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XII. The Hanged Man, and Sacrifice

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XII. The Hanged Man, and Sacrifice


Hi everyone

I've been thinking about the Hanged Man a lot lately. I'm just starting to try to get a hold of what all the cards mean, and nearly everywhere I look I see people talk about the Hanged Man in terms of sacrifice, but in the Book of Thoth, Crowley says:

Quote:
In the former Aeon, that of Osiris, the element of Air, which is the nature of that Aeon, is not unsympathetic either to Water or to Fire; compromise was a mark of that period. But now, under a Fiery lord of the Aeon, the watery element, so far as water is below the Abyss, is definitely hostile, unless the opposition is the right opposition implied in marriage. But in this card the only question is of the "redemption" of the submerged element, and therefore everything is reversed. This idea of sacrifice is, in the final analysis, a wrong idea.

"I give unimaginable joys on earth: certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death; peace unutterable, rest, ecstasy; nor do I demand aught in sacrifice."

"Every man and every woman is a star."

The whole idea of sacrifice is a misconception of nature, and these texts of the Book of the Law are the answer to it.
So I'm wondering how to incorporate that with the idea of sacrifice. I've been finding some of the sections in the Book of Thoth really resonate, but I can't get a handle on the Hanged Man as represented in BoT at all.

What does everybody think?
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From a conventional point of view the Hanged Man is symbolic of self sacrifice. But the Hanged Man himself would beg to differ. To him it is self realization. Seeing things as they really are may require a complete reversal of perspective.
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Ooooh, that makes a lot of sense. Thank you so much.
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The Hanged Man in the Thoth Tarot is stylistically different to more traditional versions of the card. Normally the Hanged Man has his hands tied behind his back. But in the Thoth card the Hanged Man has his arms outstretched, forming an upright triangle.

Taken as a whole the Hanged Man forms the symbol of the Cross (legs) above the Triangle (arms). Symbolically this is equivalent to a "veil". A veil acts as a screen, separating the inside from that which is outside. Until the veil is parted the secrets within remain unknown and the 'big picture' can't be seen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleister Crowley
The whole idea of sacrifice is a misconception of nature
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Is it the cross with the triangle that is the veil, or the triangle? That it to say, is the Hanged Man waiting for clarity?
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The emblem of the Cross surmounting the Triangle is symbolically equivalent to a Veil. (I can give you the technical explanation of why, but unless you're familiar with correspondences and gematria it probably won't make any sense.) As Crowley tells us in the Book of Thoth (p.96), in the Aeon Osiris this card represented the supreme formula of adeptship. He then goes to describe the posture of the Hanged Man and it's significance as the "descent of the light into the darkness in order to redeem it." This is the traditional interpretation of the Cross and Triangle and makes it a fitting Cenotaph of the Dying God.

But in the same section of the Book of Thoth Crowley refutes the whole idea and declares it a misconception of nature because:

Every man and every woman is a star.

If this is so and everyone is a self radiant being where is the need for a descending savior or a redeemer? In the New Aeon the symbol of the Cross and Triangle represents the elevation of the natural man/woman (the cross) by the fiery spirit (triangle) that already exists within each individual.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleister Crowley
Redemption is a bad word; it implies a debt. For every star possesses boundless wealth; the only proper way to deal with the ignorant is to bring them to the knowledge of their starry heritage.
This 'knowledge' requires a complete reversal of perspective. (The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liber 418
And they that walk upon their hands shall build the holy place
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeon418 View Post
Taken as a whole the Hanged Man forms the symbol of the Cross (legs) above the Triangle (arms). Symbolically this is equivalent to a "veil". A veil acts as a screen, separating the inside from that which is outside. Until the veil is parted the secrets within remain unknown and the 'big picture' can't be seen.
This veil of secrecy suggests the High Priestess, alongside the similar colours, little (enochian tablet) squares on both. Interestingly she has her arms upright (the success?) of the reversed Hanged Man. Crowley also talks about the Hanged Man's alchemical sacrificial ideas, "of a male child of perfect innocence and high intelligence". Perhaps another reference to the 'Virgin' High Priestess. She does seem to have rather strong, chunky legs not unlike those of the Hanged man.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smw View Post
This veil of secrecy suggests the High Priestess, alongside the similar colours, little (enochian tablet) squares on both. Interestingly she has her arms upright (the success?) of the reversed Hanged Man.
I think two veils are being suggested in the Hanged Man card. The first is the Veil of Paroketh that separates Tiphareth from the four lower sephiroth. The symbol of the Cross surmounting the Triangle is equivalent to Tau + Shin which is 700. This is the value of PRKTh - Paroketh. Behind this veil is Tiphareth and the "certainty, not faith" beyond the veil of the Dying God formula. This reversal of perspective signifies the attainment of the Adept.

