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The wild Unknown Tarot - The Hanged Man XII

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The wild Unknown Tarot - The Hanged Man XII


This is a very simple image without much symbolism to go on at all:

Against a dark background, which fades to light at the bottom of the card hangs a bat. It's wings are wrapped tightly around it making it look as if it's cocooned. It looks straight out of the card at us and it's eyes are glowing red...

The first thing that I think of when I see this card is obviously that the bat is upside-down and that's probably the first thought with most Hanged Man cards; I've seen querants turn to the card the other way up as a sort of reflex action - it looks wrong but that's probably the whole point..
He is hanging there so he's got a very different perspective to us upright creatures and his wings are wrapped around him in an almost protective gesture... Whether protective or not, the cloak that his wings make around him certainly seem to cut him off from whatever is there, they separate him from his environment even more than just hanging upside-down would. So he's apart and he's got a different perspective but he's not asleep; his glowing eyes are striking and look straight out of the card towards the reader.

Bats are creatures of the night but they often seem very active at dusk so they are 'inbetween' creatures, and the fact that they fly yet they are mammals also puts them in that inbetween place - they're like birds in that they fly but they're not birds, they're like animals in that they have fur and they look like mice but they're not quite that either since the way they get around is by flying.

All of these points tie in really well with traditional Hanged Man symbolism.
This is someone who has willingly taken himself apart from others, he's sacrificed the company of other people and he sees things differently because he's upside-down. He's different but he's quite content to be like that and for the moment, he's inactive, resting, regaining strength or wisdom for what-ever is to come next.

In readings this card often means a sacrifice needs to be made, you need to look at something from a completely different perspective, maybe the perspective of someone else in the reading, you need to withdraw from a situation but you'll probably gain something; knowledge or wisdom from that withdrawal..
Sometimes this card advises you to just flip the whole situation on it's head and try to see it in a totally new way, don't join in right now - this is a card of inaction and interestingly, it's numerical opposite is The Empress (also a 3), who generally advises social interaction, getting out there and using your senses to experience all that you can.. The Hanged Man advises the opposite..

Any more info on bats or thoughts about this card would be most welcome .

There's an image below.
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My copy of this deck arrived yesterday. I was taken by the beauty of the drawings and the concept but haven't yet had a chance to use the cards in a reading. I might wait for a while until I've had a chance to learn more about the cards. The deck is so different from anything else I have and perhaps I need to sit with it for a while.

This image is quite beautiful.

My first real encounter with bats came on an early morning walk through our Botanical Gardens many years ago. I heard all the fruit bats return to their home in the tall trees of Fern Gully from their nocturnal activities. I was immediately fascinated by what appeared to be their sheer joy and communality. I returned a number of times to watch this return and attempt to photograph the bats (without real success). Twenty years later this colony of bats was later removed to another location because their numbers had increased to the extent that damage was occurring.

Here is a photograph of a mother and baby bat from Yarra Bend Park, the location to which this colony was moved. You can see how beautiful they really are:

http://www.weekendnotes.com/bat-coun...rra-bend-park/

The residents of an affluent suburb adjacent to the new location were NOT HAPPY with their new neighbours. These endearing little creatures were seen to be noisy and dirty.

Bats have a mixed mythology. In parts of Asia they are seen to be lucky. In Melbourne, Australia they were perceived to be a nuisance by some parts of the human community. Some of the species are protected and their nature also prevents them being kept as pets. They are sometimes seem to be harbingers of disease but I think this is a perception born of fear.

Bats are always challenging, wildly beautiful and truly wild. When they rest they are inverted and this in itself can be challenging. It is physically impossible for us to live in a like manner and very hard to turn our world perspectives so completely around.

The glowing red eyes on this particular image are quite riveting. The lace like webbing on the body of the bat itself is quite beautiful. More contradictions.

The image demands us to look at everything anew. It promises that such exploration will yield quite unexpected rewards. How often do we get such invitations and how often do we ignore them? We ignore them because turning everything upside down is actually really hard to do.

So the image begs a lot of thought and is worth meditating upon. What things do I need to look at quite differently and how do I actually do that?

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The Bat seems the perfect animal to represent the hanged man, message - look at things differently - upside down will do it.
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I see this Hanged Man as very much a call to action.

It's like he's been waiting long enough, examining the issue or the experience from a new angle for the required amount of time. And now he's just hanging around.

