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The Tarot of Eli-Major Arcana: Thoth Tarot-ATU 12-The Hanged Man & Tarot of The Spirit- Key 12-The Hanged Man

Western Tantra and Qabalistic Tarot Card Comparisons.

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The Thoth-HANGED MAN- key 12, and the Tarot Tarot of The Spirit-Key 12-The Hanged Man, both display a curious image of Severity and the implications are very different from the previous paths that connect the Personality and the Higher Self; Severity, because this is the Path of Mem (Meaning-Water) that connects Hod (Splendor) and Geburah (Severity) on the Pillar of Severity.

The Hebrew word-MEM, (Water) is a one of the three Maternals, and implies a Baptism in Maternal Waters, as the other two: The Path of Shin (Art) is a baptism in Fire, and The Path of Aleph-The Fool, is a baptism in Air. Of all these 3 Baptisms, the Baptism in Water (Unconsciousness) is the central and pivotal experience of the entire Qabalistic Tree of Life.

Unconsciousness, is the Alchemical First Principle, also called the Thinking Principle and is referred to the physical image of Water because it is like water in turbulent wave motion, and fluid flow from above to below.

The lowest expression of the First Principle, is first found, by the upward inner- traveling initiate, as the Astral Fluid that is drawn down the Path of the Universe card into Yesod, the Foundation Sephiroth. This Thinking Principle, is light in the microwave range as becomes the Astral Fluid, and/or fluid like light in Yesod/foundation and called the Stable Intelligence, by Dr. Paul Foster Case, in his text The Thirty-Two Paths of Wisdom; Stable, because of the virtue of consistency. This stable intelligence, is in all Sephiroth and Paths as it underlies everything that is anything.

The Hanged Man is pointing downward. Hence, the Spirit is "drowned" in the Maternal Waters

(Universal Collective Unconsciousness) where upon, perceiving itself as a Soul, as an intrinsic and inseparably part of the One Consciousness. It was Carl Jung, who first coined the phrase. Collective Unconscious, that describes this Water of Mem. He call this Universal Collective Unconscious as a "...boundless expanse full of unprecedented uncertainty, with apparently no inside and no outside, no above and no below, no here and no there, no mine and no thine, no good and no bad.". To him the First Principle of the Alchemists was also described as Water, as he states, "It is the world of water, where all life floats in suspension: where the realm of the sympathetic system, the soul of everything living begins; where I am individually this and that; where I experience the other in myself and the other-than-myself experiences me.....the collective conscious is anything but an encapsulated personal system; it is sheer objectivity, as wide as the world and open to all the world."

I would highly recommend that the initiate reads the works of Carl Jung, on the Universal Collective Unconscious, thus gaining a modern understanding of the ancient wisdom. To put it another way, in the state of consciousness of which the Unconscious is the "first state", we are "always the subject that has an object", a reality that is totally turned around in the Universal Collective Unconscious where, we are "the object of every subject", as stated by Carl Jung.

In other words, our subjective Self, I AM becoming objective Self, I AM Me, when immersed in the Maternal Waters on the Path of Mem. THE HANGED MAN is where the invisible becomes visible.

The initiate knows that we must move, by introspection, constantly upward (upward is inward in Qabalah) on the Paths of the Tree of Life, for only through the hindsight gained by going to a higher Sephiroth, can we experience an understanding of the qualities of the lower Sephiroth.

The Path of Mem, leads to Geburah (Severity) which is directly above Tiphareth (Beauty); Geburah is the Fiery or Active part of the Higher Self and is shown as Red in color; the color of Mars. This further illustrates the point that Geburah is the fiery-blood- energy on the Pillar of Water below Binah (water into wine). In the Thoth Tarot card of the HANGED MAN, the Womb of Binah is where the hanging figure's foot is held; from the oval of the Egyptian Ankh, which is the cross like symbol (also called the Tau cross) of both Divine Androgyny and Infinity.

