Saturday, April 14, 2007


The Hanged Man (XII) design has been incubating for several days, again prompted by my dream world. In early April, I had a dream in which a young woman was suspended on an upright mattress in a doorway. Later at the end of that dream I saw a series of drawings/paintings and what was emphasized most was that there were 12 of them. Of course, when I awoke I thought of The Hanged Man. I let XII simmer in "suspended animation" for a few days and woke in the wee hours of yesterday morning knowing it was time to produce it. I sketched out the design and tanka on my dream-notes pad right then.

The tanka for XII, by the way, is taken from the last lines of a lengthy old "failed" dream-based poem of mine, called "The Seal From Beneath The Sea." I'd been trying to revise it only a day or so before the dream I mention above. That sea image in the poem and title is also intriguing in light of The Hanged Man as the Hebrew letter associated with him is often "Mem," which means sea or waters in noun form.

Here's my Hanged Man design:

Here's XII in the Rider/Waite/Smith deck for comparison:

The Hanged Man is one of the cards that people not familiar with The Tarot tend to be somewhat unnerved by. And although what this card can suggest are not easy tasks (suspension of ego; staying in the moment; complete reversal of viewpoint; etc.), nor is what it tends to portend (hang ups, snafus, delays, etc.) much fun, it is not a card of death or punishment. Rather, at its deepest and highest it can be a card of enlightenment, of "Letting go and letting God/dess," of trusting in the Higher Self's connection to the All to be the bridge from now to now.

BRIEF BACKGROUND ON THE TAIGA TAROT (Click here for additional background on the Taiga Tarot.):

Please note: This deck is not necessarily being designed for use in divination, but rather to share taiga based on each of 78 Tarot cards.

When I decided the name of the deck would be The Taiga Tarot, I liked not only the alliteration but the resemblance of the word “taiga” to “tiger.” One of my power animals is the Siberian Tiger (and by extension, all tigers), which first appeared as three tiger kittens in a dream. What I had completely forgotten at the time was that the area of Siberia in which the tiger ranges is called “The Taiga”!

A “taiga” (briefly put) is an illustrated tanka. A “tanka” is a mood poem written in five lines, that usually references natural images and human emotions. Also, there is often a contrast or conclusion or response in the last two lines to the first three. I recognize that the tanka/taiga I’m developing for The Taiga Tarot are non-traditional. As with the dream haiku I write, I am not only attempting to bridge two things – with this deck, Tarot and taiga – but also bringing my own experimental slant to it all.

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‘til next time, keep enjoying The Tarot,


[aka: Patricia Kelly]

****If you wish to copy or use any of my writing, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)**** SEE ALSO: Roswila’s Tarot Gallery & Journal and Roswila’s Dream & Poetry Realm.****


Anonymous said...

Not to sound like I didn't admire your other efforts in this series...

This is outstanding!

Excellent image, excellent poem to go with it, the two enhancing each other as the haibun form should.



Anonymous said...

And here's the next thought. The apple is no good to us or to the tree unless the connection is broken.

Thanks for finally getting that concept through to me :-)


Roswila said...

Thanks so much for the kudos, oino.

And as to your second comment above, what about a certain apple that got eaten in a certain garden? LOL! I get your point, however. It is consistent with one of the practical meanings of XII: get past this "hang up," get moving, put your efforts out in the world. :-)

At the same time, in the deeper sense of this card, we're always ripening in now and connected to the All.

Anonymous said...

Hi! Hanging out online today after a bit of a hiatus and here I find the Hanged Man :)

I love the poem and the overall design, but for me the arrowhead feels a little too active and directional for this card.

What about changing the head of the arrow into more of a sickle shape, which would echo the curve above, and invoke the image of an apple while maintaining the a bit of an edge??

(as always, if it were my tarot... whatever works for you is best!)

Mary Pat

Roswila said...

Glad you got to hang-out a bit here. :-)

I've considered your comment on the arrow in this design, but am going to leave it as is. To me, that upside down direction is the central "point" (:-D) of this card and cannot be emphasized enough. I can hear that an apple on a bough might not be seen as very active, but take it down to the internal level ... phew, lots of action going on! Stemming (:-D) down from the bough on into the apple .... LOL!

Roswila said...

P.S. to Mary Pat:

Your suggestion of a more sickle shape? Wait til you see my design for Death ... which started popping as I finished XII. To me, XIII is where the upside down energy of XII begins to "turn around" ....

Anonymous said...

on the P.S....very intriguing comment and one I've not heard said quite that way before. Given the amount of Tower and Death energy in my life at present, I'm paying lots of attention to this stuff!

Thanks for the comment :)

Mary Pat

Roswila said...

You're welcome, Mary Pat. The energies of XIII and XVI are around in my life a lot, too.

It's intriguing, though, that after mentioning that the design for XIII was "popping" it was VI that presented to be done today. I'll be posting it later. I take that, at least on one level, to be saying to us both "Take heart!" When the design is up it'll be clearer why I say that. :-)