The Hanged Man Thoth – Crowley Tarot | Thoth Tarot Deck

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Sacrifice and devotion (accepting the arrangement of fate and seeking deep hidden meanings).
Redemption, maturity, the search for wisdom, salvation focus.
The Light
Overcoming the self, changing people.
The Shadow
The impasse, resistance, and self-sacrifice (state of stalemate, suspended in midair, could not find any purpose in life).
A new perspective on life.

I. Background of the Hanged Man Thoth Tarot card

We see the image of a hanged man whose head is pointing down, enduring the austerity between life and death. The snake of life wrapped around his left foot, connecting him with the symbol of Ankh’s life appearing from white light. Ancient Greeks considered the cross-legged symbol of life energy. However, both the man’s head and hands were pointing down toward the snake of death lying on the grave below. The background is a quadrilateral grid representing the elemental table containing symbols of natural energy. These small squares and crossed legs symbolize the number four, always representing mundane reality.

However, the circle to which the Hanged Man Thoth Tarot is clinging has the symbolic value of absoluteness and divinity, as well as the number three showed by the three nails representing the gods. Then, this reflects the most common form of the cross, where Jesus was hanged to the cross by three nails: divinity (3) was hanged to mundane suffering (4), suspended between the basic human values of life and death. This sacrifice means salvation. On the level of deep psychology, the self sacrifices itself to be revived in the divine self. The absolute experience that is necessary for this transformation is the encounter with death (the next card) – the central theme of the initiation rite of all enigmatic cult. Clairvoyance for the cramped limit of one’s self allows the self to be humble and entrust the guidance to the High Self.

II. Analyze and describe the Hanged Man Thoth Tarot

Analyze and describe the Hanged Man Thoth Tarot

1. Shape (entangled person)

a. The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man is hanged with his head facing the ground, and thus, bears the expression of a person trapped in the same road and caught in the influence of his own ideas and deeds at the point of absolute inability to move. However, the solution also lies in this hopelessness: he cannot do anything but wait and accept his situation. At that time, the person mentioned will find himself in the condition that his own creation and desire become one: “Father, not my will but yours will be fulfilled!”

b. Position

Crowley – contrary to Waite – chose the traditional form to portray the Hanged Man and hung him with his left leg. Therefore, he expressed the concept by which we tend to inadvertently approach the forms of this learning process unconsciously rather than seeking them consciously, such as the drawing of the Waite. Being forced to abandon his behavior reluctantly, the Hanged Man was pushed into uncertainty. He found himself in a suspended state, where everything was taken away from him, and he had to wait in the dark, literally, to see how things will continue. Crowley writes:

In Osiris’ Era (may correspond to the era of Pisces which is ending in the present), the Hanged Man Thoth Tarot represents the supreme formula of adept alchemists: the image of a man who is hanged or drowned carries its own special meanings. The two legs crossed so that the right leg forms a right angle with the left leg and the arms reached out to create an angle of 60 degrees, thereby, forming an equilateral triangle; this gives us the symbol of the Triangle covering the Cross, representing the projection of light into the darkness to save it. In the spiritual aspect, his condition is an act of giving up the road to the deepest inner experiences – an expression of unconditional devotion in the experience of the mysterious process to mingle with one source.

c. Body part

On a material level, his condition implies the full exposition of all masks and therefore, alludes to experiencing total unprotected protection. Only when paying that price can the searcher be able to meet with the Divine Self within him, which will continue to support him when all external frameworks cannot help him anymore. This helplessness is the fundamental aspect of humanity: that is the helplessness of an infant with what I do not want to start until it has become humble through the situations of life.

d. Head/Face

The shaved head and a smooth body showed that he was ready to go through his childhood again but on a higher level of awareness. However, along with letting go of his covered self, he also lost his face beside the things that surround him. The change in facial expressions and the feeling of gravity are the masks, where the self hides its fear behind it. Until humanity realizes that their fears, which are trying to achieve safety, are based purely on the desire to control everything, they can understand that this fear will be extinguished immediately when they were ready to receive their fate without flinching, and with faith in a higher lead.

2. The surroundings (the icon) of the Hanged man Thoth

a.The key of the cross (the snake of life)

The green horizon in the upper part of the card is pierced by the white rays of the crown (Kether) – the sign of extraordinary things and endless flow. The cross in the foreground is a symbol of things that have become visible, and the snake, which is wrapped around the apostle’s feet and binds him with the symbol of the cross key – Ankh, is the image of the transformative power of creativity that unites Hanged Man with vitality.

b. Blue fence

Crowley called these numerous small squares basic signs, which are socially miniature models that help liberate people from the smallest pieces of personal responsibility because they have prepared small boxes, social commentaries, or a reason for each creative act.

