Hanged Man Tarot Card Meaning

hanged man tarot card meaning

12 – The Hanged Man:

Keywords: Sacrifice, being willing to suffer for the greater good, being in a holding pattern, inability to move forward, suspended animation, consider things from another point of view, postponement

There are many stories about just who the Hanged Man represents. Some say he is Saint Peter, who refused to allow himself to be crucified in the same manner as his master. Others have said he is Judas Iscariot, which is why he is sometimes depicted with coins falling out of his pocket. Still others have said he is Odin, who agreed to hang in a tree until he should receive enlightenment. I can’t say which is the historically correct assertion, but I do find the Odin tale more applicable for me, personally. Being willing to sacrifice for the greater good is an important part of the Hanged Man’s meaning, but he also means that one may feel ‘stuck’ or unable to move on. Sometimes there is a particular lesson that must be learned before we will be able to so do. There is an implied letting go of ideas that may be necessary… When you find things just aren’t moving along and there is no explanation why, try considering your problems from another vantage point. Sometimes the universe turns things upside down for us so we can see things from a new perspective…

The Hanged Man Card #12

Planet: Neptune


Letting Go, Time of Limbo and Pause, Sacrifices, Guided by your Intuition, Suspended Decisions, Transformation, A Period of Hanging Around and Waiting for an Outcome, New Perspectives are Required, Seeing from a New Angle, Wisdom, Time to Look at the Situation from another Angle, Old Ways of Thinking are Put Aside, Accepting God’s Will, Having an Emotional Release, Delays, Subconscious Wisdom, Devotion to a Worthwhile Cause, Pausing to Reflect, Rebirth, A Waiting Period, Soul Searching, Boredom, Take some Time Out and be Patient, Waiting for the Best Opportunity, Temporary Suspension of Progress, An Ability to Adapt to Changing Circumstance, Listen to your Higher Self, Sacrificing One Thing to Obtain Another, Prophecy.

Advice – Do Not Play the Victim!


Selfish, Given Up on Spiritual Pursuits, Coming Out of Limbo, Playing the Martyr, Not Hearing your Unconscious Mind, Lack of Spirituality, A Useless Sacrifice, Lack of Willpower, Lack of Sacrifice, Preoccupied with Material Matters, Inflated Ego, Arrogance, Failure to Make an Effort, Absorbed in Physical Matters, Surrounded by False Hope and Security, Wasting Precious Time, False Prophecy, Refusal to Change, Lack of Commitment, Not Seeing the Spiritual Side of a Situation, Psychological Blocks, Efforts on Projects are Being Wasted, Preoccupied with Yourself, Refusing to Accept Reality, Not Examining your Attitudes,

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Brianna Stoker

Element: Earth Suit: Coins

The obvious interpretation of the Hanged Man is suspension, in limbo, being tied, trapped. If the man were being hanged involuntarily, we might suppose that the hanged man is being held by some unseen malevolent force. He is being held captive against his will. He seems to have no options. His hands are tied. He is unable to act, not because of any indecisiveness or weakness on his part. Rather, he is a victim of circumstance. Trapped in a situation. Compare the two of Swords and the eight of Swords. There may also be a sense of things hanging by a thread. Perhaps a cliff-hanger. There is certainly a sense of inconclusiveness. Issues are unresolved, hanging in the air. Perhaps a hung jury. Something left undone. Unfinished, incomplete. Yet he doesn’t seem to be in great distress, despite his undignified situation. It may be the case that his suspension is voluntary. If this is the view of the card, then it suggests that the man is making sacrifices. Possibly giving up his own well-being for the sake of others. Or, giving up material desires in order to pursue a more spiritual existence. It may indicate someone who is willing to help despite the inconvenience. Being ready to go out of one’s way for someone.

Reversed is a rather curious card. The cross from which he is hanged is turned up-side-down, but the man, who was previously hanging up-side-down, is now right-side-up. This seems somewhat ridiculous, and indeed, we can take this as part of the meaning of the card. An absurd situation, a ridiculous situation. It also can have the sense of odd, strange, peculiar, weird, quirky, eccentric. There is also a feeling of irony and paradox. There might also be a sense of a puzzle, a riddle, a conundrum. The reversed card could also mean double-speak, officiallese, gobbledegook. It might also represent someone who says one thing and does another. Someone who doesn’t practice what he preaches. Might be lying, cheating, misleading. There may also be a sense of hypocrisy. Could be a sense of something not being what it appears to be. Ambiguous. It could represent fraud, forgery, embezzlement, cooking the books. Might be a con man. A trickster. Perhaps something or someone disguised as something else. Impersonation of someone. Finally, the reversed card may indicate managing to escape from a difficult situation, but the escape may not be complete. Or it may even indicate getting out of one difficult situation, only to find oneself in another. Out of the frying pan and into the fire so to speak.

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