Between Light and Darkness

The blog before me is the Ace of Stars Tarot by Shonna Hill

The theme of this Tarot Blog Hop, celebrating Ostara 2013 is

 Dancing Between Light and Darkness

I wot that I hanged on the windy tree
nights all nine,
wounded by a spear and given to Óðen,
myself to myself,
on that tree,
of which no one knows from what roots it rises.

The sacrifice of Odin (1895) by Lorenz Frølich
The sacrifice of Odin (1895) by Lorenz Frølich


Odin, the mighty Norwegian god, All-Father to the whole of creation, divine and human. In the minds of many people today, the most popular image of  Odin is that of a god of battle and of death. However traditionally he was also, if not more, linked to knowledge.

Among his gifts to us was the greatest of all: the gift of writing. Like the Egyptian god Thoth he is therefore also the god of magic.

To accomplish this, Odin self-sacrificed himself by hanging himself upside down in the World Tree, the gigantic  ash Yggdrasil. He reached for the runes under him and obtaining them he fell out of the tree.


Released from his self chosen period of restriction and  ordeals  he faced during that time, his quest for knowledge continued.  Upon his shoulders perched two ravens, Hugin (“Thought”), and Munin (“Memory”).  The birds circled the Earth each day, seeing all, and then at night the ravens reported to Odin what they had learnt.

crucible 12 tarot shemay
Japanese tarot artist Shemay


The earthly restriction, suffering and obtaining Knowledge is reflected in the tarot card of the Hanged Man.

Searching for images for this article I found some wonderful tarot cards that reflect the message of the Hanged Man that I want to share with you.

It is a small step to connect this story to the story of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. He sacrificed himself, suffered, died, joined his heavenly Father and resurrected. In a few tarot deck Jesus is pictured in the major arcana XII as the hanged man.

he hanged woman of the Corneal Edema Tarot

The hanged woman of the Corneal Edema Tarot
artist :John R. Dybowski
publisher : Adam McLean

The Corneal Edema Tarot is an art tarot celebrating the Gothic lifestyle. It interprets the theme of the card quit dark. To be hanged by the neck resolves, if properly done, in a quick dead. Looking at the card you can ask yourself : How do I deal with the ordeals that I encounter in my life?

In a lot of other hanged (wo)man cards, the image reflects a sense of submission, of leaving yourself vulnerable to fate, of letting go.

(S)He is in between two worlds, the physical and mystical worlds, life and death,…
In this time of introspection, it is needed to sacrifice a belief, a wish, dream, hope, money, even time or the ego-self to (re)gain (spiritual) freedom and to receive the gift of a new perspective (through inversion).

Just like Odin we can find our own runes, the arcana of our lifes, our magical potential.

I would like to thank Guido Gillabel  of the Tarot Museum Belgium for helping me finding these special cards. (please scroll down to see all the images)


I have also another blog article in English : the Nightmare Paintings – works from the Palermo Collection by Aleister Crowley

Please visit the next blog in the Tarot Blog Hop ‘Between  Light and Darkness’ : Tarotwitchery by Aisling the Bard

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Tarot Cirkel