The Hanged Man Thoth Tarot contrasts with these models. With self-sacrifice and through efforts to accept his inner helplessness, he freed himself from his previous importance. He no longer has to distinguish himself and can free himself from social obligations. At that time, the prospect of introvert opens up for the real correlation of life. Hanged Man’s situation forced him to open up to everything whether he liked it or not.

c. Green plates

Because this liberating experience of internal merger and refuge requires the emergence of weakness and helplessness as a prerequisite, it is not difficult to understand when a real and proper person often needs to be destined to be smarter to achieve this purpose. Only a “crazy person” will try to approach the crisis voluntarily; this is reflected not only in the characters being hung up with the left leg but also in the blue plates that through them, the Hanged Man is nailed to the fence, but is still separate from the pattern of collective notions by the thickness of the plate.

d. Black snake

Through his posture, the Hanged Man Thoth Tarot has returned to the ancient resources (the snake below), is something that only looks can cause terror of death, but can also lead to the notion that it is the source of that power that keeps him alive (the snake above). The black snake was only half the truth inside the Hanged Man, and he also realized it was the snake of life holding him on the cross. He then combined both upper and lower (gas and water) and achieved a central point inside, where he did not need to avoid reality anymore. Now he was able to give up – because, in his own renunciation, he grasped his own self: he hung his own fear above, and by giving it up, he was free!

3. Note about the Hanged Man Thoth

a. Hanged Man’s awakening

In German mythology, Odin sacrificed an eye to be allowed to drink water from the stream of knowledge at the root of the world tree Yggdrasil. The tree or gallows (in Tyr’s magic song, the awakening of a hanged man who was memorialized) is a symbol of intellect, inner perception and is closely related to the cross that God hung up. Odin also made himself injured by a spear and hung himself on the ash tree. It is also impossible to ignore the similarity with the Savior because they both seek common salvation and are not personal.

Just as when Christ rose from death and united himself with his Father through death, the Hanged Man could comprehend the reversed world through his new vision and could gain knowledge. Through that action, he is not only saved but also filled with youthfulness and the idea of how meaningless suffering can lead to experience, it brings meaning and inner humility through the acceptance of fate. Like Jesus waking up from death, Odin awakens his “alternate self”, because Hangatyr (Tyr is hanging) is another term for Odin hung himself from a branch of Yggdrasil:

Know I that I hung

upon a wind-swept tree

nine full nights


and given to Odin

myself to myself

upon that tree

which nobody knows

what roots it rises from.

Tyr is the oldest Teuton God of heaven. Similar to Cronos, he was replaced by the new Father of the Earth, Odin. But in contrast to the Greek God who ended on Blessed Island, the old king of the Teuton Gods was reborn through his child. There is no resistance, with wholehearted devotion, facing death, to experience the rest of the extremes of life, which are deep targets in the magic song (Edda). Tyr symbolizes ancestral patterns, only passed on to children when he knows how to merge with them instead of fighting them. Odin’s sacrifice led to initiation: the secrets of the runes and the knowledge of ancient times were revealed to him. The self has sacrificed itself so that the divine self appears to be the key: I am devoted to myself!

III. Interpretation of the Hanged Man Thoth Tarot

1. Background of the Hanged Man Thoth Tarot (the mid-life crisis)

The Hanged Man Thoth Tarot card represents, and nothing more, the subject of revolving around one’s life. So, it represents the crisis in the midst of life, as well as all the big and small changes that life forces us to embrace. It shows that we are stuck until we are ready to take a new perspective on everything. But except for the increasingly difficult situations, nothing can force us to look deep inside, and no one can guarantee it will actually replace. Thus, we have the right to choose here, either to learn, to change our way of thinking, to reverse our orientation and to choose a new path or to let ourselves be hung in there and continue to endure without any improvement.

2. Overview of the Hanged Man Thoth Tarot

The Hanged Man is the card of change, mainly to announce that we are in a dilemma. However, when considered more carefully, the external rigidity of this cavity contains the necessity, as well as the opportunity to achieve an extended image of the world through a fundamental understanding:

The big problem in the world is never solved thoroughly. If they appear once, it will always be a loss. The meaning and purpose do not appear in their solution, but in fact, we are constantly solving them. This helps to keep us away from the delusion and petrification. (C.G. Jung).

3. Career

In the field of career, the Hanged Man Thoth Tarot card means deliberate delays, if not the first, for our plans. Projects are delayed, promotions are not available, finding new areas of activity is useless, and important plans cannot be implemented. On the other hand, loving attitudes can also be sacrificed to make room for the development of new potentials. In any case, this card also requires a new perspective on things, sometimes, it is forced through the difficult challenges of patience.

4. Relationship

If we live without a stable relationship and try to achieve a credible relationship or get caught up in a difficult relationship and have tried to get out but cannot, we are stuck in our current situation and are experiencing discomfort. But when we learn to accept difficulties as a stage on our path, practice patience, and slowly open our hearts to new insights, problems will often be solved themselves.

More The Hanged Man Cards from Famous Tarot Decks

1. The Hanged Man Rider Waite Tarot Deck

The Hanged Man Rider Waite Tarot card is one of the most mysterious cards in the deck, simple yet complicated, and inconsistent in many ways. As you can see, the character in this card turns upside down, symbolizing paradoxical actions (but true ones) in life.

<< See More >> The Hanged Man Rider Waite Tarot Card Meanings

2. The New Vision Osho Zen Tarot Deck

new vision osho zen

The New Vision Osho Zen is not about the body or the mind, it is something transcending on both opposites. It is called the Blessed One – Buddha of 10 directions …

<< See More >> The New Vision Osho Zen Tarot Card Meanings

3. Le Pendu Tarot De Marseille

The Hanged Man – Le Pendu Tarot refers to the moment of a pause in everything so that we can turn to our advantage by improving our plan in more detail, self-understanding, and internal work. 

<< See More >> Le Pendu Tarot de Marseille Card Meanings

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