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Thoth Study Group - The Hanged Man - XII

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Thoth Study Group - The Hanged Man - XII


Continuing to work through the Majors - on to the Hanged Man.

The first thing that jumps out at me in this card (compared to other decks eg RWS), is that the Thoth Hanged Man is 'nailed' by his hands and foot. This gives me something to think about with this card, as usually I think of this card often relating to voluntary sacrifice, which could still apply - but who nailed him in position? Makes me think that it may not be so voluntary in this card.

The snakes I usually relate to transformation, however no doubt they have other meanings in this card, with one seemingly tying him to the inverted Ankh and one curled up in the dark area below his head. I would be interested to hear others thoughts on these snakes, as I am totally without my book at the moment.

The 'rays' (lines) seem to emanate from the Hanged Man's head downwards towards to the snake - maybe meaning his thoughts from viewing things from a different perspective transform his outlook on life ??

The other thing that struck me about this card is the overall colour scheme of blues and greens, which I usually associate to emotions and peace / healing, respectively.

I am looking forward to reading others thoughts on this card and if anyone knows about the little squares / screen behind the Hanged Man would be interesting as well.

CreativeFire

PS. I have attached a scan of the card for ease of reference for the study.
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Also some previous threads on the Thoth Hanged Man:

The Hanged Man - XII;

XII The Hanged Man

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The nails could indicate that his current situation is stuck or fixed; there is no recourse other than to resign himself to this position and await what is nextů Death.

It is interesting to place the sequence of XI - Lust / XII - Hanged Man / XIII - Death cards next to each other. The reins of Lust point towards the left or the beginning of the deck. The Hanged Man with it's gridlike vertically represents the pendulum at its dead center. Death with its spiraling coil structures shooting off to the right points towards the future and the rest of the deck. Looking at it in this way, the Hanged Man could be viewed as a pendulum, tethered to the core of creation, his momentum created by the actions and choices of the past, his future reached through the transforming swoop of Death's scythe.

Lon Milo Duquette suggests placing the Hanged Man card top-to-top with the High Priestess (reversed). The similarity of the arrangements (grid lattice, outstretched arms, arcs and rays emanating around the head) is fascinating. The High Priestess representing intuition & spiritual wisdom behind the veil, the Hanged Man representing the giving up of self to experience what is beyond the veil. The HP is the initiatrix, and the Hanged Man is undergoing initiation.

Per Crowley's "Book of Thoth", the grid or squares behind the Hanged Man "are the Elemental Tablets which exhibit the names and sigilla of all the energies of Nature. Through his Work a Child is begotten, as shewn by the Serpent stirring in the Darkness of the Abyss below him."

The grid represents the many experiences and forms of creation, through which we all must interface and frame our existence. It is the descent of Light into matter. Through the transformative power of giving one's all to the One, a new way of being emerges.
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With regards to the presence of the serpents in this card, it is almost as though the Hanged Man is hanging over a snake pit. It is the nails, and the paralysis of his situation that has stopped him from plunging headfirst into the midst of the serpents. I figure that sometimes it is good to be temporarily stuck, or in some way paralysed. It can sometimes prevent us from making decisions that would otherwise have negative impact upon us.

However...

There is something not very temporary about the way the Hanged Man is suspended. As has been pointed out, he is nailed to what appears to be a wall of intricate netting. It is almost as though he has been nailed to a net. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it is as though he has somehow been captured inside this net. Hell, perhaps it isn't even a net?! I am letting my imagination run away with me here, captured in the card. Perhaps it is his own thinking that has somehow trapped him in such a way? Perhaps it is this thinking that has led to the paralysis depicted in this card? Although, this can be a negative situation to be in, it does not necessarily have to be the case... after all, the net, and the nails are preventing the Hanged Man from plunging headfirst into the snake pit beneath him.
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Quote:
Originally posted by Strange2
The nails could indicate that his current situation is stuck or fixed; there is no recourse other than to resign himself to this position and await what is nextů Death.
I had not thought of that, Strange2, certainly another way of looking at why the use of nails.

Also interesting info in regards to the Hanged Man card and the HP card. I am off to have another look at these two cards.

Thanks for posting the info on the 'grids', Strange2, it has certainly helped me get a better grasp on this card.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Centaur
With regards to the presence of the serpents in this card, it is almost as though the Hanged Man is hanging over a snake pit. It is the nails, and the paralysis of his situation that has stopped him from plunging headfirst into the midst of the serpents. I figure that sometimes it is good to be temporarily stuck, or in some way paralysed. It can sometimes prevent us from making decisions that would otherwise have negative impact upon us.

However...

