The Hanged Man

card meanings

The Hanged Man is one of the most misunderstood Major Arcana cards of the Tarot deck. The story of the Magician has us believing that the Hanged Man is an indication of bad luck and/or a magician who might be a charmer at the time of performing tricks but is not to be trusted. The Hanged Man, however, is more about timing than it is about illusion.

Like The Magician, the Hanged Man does represent change and transformation but in a different, much more subtle way than the Magician. When the Hanged Man is upright, it suggests that a pause is necessary so you can think about what you have done and how you are going to go forward. It asks you to be still because sometimes we need some time to reflect on ourselves and our circumstances to gain a better understanding of ourselves and what we can do to improve our lives.

Characteristics of The Hanged Man Upright

Positive: a moment of sacrifice, a time of peace, releasing tension, discovering wisdom, being more creative, ending a challenging time, an opportunity to have a rest, a feeling of release from work-related stress, finding a solution to problems, coming out on top, looking for compromises to solve problems, reaching an agreement, a moment of contemplation, making a change, abundance, good health, spiritual freedom, open to new relationship.

Negative: feeling trapped, feeling stuck, being fooled, being used, losing hope, being at a standstill, stifled, blocked creativity, stagnation, self-deception, no help, no support, no progress, dead end, too many demands, rigid.

Description and Symbolism of The Hanged Man

In Numerology The Hanged Man card contains number 12, a number of duals and the ability to ‘know both worlds’. In numerology, 12 is also a number of enlightenment and spiritual transformation. On the card we see a man hanging upside down – and we can only speculate that he is possibly crucified upside down. The Hanged Man represents that the only way to achieve growth is by letting go of what no longer serves you. If he did not loosen his grip, he cannot grow.

Although he has been suspended for an extended period, he is not dead. Instead, he is left hanging, awaiting the next cycle. He hangs upside down, which is a symbol of the cycle of life’s ebb. The Hanged Man tarot card is one of the most important Major Arcana cards in the entire tarot deck. It represents the need for balance.

Astrological planet for The Hanged Man is Neptune, symbolizing music, philosophy, and psychic powers. The Hanged Man card ca symbolize the reversed ego.
Neptune also symbolizes the unconscious depths within and beyond the physical world. Neptune is associated with visionary experiences, mystery and psychic powers.

We can also think of Neptune as a planet that governs clairvoyance, and sometimes psychic abilities. Neptune also signifies mystery and seclusion. If you draw the Hanged Man tarot card in the Seeker card position, it could mean that you are going to have to step back and take time to reflect on your own life. You might have to suspend your normal activity and take some time out.

Water is the astrological element for The Hanged Man and astrological sign is Pisces. This is a card of patience, moderation, and equilibrium. The Hanged Man suggests putting aside your feelings and being objective rather than getting involved in the emotional situation.

Despite the obviously uncomfortable hanging position, bound by one foot, with hands held behind his back, forming an inverted triangle, the figure on the The Hanged Man card looks at peace and relaxed. He sees things from a different perspective. The world offers to support him when he has stood up to his self-examination. This card suggests that you have looked at yourself and come to a crossroads. It may be a time to stop and reflect.

The Hanged Man is wearing red pants representing his passion for life, and a blue robe. His pose symbolizes surrender, resignation, and acceptance.

The Hanged Man also has a halo burning brightly around his head, signifying his enlightenment and inner wisdom. However, his body is suspended upside down, dangling between the realms of life and death – hence the name of the card. This shows that even death can bring enlightenment.

General Meaning of The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man card describes the sacrifice of something that is dear or important to you in order to free up your energy in order to accomplish a task or move towards a more significant goal. This is a non-emotional decision that is made in service to greater objectives. It differs from the sacrifice that is made on behalf of someone else or for material gain. The Hanged Man is a neutral card that asks for a shift to personal power and away from personal control.

The Hanged Man can also represent not being able to do what you wanted to do due to some external factors, such as not having the right resources to complete a project, or there simply not being enough time available to complete the project. As a result, you may want to come up with new ways to do things, to make the best out of the time you have. If this happens, look for a way to achieve your goals.