But in the New Aeon the symbol of the Hanged Man is expanded even further. He is also symbolic of the next stage of Master of the Temple. His body is pale like a corpse because he is one who has poured every drop of blood into the Cup of Babalon. Blood is the Water/Mem of Life. This is that which transforms Daath into Daleth.
The middle letter Ayin in DOTh (Daath - 474) must be reduced by 40 (Mem/Water) to transform Ayin(70) into Lamed(30) (The Woman Satisfied) to make DLTh, (Daleth - 434) Love.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Book of Lies - 42 Dust-Devils
Now and again Travellers cross the desert; they come from the Great Sea, and to the Great Sea they go.
As they go they spill water; one day they will irrigate the desert, till it flower.
The Hanged Man is the one that 'goes' as is indicated by the Ankh/Sandal strap. He hangs from the Path of Daleth below the Veil of the Abyss as a Lamp. In this sense he is also still a Cenotaph, for the essence of the Master resides above the Abyss as a pile of dust in the City of the Pyramids.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mnemonic - Mem
In Mother-Deeps of Ocean the God-Man
Hangs, Lamp of the Abyss Aeonian.
Quote:
Originally Posted by smw
Crowley also talks about the Hanged Man's alchemical sacrificial ideas, "of a male child of perfect innocence and high intelligence".
That's another reason why the Hanged Man looks so pale. Crowley claims to have made that particular sacrifice 150 times a year. (See chp.12 of Magick in Theory and Practice.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by smw
Perhaps another reference to the 'Virgin' High Priestess. She does seem to have rather strong, chunky legs not unlike those of the Hanged man.
I didn't notice anything odd about her legs until it was pointed out to me by an ex-girlfriend. It was the first thing she noticed though. I wonder why? Hmmm...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeon418 View Post
I think two veils are being suggested in the Hanged Man card. The first is the Veil of Paroketh that separates Tiphareth from the four lower sephiroth. The symbol of the Cross surmounting the Triangle is equivalent to Tau + Shin which is 700. This is the value of PRKTh - Paroketh. Behind this veil is Tiphareth and the "certainty, not faith" beyond the veil of the Dying God formula. This reversal of perspective signifies the attainment of the Adept.
Hello Aeon

I was reading that the Veil of Paroketh can also be known as the Veil of illusion, that divides the lower sephiroth, interpreted as unconscious fears and feelings that are only indirectly recognised until Tipareth is reached (conscious light) suggesting K & C with the HGA. Facing these (illusionary) fears might also relate to a Guardian, as a lower parallel to the Guardian of the Abyss, Choronzon. (Kind of makes reaching Tipareth daunting if so..)

Maybe then your second veil refers to an illusion of the Dying God formula once you have got there....and hints at the next higher veil of the High Priestess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeon418 View Post
But in the New Aeon the symbol of the Hanged Man is expanded even further. He is also symbolic of the next stage of Master of the Temple. His body is pale like a corpse because he is one who has poured every drop of blood into the Cup of Babalon. Blood is the Water/Mem of Life. This is that which transforms Daath into Daleth.
The middle letter Ayin in DOTh (Daath - 474) must be reduced by 40 (Mem/Water) to transform Ayin(70) into Lamed(30) (The Woman Satisfied) to make DLTh, (Daleth - 434) Love.
I can see that the difference between Doth and DLth is the O and the L -which if reduced or balanced would give both words the same numerical value. I'm guessing then that if they can be matched to the same value, then Daleth, as the door/gateway could open the way across the abyss. (D'aath). I noticed though that Daleth also has both letters A and L for Aleph and Lamed which complement each other... I wondered too if LOVE attributed to Daleth is a formula as well. L for Lamed (aspect of Woman/Empress) A For AYIN/ALEPH but with V for the hierophant, the connector of opposites and mediator between spirit and material.... I'll leave it there, I think.. I'm head scrambled and tying myself up in knots..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeon418 View Post
That's another reason why the Hanged Man looks so pale. Crowley claims to have made that particular sacrifice 150 times a year. (See chp.12 of Magick in Theory and Practice.)
I'm surprised if Crowley wasn't pale and exhausted himself with all that sacrificing...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smw
Facing these (illusionary) fears might also relate to a Guardian, as a lower parallel to the Guardian of the Abyss, Choronzon. (Kind of makes reaching Tipareth daunting if so..)
Sounds like what Crowley calls the Dweller on the Threshold. It's a sort of personification of fears and resistances to union with the HGA. In the scheme of initiation this is attributed to the paths of Ayin/Devil and Nun/Death. These paths are, in a certain sense, blocked until one reaches Tiphareth and views them from the new perspective of the adept. Until then instruction from the HGA that is conveyed through seemingly negative channels may rejected as evil, as the Devil. And transformative experiences that appear to threaten the self are likely to be resisted like Death.

Interestingly both paths, Ayin & Nun, total 120. (It's also the value of the equilibrating path of Samekh - SMK) This is an important number in the symbolism of the Golden Dawn 5=6 ritual, which is a ritual enactment of the Dying god formula. During the ritual the virtues of sacrifice and suffering are extolled because that's what the mythical Jesus did. But the sacrifice isn't what it appears to be and any suffering incurred is evidence of resistance to union with the HGA, so why celebrate it? Sounds like some sort of old aeon masochism.

This ties in with the Hanged Man. From one perspective he represents pain and suffering. But this is symptomatic of resistance and attempts by the ego to retain control. However Mem is Water, the receptive element. Surrender (to the HGA) and things will take on a different perspective. This also explains why the Hanged Man belongs on the path between Geburah and Hod and the relationship between these two sephiroth.
Quote:
Originally Posted by smw
I'm surprised if Crowley wasn't pale and exhausted himself with all that sacrificing...
Hardly. It averages out at less than 3 times a week.
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