Artist: Roxana Paul
A man being hung upside-down by one ankle is depicted on this card. His other leg is bent at the knee; he does not look suffering but relaxed and calm. He is Dumuzi (Tammuz), formerly a mortal king who became a god of vegetation and fertility after his marriage to the goddess Inanna (Ishtar).
The metaphorical story of Dumuzi, the shepherd, and farmer god reflects the natural changes of the seasons. According to the Babylonian mythology, Inanna was offended by her husband’s behavior and ordered demons Galla to bring Dumuzi to the underworld. He had to stay in the hell for six months of each year and return to earth by the autumn. Dumuzi’s reunion with Inanna, the goddess of fertility, symbolized the revitalization of life when plants harvested.
The Hanged Man is a card with various and comprehensive meanings that can be viewed from three different perspectives. First of them incarnates the notion of sacrifice, selflessness, rejection of self-interest, and becoming a martyr. The second idea represents the concept of higher understanding, wisdom, and faith. From this point of view, the Hanged Man symbolizes an open mind that can overcome prejudices and preconceptions. The third notion is about introspection and emotional release. The Hanged Man accepts a stream of events, surrenders to circumstances, and lets things go.
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