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The Hanged Man Art and Meaning

Visconti A Tarot Deck Fragment

About the Deck

(aka Cary-Yale Tarot Deck or Visconti di Madrone Tarot Deck) One of the earliest Tarot Decks, the Cary Yale Visconti Deck is entirely gilded, with fine paintings upon it. Like the other Visconti decks, it features numerous heraldic devices. Unlike the other Visconti decks, it features a maid and a lady among the court cards.

Traditionally said to have been commissioned by Fillipo Maria Visconti for the 1441 marriage of Bianca Maria Visconti to Francesco Sforza I.

Provenance

Italy, c. 1441.

According to Many Schools of Thought

A. E. Waite's Secondary Meanings

The Hanged Man. This is the symbol which is supposed to represent Prudence, and Eliphas Levi says, in his most shallow and plausible manner, that it is the adept bound by his engagements. The figure of a man is suspended head-downwards from a gibbet, to which he is attached by a rope about one of his ankles. The arms are bound behind him, and one leg is crossed over the other. According to another, and indeed the prevailing interpretation, he signifies sacrifice, but all current meanings attributed to this card are cartomancists' intuitions, apart from any real value on the symbolical side. The fortune-tellers of the eighteenth century who circulated Tarots, depict a semi-feminine youth in jerkin, poised erect on one foot and loosely attached to a short stake driven into the ground.

S. L. MacGregor Mathers's Divinatory Meanings

Upright

Self-sacrifice, Sacrifice, Devotion, Bound

Reversed

Selfishness, Unbound, Partial sacrifice.

Papus's Divinatory Meanings

Trials. Sacrifice.