The Hanged Man is one of the most fascinating and multi-layered cards in the tarot deck. At first glance, the card depicts a man hanging upside down from a tree, his leg bent behind him to form a reverse 4 shape. This unusual imagery leads to an equally unusual set of The Hanged Man card meanings.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore all the core facets of The Hanged Man tarot card, including:
- The card’s key facts and background
- Upright and reverse meanings
- Interpretations for love, career, finances, health, and spirituality
- How to use The Hanged Man card in yes/no questions
- Connections to numerology and astrology
- Notable tarot spreads and card combinations
- Unique card designs and illustrations
- And much more!
By the end, you’ll understand The Hanged Man tarot inside and out, giving you greater confidence and precision in your card readings.
The Hanged Man Key Facts
|Surrender, Sacrifice, Limbo, New Perspectives
|Delays, Resistance to Change, Stalling
The Hanged Man Tarot Card Description
The Hanged Man shows a young man suspended upside-down from a wooden beam by one foot. His free leg is bent behind the other in a ‘4’ shape, with his arms held behind his back. He has a serene expression on his face, meditating as he hangs in limbo.
Around the man is a bright yellow nimbus, representing spiritual energy and enlightenment. His reddish leggings and blue tunic symbolize the balance of physical and spiritual aspects. The green vegetation and water in the background emphasize growth and the unconscious.
Overall, The Hanged Man reflects pausing to gain a new mystical perspective. By ‘hanging upside down’, we see the world in a different way, allowing inner wisdom to emerge.
The Upright Hanged Man Tarot Card Meaning
When The Hanged Man appears upright in a tarot reading, its main meanings include:
Upright, The Hanged Man represents stagnation and limbo in romantic relationships. You may be unsure about committing or moving forward with a partner. This card calls on you to shift perspective – look at your relationship from a new vantage point to determine if it still aligns with your needs. Release limiting beliefs blocking the way forward.
Alternatively, The Hanged Man can reflect sacrifice in love. You may be giving too much and not receiving enough in return. Or you have compromised your needs for the sake of a relationship. Again, a perspective shift is required to reignite balance and harmony.
In career readings, the upright Hanged Man tarot card marks a pause or period of waiting before progress can happen. Perhaps you are stuck in an unsatisfying job but feel unable to make a change right now. Or a desired promotion, raise or opportunity has been delayed. Like its relationship meaning, this card encourages you to adjust your mindset to reveal new options and possibilities. There may be lessons to integrate or sacrifices to make before advancing your career goals.
Financially, The Hanged Man indicates your money is at a standstill. You may need to cut spending or free up funds tied up in investments. Managing your finances differently could get things moving again. Alternatively, plans or ideas to increase wealth are on hold for now. Look within to discern your next best steps.
For health, drawing The Hanged Man upright signals the need to pause and adjust your wellness regimen or habits. Are you sacrificing sleep, nutrition or exercise to keep up with demands? Or resisting advice from doctors or your own intuition? This card prompts realignment through rest, lifestyle changes and seeing your health from new angles. Then you can move forward powerfully.
In spiritual readings, The Hanged Man tarot card represents a time of limbo before an awakening. Your soul is on the verge of growth, healing or enlightenment. But first you must meditate on underlying belief systems and consciously shift perspective. By suspending old assumptions, you allow profound inner wisdom to come through. Rituals, prayer and quiet contemplation can all help facilitate this spiritual renewal.
The Reversed Hanged Man Tarot Card Meaning
When The Hanged Man appears in reverse, its meaning includes:
The reversed Hanged Man in love indicates fear of sacrifice and commitment in relationships. You may be resistant to giving up independence or freedom to move forward with a partner. Ongoing limbo prevents intimacy. Or you are avoiding an inevitable relationship transition, such as moving-in, marriage or a breakup. Contemplate why you are stalling. Allow spiritual surrender to what must be.
Alternatively, this card can signal imbalance in an existing relationship. You have sacrificed too much without reciprocity. Restore perspective by asserting your needs and leaving behind martyrdom. If differences cannot be resolved, it may be healthiest to let the relationship go.
For career, the reversed Hanged Man tarot card reflects resistance to necessary change. Perhaps a project or endeavor has stalled. But rather than shifting gears, you dig in stubbornly. Or you avoid sacrificing an unfulfilling but comfortable job situation. The reversed Hanged Man urges flexibility – let go of control and limited beliefs so you can get unstuck.
Financially, the reversed Hanged Man warns against delays and immobilization. Debt, overspending or lack of planning may have caused a standstill. Or you are stubbornly refusing to make sacrifices or changes to improve your circumstances. Consider how a shift in outlook could create momentum. Seek advisor help if needed.
