The Hanged Man
collage, ink and colored pencils on paper
8.5″ x 11″
Images, Symbols and The World Around Us
We live in a world made of images and symbols which we perceive through our eyes and interpret with our brains. As we grow, we learn to see the world and it’s images, and these images become loaded with all kinds of meaning, some good and some bad.
Each one of us, through our different temperaments and experiences, will form our own individualized set of responses to these images around us. And these responses will, for the most part, lead and guide a person through life.
This leads to a very simple truth: Change the way you view the world around you and you change the way you think and act.
To me, this is the meaning behind the tarot card image of The Hanged Man. A man, viewing a world upside down, hanging in meditation, bliss and enlightenment.
Symbolism In This Drawing
In this drawing I borrowed the central image from The Hanged Man card, number twelve in the Major Arcana, from the Rider-Waite tarot deck.
Here he hangs suspended between heaven and earth on the World Tree, with white hair of wisdom, representing the hermetic ideal of As Above, So Below.
The two obelisks represent at least four different things, one of which is the twelve houses of the zodiac, as the hanging man’s illumination represents the sun at the center.
The clouds above represent the process of consciousness entering the body and the process of individualization… and that’s just a few of the many symbols in this drawing. With much thought and meditation it is possible to find and interpret the numerous other symbols imbedded in this drawing.
It’s this process of thought and meditation which helps us understand the “why” behind the way we see things and opens the door to seeing in a whole new way. Symbols are like keys to unlock those doors.
Enjoy exploring the drawing!
Other interpretations of The Hanged Man tarot card:
I’ve decided to try and create a habit of posting an image a day on my Facebook page… a process I started a week and a half ago on the 19th.
Here’s the first image I posted.
All the images posted so far have been from a series called Raising The World Tree/Incoming Comet.
These mixed-media collages on paper are each about 7″ wide by 8 1/2 ” high and were created in 1997 and 1998.
Raising The World Tree
The idea of raising The World Tree is a common mythical theme in many different religions. Here’s the Wikipedia quote:
The world tree is a motif present in several religions and mythologies, particularly Indo-European religions, Siberian religions, and Native American religions. The world tree is represented as a colossal tree which supports the heavens, thereby connecting the heavens, the earth, and, through its roots, the underground. It may also be strongly connected to the motif of the tree of life.
I think of “Raising The World Tree” in the same way as the Hopi – that we currently live in the Fourth World which is coming to an end someday, at that point a new World Tree will be raising up which will be the beginning of the Fifth World.
One of the things that stood out while creating these pieces was the large red spot which moved through the drawings, a reoccurring icon like a comet of old, appearing in the sky like a harbinger of some event just beyond the horizon of the moment.
Here’s a painting from the same time I was doing the drawings, it’s called (Hank William’s) Lost Highway, and has the same red spot moving through it…
I’m not saying what comet that is, I’m just saying – it’s a comet…
Here’s a sketch I did last night in my notebook, thinking about my story and allowing the picture of myself as the two-headed dragon I’ve been writing about to pour out of my pen on to the paper.
You can see the left head (our right) seems to be very delighted with these new wings. The new wings have been perplexing and filled with mystery at this point.
Today I scanned the sketch into the computer and added color to fit the colors I see in the minds eye – a blue two-headed dragon with red on his skulls and yellows, browns and oranges in his plumes or dreads.
The wings are yellow in this drawing, but really they’re more translucent resembling light beams through a foggy mist – and they ripple a bit like fog… you might not see them if you didn’t know they were there.
We’ve had amazing amounts of wind the last few days, and when I’m out walking my dogs it’s as if I can feel the wings wanting to unfurl completely and go dance with the winds… it made me laugh with a funny kind of joy.
In a world that is often childish and emotionally driven, I find there are days when I’m less than my ideal self, and everything I do seems to be a reaction from my emotional storms and bi-polar-coaster ride.
On those days the old 70’s saying “I’m OK, you’re OK” gets warped and twisted around my fragile ego, and becomes something like “If I’m okay, then you’re okay…”, which is the opposite of my preferred outlook of “If you’re okay, then I’m okay…”
The little guy in the drawing above is The Monster Pill – I originally drew him last summer and he’s now available on kids clothing at Cafe Press, as well as adult clothing too… here’s some examples – click on them to go to my Cafe Press shop and get something for your kid, or the kid in you…
Much has been going on in my life, and I’ll be catching everyone up shortly.