To the one who has inwardly traveled the Paths to this point, may have noted that the Path of Mem, the HANGED MAN, must be approached very differently than the lower paths. Here, the mediator becomes the object of one's own meditation. The individual becomes the "other" which was previously the object of pursuit as the "most beloved"; the "other" now becomes the initiate. Therefore, it can be said, that the personality meditates in pursuit of the Higher Self, who then becomes or envelopes the Personality, the pursuer, creating a Higher Sensual Self....A self often stated as having "Magick Abilities"; abilities that make the I AM intimate with it's creations as a "Me". Here the Spirit-Mind-Body trinity becomes "made manifest".

The Hanged Man symbolizes the savior-god- man or Hanged/Dying God of many religions; Odin (hung on a giant Ash tree called Yggdrasil) Jesus on a cross, and Prometheus hung on a mountain. The Moon symbolizes-Mensis (Latin), Mona (Mona Lisa is old English for The Moon), month, money, menopause, Menstruation, manna, menat (amulet) and much more. Showing us that the Moon is about Womb and the regeneration of form. That is why the Violet-reds are primary colors for all living things are "of Mother's blood", as every baby can attest.

The Thoth Tarot-ATU 12-THE HANGED MAN and the Tarot of The Spirit-The Hanged Man-Key 12 are both:

assigned the Hebrew Letter Mem (bottom left of card of Thoth and the bottom point of the Tarot of The Spirit), which means Water. Mem is a Maternal letter meaning the Element Water and the Amniotic Fluid of the Womb. This is of no surprise, since the ancient Sumerians, Egyptians, Babylonians, Dogon of Mali, The Mayans of Central America, the Native Hopi, Navajo and many other American native tribes plus the Gnostics believe that the Homo-Sapiens is an GMO evolution of a marine mammal who genes were spliced with an alien race of "those who from the sky came", rather than ape, and that the Noah’s Ark and the Flood is a hierarchic presentation of the facts of life. The Sumerians, believed our "angelic" forefathers, Annunaki (Meaning: "Those who from the Sky came") spliced their DNA with a marine amphibian, which at time was the most intelligent species on the earth.

There are many scientists that also believe the marine mammal theory because of the fact we have more in common with marine mammals than apes. for one, we have the skin of an amphibian, and we grow hair, as do amphibians, and not the of fur of apes. I would suggest you research this, as I this is a Western Metaphysics blog about the Tarot here and not seeking to become an anthropologist.

To continue: The Hanged Man represents the baptism that is also a death. Death being a transformation from one reality to another, as is birth where the Water Mammal, must become a land-mammal and therefore, "dead" to the Sea of Mother; a death in one area and birth into another. The symbolism of the Hanged Man is often attributed to Self-Sacrifice without recourse, but this is really an errant idea. In the last Aeon of Osiris, the Hanged Man represented the supreme formula for adept-ship for the figure that is hung is actually the Spirit "drowning"(baptized) in the Astral Fluid, before becoming manifest in form. The Astral, are layers of "light" where all the Forces and Forms of the "Above Sephira" meet in order to combine in a manifestation as a physical birth in the material world.

To the flesh-o-phobe, this would be the effect of spiritual purity being sacrifice to fleshy debasement.

To the Spirit, this is the way of transforming from idea of experience of Self; to an intimate Self-Awareness that only be achieved by in-form-action. The transformation from thought/idea to discerning thought/truth; for truth is made manifest as form. Being in the flesh, requires the Soul/Psyche to become aware of its thoughts and how they affect the living simply by the reactions of those thoughts in the very living form that "reflects it". Think ill, be ill, think well be well etc.

Idea or visions, in the Aeon of Osiris, the Patriarch, were considered more important than the flesh, and the destruction of bodies in the name of idea/visions (Commonly called, "...For the Greater Good") seemed a just cause. In the Aeon of Osiris, it could be said that the foundation of thought was the ruling of definition by the few who enforced definition on the many.

