The Hanged Man Tarot Card Meanings

The Hanged Man’s Upright & Reversed Meanings

The Hanged Man tarot card image
The Hanged Man (Reversed, Lacking)

Ideas: Compromise, normality, resumption

Traits: Active, calm, impatient, peaceful, protective, tolerant

Emotions: Contentment, gladness, relief, satisfaction

  • Actions:
    • Agreeing to disagree
    • Claiming back your power
    • Defending your current belief
    • Meeting others halfway
    • Picking up where you left off
    • Refusing to give in
    • Seeing things the normal way
The Hanged Man (Upright, Balanced)

Ideas: Perspective, reversals, sacrifice, suspension

Traits: Contradictory, farsighted, flexible, humble, passive, patient, uncomplaining

Emotions: Eagerness, frustration, hope, optimism, uneasiness

  • Actions:
    • Making the best of an unforeseen change
    • Making sacrifices
    • Pausing to reflect
    • Seeing growth opportunities
    • Suspending disbelief
    • Thinking out of the box
    • Viewing things from different angles and perspectives for another wisdom
The Hanged Man (Upright, Excessive)

Ideas: Blame, martyr, rescue

Traits: Conformist, fixed, obedient, sadistic, submissive, vulnerable, unappreciative

Emotions: Guilt, neglect, pity, shame, suffering, sympathy

  • Actions:
    • Being a martyr
    • Blaming others
    • Keeping rescuing others
    • Profiting at the expense of others
    • Refusing to adapt to new situations
    • Taking kindness for weakness

The Hanged Man’s Advice

Personal Growth

One sign of maturity is your ability to deal effectively with the unexpected. Rather than be decimated, look for the lesson. If you’re true to your own values, no disaster will get the best of you.

Relationship

What doesn’t move forward isn’t growing. If you’re hanging by a thread, it might be time to grab the scissors. If you can learn from what’s not working, do so, but don’t equate learning with having to stay.

Career

Occasionally, no amount of effort will move a project to completion; progress simply isn’t the cards, despite your best efforts. Learn from setbacks; turn disappointment into opportunity.

Spirituality

Sometimes the best action is no action at all. Suspend your need to have a hand in things. Consider, too, the value of small sacrifices. What you give away will come back to you greatly multiplied.

The Hanged Man’s Symbols & Insights

The Inverted Traitor

Renaissance audiences would immediately recognize a hanged man as a traitor because hanging traitors by one foot was a common practice. Are you bound to any old habits that, in this situation, betray you?

The Serpent

One occultist taught that the image of the Hanged Man was “originally” drawn right-side up, as a man stepping over a snake (thought to be a representation of the missing virtue of Prudence). What would be your most prudent course of action now?

The Halo of Enlightenment

The Marseilles Hanged Man is clearly being punished. As they mapped concepts of sacrificial enlightenment to this card, occultists added the halo. What have your own trials taught you? How might those lessons apply now?

More About The Hanged Man Tarot Card

Prediction
A traitor is revealed.
One of your friends is working against you.
Change your ways or suffer the consequences.
Timing
When you least expect it
Archetype
The traitor
Hebrew Alphabet
Mem/Water/40
Numerology Number
12 = 1 + 2 = 3
(the result: expression, productivity, output)
Classical Element
Water
Astrological Planet
Neptune
Myth/Spirit
The Crucified Christ
Isaac as a sacrifice
Prometheus bound
Jonah and the whale
Lazarus
Any hanged or sacrificed god
Judas
Story Character
One of the main character’s allies is discovered to be working secretly for the antagonist.
Questions to Ask
How can I radically alter my perspective?
How might being stuck actually be a blessing in disguise?
How can I help myself see the glass as half full?
Other Tarot Card Meanings