There is something not very temporary about the way the Hanged Man is suspended. As has been pointed out, he is nailed to what appears to be a wall of intricate netting. It is almost as though he has been nailed to a net. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it is as though he has somehow been captured inside this net. Hell, perhaps it isn't even a net?! I am letting my imagination run away with me here, captured in the card. Perhaps it is his own thinking that has somehow trapped him in such a way? Perhaps it is this thinking that has led to the paralysis depicted in this card? Although, this can be a negative situation to be in, it does not necessarily have to be the case... after all, the net, and the nails are preventing the Hanged Man from plunging headfirst into the snake pit beneath him.
It is always interesting to read your 'thoughts' when your imagination runs away on you, Centaur

I have been thinking about this card a great deal, so much so that I had quite a bizarre dream about snakes just the other night! Which I ended up working out to be my fear or reluctance to a change (transformation) at the moment I think. This then got my imagination going about this card . . .

Maybe the Hanged Man being so 'fixed' in his position that his state of suspension above the curled snake below is a hesitation in a way before a change. He can see the snake and knows it is going to happen (sort of like what Strange2 said above about waiting for the next step, Death), and this is a time to pause and look at this life from a different perspective before an ending and a new beginning. Just some off the wall thoughts here

Interesting to, because I went and checked out the Death card, that the skeleton in the Death card has a snake near his left foot, which made me think was this the snake curled around the Hanged Man's foot in the previous card ??

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Quote:
Originally posted by CreativeFire
Maybe the Hanged Man being so 'fixed' in his position that his state of suspension above the curled snake below is a hesitation in a way before a change. He can see the snake and knows it is going to happen (sort of like what Strange2 said above about waiting for the next step, Death), and this is a time to pause and look at this life from a different perspective before an ending and a new beginning. Just some off the wall thoughts here
I like the idea of looking at his situation from a different perspective, and somehow assessing and learning from that experience, before moving on to the next stage. I feel that this card might also urge one to be careful when making decisions with regards to what will come next; one wrong move, and the serpent could strike with ferocity.

Quote:
Originally posted by CreativeFire
Interesting to, because I went and checked out the Death card, that the skeleton in the Death card has a snake near his left foot, which made me think was this the snake curled around the Hanged Man's foot in the previous card??
Interesting take! It is almost as though Death has cut the bonds that held the Hanged Man in his place. Could that be the Hanged Man in the middle of the Death card? I am colour deficient, but as far as I can see the ghostly form in the middle of the Death card is a similar colour to the blue, watery colours used in the Hanged Man. Interestingly, the Hanged Man appears to hang suspended above what might be a body of water. A lake? A river? In the Death card we are taken underwater. Again... letting myself travel with the card in my imagination, perhaps Death has released the Hanged Man, plunging him into the water, to rise again into a new dawn?

Does anyone know what the relevance of the ankh is to this particular card?
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Thoth Study Group-- The Hanged Man-- XII


He really does hang over a snake pit, but there is something in the contrast between the snake's coils, their loops, and the square made of mini-squares boxing in feet, legs, and abdomen. Maybe he's crucified by his own boxy,boxed in brain, and he needs to dip his crystalized head/face into the wild waters of his repressed instincts and imagination. Maybe we all should fall in with him. He seems to have lost the radiant light of the Spirit above the square,too. He's trapped beween Spirit above and instinct and imagination below-- ready for a breakthrough.I hope it happens.
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Truly one of the most interesting cards. He symblizes Christ or Osiris, the supreme sublime suffering. Yet his face is even more serene that that of the RWS Hanged man, firstly because he is suffering more, and secondly because this card relates more to the Universal suffering and self-deprivation that is typical of so many martyrs. Also, there is something about his face that is not quite human. His body and face are reminiscant of something else, of the Gods perhaps.
He hangs upside down in the waters of oblivion, of forgetfullness.
A powerful, masterful card, definitely one of my favourites.
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Re: Thoth Study Group-- The Hanged Man-- XII


Quote:
Originally posted by Frank Hall
Maybe he's crucified by his own boxy,boxed in brain, and he needs to dip his crystalized head/face into the wild waters of his repressed instincts and imagination. Maybe we all should fall in with him. He seems to have lost the radiant light of the Spirit above the square,too. He's trapped beween Spirit above and instinct and imagination below-- ready for a breakthrough.I hope it happens.
I really like the way you described that. It is almost as though he doesn't have a face/head. It is almost as though his face/head is a crystal. Crystals are connected with clarity and higher understanding. So... perhaps this is symbolic again of what CreativeFire said with regards to pausing and looking at life from a different perspective, thus using clarity of thought to make a decision or to assess something before moving on?
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