In this new Aeon/ Age of Horus, the idea must "expand and liberate the living from their own self-imposed limits, allowing the Foundation of Love ("Love thy neighbor as thyself') to become the "common mind", a state of Psyche, where union rather than divisionism becomes the conscious foundation of all action. As shown on the Thoth Devil-ATU 15 card, the foundation of Earth intelligence, the "instinctual animal mind", is built on the foundation of "forget me not", I.e., Fear of rejection. The Soul Psyche is founded on the foundation of "I AM", a fearless statement of Presence.

Simply stated, the self in manifestation is more important than the ideas forged by self, no matter how utopian the ideas are. However, the caveat here is that, you must at first love yourself....as you can't give to another what you don't have, thus requiring that above all things you must know yourself!

The Aeon of Horus, is the age where the Hu ( Mandarin for -god) man ( Hindu- Manas for mind) realizes it is the child of god, a Spiritual Sacrament, and becomes the Christ/Buddha/Horus/Adam Khadmon consciousness on Earth; uniting the Above and the Below. That union is seen in the Thoth-Hanged Man, whose foot is connected to the Ankh (symbolized in the West as the Rosy Cross) which is a combination of Goddess- Womb and God- Phallus, and is known as a symbol for eternal universe in a sigil of Mankind (head- arms and torso). The ancients knew that if a form was made manifest, it was a truth, because Creation made it as Self-Information. Ideas are not a truth, unless they can become "made manifest" by the Power of Creation and have the ability to do work. In a more personal note; you exist because you're supposed to! The judgment of you has already been made by The Divine Creative, who obviously approve your manifestation! In other words, the obviousness of your presence proves you are worthy of being! This kind of thinking doesn't bode well for those who wish to "rule you", so dividing you from your "good" by a religion made of flesh hating rules, will pervert the Sacrament of "Will to be" and will assure your enslavement.

The Hanged Man illustrates that being born into the World is a baptism, not a trial to prove your worth!

The Tarot Hanged Man presents a special meaning to the adept, the legs are crossed so the right leg forms a right angle to the left leg, and on the Thoth tarot card, the arms are stretched out at an angle of 60 degrees, so as to form an equilateral triangle. The symbol thus presented is that of the Triangle surmounted by the Cross which represents the descent of light, into mater, in order to redeem it! I AM Love must become aware of itself "as being"! The process of redemption continues in the symbology of the green disks terminating at the head and limbs, representing the influence of Venus which is the planetary symbol of love, grace and beauty. You may note, that the Central Sephiroth on the Tree of Life, is called both Beauty and the Christ Conscious/The Son. The Hanged Man represents the redeeming value of baptizing idea in flesh, so that it may Live and "Know itself"!

Correspondences: Key-12- The Hanged Man & Key 18-The Moon:

This card association represents the High Androgynous Self. The Moon represents the Feminine-magnetic- unconscious-Anima and the Hanged Man represents the Masculine-electric- reasoning conscious-Animus; their perfect union producing the Superconscious as 0=2 . To the Greeks, the unconscious was known as Aphrodite and the masculine reasoning conscious as Hermes, together they are known as the Divine Hermaphrodite.

  • The Astrological sign: Moon-Pisces
  • The astrological planet: The Hanged Man-Neptune
  • Form: Moon-I believe
  • Motion: The Hanged Man- I seek myself and I don't seek myself. (Again, Form is Female, and motion is Male---The Qaballah is all about polarities.)
  • The Associated Rune-stones: Moon--Isa (is-i), the rune that impedes, a standstill, said to be born of ice: The Goddess Isis. (woman is magnetic---containment and container so that energy/mind can become form.)
  • Rune-stone for The Hanged Man: Perth, the rune of mystery, initiation, becoming whole, forces beyond our control.
  • Primary colors: Violet-Red----(secondary: magenta, mauve, deep rose, wine).
  • Corresponding Chakra: The Brow Chakra or Third eye (6th chakra), which is the energy point of intuition, light, color, seeing (color-seeing as in Auric Seer), thought, information, inner and outer meditation (our bodies are Meditated into being by the Soul), visualization, imagination, spiritual perception, dreams, fantasy, clairvoyance, oneiromancy (the ability to see through dreams) ...The Chakra of purpose and patience.
  • Minerals and Stones: Rubies, garnets, sugilite, rubelite (violet-red tourmaline), and violet-red chalcedonies.
  • Corresponding Musical Notes: Moon-B. The Hanged Man-G#.

