Once upon a time, this card was “The Traitor”; in medieval Italy, traitors were executed by hanging them upside down by one foot. Over time, this became forgotten, and the striking image remained. Occultists found Symbolic Meaning “encoded” in the peculiar posture and linked the card with various rebirth myths, ignoring the imagery of an ignoble execution and substituting a sort of transcendent rising above the body. Were they foolish to do this?
Meanwhile, at one point it was common for medieval Italian decks to have the card we know as “Death” be unlabeled. Merely card number 13. If you don’t talk about it, it won’t happen – and how often is the traitor to be shunned, how deep is the risk of becoming an un-person?
Trials, betrayal, transcendence – and possible death. Literal or metaphorical.
On the other hand, Odin hung himself upside down from Yggdrasil for a week and two days and gained the power of the alphabet, and deeper knowledge as well. And thus our traitress is watched by a raven as she hangs, pupating, with one eye blinded. Is that Huginn or Muninn? Or is it just an ordinary bird wondering how to get through her space helmet for the tasty treat of her other eye? (And if either Thought or Memory is perched upon that ornate and impractical axe handle, which one is it, and where’s the other one gotten to?)
What’s going to crawl out of that rubbery cocoon? And what will it know that it didn’t before? Who’s going to betray you and leave you hung up to dry?
(And meanwhile, have you noticed how much this half-blinded person resembles Justice? Both in tight fetish latex gear, one dominant, one submissive. Which role would you rather play in bed tonight?)