Monday, April 16, 2012

My Favorite Majors: The Hanged Man

So this is most definitely one of the more conceptually complex majors, to me. Its meaning in a reading can really range from kind of positive/promising - the whole, self-sacrifice needed to level up/gain needed knowledge/insight/etc - to quite negative - being stuck in a rut, tied down, unable to move forward... With some majors, when they come up in a reading, I pretty much KNOW what they mean most of the time. With this one, I usually have to...consider it a bit more.

Visually, it's one of the more hit and miss ones. Rarely does a deck have a take on this card that REALLY impresses me, and often, even my favorite decks have a representation that leaves me with a 'meh' feeling... That in mind, it wasn't too hard to figure out which among my decks had ones I liked most. Both of these just...really allow me to get INTO the card, in a way that in many other decks I just...cannot.

XII. Hanged Man

I really like it, here, how the Nusantara at once sticks to and reworks the classic RWS image...the Indonesian art style really works to the benefit of the major, I find. For me at least, it highlights the concept of the major a lot more...clicks in my mind in a way that the image in the ACTUAL RWS deck just...doesn't do, for me. I just love, love the garments on the figures in this clone, and here...for the mystical self-sacrifice aspects of the card, I find it perfect in both style and color palette, and likewise, for the more desperate/stuck meanings...the works for me. Love the little details, the rope he is tied up with... The palette of this card as a whole, actually, and the contrasts in really creates the right mood for me.

Runner Up:
Amusingly enough, the color palette in the Magical Forest's Hanged Man is utterly different, and yet also really works for me. The cool blue, and the starkness of the background really create an appropriately somber feeling for the card. The choice of animal for this was wonderfully clever. Hanging indeed! Hanging, bug-eyed staring at you it paws, is that why it is hanging there, to learn? Or is that why it cannot fly off to better places, because to fly would mean to let go, and until it can let go it is stuck here, between those two trees, in this cold, bare place....that lovely detail of the moon and all that it can symbolize... this is what I mean...this card, which could so easily be taken as frilly, silly ISN'T really, and it just opens up the meaning so much and...clever, cleverly done.


Zanna Starr said...

Wonderful analysis of these cards, Bonkers! I also like the coloring of the Magical Forest card -- the colors of Neptune/Pisces and Water, which various systems associate with The Hanged Man.

Alison Cross said...

oh I am looooooving that little bat! Like the idea of putting up your two favourite Hanged Mans. Hanged Men. Whatever. You know what I mean! :)

Ali x

Bonkers said...


Alison, it's actually part of a series I'm doing, slowly working my way through all the majors on for each picking my favorites out of the decks I have at the moment I'm writing for that card :]

vee said...

This is a lovely idea for a series! :) Gonna go back and read through your older ones now.

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