Sometimes, the Hanged Man can indicate that you have sacrificed your ambitions and goals for the greater good of others.

When you pull The Hanged Man card in a general Tarot reading, consider it a sign of pause to tune in to your intuition. You may be going through a period in your life when you feel as though you are on hold. It can feel as though nothing you do or experience is going anywhere, and your direction seems to be stuck in limbo. You are now being called to pause and reflect, to reevaluate your life and what you want from it.

Although it can be disconcerting to feel stuck in limbo, the Hanged Man is inviting you to embrace a sense of surrender and suspend the parts of your life that are no longer serving you. Instead of becoming fixated on what you cannot change and making a mountain out of a molehill, try to focus on the things you can control and re-evaluate your overall direction. Sometimes, when we are struggling to move forward, we need to embrace a different perspective. We need to change our outlook on situations and accept that we can’t change or control everything.

This card is also an invitation to go into retreat.

When you’ve pulled The Hanged Man card in a positive position that describes advantage or strength in a general Tarot reading, it signifies that you should take a step back for a moment. Don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there because there is an opportunity present. The Hanged Man signifies ‘as if’ or ‘it is as if.’ You might not feel like this but your perception is clouded right now. You might not feel very inspired, anxious, or enthusiastic. The card suggests that you could change your mind if so inclined. Do something. Make a move. Do something you aren’t that scared of.

The Hanged Man describes a spiritual experience, sometimes a spiritual awakening. It stands for taking a break or withdrawing from activities when it appears. It can also denote that a specific plan or idea has been postponed or delayed. If you’ve been struggling with the idea that you can’t do it, The Hanged Man brings an opportunity that will force you to stop and reconsider. It’s a card that suggests you abandon your current circumstances and try to find something new that you have not yet considered.

When The Hanged Man card appears in a negative, weakness, or obstacle Tarot spread position, it means that you have stalled on something because you are afraid of failing. Consider moving forward rather than looking backward as a way to overcome your fear of the unknown. Instead of avoiding something, embrace change. Don’t believe in the illusion of stability and equilibrium. You and I have to learn how to live in a certain state of flux if we are to grow and thrive. The Hanged Man suggests that the present is better than the past. The best thing to do is to go forward in faith (and without fear). This is the kind of faith that is willing to wait.

When The Hanged Man shows up, it means that you may have been waiting for something to change. You have been hanging around with negative thoughts, waiting for a sign that things will turn your way, but nothing has developed or changed. Therefore, it is time to change your mindset and start thinking positively. The Hanged Man tells you that although things take time, it is better to wait than take action when you don’t need to.

The Hanged Man in the Context of Love and Relationships

In a love reading The Hanged Man is a card of patience and trust. Your feelings will not change instantly. If you are in a relationship there may be a period of time when you can trust each other. This trust though, does not mean that either of you can change without effort. If the Seeker is single this card often signifies falling in love with an unavailable person. Insecurity and a lack of self-awareness are the main issues affecting the Seeker. They may feel unworthy of love, at times they can feel as if they were never lovable. Insecurity is a strong feeling that something is wrong when it comes to love.

Love feelings through The Hanged Man card in love Tarot reading signal that you are hanging back from love to take your time and make yourself aware of what you want. You have been hurt before and are perhaps wary of repeating this hurt. Through this, you are also making sure that you are not pushing away something that is truly meant to be for you. Give your time and attention to your feelings, and allow yourself to fall in love. There is nothing you can do to stop the attraction, but by taking action, you give your love life a chance to take off.

If you are dating someone, the Hanged Man upright card indicates that you are delaying your relationship for some personal reasons. If you are single, The Hanged Man indicates that you are not ready to get into a relationship just yet. You feel that some more time is needed for you to make yourself clear about what you want out of a relationship.

If you have love questions and relationship road bumps, The Hanged Man Tarot card indicates your partner is experiencing a period of waiting. You are committed to each other and need to do a bit of patience work. If you’re single, The Hanged Man suggests that your relationship status is due to a temporary pause. You could be postponing dating or attempting to gather your thoughts while you work out what you want. If the appearance of The Hanged Man doesn’t serve as an indicator that you or your partner have been experiencing some kind of stagnation and a delay, it might be a sign that you’ve run out of time.

