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Our next Tarot Tuesday card is card XII of the Major Arcana, The Hanged Man.

The Hanged Man: “A period of transition, Gaining for a sacrifice, Suspending, Restricting, Discontinued

Our highlighted site this week came into prominence in the media during the mid-1980’s, due to a find made on the site.

The site in question is not scheduled, it is not even a monument in the true sense of the world. It’s a bog.

Lindow Moss in Wilmslow, Cheshire is where the “body in the bog”, Lindow Man ‘Pete Marsh’ was found in 1984.

Photograph by Mike Peel via Wikipedia

All change is a small kind of death, as the old must die to create the new, and it may simply indicate upheaval or change in your future (…) The other interpretation is one of sacrifice, although whether this sacrifice is small or great may not be easily interpreted. 1

As many readers will know, Lindow Man (or more properly ‘Lindow II’2, as a woman’s body was retrieved from the same area in the previous year) was found to have been killed in a particularly grotesque way. His head and neck both displayed heavy blunt instrument trauma, either of which may have killed him, and a possible (Restricting) garotte was found around his neck. It is possible that the killing was ritualistic in nature (Gaining for a sacrifice) which fits neatly with the card interpretation.

1: See Trusted Tarot

2: An article describing the discovery of the bog body can be viewed on JSTOR

Which heritage site would you associate with this card?

Previous articles in this series can be found here.

There was quite a good bog-body article in the Independent this week; in which Clodagh Finn filled in the background behind a free lecture in the National Museum, in Dublin;

One of the bodies described; ‘Old Croghan man’ (362 – 175 BCE), would have been 6 feet 6 inches in height (how ‘special’ would that have seemed, back then?) and had “beautifully manicured” hands – implying that his life was free from labour. He been stabbed, sewn through the arm with a hazel branch and beheaded.

The other, a near neighbour; the contemporaneous ‘Clonycavan man‘, was much shorter, perhaps about 5 feet 2 inches, but his hair had been gelled (expensively) so that it would rise a couple of inches into the air. His demise was also both gruesome and multi-layered; he had received three axe blows to the head and one to the chest, due, possibly, to a disembowelling action.

Modern digital tech can do wonders with facial reconstruction and the results on this man’s ’head’ were striking enough to prompt a remark from Eamonn Kelly, keeper of antiquities at the Museum; “When he saw the image, my brother rang and said, ‘Ned, he is the image of my wife’s cousin in the Midlands’. And it’s true, he could be around today — he looks like a junior Offaly hurler.” And why not? Some of those junior Offaly hurlers might even be descended from him.

Both bodies had their nipples slashed and both had been placed in boggy pools on a territorial boundary, and Clodagh Finn’s article has some interesting speculation about the possible links between Iron Age human sacrifice and kingship. It’s worth reading. For information about the lecture and about other events, see here;

Svenska: Mossliket Tollundmannen, Danmark
Image credit Sven Rosborn (Wikimedia Commons)

“Bodies from the Bog: what science has told us about the bog people. A lecture by Jody Joy, Curator, British & European Iron Age Collections, British Museum.”

Venue: Lecture Hall, Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum, on Tuesday, 14 December 2010 from 7:30pm.

More here –


August 2022

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