This is the fifteenth post in a series on the Tarot Rug Project (also known as "Exploring the Tarot: 23 Artists Hook the Major Arcana"). To view the entire series, go HERE (that post will be kept up to date as the photos are published and the show travels).
THE HANGED MAN: Here is the "classic" Rider-Waite-Smith image below:
“To change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.”
"I like to turn things upside down, to watch pictures and situations from another perspective."
"Take a walk with a turtle. And behold the world in pause."
"When things don't happen right away, just remember it takes six months to build a Rolls-Royce and thirteen hours to build a Toyota."
The quotes above show two of the common interpretations of this card.
Now let's have a look at what Kathleen Herbert did with this card in her tarot rug:
Kathleen Herbert is a longtime textile artist, certified teacher, and collector of and speaker on the history of antique hooked rugs. I met Kathleen years ago in Connecticut and it was great to reconnect with her through this show.
What I did not know about Kathleen until I saw the rug is that she also has another hobby--collecting gravestone rubbings and epitaphs, or "Mourning Art." I love her whimsical take on The Hanged Man. Many people, when they first see the classic image on the card, feel quite nervous about it; they don't notice that the Hanged Man looks untroubled by his predicament. He is hanging by one foot, after all. The other foot is free. There is no indication that his hands are tied. With a bit of effort he can likely return himself to an upright position. Does he wish to? Is he deliberately suspending himself upside down to gain another perspective, as with an inverted yoga pose? Or has he come to a place in life where he is, literally, in suspension--even stuck--and is being forced to wait something out?
In Kathleen's rug we see a cheery looking and acrobatic Hanged Man, with that halo or sun-like hair about his head. I like her brilliant sun and shooting stars, and the trees with their "mourning art" branches and leaves. Is that a raven we see, and is there a hint of Edgar Allen Poe in this rug? Kathleen has added her own traditional headstones, complete with epitaphs, and the whimsical multi-colored skills and fire. Her rug makes me smile.
WHAT DOES THE CARD MEAN?
When you get this card, ask yourself:
Remember that you can catch up on all the other rugs in the exhibit at the link at the very top of this post. If you are curious about what's behind the exhibit, there is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section here (scroll down to the bottom of that post to get to the FAQ).
Thanks for reading. Your comments are always welcome.
Today's suggested tarot resource: Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot, by Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin.
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), a long-time meditator, a certified meditation teacher and coach, and focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society