If you’ve been putting off starting a romantic relationship due to your current commitments or other concerns, it may be time to reconsider this course. Although it may be difficult to think about leaving what you know and accepting a new lifestyle, the upside to doing so is much greater than the downside. The person who is willing to take the chance will experience a new stage of development.

The Hanged Man in the Context of Career

In a Tarot career reading, The Hanged Man can predict a career change might be necessary. This might come in the form of switching to a position that requires a different skill set. Additionally, it could be that you are not advancing in your current role because you have been putting in effort. It may be your time to relax. Just remember that work doesn’t have to be your life. When the Hanged Man appears, take some time to take a step back and consider what is most important to you. This will help you make better decisions about your career.

In a career Tarot reading The Hanged Man card signals a time wasting. Sometimes, it indicates that you should wait before making a decision about your profession since it may indicate hesitation or stalling. Waiting around like this may be frustrating at first but pays off in the end. Do not allow your ego to get involved, as this may be the cause of your stalling. You must complete a job and move on before someone more deserving can perform the task. Do not worry; this has little to do with the quality of your work. It can simply indicate that you have not finished something that requires your full attention even though you have the desire, energy, and time to do so.

The Hanged Man upright card suggests that there’s a stalemate in your professional life. You may be at a dead-end or have been there for a while. The Hanged Man upright card sometimes also suggests waiting around like this, which could be frustrating in the beginning. It might also speak of an assignment that requires a lot of patience and waiting without much progress.

The Hanged Man in the Context of Finances

In a Tarot reading about finances, The Hanged Man can predict that money may be tight right now, but that it will improve in the future. A loan may be offered, or you may be able to use any savings you have to reduce your debt. The Hanged Man also appears in connection with taxation; your financial situation may be under more scrutiny than usual and you may be at risk of taxation. If you are already involved in this process, it may be time for you to consider an alternative route.

However, this card cautions that more attention is being paid to your financial situation than normal, so if you’re trying to remain private and not want to share your financial information, now might not be a good time to do so. Before making any decisions, consider the repercussions. Although right now might feel like a time of loss, it is likely that more wealth will be added in the future. This may sound pessimistic, but it is important to remember that the Hanged Man is not necessarily asking you to sacrifice your financial future.

In a finance Tarot reading The Hanged Man calls you to take a pause and consider your financial situation carefully. If you’re in the midst of a spending splurge, now isn’t the time to make major purchases or investments. Your mind is clear and focused, and your attention is currently on the present, rather than the future. You can discover that by looking at your situation from a different angle, you may come to a better understanding of what you need to do and how you can make it happen.

It is now time to take a closer look at your economic situation. You might discover that your perspective on your economic situation may be shifting. You might find yourself more aware of where your money is going, and how much you spend, or how much you earn. Now is the time to make a budget and keep it strictly if you are feeling overwhelmed. It can be a great time of reflection and evaluation.

The Hanged Man in the Context of Health

The Hanged Man card in a health reading describes a spiritual time in your life. Do you feel drained of energy right now? If so, now is the perfect time to spend time away from the world. Take a break and spend some quality time with yourself to get re-energized. A few pampered days will do the trick, even if it is just a weekend getaway. This card also suggests that you might not have been giving yourself enough credit. You have worked very hard, and perhaps you need some restorative time. So, for your mental health, take some time off and spend it doing things that you love.

If your question is about what should be your focus when overcoming an illness, The Hanged Man card in a reading exposes the answer is you. You need to go inward and ask yourself what is most important to you. Now is the time to practice self-forgiveness and acceptance. Even if you don’t agree that you are the source of your situation, you can still embrace it as your reality.

The Hanged Man Card Through Spirituality and Self-Development

If you have questions about spirituality and self-development, The Hanged Man Tarot card shows up as it does for a reason: to give you the much-needed pause and time to think. It encourages you to tune in to your intuition and to make choices that are best for you as a whole. You are being invited to stop for a moment, detach from your mind’s racing thoughts, and immerge into your heart. You have a lot of valuable information that you are meant to hear, but you must give yourself time for it to sink in and process.

