The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man tarot card

The Hanged Man Tarot Card Meaning

If you find yourself at a cross-roads and unsure which way to go next, remember that whatever choice you make you are going to be alright. Each path before you at this time is one of growth and karmic repercussions. It is easy to feel unsure because undoubtedly there is a lot of pressure around you at this time. Odin, the great Norse God hung from the World Tree for nine days in order to gain the wisdom and mystery of the Universe and an understanding of mankind.

So must you, in this time in your life, metaphorically take some time receiving wisdom from the Universe. When you receive this card in a reading you are being instructed to pause and to spend some time in reflection. There is something that you are missing because your life is moving too fast; slow it down significantly in order to identify what decisions need to be made in your life at this time. This card often comes up in a reading when one is being plagued by a certain level of uncertainty and therefore the Hanged Man reminds you to have faith in solace and allow yourself to gain perspective.

Consider each option based on what you will have to give up as the choices you face at this time usually are accompanied by a choice of sacrifice. You must choose one or the other but in that choice one option will be denied. You will lose something in the choice you make so choose wisely.

The Hanged Man is depicted by a youth that hangs from a living tree upside down. One foot is crossed in a T-Cross position. Even though he hangs above the Earth, he is still connected through the contact with the tree. In this, the development of the soul grows stronger and he has attained some measure of perfection on this path of life. Cards 1-10 illustrate a time of learning, of fine tuning a process of connection with the Divine, now his own success is placed into his very capable hands. Now it is time for him to be brave, to make choices that will change his entire life. If you receive the Hanged Man in your reading, he symbolizes pending decisions, coming to terms with that you do not understand and taking the time necessary to learn so that decisions can be made. In a sense, you too, must hang yourself in utter stasis in order to focus on how to change your whole experience.

There are those in this world who simply ‘believe’ that they are free from the chains that bind them but continue to allow themselves to be blown by the wind from one thing to another, but you are able to receive true freedom because you know the importance of Solace. This is the Hanged Man’s message for you.

A darker aspect of this card can come from not taking advantage of what the Hanged Man has to offer. This is the feeling of desolation or loss directly related to the fear of making changes. Many of us feel that if we make the wrong decision then all will be lost and this thought process creates a never ending cycle of non-movement. The Hanged Man reminds you that the fall is a short distance. If you hurt yourself, you can get up and brush yourself off and try again. In a sense, you have tied yourself up and are refusing to benefit from the new perspective that awaits you should you only open your eyes and allow that to be.

Something to remember with the Hanged Man is that the entanglement is voluntary. Every moment that you feel stuck or unable to move, you are doing so of your own volition; which means that at any moment you could choose to untangle yourself, to let yourself down from the tree and take your next, calculated step forward. If this card has come up in your reading then it is time for you to make a decision, any decision. The stasis will smother you to death; you must pick up and make a change. Your best option is to use this time to reflect, to see the world from the perspective of the Hanged Man. The Human Brain adjusts to a different perspective after three days of exposure, therefore, if things feel upside down for you…just wait for your Brain to catch up and all will be well. Embrace the new perspective.

The Hanged Man in Love

If this card appears regarding a love situation, then now is the time for you to consider taking a step back to calculate all of your options. Sometimes we are rushing too quickly into a relationship, or standing too far back from a pursuit. You must allow yourself the time necessary to reflect on your next move. In love this card could also symbolize a level of entanglement that you are not quite ready to undertake. Consider all of your options and then allow yourself to be free.

Remember that your heart is where Love forms, it is where God thrives. The heart removes distance and has the power to simplify and bring anything that you want to you right now. Spend some time doing the opposite of what your ego tells you to do and you will have success. Be patient with yourself, accept and understand what you can and cannot do and spread a little bit of that love that you give to others to yourself. Find out what you are hiding and bring that into the light. Any movement is better than no movement at all. Do not allow your fear of love, or being loved, stop you from trying. This will only encourage stagnation.

Another aspect of the Hanged Man in love for both those in a relationship and those seeking love is that there is a choice that comes up. This card is usually seen when there are multiple options in love. Be wary of going down two paths at once as when the Hanged Man appears this is not a time of wanton love. Your situation is serious and you will find that you have serious prospects in love ahead of you. Do not waste them both by not making a choice.

The Hanged Man As Feelings

It can sometimes mean that the other person is tied up or married and the relationship may never progress. It can mean that you are waiting for something to happen but it never does. It can also signify an online relationship where you may have fun with someone but never really commit to each other. The relationship is suspended and the other person wants you to think they are pondering about taking action but when it really comes to it, they don’t. 

The Hanged Man in Health

In matters of the equilibrium, the Hanged Man warns to be aware of your body and to make sure that it is balanced in all things. When this card appears in your Health reading you will want to take a full inventory of your body to see what areas need balance. Consider a full body chakra cleansing, or even just verify what kind of sleep you are getting, what kind of food you are taking in, are you stretching. Are you treating your mind and your spirit as the sacred temple that it should be? The Hanged Man asks for you to take some time to ponder what you could be doing better for your body’s physical health. Often when something is completely off balance in the body this will come up in the form of tumors, sore muscles, bones that are healing incorrectly. In areas of serious health issues, the Hanged Man indicates a need for professional input. Many times it will indicate a need for a second opinion in medical decisions.

The Hanged Man in Work and Wealth

The Hanged Man in matters of business addresses the need to trust your instincts. You know the answer. If you are uncertain, then take some time to consider the right move. When taking time to meditate on a potential work endeavor, you give your prophetic nature an opportunity to show you what it can do. Now is the time in your life to trust the connection between you and God. Follow the instincts in your gut and you will go far.

Reversed Hanged Man

Reversed Hanged Man in a reading

The decisions that you are making are too rash, they are not being controlled by your intuition but by a shallow, surface level desire. There is an inappropriate use of the Ego or even a downright resistance to spiritual connection. The Hanged Man tells you that it is time to stop what you are doing and connect to God or the Universe. Spiritual guidance is needed at this time and there will be no movement until this happens.

By Florance Saul
Jul 9, 2012