  • The Hebrew letters (Qaballah): Moon-Simple Letter--Sleep.  The Hanged Man-- Maternal Letter--Water.
  • The Tree of Life Paths: Moon-Qoph, The Corporal Intelligence.  The Hanged Man-Mem, The Stable Intelligence
  • Symbols of Meaning: Moon-Back of head, Ear.  The Hanged Man-Water
  • Associated Plant Essences: The Moon- Sandalwood, Marjoram, Melissa or Lemon Balm.  The Hanged Man-Mugwort, Spikenard, or Valerian, Myrrh.

The Psychic abilities gathered from Meditating/skrying on The Moon and The Hanged Man: Clairvoyance- the art of "clear-seeing" which is the ability to see beyond the veils imposed by the physical eyes or time-space. Oneiromancy- the ability to see through dreams---such as an Oracle and/or Oracular -sight.

The Thoth Key/ATU 12-The Hanged Man represents:

The Universal Principle of Surrender, Breaking Old Patterns.

The Hanged Man represents a state of consciousness that recognizes a need for a pattern break; where we recognize that we need to change our mental posture, a kind of reverse thinking, in order to get out of a mental rut that is "Baffling" us. The image of baffling (medieval form of punishment) is a metaphor for "upside down" thinking, as Baffling, was a medieval practice of hanging a debtor or thief by one foot from a scaffolding.

Therefore, this card may be seen as a kind of crucifixion of the self-conscious personality to get rid of egoistic patterns that are no longer constructive. On the Thoth Tarot card, the repetitive patterns of rutted thought are represented by the background of squares within squares.

Rather than being a card of baneful potencies, when viewing the Hanged Man, we are reminded that our "hang-ups" are preventing our growth and we need to free ourselves from undue self-imposed limitations. The reversed cross holding the foot of the Thoth Hanged man is known as the Egyptian Ankh which is a symbol of universal life force (Union of Female and Male force) and is an inheritance constantly accessible to us for creative making (a magic term for manifesting). We often bind our creativity by thinking and doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This is a form of insanity brought on by denial, that rejects our divine inheritance and bleeds us dry of our energy as our life force is constantly being used to repress our own motion. Therefore, in this state of blindness, we feel bound, or nailed in place and can see no way out. The solution is in surrendering to our inner-self, knowing that we weren't created to be anything other than a Divine Being of I Am and that in us all is a Great Nature that creates, sees error and corrects it. Faith in oneself is not that hard to do, because we are good enough for The Divine Creative to create as It's Image--we ought to be good enough for ourselves!

Therefore, the Hanged Man also represents the Principle of Surrender in order to break old habits. The Thoth Path of Mem, THE HANGED MAN- Key/ATU 12, has a reverse figure on the card that represents the Soul imposing a complete reversal of perspective which is a suspension of individual consciousness.

Much like the reflected image in the mirror, where one is looking at the Real non-reflected image that is now the reversed object of reflection. This is however, a willing suspension, done by an initiate's conscious effort, a type of sacrifice or baptism, where the perspective of "I Am" is cleansed of the illusions of the material world. Because of this sacrificing/cleansing of one's individual perspectives to the Greater Self perspective of the Universal Collective Unconscious, the Thoth HANGED MAN is shown in a suspected state of crucifixion that images the myth of the Dying God. (Dionysus. Osiris, Odin, Christ etc.).

Some of my more perspicacious students have asked why the Hanged Man is crucified on the Left Hand Path or one side of the Tree of Life as it would seem logical to have him spanning the Tree. The reasoning behind this one-sided nonfiction, is because this is an intellectual experience, as shown by the legs positioned into the upside number 4 which is suspended above the Triangle (3) implied by the positioning of the arms. Four is the number of the Emperor Key-4 of the Tarot, and represents the Rational qualities of the Mind while 3 is the number of the Empress, the imaginative qualities of the mind (also seen in the number 12,1+2=3). The hanged image is just a positioning the rational qualities of the mind over the desire principle.

