The Hangman X11

You’re hanging upside down for heaven’s sake. So you’re gonna be seeing the world from a very different view to normal.
Beth Maiden – Little Red Tarot

This puppet, which once featured in a window display in Myer Melbourne’s Christmas window display now hangs in a suspended state, in the artists studio in Elphingston, Central Victoria. We can only speculate about what is going through the mind of this puppet as he watches his maker work in his studio. Artist: Smiley Williams

The Hanged Man (XII) is the twelfth trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. It is used in game playing as well as in divination. It depicts a pittura infamante, an image of a man being hung upside-down by one ankle. This method of hanging was a common punishment at the time for traitors in Italy.

The Hanged Man is the card that suggests ultimate surrender, sacrifice, or being suspended in time. However it can also be interpreted as looking at things from a completely new perspective. In the video by Contemporary Tarot, featured below. This Tarot Influencer talks about breaking through long standing habits, limits or patterns. She speaks of being true to yourself even if others think you have things upside down. The Hangman may be perceived to be the outsider, someone who displays a willingness to be uncomfortable in the pursuit of a higher truth.

The Hanged Man Motherpeace Tarot

We can expect unconventional behaviour from those who draw the Hangman. Of course they may be hung up about something or they may be needing to take time to be in a state of suspension, take time to  find peace during or after a difficult time.

This card is all about someone surrendering to the rhythms of life or a life changing, complex situation. They may simply be waiting with a purpose and withdrawing during a time of transformation.

Needless to say, the Hangman may have a deep desire for change and a willingness to try new things or embrace new ideas to achieve transformation. Those who draw this card may experience a sudden jolt of inspiration. They may turn to meditation, have a psychic experience or flash of insight, seek or go deeper into therapy or simply be open to what has previously been hidden.

How the Hangman is represented in a Tarot Deck depends entirely on the artists perspective. Here we see nine quite unique interpretations. Decks represented here are: Cosmic Tarot, Dürer Tarot, Rider Waite, Thoth Tarot, The Witches Tarot, Path Through the Enchanted Forest Tarot, Sol Invictus – The God Tarot, Mythic Tarot, Lion Gateway Tarot.

Working With the Hangman Archetype:

by The Tarot Midwife
  1. Never one to reinvent the wheel I Googled and found Two Sides Tarot which is a great resource at a time like this. Check out Top Five Creativity Prompts – The Hanged Man
  2. Stillness as a Means of Moving Forward: by Beth Maiden of Little Red Tarot
  3. Slow it Right Down – The Hangman by Beth Maiden of Little Red Tarot
  4. Elisabeth Blaikie’s creative visualisation for the Hanged Man.
  5. The Hanged Man is the one card that is based on a mythological character. He is Odin, the Norse god who hung from the World Tree for nine days to earn the knowledge of the Runes. Odin (Old Norse Óðinn) is the most powerful God in Asgard and he is the chief of the Aesir, in Norse mythology. Odin is sometimes called the all-father or the wanderer, he has, in fact, many names, because he has taken many shapes on various occasions. Odin looks like a sorcerer and may have been an inspiration to Gandalf for J.R.R Tolkien’s books Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. What fiction will this card inspire you to write?
  6. Try doing this spread for the Hangman from the deck of your choice!
Cards from Morgans Tarot