In a tarot reading, The Hanged Man asks you to pause and examine your life to see how your actions are affecting your relationships and how you can make adjustments to align with your goals and get things back on track. You may need to let go of a certain behaviour or pattern—like saying ‘no’ to a colleague who seems to keep asking you to finish their assignment—or take action to break free from another pattern. You may feel out of sync and that current conditions don’t quite fit you.

When you’re asking Tarot about finding your purpose, and you’ve pulled The Hanged Man, this tells you to think of your desires as being a little unorthodox and outside of the norm. Many of us have what we consider to be traditional careers: you could be a teacher, you could be in a healthcare profession, you could be a banker, you could be a nurse, you could be a police officer. These are all very “normal” goals, and we all seek these things out because we think they will lead us to a happy life. However, did you know that there are other ways to reach a fulfilling life? Did you know that you can still be happy without a “traditional” career path?

The Hanged Man encourages you to search for what lights you up and follow that path. Sure, things may not go as planned initially, but you’ll soon realize that this path was meant to be. Have faith.

Is The Hanged Man Yes or No Card?

In a yes or no reading, The Hanged Man card indicates a No answer to your question. Although this answer usually comes from the Seeker, it could also be a sign that you need to spend more time with your Higher Self and listen to your inner voice. Be open and allow the universe to take its course. No matter what the outcome, trust that all is well. The universe is constantly watching to ensure your highest good. Enjoy it.

The Hanged Man as a Person

When drawing The Hanged Man as a person, a card describes a person who is hesitant, unsure of themselves, or perhaps even a bit stuck in one of their habits. It can also hint at someone who might have been a victim of circumstance. Because of the card’s symbolism of sacrifice, hanging is not recommended for those who feel they are not worthy of a sacrifice on their part. However, The Hanged Man encourages taking a break and focusing on yourself for the benefit of yourself.

For example, you might have been putting your career before spending quality time with your family. This approach can bring you nothing but frustration and exhaustion. Take the weekend off and spend time relaxing with family or just taking some time to unwind. The Hanged Man’s appearance here also signals a sacrifice, but this time of sacrifice is one that you are capable of making and will bring you enlightenment.

If you have pulled this card in your spread, focus on self-awareness and understanding that only you can make the changes you desire.

Physical description of The Hanged Man card as a person is a person who is passive and doesn’t express himself. He is often referred to as a stoic because he is a very patient person. He doesn’t complain much and is kind of a hard-ass. Physically, he is very strong and has a great ability to take care of himself in sickness or in health. His calm and collected nature comes from a very spiritual place. His patience is not an act. It is a virtue and a blessing. He waits for the right time to act.

The Hanged Man appears in a Tarot reading when you have been waiting for something to happen or a particular situation to unfold. It is a card of patience and letting things happen as they need to happen. While you are waiting for the right moment, you need to stay where you are and do nothing. Your role now is to watch and see what happens. If the Hanged Man appears in a spread when you are asking about the timing of an event, it indicates that the time you are looking for only comes once in a lifetime.

Emotional traits of The Hanged Man card as a person are sad, melancholy, and reserved. However, when the card is upside-up, it exhibits a more positive side to it. His peaceful demeanor makes it easier for him to adapt to changes without a battle, a quality highly valued in meditation readings. The Hanged Man is a sign that you are letting go of what is holding you back from succeeding and moving forward to a new beginning.

The Hanged Man as a Feeling

When it comes to feelings The Hanged Man reveals that something doesn’t quite feel right. You may be experiencing a blockage that prevents you from feeling what is really going on. Are you feeling stuck in a situation or relationship that you know does not serve you? Or perhaps you are struggling emotionally because you were hurt in the past, and you’re having a hard time moving on from that hurt. The Hanged Man urges the seeker to take a time-out to re-centre and reset. Go on a retreat somewhere quiet, and spend some time in nature, meditating, connecting with your Higher Self. By reconnecting with who you really are on an inner level, you will feel more grounded and re-energised. The Hanged Man also shows up when the Seeker is questioning his or her direction. Maybe you are feeling bored or stuck in a routine. Do you need to change your path to find your authentic self? The Hanged Man appears in a similar fashion to remind you to stop and question your current path.

