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The Meaning of "The Hanged Man" Tarot Card

(Applies to the upright position)


The Symbolism of the Tarot Card:


A man hangs upside down on a gallows, attached only by his ankle. The gallows forms a Tau cross. This cross is a very old symbol of the god Tammuz, a Sumerian solar deity whose death and rebirth was celebrated every year at a festival in his honor. It represents a symbolic death.


A glowing light surrounds his head. The cord looks loose enough that he could slip out if he wished too, and his hands are behind his back so we can't see whether or not they are bound.


The wood that the man is hanging himself on is living, also there is no expression of suffering, only deep entrancement.



The Meaning of the Tarot Card:


Like any of the world's great spiritual figures that gave sacrifices of themselves to give back to mankind, the Hanged Man is about sacrifice. Death in life, and life in death. The man on the tree has consciously chosen to put himself in this sacrificial position - he had to commit the act of stringing himself up there alone.


The calm and peace present in this card teach us that great peace is possible through sacrifice and the consequent self-awareness that it can bring.


The crossed legs of the figure in the card form an upside down "4". The number symbolizes the material plane. The figure in the card has literally turned the world upside down through his actions. As with the Fool, the figure in the card has done something that society would severely warn him off of doing, and by doing so has made life better not just for himself, but arguably through the symbolism the entire world.


It may also mean suffering, and the punishment of Justice. Even if the figure in the card has tried to help mankind, he must now suffer for them in order for his contribution to have any real value.


It can symbolize a strong sense of independence. The need to be who they are despite what other people are barking at them to do or not do. They may have taken some unusual actions recently that make no sense to nobody but them, but these actions will ultimately bring them to the right place.


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