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Fairytale Tarot (MRP) -- The Hanged Man

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Fairytale Tarot (MRP) -- The Hanged Man


The fairytale exemplifying this card is the tale of the Shifty Lad, which can be found on the web here. I was unfamiliar with this fairytale before beginning my study of this deck.

It's rather a sad tale, in my view. The Lad's mother knows from the start that her son will come to a bad end. The Lad plays trick after clever trick, but his cleverness defeats him in the end.

The companion book describes the association of this tale with this card as "controversial," and I can see why. The current set of meanings ascribed to this card are quite lofty--self-sacrifice, enlightenment, letting go of material concerns, transcendence and illumination. However, the image on this card shows a thief who is about to die in the midst of a stupid prank. This does align the card more closely with the tradition of "shame paintings" that scholars like Robert O'Neill believe was the source of this image.

There's no doubt the choice of this story for this card is unsettling. One could even say it turned my expectations upside-down.

M_M~
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