If your question is about The Hanged Man card as a feeling, a reading exposes that you may feel a bit stuck. You may find it hard to come to terms with a situation because you are unsure of how to proceed and do not know if you should stay or go. But the good news is that things will not stay the same forever. One day, you will realize that it is time to let go and move on. You might have to make changes, but these will bring you a feeling of renewal and relief. Do not worry if you find it difficult to accept this. The only thing that is important is to live and enjoy each moment. You have only lived a certain portion of your life and a new one awaits you at every moment.

When you pull The Hanged Man tarot card, there’s a good chance that you may feel stuck, unable to make any progress. You are possibly uncertain of how to proceed and do not know if you should stay or go in your life. You might even feel unable to make any significant decision as the universe is not giving you a definite sign.

What Is The Hanged Man Card as a Positive Card, Strength, and Advantage?

The Hanged Man can also appear as a positive Tarot card and advantage when it comes to personal growth, self-improvement, and personal transformation. This card depicts a man whose arms are tied behind his back and suspended upside-down from a golden beam. His feet and arms are attached but not bound and are therefore free to move. He is suspended in the air as though he has been placed in a still life painting. However, this is not his resting place. Being upside-down and immobile, his body is forced to pause for thought, and he has the opportunity to observe reality from a slightly different perspective.

This experience allows him to pause and contemplate the way forward. He does not need to make a choice; instead, he is inviting you to join him on this journey. The universe has been sending you this invitation throughout your reading so that you can pause, relax, and concentrate on listening to your intuition. You are in the flow, and there is not much you can do to stop it; instead, you need to focus on listening and following your inner guidance.

When pulled in a positive, strength, or advantage Tarot spread position, The Hanged Man card calls you to consider the world from a different angle. Are you looking for a new perspective or experience? By detaching from your current situation, you may also experience relief and a feeling of ‘letting go’ of something that’s been weighing you down. What is it that you need to let go of?

The Hanged Man might appear when you are trying to avoid making a decision, or you are having difficulty coming to a conclusion. Maybe you’ve hit a brick wall, and the universe is having none of your indecision. You are being asked to step outside your comfort zone and look at the situation from a different perspective. Is it time to put everything on hold and look at whatever issue is plaguing you from a new angle?

The Hanged Man illustrates that we are all vulnerable. No-one is impervious to sickness, loss, or defeat. In fact, these events can be life-changing, and even cause us to re-evaluate who we are.

The Hanged Man as an Obstacle

When pulled in a negative, weakness, or obstacle Tarot spread position, The Hanged Man card calls you to take a timeout and evaluate your life from a distance. You may need to take a breather and pause to take inventory and assess what is and isn’t working, as well as what you can change. It may be time to let go of old, unnecessary baggage in your life and embrace self-love. The Hanged Man suggests taking a break and evaluating your current state of affairs. How can you best adjust your approach? What are your most valuable lessons?

Unlike the Lovers, Hanged Man cards are not about romantic relationships, although sometimes they appear as a warning or warning about how to handle a demanding relationship – this card is about self-love and self-care. When you stop and look at your circumstances, you’ll see that change or sacrifice may be required for your future to improve. Now might be a good time to take a pause. You might start by taking a vacation from your obligations. You have the time to stop and reflect.

The Hanged Man can also appear as a weakness if he represents emotions and suggests that you have not given yourself time to truly feel. Are there things that are hurting you? Are there people or situations that are causing you anguish and pain? Make sure that you aren’t carrying on in secret or bottling up your emotions because The Hanged Man invites you to have a breather and a time to reflect and re-evaluate. Do you feel trapped in your current life situation? The Hanged Man invites you to be open to new possibility and to let go of any limiting beliefs that may be preventing you from seeing what is in front of you.

The Hanged Man tarot card can indicate a period of contemplation. If The Hanged Man appears, you likely have had a long break from work or normal activities and are therefore ready to go back to your regular life. The time away may have given your body, mind, and spirit a much needed rest and allowed you to refresh your energy and renew your spirit. Now is the perfect time to pick up where you left off and return to daily life.