But for the moment…
Here’s a piece I did the other day… I’m going through my large collection of Long Beach photos from the last few years, and dug this one out to finish the piece I’ve seen in my head every time I walk by this house.
This house is a few blocks from our apartment/studio, on First Street in Bluff Park, a very beautiful neighborhood on the bluff overlooking the beach with a view of the Queen Mary and looking out towards Catalina Island across the channel.
When I took the photo of the house which I used here, I pictured it in my head as isolated from all the other houses – on an island of sorts with waves lapping where the street is now…
There are a few other houses that give me the same feel, maybe I’ll put them on an island too.
I’ve been very busy over the last few weeks working on a project called “The Book of Days”; a multi-year work that involves various calendars, numerous subjects (like Mayan time, circular rhythms, astronomy, myths, religions, the story of creation, God, gods and other spiritual beings, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Esau, the next 26,000 years, the world tree, and (this is the short list) one of the main characters – Ophiuchus… it’s a big project and it’s getting closer to launch every day…
Subscribe to my newsletter (see side bar on right) and I’ll update you as soon as the new blog site for The Book of Days is launched.
I did a number of drawings earlier this month while I was preparing my materials for this project… here’s the whole collection that I posted along with a few extras… enjoy and have a great Christmas.
Here’s another of the drawing I did while at Death Valley this last weekend (Thursday through Sunday).
Thinking about the World Tree still… lots of snakes and serpents getting in these drawings. I let my unconscious mind steer these drawings and I get surprised by what shows up… like those sand dunes near the bottom. I ended up doing the sand dune drawing (see image from 12-16-2008) after seeing those show up…
We returned from Death Valley this evening. Tania and I traveled out there with our 2 dogs, Tania’s brother Derek, and our best friend Tina to celebrate her birthday. Death Valley is beautiful in December, and cold…
We stayed in Stovepipe Wells at the motel near the sand dunes. We explored the sand dunes for quite awhile on Friday morning. The wind creates really beautiful shapes and forms…
On Saturday afternoon, as we were about to leave on another adventure across the park, we saw what looked like a wall of haze or cloud coming down from the north end of the park. The wind was starting to blow harder, and after some ominous sounding words from the maintenance guy about a sand storm that was about to hit us, we changed our plans and moved back to the motel room.
We settled in to watch the storm, popped open some cans of Coors and put on The Doors… as we all talked, hung out, and drank more beer I drew in my sketchbook and this is one of the drawings; the Sand Dunes at Stovepipe Wells with the Devil’s Cornfield in the foreground.
I decided to keep this one as a black and white ink drawing instead of adding any color.
I’ll post more a about our trip, and some photos later…
This is a drawing I did this last weekend, one of several I’ve did based on Psalm 37, verse 3-6.
These verses are ones I’ve been meditating on for 5 years, cycling through different verses as seasons of life change.
Currently I’m on verse 5 and have been for quite awhile… It’s a very slow paced digestion of the word, but these 4 verses written thousands of years ago have helped reshape my life from who I was when I first read them during a crashing depression.
Enjoy the drawing… lot’s of little things in there from my current reading material about Mayan culture, serpents shedding their skin (note: there is a deep Advent season focus of John the Baptist’s call to repentance and renewal going on through all these drawings)
Here’s a drawing I did Friday – the subject of this one is the story of Esau and Jacob, Twins, Gemini, more about the World Tree (that’s a Mayan story), and a bunch of other little details… like that worm at the bottom – that’s Laban, Jacob’s father-in-law (Gen. 29).
My thoughts are often revolving around Mayan beliefs, the books of the prophets in the Old Testament of the Bible, the Gospels and Revelation from the New Testament, Greek Mythology, Astronomy, Quantum Physics, genetics, symbols and Jungian psychology, and some other things… all of which are finding their way into these drawings…
Welcome to Part Two of an election time allegorical story called STEW, or, How Esau Lost The 2008 Election.
And now for something completely different…
Today we have a semi-epic Biblical drama, Journey to Mesopotamia, to add more ingredients to this stew, and to help us understand the background of our story…
I imagined this drama in what I call “Star-Wars-o-Vision”, an epic and lush George Lucas-esque styling – available in wide screen HD for those of you with a great visual imagination.