The HANGED MAN is also a form of repose, while the WHEEL OF FORTUNE is activity both of which form a balance that is known as the activity and passivity of the ONE THING.

Therefor the HANGED MAN represents openness without end, while THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE, is the exact opposite, as it encloses in eternal motion, i.e. making a limited thought pattern and/or Form. When Mem (Water-consciousness) is closed, it becomes the Ankh (a form of the Tau cross). Therefore, the Ankh, shown in the Thoth card also represents Mem reversed or "consciousness turned inward".

In Crowley's card of the HANGED MAN, the figure emphasizes the cross-triangle, and is suspended from the Ankh, being attached to this form of the Tau Cross, by a coiled serpent that symbolizes: "The creator and destroyer who operates all change". There is also a lower coiled serpent that represents the effect of the Work of God: As Crowley states in his book of Thoth: "Through his work a Child is begotten, as shown by the Serpent stirring in the Darkness of the Abyss below him."The image of the "serpent stirring in the Darkness" is also a symbol of the Ancient Egyptian serpent called "sata", who we know today as the double helix of DNA.

As I have stated before, this is the card that shows the reversal of perspective, where the individual self-conscious, reflected in the light of Solar consciousness (reflecting Psyche), becomes the Universal Identity of the Real Person and/or Soul/Psyche that has manifested “selves" as individual identities that mimic the maker of things, i.e., the Divine Universal Collective Unconscious. This reversal of self-binding thoughts, removes the caged-thoughts of indoctrination. Successful skrying of this card will reverse perspective.

The Tarot of The Spirit- Key 12-The Hanged Man, also depicts the image of "immersion into illusion". Here, the hanged man is hung upside down on a cross, foot tied by a "serpentine force", The Serpent of Rebirth (life and death)which does not actually bind him. Any time can the Psyche emerge from this state of Dream. He is submerge in fields of swirling blue and green, the cosmic sea of Mother, whose understanding of data, produces the realm of formation and reformation. For data from Chokmah, is Understood by Binah and becomes Information (In-Form-Action) and/or a birth of Self-image. Being submerged in the Dreams of Self, the hanged man is "getting the Point" as shown by the point at his head. With eyes closed, for seeing here is within, with hands behind his back as this is not the time of doing but of inner reassessment. The 4 elements of the World, Fire-Water-Air and Earth, are represented by the crossing of the legs in the shape of 4. The circle-cross at the top of the card, implies that his reassessment involves Spirit-Mind-Body.

As stated in the explanations of the Thoth Card, the Hanged Man is suspended on the Left pillar of the Tree of Life, for this is the pillar of judgment and matter (severity). Here one can only judge the form of their existence through withdrawal into the deepest layers of Self: the Dark Sea of Binah.

When the Hanged Man Tarot Card is thrown in a divination, the Querent is:

  • Experiencing moments of enforced sacrifice, maybe even punishment.
  • However, if the accompanying cards are of a deeply metaphysical/spiritual nature, this card is about giving up old, bad habits, for new regenerative habits.
  • To the immortal Soul/Psyche, sacrifice is an illusion, simply because, loss is before gain, error is before correction; ignorance is before knowledge; unknown is before understanding, a sacrificing an errant identity to gain the Real Persona “I sight” that is the Soul....you get the picture!
  • The Principle of Surrender in order to break old patterns.
  •  A time when one must accept reversals.
  • Depending on the dignity of the accompanying cards, THE HANGED MAN, represents a state of mystical death in the form of a change of consciousness.

If Ill defined: 

  • Loss that may not be voluntary and general suffering.
  • Stand still. 
  • Resistance and self-sacrifice.
  • Not seeing any purpose in life.
  •  Enforced sacrifice such as forced by the State.
  • Punishment, Loss of an often fatal involuntary nature.
  •  General suffering

Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper.

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