The Hanged Man Tarot Card Meanings

The Hanged Man tarot card image
Meaning Indicator


The Hanged Man’s Upright & Reversed Meanings

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.


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.


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.


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

A traitor is revealed.
One of your friends is working against you.
Change your ways or suffer the consequences.
When you least expect it
“I am open to seeing things from a new perspective and am willing to let go of my preconceived notions.”
The traitor
Hebrew Alphabet
Numerology Number
12 = 1 + 2 = 3
(the result: expression, productivity, output)
Astrology Element
Astrology Planet
The Crucified Christ
Isaac as a sacrifice
Prometheus bound
Jonah and the whale
Any hanged or sacrificed god
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?
Related Pages
Tarot Card Meanings Guide
Tarot Birth Card Meanings
Exploring Today’s Tarot
Consulting the Tarot
Traditional Tarot Card Meanings
Thirteen Fun Things to Do with Tarot Cards
Where to Go to Learn More
More Tarot Card Meaningss