The Hanged Man card in a negative, weakness, or obstacle Tarot spread position calls you to let go of ‘stuck places’ in life, to be still just a bit, and to wait for the proper moment (or someone to come along) to manifest new circumstances. In a positive position, this card reveals that the sacrifice that you have made has led you to a pause that could give you much-needed clarity and perspective.

In its most positive depiction, The Hanged Man represents sacrifice and stepping away for a short period to obtain some much-needed clarity and perspective. Even though you feel tired, you have found the time to stop and look at your current situation from a broader view. This allows you to make better decisions, and it will also help you identify potential solutions that others may have missed. You have learned patience and are waiting for the right opportunity to seize. You must be willing to take a break and be still for a moment so you can re-engage.

The Hanged Man Card as a Future Outcome

When The Hanged Man appears in a future or outcome Tarot spread position, it often signifies that a crucial part of your life or journey is either being delayed or canceled. Are you prepared or ready to take that leap? If not, then you must make a choice between walking away or sticking with this situation. In a more negative vein, this card may be a sign that you have given up, that you have stopped moving forward and are now hanging out. In a more positive vein, it may be a sign that you are putting yourself on hold to take a break and have a pause from your commitments and obligations to consider your well-being and to see if you still need to carry on.

The Hanged Man implies that you have suspended your plans for the time being. You are re-evaluating your options and have realized that you have a choice: you can carry on as usual, or you can go back and attempt to start again. The Hanged Man is also a card that may indicate a delay. Have you been in a rush to make a decision or go forward?

Drawing The Hanged Man in the future position also suggests a change of plans or timing of an event. While this doesn’t necessarily imply that you should alter your original plan, you should consider whether it would be better to adjust your priorities or course, or whether an alternative outcome might be more desirable.

The Hanged Man tarot card in the upright position represents a period of rest and reflection in your life. Sometimes, the Hanged Man represents a sacrifice, meaning that it might not be possible to accomplish your goals. However, if it’s not a sacrifice type of situation, The Hanged Man typically stands for a suspension of action. Since it is a card of patience and waiting, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should give your work or creative project a complete rest, but it might be advantageous to let go of some of your impatience and wait for the right moment to act.

On the other hand, The Hanged Man card can show that a new beginning is about to emerge in your life.

The Hanged Man card in in a future outcome Tarot spread position calls you to take a pause and consider whether you are pushing yourself too far, too fast. You may be feeling a sense of great self-importance or pressure to perform. Although it is important to push yourself, you are the only person responsible for your emotions and reactions.

This card may also appear when you are going through a period of transition or change, and it urges you to avoid jumping to any conclusions. Although doing so may seem like the easiest thing to do and the most efficient way to make your needs known, it also comes with high risk. You could miss the opportunity and potentially lose out on it while you sit in indecision. You need to listen to your intuition and trust your gut, so you may feel as though you need to pause and take a moment out to think about your next steps.

The Hanged Man Card as a Prediction of When an Event Will Occur

If you are wondering when will a certain event take place, The Hanged Man Tarot card reveals delays regarding any action. To complete a certain project, you would need patience and a longer time to complete it. Furthermore, the Hanged Man Tarot card means to be still and observe a few things around you. It suggests you to let go of everything and focus on the things that are most essential to you. You have to let go of the things that are not important for now. Let your inner soul guide you. In the spiritual world, The Hanged Man indicates that if you want to reach your desired heights, you need to sacrifice your self to sacrifice for others. At this phase, you need to learn to surrender yourself and your life to others without any consideration. You need to understand that you can never take responsibility for other people’s life’s and their issues.

Drawing The Hanged Man when asking Tarot when will a certain event take place, reveals a temporary pause. This will force you to take a little break. So, it’s time to do nothing. You might have been working non-stop without much sleep for weeks, which has taken a toll on your body. The Hanged Man is a representation of pausing to take a break and recalibrate. It is the card of “time out” and “pause”. It is a Major Arcana card that typically foretells taking stock and assessing whether to continue on your current course or not.