He seems slightly hesitant to move on to the next step. He's obtained the knowledge he needs, but he's comfortable now in his little cocoon and would rather stay there a while. But there are clear signs that movement is required -- his eyes are open, a bright passionate red. His head is in the light, and even his wings are white. The lines in the picture look like they're falling downward -- it indicates to me that this bat must also fall downward -- INTO THE LIGHT, interestingly, so here, "falling down" actually has a positive connotation, more like "stepping up". Another of the topsy-turvy consequences of viewing life from a radically different angle.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stone_lotus View Post
I see this Hanged Man as very much a call to action.

It's like he's been waiting long enough, examining the issue or the experience from a new angle for the required amount of time. And now he's just hanging around.

He seems slightly hesitant to move on to the next step. He's obtained the knowledge he needs, but he's comfortable now in his little cocoon and would rather stay there a while. But there are clear signs that movement is required -- his eyes are open, a bright passionate red. His head is in the light, and even his wings are white. The lines in the picture look like they're falling downward -- it indicates to me that this bat must also fall downward -- INTO THE LIGHT, interestingly, so here, "falling down" actually has a positive connotation, more like "stepping up". Another of the topsy-turvy consequences of viewing life from a radically different angle.
Wow, I didn't think of this but you're right, his eyes are open and he looks as if he could take flight at any minute.. He's certainly awake and aware.. The falling downward into the light is a really good insight too...

Good stuff.. I love the way these very sparse images give so much and are so adaptable to different contexts....
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Good insights, stone_lotus!

In a way, this bat looks like an infant waiting to be born -- emerging from the darkness of the womb into the light of life. He's incubated almost long enough and is now just waiting for the right moment to come forth, manifest, appear, and be realized.
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Thanks for this dialogue, Sulis and Pixna! I just obtained the Wild Unknown deck a couple of weeks ago, and as I work through it, having the wealth of this knowledge in the study group up and ready for me to access is so wonderful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sulis View Post
Good stuff.. I love the way these very sparse images give so much and are so adaptable to different contexts....
Yes, I really like how they're so simple and open to interpretation. I love too how "opposing" or very different interpretations of the same card don't seem in conflict .... They work..... There's a special sort of harmony at play.

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Originally Posted by Pixna View Post
He's incubated almost long enough and is now just waiting for the right moment to come forth, manifest, appear, and be realized.
Yes, absolutely. And I like your suggestion of waiting for "the right moment". It lends this bat more, mmm, smarts I guess, self-awareness, than I originally gave him credit for.
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I love stone_lotus's analysis above! Very helpful, and a fresh way of looking at this card.

I had been thinking that usually the Hanged Man card is a human hung upside down, which would naturally be quite uncomfortable for most of us. Here we have a bat, hanging in a position that is actually completely natural for the creature. This hangman skips past the step of struggle in finding another perspective, because it already comes naturally to them. They also use their eyes, but mostly their ears, to pierce through the darkness to quickly and easily interpret its surroundings.

The struggle in the card seems to lie outside these common issues that arise with the Hanged Man. Which is why I very much appreciate reading it as a call to action. You may feel stuck, and have the capacity to hang there for a long while, but eventually you have to start flying to feed yourself and your family, and to go beyond your comfortable and protected cocoon of wings.

On the other hand, bats usually hang in dark places during the daylight hours, so maybe this bat is just waiting for the right time to unfurl it wings, and when that time comes it will know. It seems the time is coming soon, because it's eyes are already open. Or it could be that the bat has just completed its night flight, and is waiting for the next appropriate time to take action and flight.

Another thought is that bats are often seen in a negative light by society and mythology. However, they do serve a purpose by eating up mosquitos and other insects that pester us. This Hanged Man is consistant with other Hanged Man cards as sometimes being a person on the fringe, different from others, whose presence is not always fully appreciated, and challenges and scares us. They are comfortable in the dark and dim places within the world and (themselves/ourselves), where we are not always ready to go. They also avoid the light that many others find nurturing (because it isn't nurturing for them).

I think hang ups, delays, avoidance of situations, denials, fear, self-protection, risk, being on guard, being closed, avoiding and allowing vulnerability and/or being vulnerable, going within, against the grain, confronting ones dark places, all of the topics mentioned in the above paragraphs, and a whole lot more could be possible elements when reading this card! Fascinating!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elinne View Post
They also use their eyes, but mostly their ears, to pierce through the darkness to quickly and easily interpret its surroundings.
Your comment also made me think of that card as saying "use your internal radar to guide you". Bats navigate by sonar.
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