As seen, the Tarot of the Old Path, names key 12, The Lone Man, while key 12 in the Thoth Deck is named the Hanged Man. Both names are appropriate in a card that depicts self-sacrifice.
The Lone Man is dressed as a jester, whose colors represent the four elements, yellow for air, Red for fire, blue for Water and green for earth. In Medieval society, the jester was the inversion of the king image, and considered the sacrificial victim or "the kings whipping boy".
The unbound foot he is hanging from implies self-sacrifice , a giving up of something for something of greater value, and not pious martyrdom. There really is no loss here. What is being sacrificed is narrow vision, survival thinking, misconceptions brought on by the illusions of the physical world. Since the physical world is a world of Reflected Light, it is as a mirror and thinking that what you are seeing is the "true image" is a reversal, or upside down thinking. All Images consist of 99.6% space, so what are seeing is really very little of what is really there, In the Real World of Spirit-Consciousness, the "I's" have it, not the eyes have it. We see only what we think and fear the unknown, which is all backward, upside down seeing. Thus the Lone Man is the unconventional thinking man who realizes his own potential for mental and spiritual evolution.
The falling coins, shows his rejection of the material worldly ideas which is supported by the Yellow lilies below, for in the language of flowers, yellow lilies stand for falsehood and deception. The Moth in the foreground, is named the Nonconformist, imply the character of the Soul of the Lone Man.
Lofty thoughts are implied by the far Mountains and the stag in the distance, implies solitude. purity, and elevation.
The Jester's sacrifice has given life to the once dead tree he is suspended from and the crow on the branch is a Native American symbol for the Creator (Trickster) while also standing for the civilizing influence of the material world; the domestication of the Soul cause by social influence (fear of rejection).
Spider woman, is seen here as well as a spider that weaves its web, expressing creative development while she also builds and destroys, to maintain Universal balance. The planet attributed to this card is Neptune and the element is water.
THE THOTH DECK HANGED MAN- ATU (Key)12, is much more stylized but expressing the same concepts. The Hebrew letter Mem is attributed to this card representing the element Water as the Spirit of Water in the economy of initiation, such as a baptism which is also a death. "Out with the old in with the new.".
This card represented the supreme form of adept ship, during the Aeon of Osiris, which we excited in the early 20th century. The Hanged man represents the Drowned Man, as a soul is drowned in the Astral Fluids to become a human. Thus you see his foot loosely bound to the Crux Ansata using the Serpent, destroyer creator force as rope. The Crux Ansata or Ankh, represents the Rosy Cross, or even the letter Daleth that is shown in some cards as a tree branch, suggesting Venus, Love; all of which are attributed to the Great Mother. The Ankh is a androgen symbol of Womb, phallus and mankind and also the Egyptian symbol for infinity.
This is the card of the Dying God myth which we know in all religions, the One that is sacrificed so the many can live. The One Energy Transforming into the "many beings" or the DNA of animal sacrificing its survival mind to the Higher Conscious state of Spirit. Thus, you can see the idea of redemption through martyrdom is absolutely disqualified as a viable phenomena in spiritual development, since the Hanged Man is actually giving up less to gain more.
Some call this the card of redemption. Redemption implies dept of which only falsehood can apply, since we don't owe our Creator anything but to be ourselves which is to be the Divine Self Image. The Hanged Man implies that we must sacrifice our concepts of divisionism, and separateness from the Divine, Spirit or God to reclaim our inheritance. As inheritance isn't earned, or a product of sacrificing ones soul, but just requires one to Know Thy Name,i.e,"Above all things, Know thyself'!
The green of Venus dominates this card, but it is seen slowly growing darker in shade, denser as it were; as we descend the card and at the very bottom, the Serpentine force of new life begins to stir. Here our "most beloved", the personality or ego, is sacrificed to the Greater Self, so that we can become "as above so below", which is really no sacrifice at all and the world redemption is in the final analysis the wrong idea. As souls, we sacrifice lack of sensuality and discrimination, to become sensual and discriminatory creators. Now this is a "sacrifice" of lack for more and something i can absolutely get behind! I would recommend getting the Book of Thoth by Master Theron (A,Crowley) to further study this powerful yet subtle card,
WHEN THE LONE MAN OR HANGED MAN CARD IS THROWN DURING DIVINATION:
The Reversal (Old Path) or ill-definition (Thoth Deck) of this card implies"
Thank you for your interest and comments. May you live long and prosper.