For health, the reversed Hanged Man reveals an unwillingness to pause unproductive patterns or habits. You may be in denial about health risks or refuse to make recommended lifestyle changes. Your outlook prevents healing and progress. To move forward, surrender control and ego. Listen to guidance from within and from experts.
In spiritual contexts, the reversed Hanged Man suggests your soul growth has stalled. Rigid perspectives block inner wisdom and awakening. Letting go of assumptions and seeking new vantage points can get you unstuck. Meditation, prayer and adopting a ‘beginner’s mind’ will reveal fresh spiritual insights when you’re ready.
The Hanged Man Tarot Card in Yes or No Questions
The Hanged Man’s complex imagery makes yes/no interpretations less straightforward than most cards. Upright, The Hanged Man generally signifies yes in response to questions about:
- Need for sacrifice
- Periods of delay
- Limbo or stagnation
- Gaining higher perspective
Reversed, The Hanged Man generally indicates no regarding:
- Readiness for change
- Moving forward with relationships
- Making health improvements
- Progress toward goals
However, because The Hanged Man implies struggle before enlightenment, even ‘yes’ answers may require time and effort to fully manifest. Carefully consider surrounding cards and the question’s context when using The Hanged Man in yes/no readings.
The Hanged Man Tarot Card and Numerology
In the Major Arcana sequence, The Hanged Man corresponds to the number 12. Reduced to its base root (1 + 2 = 3), 12 reflects the number 3’s meanings:
- Creativity, optimism and ‘triangle’ symbolism
- The Trinity as divine number (Father/Son/Holy Spirit)
- Expression, imagination and illusion
As in The Hanged Man’s story of struggle leading to growth, 12 also marks the end of one cycle before beginning another.
The Hanged Man Tarot Card and Astrology
The Hanged Man tarot card is associated with the planet Neptune and zodiac sign Pisces.
Neptune governs spirituality, illusions, dreams, and sacrifice. Like The Hanged Man, Neptune turns perceptions upside down to reveal higher wisdom.
Pisces is the most mystical and spiritual sign of the zodiac. Ruled by Neptune, Pisces energy perfectly aligns with The Hanged Man’s surrender and enlightenment.
The Hanged Man Tarot Card Combinations
The Hanged Man combines powerfully with cards involving:
The Hermit: Soul-searching and looking inward for answers. Letting wisdom emerge.
Judgement: Major transitions and releasing the past. Rebirth.
The Moon: Exploring fear and illusions before awakening. The subconscious.
Death: Surprising transformations after an ending. Metamorphosis.
Temperance: Finding balance through blending opposites. Moderation.
The Hanged Man Tarot Card Designs
The Hanged Man card features some of tarot’s most dramatic and imaginative artwork. Popular imagery includes:
- A serene figure suspended by one foot from a tree, pole or beam. May be hanging upside down or right side up.
- Hair flowing down, arms folded behind back, leg bent to form number 4 shape.
- Bright halo or aura around head, symbolizing enlightenment.
- Water or green landscape in background, reflecting emotions/spirit.
- Colorful leggings or pants, tunic or robes clothing the figure.
- Variations on wooden beam, tree shape, and hanging rope/chain.
While varying in style, most designs capture the core essence and meaning of the card.
Is The Hanged Man a positive or negative card?
The Hanged Man has mixed meanings – it is neither completely positive nor fully negative. Its challenging aspects reflect struggle and sacrifice leading to enlightenment.
What does The Hanged Man mean when next to Death?
Together with Death, The Hanged Man signals a major life transition or transformation is on the horizon. Something must end or ‘die’ before you can fully receive this new beginning.
What zodiac sign is The Hanged Man?
The Hanged Man correlates astrologically with Pisces and is ruled by planet Neptune. Its watery, spiritual themes align with this dreamy, intuitive sign.
- At its core, The Hanged Man represents seeing the world from a new perspective after struggle or sacrifice.
- When upright, the card marks delays, limbo and the need for a viewpoint shift before progress can happen.
- Reversed, The Hanged Man suggests resistance to change and inability to move forward.
- For relationships, this card calls for releasing stagnation by surrendering limiting beliefs and asserting needs.
- Numerology and astrology connect The Hanged Man with creativity, spirituality, illusions, and transformations.
- The Hanged Man’s imagery visually depicts the story of its unique symbolic meanings.
The Hanged Man’s unusual imagery provides a powerful glimpse into a process of struggle leading to wisdom. By suspending everything and shifting perspective, we gain new insights that propel our lives forward. When this card appears in a reading, be willing to sacrifice, pause and reconsider your outlook. Then you can break free of stagnation and move toward destiny, purpose and enlightenment.