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Bohemian Gothic Tarot - The Hanged Man

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Bohemian Gothic Tarot - The Hanged Man


I got this guy in my daily draw today.

So what I see right now is influenced by two other cards in the same draw.

I've always liked this pose when depicted on the figure in this card - the inverted 4. The upright 4 is frequently seen in cards depicting the Emperor (that's his number), as well as the God or the Lord in pagan decks. 4 - solid, firm, established, orderly, follow-the-rules-and-you'll-get-it-right. It also represents Jupiter, believed to rule both the sun and the moon. In its association with Jupiter, it represents the higher functions of the mind, wisdom and optimism.

And when the 4 is inverted in the posture of the Hanged Man - with the owl also present in the picture - my sense is that the wisdom sought can be gained, but not through conventional means and not without sacrifice or discomfort on the part of the seeker. (The 4 is also reminiscent of the crane pose in some Druidic rites - and it can't be terribly comfortable to pull off, particularly for any extended period of time.)

Crane lore tells me that it maybe necessary to go deep into another world - the underworld, filled with shadows and places I haven't been - to gain the wisdom I seek.
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I love the way the Hanged Man is framed in the arch here, surrounded by arches. It's gives me the idea of someone going past several openings until you finally hit the ocean there. Then, turning round and upside down (however he came to be upside down), he gazes back through those arches, back the way he came, back at the choices one takes to get where they are.

You really get the feeling that there is nothing this person can do to figure out how they got where they got to or what they can do next except to sink deeper into their own mind. The Full Moon and the Owl emphasize it. The search for feelings, wisdom, magic. Escape, a way out, exists only inside him.
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"And when the 4 is inverted in the posture of the Hanged Man - with the owl also present in the picture - my sense is that the wisdom sought can be gained, but not through conventional means and not without sacrifice or discomfort on the part of the seeker."

Totally! The feeling is of reverent Mystery combined with fear of the unknown but knowing it has to be done anyway for reasons you are not sure of.

"You really get the feeling that there is nothing this person can do to figure out how they got where they got to or what they can do next except to sink deeper into their own mind. The Full Moon and the Owl emphasize it"

To me I notice his head, it is as though he is trying to arch back to look at the ocean, the "once in a blue moon" moment of illumination and enlightenment. It is a very soothing and transformational card. When I see the Owl, combined with the water and the Moon I think of Hecate, Goddess of transformation and the crossroads. The Owl knows that the Hanged Man will make it through his transformation - the Owl stands guard to witness and assist.
The Ocean and the Moon are aspects of the Feminine and the 4 and the Hanged Man are aspects of the Masculine. I believe (not 100% sure about this) that 4 in Sacred Geometry is masculine and represents earth and manifestation?
I just love the blue tinge to the Moon!
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Has anyone noticed that this man seems to be a yogi, dressed as he is in a dhoti? His goal through yoga would be to achieve "mystical union of the self with the Supreme Being in a state of complete awareness and tranquility through certain mental and physical exercises", to quote my Collins dictionary, which is what this card is usually about. It seems odd for someone to be practising yoga on a cathedral, but if someone can do their tai chi exercises balancing on a gargoyle, why not?
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I think the fact that the Hanged Man is framed directly by the archway
symbolizes that he is in an "in-between" time. He is neither on one side
of the archway, nor the other, but in between. It is the pause between
two significant events.

On one side of the arch is the Hanged Man's past, all the archways and
doorways he has already traveled through. On the other side of the
arch is his future, the water and the moon indicating the inner/emotional
search he is about to embark upon. The Hanged Man is suspended between
either side, in the present moment. The owl is with him in this present
moment, perhaps meaning it is his inner wisdom which will guide him to
take the next step.
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