At first glance, the Hanged Man Tarot card appears to be a purely negative card. Most of us connect the term ‘hanged’ with death. This is not the case with Tarot since Death is a card of its own.
The Hanged Man is alive and well, but suspended, unable or possibly unwilling to take further action. Although no one likes to be ‘stuck in a rut,’ this Major Arcana card contains some very powerful advice, especially for those of us trying to figure out our next move.
Before diving deeper into the upright- and reversed Hanged Man card meaning, and its connection to love, work, and life, below a quick overview of the most important words connected to this Major Arcana card.
The Hanged Man Key Words
- Upright: Letting go, sacrificing, pausing to reflect, uncertainty, spiritual development
- Reversed: Discontentment, stagnation, negative patterns, no solution, fear of sacrifice
The Hanged Man Tarot Card Description
Suspended upside down by his foot, the Hanged Man is shown dangling from a tree. This is no ordinary sapling, though. The world tree is said to carry the weight of the heavens while also being rooted in the Underworld below.
With one leg crossed behind the other, the Hanged Man’s position and the look on his face suggest a few different things. He doesn’t appear to be afraid or upset. In fact, the glowing halo around his head, and his relaxed expression give the impression that he has accepted his fate.
The same is true of his shirt, which is dyed the color of the serene ocean. His red pants represent both strength and willpower. Make no mistake, the Hanged Man has the ability to change his situation, but for one reason or another, has decided to ‘sit this one out.’
The Hanged Man Tarot Meaning
The Hanged Man represents ‘the waiting game’ that is often a part of life progression. Although we are rarely happy about being stuck in limbo, there are times when nothing else can be done, and we are forced to be still. This often requires the sacrifice of people and things that we would rather hold on to.
The Upright Hanged Man wants you to know that sometimes, we have to accept a loss for the greater good. Acceptance and letting go are key if you ever want to move forward.
Love and Relationships Meaning
When connected to love and relationships of any kind, the Hanged Man symbolizes unhappiness and being in a rut. It is time to rid yourself of any toxic connections and only focus on the ones that give you peace and joy. If you are hesitant to bring an end to a romantic relationship or friendship, there is no need to rush. You do, however, need to do some soul-searching.
Is there a way to improve things? Give it a try. Have you done all you can do? Come to a place of acceptance. This may be a situation in which the Hanged Man represents letting go of the past and moving down a different path.
Money and Career Meaning
Because it is a card of patience, the Hanged Man often appears in money and career readings when things aren’t really going as planned. Sometimes, this means a promotion isn’t available or given as hoped. It can also represent the slow and stagnated growth of a business one hoped would take off.
If things take longer than expected to turn a profit or your financial stability seems to be on shaky ground, hold fast. Things will improve eventually if you continue to give consistent effort. You will want to avoid borrowing money, making promises, or going deeper with investments, though. Fear can often drive us toward rash decisions that only make a bad situation worse.
Health and Spirituality Meaning
The Hanged Man is a card of physical sickness. It is also linked to pregnancy problems as well as issues with chronic conditions such as high blood pressure. Although this isn’t ‘good news,’ the Hanged Man serves as a warning card in a health context that will allow you to seek medical guidance if you start to see signs of a problem.
With spirituality, the outlook is a lot brighter. The Hanged Man is a card of change and metamorphosis. Just as butterflies wrap themselves inside of a cocoon during their rebirth process, we must also take some time away to renew our minds and spirits. If you’ve received the Hanged Man in a spiritual reading, it is time to focus on psychic development and rising to a new level of vibration. Staying on the same level will only get you more of the same.
The Hanged Man Reversed Meaning
Two specific scenarios often involve the Hanged Man Reversed. One is when a person feels as if he or she is giving and giving but getting nothing for the sacrifice. This can lead to a sense of fear that stops one from investing in the future. Instead of saying ‘never again,’ take a look at negative patterns and draining situations that need to be ended and take action to stop the cycle.
If the first doesn’t resonate, the Hanged Man Reversed represents someone making impulsive decisions and seeing (or getting ready to see) serious consequences. Have you made a decision that you regret and are struggling to make it right? Although we can’t go back and change the past, we can shift our perspective to make any outcome work in our favor. What lesson can we learn? By embracing the answer to this question, you can change course.
The Hanged Man: Yes or No
The Hanged man is a ‘maybe’ card when it comes to ‘yes or no’ readings.
For the most part, it suggests hanging out for a while and refraining from action. However, because he also represents spiritual growth, in some situations, the Hanged Man’s message is to stop procrastinating and take a step forward. Perhaps you should draw another card or two in connection with this Major card to get a better understanding.
Important Card Combinations
The Hanged Man and the Hierophant
The Hierophant and the Hanged Man connect when a person is feeling unsure of what to believe. Sometimes, this relates to a specific situation while in other situations, the confusion can be more general. For example, a person might be wondering if their lover is lying to them or could be pondering if they genuinely believe the religious teachings of their childhood. If you’re questioning your faith, the Hanged Man encourages you to examine things patiently.
The Hanged Man and the Lovers
Together, these two Major Arcana cards suggest that someone is being pressured in a relationship and because of this, is feeling trapped. This happens when two people in a partnership are moving at different ‘speeds’ or have opposite end goals in mind. When the Hanged Man and the Lovers appear together, it’s time to have a serious conversation about what needs to happen moving forward.
The Hanged Man and the Wheel of Fortune
There has been a delay in destiny if the Wheel of Fortune is combined with the Hanged Man. Although what is meant to be will surely come to pass, sometimes our own misguided actions keep our blessings locked up tightly for a period of time. Are you holding on to something so tightly that you are stopping yourself from walking into your purpose? Although change can be scary, it is necessary and something that we have to learn to accept. Otherwise, we live in a constant state of limbo and unhappiness.
The Hanged Man and Judgement
Are you struggling with acceptance, not with your own actions, but those of others? When a reading produces the Hanged Man and Judgement cards, not allowing others to make their own mistakes is a common scenario.
It is normal to want to stop those we love from failing or doing things that will only bring them pain. However, it is essential to remember that contrast and experiences are what helps us grow emotionally and spiritually. If we try to control (or judge) the decisions of others, we hold them back from their destinies. This is why it is so important to focus inwardly.
The Hanged Man Art
Although I write all the descriptions based on the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, it doesn’t mean that I use other decks too. And there are so many beautiful decks out there! I can lose myself browsing and searching the web for beautiful tarot cards. Below you can find a small selection of beautiful Hanged Man tarot cards. If you created a card yourself and want to share this, I would love to hear from you!
The Hanged Man FAQ
The response and questions I received from my readers (you!) are overwhelming. I am extremely grateful to have this interaction and while I am responding to every message I get, I’m answering the most frequently asked tarot questions about the Hanged Man tarot card here.
Most of us connect the term ‘hanged’ with death, and that’s why people think that the Hanged Man tarot card has a negative meaning. This is however not entirely true. The Hanged Man is alive and well, but suspended, unable or possibly unwilling to take further action. Although no one likes to be ‘stuck in a rut,’ this Major Arcana card contains some very powerful advice.
The overall meaning of the Hanged Man has to do with patience, refraining from action, and hanging out for a while. Therefore the Hanged man is a ‘maybe’ card when it comes to ‘yes or no’ readings. There are however some exceptions.
The Hanged Man in a Reading
That’s all for the Hanged Man meaning! Can’t get enough? If you have pulled the upright or reversed Hanged Man card in your spread, did the meaning make sense to your situation in life?
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