The Hanged Man

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The Hanged Man (Ⅻ)
RWD 12 Hanged Man.jpg
Type Major Arcana
Position 12 (Ⅻ)
Symbol The Hanged Man symbol.svg
Letter mem מ
Element [[element::Water]]
Color Blue
Direction East to west
Note G♯

A Tarot card.


Rider Waite deck

In his book The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, Waite, the designer of the Rider-Waite tarot deck, wrote of the symbol:

The gallows from which he is suspended forms a Tau cross, while the figure—from the position of the legs—forms a fylfot cross. There is a nimbus about the head of the seeming martyr. It should be noted (1) that the tree of sacrifice is living wood, with leaves thereon; (2) that the face expresses deep entrancement, not suffering; (3) that the figure, as a whole, suggests life in suspension, but life and not death. [...] It has been called falsely a card of martyrdom, a card of prudence, a card of the Great Work, a card of duty [...] I will say very simply on my own part that it expresses the relation, in one of its aspects, between the Divine and the Universe. He who can understand that the story of his higher nature is imbedded in this symbolism will receive intimations concerning a great awakening that is possible, and will know that after the sacred Mystery of Death there is a glorious Mystery of Resurrection.


reversal, suspension of mind

Sacrifice all emotion to chance and submit personal sense to the random objective evaluation of the world.

Reversed Meaning

Selfishness, trying to fit in with the crowd.


  • Links Geburah to Hod as path number 23 of the Tree of Life
  • Yetziratic Intelligence - the Stable intelligence
  • Organic Time - The Fall of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire grew and was put to a time of testing. The continued evolution of the human collective called for an initiation to burn away I-centered growth and develop We-centered growth. Note the births of Jesus, Buddha, and Mohammed. The laws and mental limitations of the Roman Empire had to fall in order for the Earth's people to grow and learn.

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