Keep in mind all the allegorical imagery from Part One as we move ahead… all the pieces will add up as the story moves along.
Plagiarism Disclaimer: The following story is mostly lifted from Genesis 24:13-67 using the American Standard Version, the New American Standard Version and a few modifications of my own…
A Note on Hebrew Names for God:
Elohim is a Hebrew word for God which means: gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural) of the supreme God.
Jehovah is another of the Hebrew word for God which means: self existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God as in, Jehovah, the Lord.
Source – Strong‘s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary.
Journey to Mesopotamia
Scene I: The Oath
Setting: Widescreen view out over a vast desert landscape, bleak, but colorized a bit with some deeper colors to give it the “settling in to an epic story” feel. As the camera scans the desert a great settlement of tents, people and herds comes into view in the valley below… the camera shifts to inside of Abraham’s tent, decorated in early “Raiders of the Lost Ark” style…
Casting notes: Abraham is play by Jack Nicholson in this scene and his servant is played by Morgan Freeman, who is also the narrator, like in “The Shawshank Redemption“…
Abraham’s Servant: Our story begins after Abraham has mourned the death of his beloved wife Sarah…
In that day Abraham was old and advanced in age, and Jehovah had blessed Abraham in every way, but he could see his son Isaac was still heartsick because of his mother’s death.
One day Abraham called me into his tent, because I was his oldest and most trusted servant, and he made me swear an oath
Abraham: I will make you swear by El-Shaddai, the Elohim of heaven and the Elohim of earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son from the Daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live, but you shall go to my country and to my relatives and take a wife for my son Isaac.
Abraham’s Servant: Suppose the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land; should I take your son back to the land where you came from?
Abraham [exploding]: Beware lest you take my son back there! El Shaddai, the Elohim of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and the land of my birth, and who spoke to me, and who swore to me, saying ‘To your descendants I will give this land,’ He will send His angel before you, and you will take a wife for my son from there.
But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this my oath; only do not take my son back there.
Abraham’s Servant: So I made an oath with Abraham concerning this matter. He gave me ten camels loaded with a variety of good things and special gifts he gave into my hand, and I left for Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor, the snoring father of civilization, back to the land that my master Abraham had left so long ago.
Scene II: The Well at Nahor
Setting: another view out over a vast desert landscape… the camera moves towards the caravan of ten camels that is coming to a stop at a desert well of water, it is late afternoon…
Abraham’s Servant: When I approached the city of Nahor, and came to the well where the women came to draw the evening water, I made the camels knee down and I dismounted.
I looked around me and made a request to the Jehovah, the Elohim of my master, Abraham.
O Jehovah, the Elohim of my master Abraham, send me, I pray thee, success this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham.Behold, I am standing by the fountain of water.
The daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water, so let it come to pass, that the girl to whom I shall say, ‘Let down thy pitcher, please, that I may drink.’
And she shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also.’
May she be the one whom thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac. And thereby shall I know that thou hast showed kindness unto my master.
Abraham’s Servant continues: While I was still addressing Jehovah I saw coming towards me a beautiful maiden who I later found out was Rebekah who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her jar upon her shoulder.
Note on Rebekah’s name: could be translated from the Hebrew as “The clog, the fettering beauty born to the son who was destroyed by God, born of the queen to the snoring brother of Abraham” or something like that…see Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary.
Abraham’s Servant continues: This girl was very beautiful to look at, a virgin, who had not yet been touched for the very first time. She went down to the fountain, and filled her jar, and came up again…
Abraham’s Servant [running to meet Rebekah]:Give me to drink, please, a little water from your jar.
Rebekah [lowering her jar to her hand, and giving Abraham’s servant a drink]: Drink.
Rebekah [after Abraham’s servant finishes drinking]: I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.
[Rebekah quickly emptied her pitcher into the watering trough, and runs back the well to draw more water, and continued until all the camels had been satisfied.]
Abraham’s Servant [narrating]: All the while I watched her, holding my peace, to know whether Jehovah had made my journey successful or not…
When the camels had finished drinking, I knew in my heart she was the one so I gave her a golden ring for her nose, and ten bracelets for her hands.
Abraham’s Servant [speaking to Rebekah]: Whose daughter are you and is there room in your father’s house for myself, my camels and my men to spend the night?
