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 ;)
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