XII Hanged Man--Archeon Tarot


This is by far the most disturbing image in the Archeon. Though the deck has a darker feel to it, over all, this one goes beyond just a hint of darkness. What is Lantz trying to say with the rotting corpse? Perhaps he's suggesting that we have do surrender a part of our life (i.e. sacrifice) in order to gain something else. Obviously this image is a dramatization of that concept: giving up your LIFE for something else. Perhaps this is the corpse of a mighty warrior that gave his or her life for the betterment of his/her people.

The crows/ravens tend to symbolize a foreshadowing of treachery or darkness; or they simply suggest death.

The sword in the foreground looks like it's holding up the corpse's post--which definitely supports the warrior theory. The sword is slightly transparent at the base, which suggests it may be ethreal in nature: maybe he was a spiritual warrior.

The moon makes an appearance in this image, which is pretty much the status quo in the Archeon. The background is pretty illusive: it looks like the remains of something lost.

Thoughts? --FS


Perhaps the corpse is the core essence


I think the ravens are suggesting death and eating away at what is there. Birds are often seen above rotting corpses.

And I figure the background is elusive because whoever hung the man burned the town to the ground and, in fact, it still appears to be burning. So we are not coming up on something that happened in the past but something that is very recent and thus relevant to the present now.

But to me, when I see this this corpse, I think of getting to the core essence of a subject when looking at my options (while at the crossroads). In order to make a decision, I need to know what it is I truly want. The skeletal bones are the foundation frame for the body. And I must know what is my 'foundation frame' for making my decision. And if I have to strip away everthing that up until now has identified me as me, then that is something that needs to be done.

I'm fairly new to tarot and this is the only deck I own so maybe that colors my interpretation of the card.


There is also the birds as leading the soul to afterlife. But with the state of the corpse, it is as said before. They wanted a free snack.

I think there is some burial that put the corpse on a wood armature. I don't remember the name of that ritual. As I look at this picture, I am thinking about that kind of funeral. The body is then left to be eaten and be decayed by animals and elements. Quite fitting for the hanged man.


Why is the corpse hung out like that on the tree's bough? What is it doing up there? What are the ravens doing on the bough?

The Hanged Man in tarot traditionally stands for sacrifice. Maybe the card is meant to exhibit a sacrifice of some sort for a good and noble cause.

This card reminds me of the Bloodrayne 2 game where Rayne (the protogonist) passes by a dead tree with a corpse similar to this one dangling off its branch. It is obviously a signpost. A warning of greater peril if you should press on. As Rayne proceeds on, she indeed meets powerful vampire enemies.

So maybe in this tarot card, the rotting body is a signpost too. The message says "proceed at your own peril". The ravens reinforce this message because ravens are often harbingers of death.


The way the corpse crosses his/her arms over his/her chest, it appears to be a Pharao.


The Crow tells me about the afterlive and that we must sacrifice something powerfult and importent to us to gain something even more powerfult; knowledge. The picture are most disturbing, and the moon and the corp makes it dark and a bit frightened.


I've only had this deck for about a week, so I'm still getting to know it. But when I first cracked it open, this was the card that absolutely knocked my socks off. I haven't even ebgun to consider what the symbolic meanings of the various elements in the card are. But it stirred such a visceral reaction in me. After a string of "This card is so *expleteive* cool!" my first coherent thought was that it was the best lead-in to Death that I've seen. In fact, the Death card was almost anti-climactic after this one. Didn't someone once say: "Death is easy. It's the dying that's hard." Pretty good example of that here. But even aside from such dark thoughts, there is a stark beauty to the whole scene. There are many cards in this deck that are amazing, but this definitely keeps drawing my eye.

Sorry to be gushing. Hopefully after I've spent more time with my deck I'll have some actual insight to offer :)


I feel as though it is a sacrifice before Death, and in Tarot, Death means change. It is the sacrifice people make in order to change their life.

That is the first meaning I get, anyway.

Dave's Angel

Be as gushing as you like deacon, they were lovely thoughts.

I have two things to suggest. The graphical, putrid corpse shown is in stark contrast to the Hanged Man on more traditional decks who seems to be not only uncorrupted, but very much alive even. Think of the RW - he's got this lovely little halo and seems quite comfy. For me, this card hits home the prosaic, gritty nature of sacrifice. It's all lovely in the abstract, making heroic sacrifices for some higher cause. Not so lovely when you're actually at the sharp end.

The other thing, the rotting and the way the corpse is tightly bound means a loss of human shape, and the outline is more like a chrysalis. That's got to be getting straight to the heart of traditional HM imagery.


Hugin and Munin were the 2 Ravens of Odin.
He hung on the World Tree, Igdrasil to gain knowledge. He received the vision of the runes.
Ravens are associated with the sun, rather than the moon.
Also Ravens do not feed or fly at night. So here I see a blazing sunset.
The corps is emaciated, dried out and has a grimace of pain on the remnants of its face. This suggests suffering, so that death itself would be the release from suffering.
The corps is bald. In Siberia hair is the sign of wisdom. To cut of one's hair is a sacrifice of everything one knows - - and the willingness to have it all grow anew-- replace old wisdom with a new vision....