Rebekah: I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor. We have both straw and feed for your camels, and plenty of room for your men.
Abraham’s Servant [bowing his head – praying]: Blessed be Jehovah, the Elohim of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his loving-kindness and his truth toward my master. As for me, Jehovah has led me in the way to the house of my master’s brothers.
Scene III: Mesopotamian Material Girl
Setting: Large settlement with many people carrying on with the daily activities of Mesopotamian people about 3,500 years ago… the camera follows Abraham’s servant (Morgan Freeman) and Rebekah (early Madonna, “Like A Virgin” era) from the well to the house of Laban, the Mesopotamian – Rebekah’s brother (played by Rupert Murdoch in this scene)
Abraham’s Servant [narrating]: I waited as Rebekah ran off to tell her mother’s household.
Now Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban. Soon I saw Laban hurrying out to meet me by the well, because he had seen the gifts I had given Rebekah and had heard her story.
Laban: Don’t just stand there, come blessed of Jehovah… I have prepared the house, and room for the camels.
Abraham’s Servant [narrating]: So I went with Laban to his house where he unloaded the camels, gave them straw and feed and provided water to wash my feet and the feet of the men that were with me.
After this food was set before us to to eat…
Abraham’s Servant [speaking to Laban]: I will not eat, until I have told my business.
Abraham’s Servant: I am Abraham’s servant, and Jehovah has blessed my master greatly. He has become great and Jehovah has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, many servant, and camels and asses.
Now Sarah, my master’s wife, has bore a son to my master in her old-age, and my master has given his son all he has.
Abraham’s Servant [narrating]: I continued to tell him about my oath to Abraham, my request to Jehovah and my meeting with Rebekah by the well…
Abraham’s Servant [continuing to speak to Laban]: If you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me so. And if not, let me know, so that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.
Laban (with Bethuel at his side): The matter comes from Jehovah, and is not ours to decide whether this is good or bad.
Behold, Rebekah is before you, take her, and go, and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as Jehovah has spoken.
Abraham’s Servant [narrating]: And it came to pass, that, when I heard their words, I bowed down to the earth and worshiped Jehovah.
After this I brought out jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah. I also gave to her brother and to her mother precious things. Then we ate and drank until the morning.
Scene IV: Blessing Our Sister Rebekah
Setting: Same as Scene III, only now it’s the morning after…
Abraham’s Servant [speaking to Laban]: Send me away to my master.
Laban: Let the girl stay with us a few days, at the least ten. After that she can go…
Abraham’s Servant: Do not delay me, seeing Jehovah has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master.
Laban: We will call the girl, and ask her.
[Rebekah enters the room]
Laban [speaking to Rebekah]: Will you go with this man?
Rebekah: I will go.
Abraham’s Servant [narrating]: And so they sent back to my master Abraham with Rebekah, their sister, with this blessing:
The Voices of Rebekah’s Kin [5 to 6 voices all speaking together]: May you, our sister, become the mother of thousands of ten thousands, and may your descendants possess the gate of those that hate them.
Scene V: Back To Canaan
Setting: another view out over a vast desert landscape… the camera moves towards a caravan of many camels, it is late afternoon…
Abraham’s Servant [narrating]: Rebekah arose, along with her maids, and they rode upon their camels, following me as I returned to my master Abraham and his son, Isaac.
Isaac lived in the Negev, or the south, along the way of Beer-lahai-roi (which means: the well of a living seer).
While Isaac was meditating in the field one evening. And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and, behold, there were camels coming.
Meanwhile, Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from the camel.
Rebekah [speaking to Abraham’s servant]: What man is this that walk in the field to meet us?
Abraham’s Servant: It is my master.
[Rebekah takes her veil, and covers herself. Isaac enters the scene]
Abraham’s Servant [narrating]: When Issac met us, I told him all the things that I had done.
After this, Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent, and she became his wife and he loved her.
With this, Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
End: Credits Start To Roll…
I hope you enjoyed my Bible story for today… I’ll have Professor Yarnhead here later to help explain some of the allegorical clues from this story.
Note: I was up late on the Monday writing and rewriting and rewriting this piece. I think I caught all my typos… let me know if you find anything I missed.
The Twins Story (the birth of Esau and Jacob) has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Election Day…
Also coming up on the 4th… Greed Stew for Esau and Blind Stew for Isaac.