Pratique du Tarot by Eudes Picard: "A man hung by a foot and whose hands are linked in back. The body makes a triangle, the top at the bottom, and its legs a cross above the triangle. The gibbet has the form of a Hebrew Tau. The two trees which support it have each six cut branches." [Taken directly from Eliphas Lévi.]
1922 - "The Wasteland" by T.S. Eliot refers to the Hanged Man as Odin: "I am not familiar with the exact constitution of the Tarot pack of cards, from which I have obviously departed to suit my own convenience. The Hanged Man, a member of the traditional pack, fits my purpose in two ways: because he is associated in my mind with the Hanged God of Frazer...."
1923 - Harriette & F. Homer Curtiss, _The Key of Destiny_. Cross over triangle = "the sign of personality, while in alchemy it is the accomplishment of the Great Work." This is Prometheus, who stole sacred fire from the Sun. "Like Prometheus, man today is chained to the rock of physical existence." "This card is said to represent Judas, who went out and hanged himself after betraying the Christ . . . he hangs by one foot, or partial understanding." It is Oedipus: "they tied the child by one foot to an overhanging branch of a tree." They relate it also to the 12 Labors of Hercules: "the steps of Initiation through which every man must pass ere he becomes a "Sun Initiate."
1927 - Oswald Wirth, The Tarot of the Magicians: "The alchemic sign of the Accomplishment of the Great Work, the inverse of the ideogram of Sulphur. . . . The Hanged Man is inactive and powerless where his body is concerned, for his soul is freed. . . . The Hanged Man is bound, not as an instinctive or blind believer, but as a wise man who has discerned the vanity of individual ambitions and has understood the wealth of the heroic sacrifice which aspires towards total oblivion of self. . . . The mythological hero who is most clearly related . . . seems to be Perseus . . . a personification of active thought.
"The soul freed from the enclosing body. Mysticism. Priest. The man entering into contact with God. Collaboration with the Great Work. The individual freeing himself from instinctive selfishness to rise in the divine. Redeeming sacrifice. Moral perfection. Self denial. Complete forgetfulness of self. Devotion. Absolute disinterestedness. Voluntary sacrifice. . . . Unworkable plans. Liberal but sterile desires. Unrequited love."
1928 - The General Book of the Tarot by A. E. Thierens. Intro by Waite where he says this is Adam Kadmon: “The human figure of the symbol is suspended head downward and as such it is comparable to the Microprosopus or God of Reflections in the so-called Great Symbol of the Double Triangle of Solomon, prefixed by Lévi to his Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie. It follows that the true symbol belonging to Trump Major No. XII, though it is by no means that of Lévi, is not a Hanged Man at all.”
Thierens writes, “It is the sign . . . in which the outer world loses its importance or even reality, and the consciousness is opened to inner truth. This is the reversing of consciousness, which makes things change their significance.”
1928 - Manly Palmer Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages. He quotes Lévi, mentions Judas. "The picture ... depicts polarity temporarily triumphant over the spiritual principle of equilibrium. To attain the heights of philosophy, therefore, man must reverse (or invert) the order of his life. In the pseudo-Egyptian Tarot the hanged man is suspended between two palm trees and signifies the Sun God who dies perennially for this world."
1949 - Paul Marteau Le Tarot de Marseille, pp53 - 55:
"... The number 12 implies a renunciation so that a re-commencement, if there is one, is not encumbered by the work of the previous cycle"... "The 22 major sheets [Lames] of Tarot are, in effect, formed from two cycles: 12 + 10." ... "This card [lame] signifies a stop or suspension [ie, pause] in the evolutionary work of Man. The representation of this suspension by a reversed man indicates that what is on high is as that which is low [ie, 'that which is above is like that which is below'], and that all acts of man on the material plane ['plan' implies, in the context, both 'plane' and 'plan' or 'blueprint'] are reflected in the spiritual one." ... "In summary, [...] 'Le Pendu' represents Man inversing his action in order to orient it towards the spiritual with a feeling of awaiting and of abnegation". (rather quick translation that may need improvement - Jean-Michel David)
1954 - Gertrude Moakley "The Waite-Smith 'Tarot,' A Footnote to The Waste Land", Bulletin of the New York Public Library: "It is possible that the "one-eyed" theme, which occurs again in The Cocktail Party, is also connected with the Hanged Man. Odin, who paid the price of an eye to obtain all wisdom, is one of the Hanged Gods of Frazer. His remaining eye is the Sun, another of the Trumps, and perhaps it is suggested by the nimbus of the Hanged Man."
1971 - Paul Huson, _The Devil's Picturebook_: "Whether the Fool is being slain as a benefactor whose royal blood is demanded to sacrifically regenerate the fertility of the crops or whether, like Odin, he is offering himself to himself in the pursuit of occult wisdom is all one. The idea of exchanging the mundane for the spiritual is the central one." p. 204.
1975 - Richard Cavendish, _The Tarot_: "The Hanged Man has been connected with both Odin and Christ as examples of a god being sacrificed to himself to recover something hidden or lost." He also refers to Attis.
See pictorial evidence at:
Bob O'Neill's Hanged Man Iconology
"Seeing the Hangedman image as representing punishment (secular or religious) does not consider the full complexity of the symbolism. The contrast between upright and inverted figures was not simply associated with punishment since both upright and inverted figures appear in Figures 9 and 12. In many accounts, sinners in hell will be turned upside down (Gorevich 1988). But in Late Medieval imagery and drama, the viewer knew that a significant transition had occurred when everything reversed – it was a kind of dramatic device to alert the viewer that they were now seeing action in the afterlife (Palmer 1992).
"The most important account of this inversion occurs at the end of Dante’s Inferno. Dante and his guide Virgil have descended into the depths of hell in an upright position. But at the bottom of hell, Dante is turned upside down and begins the ascension through Purgatory to Paradisio. To Dante, the inversion experience was a turning of values upside down – a conversion experience required for further progress. Thus, the later occultists interpretation of the Hangedman as a reversal of values and a pivotal experience was quite familiar to the 15th and 16th century card-player through Dante’s account." end O'Neill quote
Andrea Vitali's Hanged Man essay
John Opsopaus Hanged Man essay
"The Hanged Traitor represents the unavoidable torments of overturning an old order and of a voluntary sacrifice for the sake of spiritual rebirth. Such a transformation cannot be carried out rationally; rather, the seeker must commit himself to fate, and have faith that Fortune will dissolve the old order and give birth to a new one. Therefore, he is "dependent" on his left leg, representing the unconscious, and makes no use of his right, representing conscious action.
"Stripped of his dignity, the seeker hangs head down, which symbolizes the debasement of his rationality. He is waiting, in suspension, on tenterhooks, dangling over the abyss, poised between heaven and hell. The tree, representing the central axis of existence, would provide everything he needs or wants, but he cannot reach it. Though he is tortured every day (as shown by the open wound), he patiently awaits a redeemer, for he knows that if he tries to save himself, he will plummet into the abyss.
"Thus the Hanged Traitor represents suspension and depression as prerequisites to spiritual rebirth." End Opsopaus quote