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historical meanings for the Hanged Man

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historical meanings for the Hanged Man


Hi, I hope I'm posting in the right place, here... I derive a lot of my major arcana meanings from the historical 'root' meanings and their names, but I'm wondering about the Hanged Man card. I can see where the concept of suspension comes from (the suspended figure) and the notion of sacrifice (inverted Christ figure), but from what I understand, the original meaning of the card referred to punishment of criminals. I never see 'punishment' mentioned as a possible meaning for the Hanged Man. What happened to this meaning for the card?
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As I understand it, the idea of inverting the figure symbolically refers to the need to periodically 'disconnect' from the ongoing flow of regular life in order to reconnect with the Higher. Mention is often made of the figure 4 in the position of the legs: the idea is that stability in meditation is achieved, and no ordinary movement is possible. The guy's upside down (on a live tree, and so, not dead himself) and 'suspended', so that the still small voice of the Real can be heard above the ordinary clamor of Here And Now.

In this way, the Hanged Man is related to the Hermit, and to Temperance, in that quiet and sacrifice are part of the requirements of learning to be open to the Higher Self. It's less about punishment, and more about communication, or bringing one's inner life outward.

Let's see what others have to say.
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littleneptune: Perhaps you'd like to look at this thread that deals with Le Pendu (The Hanged Man).

http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread...&threadid=4868

I am not sure I have ever heard about this card being interpreted as Punishment. Would you care to elaborate more?
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Diana--I understand that the Hanged Man iconography in the early (Visconti?) decks was taken from the common practice of creating "shame paintings" of escaped criminals. I interpreted this as a form of punishment initiated by society against the unrepentent sinner. Perhaps I should have asked "why is this card rarely associated with shame?"
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The original title of the card was "il Tratidore." A picture of someone hung upside-down is still recognized as an emblem of treason in present-day Italy.

See Tom Tadfor Little's history of the card at www.tarothermit.com.
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As always, here, learn something new..... another crinkle in my brain! thanks!

also, for me, the Hanged One calls me to look at things from another perspective - like we did as kids, hanging our head 'upside' down on the sofa...... hanging around, taking another look.
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Firstly, I apologize for not posting my question under the thread "Le Pendu", but I am new to this section of the forum, and didn't realize this was the alternate card name for The Hanged Man!(Duh). Do any tarot readers actually use the meaning 'traitor' when this card comes up in a reading nowadays?
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In considering the Hanged Man,I refer back to the myth of Odin which is something to the effect of hanging himself upside-down from the Tree (I forget its specific name),which represented the Axis Mundi,in order to acquire the Knowledge of the Runes. A sacrifice had to be made,which was the loss of one of his eyes,plucked out by a Raven,in exchange for this knowledge.

When one's world,or p.o.v.,is "turned up-side-down",then one is in a state of stasis,but one can see,and thus gain knowledge,from a different perspective.

I look at the Hanged Man and the Hermit as "paired" in that the first is Stasis and Sacrifice and the other is Solitude and Silence. These would be the factors involved in a meditative/contemplative state of being when one seeks to gain self-knowledge at a deep level.
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Quote:
Originally posted by xouroboros
In considering the Hanged Man,I refer back to the myth of Odin which is something to the effect of hanging himself upside-down from the Tree (I forget its specific name),
Yggdrasil ash... the World tree... " the mighty tree whose roots men know not" according to the Teutonic poem.

A.
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...thank you


...the mind is the first thing to go with age

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