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Tarot picture
No. 13

Tarot 13

An old version:

Traitor hanged
The Traitor [Agrell 141].

Il Traditore, L'Impiccato, Il Penduto, Il Appeso, and L'Appiccato (Agrell): The Traitor title in old decks has also come to be known as The Hanging Man or The Hanged Man today. The most common interpretation is that the one who is hanged is a fool. However, Sigurd Agrell says an old card - from the Rosenwald deck of the 1400s - presents him hanging with what are presumably two large money bags, as a punishment. Accordingly, what is intended to be depicted is a person who is being punished [Agrell 14-42].

As in contemporary shame paintings he is depicted hanging upside down. Someone is being executed. What is depicted is probably an unspecified traitor.

The picture shows someone who is being lessened after being assaulted, and an abrupt, former reversal of evaluation. [Huson 113-17]


In the present arrangement of tarot trump pictures - with the order and numbering as given in the introduction - the punished Traitor shares the first life field (area) with the Fool.

As for relating the inner and outer parts of a field: The first character is basic and formidable; the character of the second turn of the spiral may have gone too far, and cannot be defended.

This exploratory probing for a Life Field relatedness is not conclusive, but could fit quite well for most of the cards, depending on how you look at it. Much depends on interpretation.


Tarot study, Literature  


Agrell, Sigurd. Die pergamenische Zauberscheibe und das Tarochspiel. Lund: The University of Lund, (Sweden), 1936.

Farley, Helen. A Cultural History of Tarot: From Entertainment to Esotericism. London: I. B. Tauris, 2009. ⍽▢⍽ Helen Farley is Lecturer in Studies in Religion and Esotericism at the University of Queensland. Her book is a researched and well written study of tarot symbolism and the changing imagery in the cards. She explores ways in which the tarot reflects aspects of European culture from Medieval Italy until our times.

Huson, Paul. Mystical Origins of the Tarot: From Ancient Roots to Modern Usage. Rochester, VM: Inner Traditions / Bear and Company, 2004. Online at Google Books (limited view).

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