Monday 2 January 2017

A new year...and the Hanged Man

My card for 2017 (based on adding the day and month of my birth to 2017) is the Hanged Man, so I thought I’d start off the year by looking at Margarete Petersen’s version.
Trial (trimmed):© Margarete Petersen Tarot

She has renamed this card ‘Trial’, although the image is relatively traditional and in the inverted form of a RWS-style Emperor (although not her own). I like the idea of the Hanged Man as the complement to the Emperor – the letting go and submitting to the flow as opposed to the structure and adherence to principles that the Emperor might impose. 
The High Priestess (trimmed):© Margarete Petersen Tarot
The imagery here seems more related to The High Priestess than the Emperor, in that it’s full of duality – sun and moon, two faces looking in opposite directions, warm and cold colours, water and fire, sky (air) and tree and small animal face (earthy). Complementary in elemental symbolism!
In many old decks, the Hanged Man was known as The Traitor, apparently because in Renaissance Italy people who had committed fraud, etc., were depicted in this pose on public notices.   I don’t see The Traitor in Petersen’s imagery or associated meanings, but some people now associate Neptune with this card (rather than the traditional association with Water), which could link it to the idea of deception...  MP writes of ‘evolutionary history’ being looked this a link to chronological history and the evolution of this card’s naming, I wonder?  A burning up of passion and desire, says MP, healing and cleansing by water – the ‘sins’ of the Traitor leading to the re-birth of man from sun and moon, from surrender.

So what does that leave me with, for the coming year?  I think my haiku sums it up!

Hanging upside down
New perspective, sacrifice,
Surrendering all.

Margarete Petersen Tarot, AGM-URANIA, 2004

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