The Hanged Man


Matthew 16:25-26 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

The path connecting Hod and Geburah is represented by the Hanged Man Tarot card. The card symbolizes enlightenment through suffering. The image on the Hanged Man card may suggest crucifixion, but that is not what is being represented. The person on the card is not nailed to a cross as part of a torturous execution, but is hanging upside down from a living tree. The Apostle Peter is said to have requested to be crucified upside down out of reverence to Jesus; the allusion to Peter might suggest the individual being portrayed on the card is a follower of Christ – though not necessarily one who is being martyred for his beliefs.

The Nimbus around the person’s head represents enlightenment. The living tree symbolizes the Tree of Life. The individual’s legs and the top of the tree both suggest a cross and crucifixion. Combining these symbols together, we have a follower of Christ, who is contemplating the meaning of Christ’s crucifixion (by taking up his own cross and following Him), while suffering and being disciplined on earth, in order to obtain enlightenment, and earning the right to eat from the Tree of Life.

1 Peter 2:19-21 For this is thank worthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps

Following God’s teachings is not always popular within societies/cultures, and Christians may be ridiculed or oppressed for their beliefs. Expecting such treatment and knowing that it is considered praiseworthy by God to endure grief or suffer in good conscience toward God can provide us with strength during the difficult times.

Hebrews 12:6-11 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Suffering is a part of life on earth. We will face hard times for our beliefs, and we must overcome adversity in order to continually grow spiritually. We grow in wisdom with each challenge we face, and though our growth may seem painful at the time, we can trust that the trials God gives us is for our own benefit. We can rejoice knowing that when we are being disciplined, we are being treated as sons and daughters of God.

Ephesians 1:17-19 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe…

Psalm 19:7-9 The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.

In order to grow spiritually, we need to study the Bible and contemplate and/or meditate on the examples we have been given. The Bible is more than a set of rules, it provides us with examples and lessons learned through the lives of others, which can broaden our understanding of the world and enlighten our personal journeys.

Jesus taught that we are to take up our cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:25). At the sphere of Tiphareth we examined Christ’s crucifixion; this path of the Qabalah focuses on how we might take up the cross and follow Him, and what Christ’s crucifixion means to us as we work out our salvations.

Numbers 21:5-7 The people spoke against God and Moses, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food." The LORD sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. So the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned, because we have spoken against the LORD and you; intercede with the LORD, that He may remove the serpents from us." And Moses interceded for the people.

Numbers 21:8-10 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live." And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived…

John 3:14-15 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.

Matthew 20:18-19 “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”

Christ’s crucifixion was part of God’s foreordained plan, and ancient Israel was given a foreshadowing of God’s plan during the incident with the fiery serpents. The serpents were sent as a punishment for the people’s sins, but the people could escape the punishment of their sins (death) by following God’s instructions and looking to the bronze serpent lifted up in the desert. Christ likewise was lifted up on a tree (crucified), so that all who follow God’s instructions and look to Him (Christ crucified) can be forgiven of their sins and escape death. Christians are to take up their crosses and follow Him, so that as Christ was obedient unto death and rose from the dead, they might be also. ………………………………………..

Romans 6:5-7 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin, because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

Galatians 2:19-20 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Galatians 5:24-25 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Contemplation on the meaning of the crucifixion of Christ, leads Christ’s followers into an understanding of obedience and self-discipline. Christ lived according to God’s will, and was obedient unto death. His followers may be asked to suffer physically and perhaps face martyrdom, but for the majority of His followers, the suffering and discipline will reside in a personal struggle against sin.

This path connects Hod and Geburah on the Pillar of Severity. The Pillar of Severity deals with judgment and justice. When contemplating the meaning of Christ’s crucifixion, it is important to understand the NEED for self-discipline. Overcoming our sins is not only a means of taking up the cross and following Christ, but is also necessary for our salvations. Christ’s sacrifice offers us the chance for forgiveness, but only if will follow Him (and His teachings).

Once saved, we cannot go on willfully sinning. We must make changes in our lives, because sin warrants judgment. The enlightenment of this path has to do with recognizing the need for judgment and justice, and choosing to be immolators of Christ. Gaining this enlightenment and acting upon it, will assist the follower in the Great Work of purifying his/her sole, and regaining access to the Tree of Life.

Genesis 2:8-9 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil

Genesis 3:22-23 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.

The Tree of Life is first mentioned in the Book of Genesis, and was found in the Garden of Eden. The Fall of Man took place when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eating from that tree was a sin, and mankind was banished from the garden to prevent them from eating of the Tree of Life because of it. At that point man gained knowledge of good and evil; it is now each individual’s responsibility/task to discern between good and evil and make the right choices in life.

Proverbs 3:18-19 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed. By wisdom the LORD laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place

Wisdom is personified as a woman in the Book of Proverbs, and wisdom is a Tree of Life to those who obtain her. Gaining wisdom and enlightenment through self-discipline, study, meditation, and refection on the lessons of the Bible, and the trials and tribulations we face in our lives on the earth will all work together in our spiritual growth; as we work out our own salvations and seek the Crown of Righteousness and access to the Tree of Life.
Revelation 2:7 whoever has ears let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

Revelation 22:1-4 then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.

Revelation 22: 14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.”

Hearing and understanding the messages and teachings contained in the Bible is the path to victory. Our lives are deeply intertwined with Christ and God’s foreordained plan. Though we are offered mercy and forgiveness, this path of the Qabalah rests on the Pillar of Severity; reminding us that although Christ has already finished the work, if will do not heed God’s call, we will remain on the path of judgment.