The Hanged Man


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!

Info Links

Other interpretations of The Hanged Man tarot card:


Click here to see the image larger.

The Pencil and the Manifestation of The Creative Idea into The Physical World

Drawing-8-Into-The-Maze-12-8-2008Above: “Into The Maze” – pen and ink with colored pencils on paper – 12.8.2008

“Think about what happens when you write or draw with a pencil. At the point of the pencil a very interesting phenomenon occurs; as you mark on the paper the idea or image which is resident in your mind… changes worlds; and becomes manifest on the paper… as a text or as a picture.” – Kabbalah and Freemasonry – W. Kirk MacNulty, 32 degree

I came across this interesting idea yesterday while I was doing some research for my novel, “The Late Great American Novel.” You can’t have a great American novel full of secret societies and conspiracies without Freemasons (and mystics) – right?

I found out during my reading that each of the 3 degrees to becoming a Freemason includes 3 tools symbolic to the degree, with the pencil being one of the tools of the 3rd degree. The text I was reading had a very mystical bent and spent a great deal of time on the process of transformation of the person, and the manifestation of the spiritual in the physical world – As Above So Below – as they say.

By the time I got to the 3rd degree in my reading, and came across the quote about the pencil I was very caught up in the thinking of the writer. I was very taken with the idea of a pencil as a magik tool – as a means of bringing the idealized world of my thoughts into the physical world with a drawing.

What an amazing idea that is… somehow I’m going to work that into the novel.

About the drawing – This is from December 8, 2008 and is called “Into The Maze” – pen and ink with colored pencils on paper. My conscious thoughts about this drawing involved the various incarnations of Thoth/Hermes/Mercury/Quetzalcoatl upon the path of life.

You can find more drawings from this series here:

Links to more info about The Late Great American Novel

The Late Great American Novel:

The Novel As A Long Term Creative Project: