Hanged Man Emerald Tolemac. This card is from the Emerald Tolemac Tarot deck. The images from our deck are all copyright, created by Madeline Rose and the artists that work for her.
Hanged Man Emerald Tolemac
This young man has fallen from the pure light of day (clarity) and now hangs in the depths of the forest, a place of both light and shadow as represented by the shafts of light piercing the darkness of the woods. Symbolically, darkness holds secret thoughts and actions that can pave the way into a living hell, or a situation that feels like hell on earth. Even so, atonement is possible, as we shall see.
The river brings life to the woods, and represents the flow of one’s life. Its blue color symbolizes knowledge. Since it steps incrementally downward in the image and ends in a whirlpool, it is clear that the querent’s current understanding of the question at hand can be led, or will lead, to stagnation or something even more harmful given the dual state of mind at this point.
The man in the card is in a precarious holding pattern of which he is unaware, or perhaps is simply ignoring, for he knows not the danger of ignorance, as represented by the peaceful look on his face and his relaxed arms that seem to encompass a cleverly disguised duality in his life (the river). Unbeknownst to him at this point since it is out of his sight, flames burn deep within the tree that binds him. Eventually, they will burn through the branch and the rope, plunging him into the river where he will be completely submerged in chaos.
The young man’s bare left foot indicates how we enter this life, bound to an umbilical cord to a supernal world. Further down the leg by which he hangs, his other foot intersects, representing a juncture in his life at which a choice was made or could be made about the present situation. Notice the unfettered foot seems to glow in comparison to the bound foot, and the position of the unbound leg forms a triangle (perhaps the Holy Trinity) with the foot pointing to the rays of light pouring into the forest to alight upon the entrance of a cave. The cave represents something hidden or out of reach of the querent’s mind, whether it is faith in a higher power, a spiritual counselor or the power of our subconscious mind. In the story of Camelot, this cave may represent Merlin, a magician and wise counselor.
The brown color of the man’s pants represent being bound by earthly matters and his red shirt suggests being consumed by passions that may be deeply carnal in nature. The black belt binds his passions to the third chakra, which represents self. Following the man’s arms downward on the card we see an eddy circling about the man’s head. It is held within the larger whirlpool formed at this juncture in the river and is indicative of personal mental chaos within the larger arena of world chaos.
Let’s dissect this halo a bit further for, upon close inspection, the halo is illusionary in nature. At first glance it appears the eddy is created by two fish, typically representative of the Christian faith. Yet while observing, one’s eyes shift and the image becomes a demon. In both visions of this eddy the yin/yang symbol is seen, reminding us that in all things, there exists both light and dark. Positive and negative elements to which we give the meaning.
At this moment, the hanged man seems unconcerned as he reaches towards the eddy, his shadow hovering over the chaos generated in his psyche between good and evil. He seems unaware that the tree that holds him hostage seems lit from within by the very fires of hell, and the three main branches of the tree limb that hold the rope that binds him are already lifeless. They could represent the Holy Trinity. The young man is unaware of the peril of his current situation.
Yet, there is hope. Even if the querent is not consciously aware, the light of all that is good resides in the confines of the body and the subconscious mind, waiting to guide us to right thinking and action. It waits only to be recognized and acted upon as demonstrated by the angle the free leg makes in juxtaposition to the bound leg. It forms a triangle to represent the Holy Trinity. The man’s free foot seems to glow in comparison to his bound foot, and it points to the entrance of a cave bathed in supernal light. The cave, one’s subconscious mind, holds what is hidden about the situation while also holding answers that can be accessed through deep thought, meditation or prayer, by supplicating to the call of faith.
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