Waite on the Hanged Man (from his Introduction in Thierens' book)


Waite wrote an introduction to A. E. Thierens' General Book of the Tarot in which he's uncharacteristically forthcoming about the Hanged Man:

"The human figure of the symbol is suspended head downward and as such it is comparable to the Microprosopus or God of Reflections in the so-called Great Symbol or Double Triangle of Solomon, prefixed by Lévi to this [sic] Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, being the frontispiece of the first volume. It follows that the true symbol belonging to Trump Major No. XII, though it is by no means that of Lévi, is not a Hanged Man at all; but it will continue to be depicted in this manner unless and until the Greater Arcana are issued by the authority of another Secret Circle, which so far has never testified officially concerning itself in the outer channels of research."​

Here's Levi's image Waite refers to.


This image is ripe with clues to the Hanged Man's identity. Waite's comment that the true symbol isn't a Hanged Man at all is especially interesting. No doubt he's referring to the "Drowned Man" which he used in the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross and to which the Golden Dawn's Hanged Man also hints.


In the PKT Waite says regarding the Hanged Man : " I will say very simply on my own part that it expresses the relation , in one of its aspects , between the Divine and the Universe ". I think that he could be referring here to the idea that the Divine is reflected in the Universe but that as in a reflection in water the highest becomes the lowest , the greatest becomes the smallest ( inverse analogy ). In the Gospels Jesus say that " the kingdom of heaven is within you " and in another place that the Kingdom of Heaven is as small as a mustard seed initially . So we have this idea that the greatest thing of all in the spiritual world is the tiniest most insignificant , most obscure thing in the Universe. The Nativity itself would seem to be something similar as the omnipotent Divinity appeared in His Universe as the most helpless , insignificant being .

I think that the image of the Drowned Giant speaks to the same thing . Isn't it the latens deitas buried in the waters of creation , and our " highest nature " buried in each of us ?


Yes he's the Microprosopus shown in Levi's image; or Adam Microprosopus as Waite calls it, the Son. He's the Divine manifested in time and space, both in nature and in a personal sense within the individual.

He is represented as YHVH (Jehovah) and YHShVH (Yeheshuah). Below Tiphareth he's YHVH and in Tiphareth he becomes YHShVH with the addition of Shin.

The Macroposopus is Kether and is indicated by AHIH (Ehyeh).