The Hanged Man
Hello Everyone! Sorry it has been so long! but here we go :) a well thought out and planned long winded and informative blog! Before we begin, it's t
The conspirator, the traitor
When I was a teenager, I found this photo of a man somewhere, who knows a movie? a book? but it stuck with me big time as an incredibly creepy and powerful image. Well when I was a teenager looking things up on the internet wasn't as accessible as it is now and I just kind of let it fall to the wayside and never knew who he was.
Later in life I ran across it and a caption online that said his name was Lewis Payne (Powell) a lesser known Lincoln Assassination Conspirator that was executed by hanging, however he hung for 8 minutes before expiring just because of the strength of his neck. A dark story and a dark picture. This photo was taken right before his execution.
I wanted to use it as artwork for the Hanged Man but my main conflict was, what does this have to do with the meaning of the Hanged Man Card? Sure I'm artistically inspired and it works literally but what does it have to do with letting go of control?
When I began looking at the dark theme of someone hanging by their neck for the hanged man, a form of death that has a lot of history in the United States as well as Europe. I was considering changing the theme until I began to do a little homework on the Italian Tarot, developed in Northern Italy in the 15th Century.
I got chills up my spine when I read: The Hanged Man or sometimes known as Il Tradatore, The Traitor because a common punishment for Traitors at the time in Italy was to hang them by their toes, a painful and humiliating punishment.
I also remembered reading somewhere that Venice especially at that time, was very paranoid about "Traitors!"
Although it STILL doesn't correlate with my definition of the meaning it felt so ironic to have already chosen Lewis Payne, a traitor, that I had to continue with it as him. History repeats itself and is ALWAYS relevant, in my opinion.
Finding the right Face
Now keep in mind, that I don't look for someone with the EXACT face as my subject or character. I look at facial proportions and feature shapes more than anything, to see if they will "fit" into the existing drawing. While I was working on my drawing of Lewis Payne at my PT job at a rock club, which btw is where I finished A LOT of my work for the tarot deck lol because my bosses are awesome. NOT getting into trouble for drawing, is a super blessing in my life. If I had a dollar for every time I got into trouble for drawing at school or work in my life I could retire!!...anyway! I was drawing Lewis Payne and thinking man where am I going to find someone to model for the photography portion of this piece?? He's a hard face to match! and up strolls Jacob B, not only a rare thing these days for me to just run into him but literally moments after I asked myself this question. Thank you fates! He was perfect! Here is a photo we took for the piece. You''ll see how I have his face at the exact same expression and angle (in the wrong direction hahaha! but I just flip flopped it when I started working on it. mistakes happen!) as well as the lighting design meant to emulate the illustration and photo I drew it from. Taking the textured and photo portions of these pieces is not as simple as a snap shot :) He fit with the piece when I was in the final stages of putting it together perfectly! Yay fates for your assistance in making everything come together! :) and this is not the first and only time this happened while creating my deck. I had a lot of help, I could sense it :) oh and of course thanks Jacob....Jacob and fates. :)
Although the meaning of this card has changed over the years, there continues to be a positive and negative way to approach the predicament of hanging upside down without a safety net. Upright this card refers to the sacrifice and surrender of control. Accept that surrendering to the things you cannot change can sometimes be very liberating. Reversed this card represents confusion and a false calling. When you're hanging upside down, it's hard to see the big picture. Instead of being baffled by your loss of footing, try to let go and flow with the winds of change.
And with that I'm going to go surrender myself to the winds of change in the weather! and get in that sun before it disappears again!....Northwest problems ;)
Here's a music video that has some interesting imagery associated with hanging ;)
you know, as a visual artist, I tend to despise verbally explaining myself. I, for some reason feel like the idea of the piece should be apparent, which is kind of foolish.
The idea of writing the book to accompany my tarot cards has been frightening me for weeks now. I kept putting it off and thinking to myself "I'm not a writer!! it's going to suck!!"
Well after finally talking myself into devoting real time to it this week I've realized something about myself.
1. I am a storyteller
2. Even though it's been years since I have given readings, I'm still very good at it.
I am a storyteller, I LOVE to explain the meaning behind my cards to people and the history behind them. I love to tell other people about a person in the pasts' struggles and triumphs. I love American underbelly history and folklore and become very excited when someone asks me "hey what happened to that person" and I know the answer. My story telling methods I can thank my dad for. He is a very captivating story teller and no matter how many times I hear them, I always love hearing one again. I have adopted a lot of his characteristics when I tell my stories. What more is writing the story of each card down than story telling? Hang on, I got this :)
I'm good at giving readings. I used to do it all the time and I enjoy connecting with people and helping them through their problems. I love the look of epiphany on a person's face when they realize something they hadn't before during a reading. It's a great time in someone's life and I get to share it for a moment and maybe even contribute. How awesome is that? Which is one of the reasons, when this deck is done. I'll be offering my assistance with the deck by booking as many readings as possible with my very own deck! Also it seems to come kind of natural to me, something else takes over in a sense and I feel like it's something I'm meant to do more.
With these 2 factors I have a book! and it's mostly done too. As you can probably tell, from my blogs, I'm the queen of fragmented sentences and grammatical errors though. So thankfully my mom is going to help me edit the book and with her vast Tarot knowledge she can also offer some suggestions on my interpretations of each card.
Here is an example of my interpretation of one card in particular , pre mom edit. Hope it gives an idea of the road I am taking this deck down :) It's kind of eerie, how I went down one road with this card and wasn't sure why until I did more research. The Hanged Man, I chose to portray a Lincoln Conspirator and wasn't sure why other than I wanted an outlaw and this man's final photograph is one of the most haunting pictures I have ever see., even though it wasn't really relevant to the meaning of the card, or so I thought. Turns out in Italy this card was also referred to as "The Traitor" because it was common to hang traitors up by their ankles, painful and humiliating I'm sure. Kind of spooky, and it keeps happening with each card! Anyway, Hope you like it! :) feedback is encouraged, positive or negative.
The Hanged Man XII
Lewis Payne or Powell was a lesser known Lincoln Conspirator. His main crime was an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate the secretary of state. After Powell was arrested, detained on a military vessel and photographed, he was executed by hanging. His neck was so strong that he hung for 5 minutes before finally dying. This card in Italy was often referred to as Il Traditore (The Traitor) where at the time it was a common punishment to hang traitors by their feet.
Although the meaning of this card has changed over the years there continues to be a positive way and a negative way to approach the predicament of hanging upside down without the safety and comfort of gravity. Upright this card refers to a sacrifice and surrender of control. Accept that surrendering to the things you cannot change can sometimes be very liberating. Reversed this card represents confusion and a false calling. Sometimes when you have your blinders on or are upside down for example, it’s hard to see things outside of yourself and the big picture. Instead of being baffled by your loss of footing try to go with the flow of change.
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