Looking Above and Beyond the Hanged Man Tarot Card Meaning

the hanged man tarot card meaning

The Hanged Man tarot card meaning can be tricky to decipher especially if it’s your first time. And it doesn’t help that the imagery is pretty grim at first glance either. But really, what does the Hanged Man tarot card mean for your love, life, and career?

In this post, we will have a thorough analysis of the Hanged Man (tarot card) and look beyond what the eyes can see. Some of the important points are the following:

  • How to properly handle the Hanged Man tarot meaning
  • What is ‘coming off the fence’ for the Hanged Man reversed meaning?
  • What does ‘sitting on the fence’ mean for the Hanged Man upright?
  • Should one be upset if they get the Hanged Man in a love reading?
  • If you are at a crossroads in your career, what does the hanged man meaning in tarot tell you?

What Does The Hanged Man Tarot Card Mean?

This card shows a man dangling upside down from one ankle. A light that looks like a halo is radiating behind his head. Despite the uncomfortable position, he still seems to be at peace with the situation. Nothing struggling or sad at all about this card. If you look closely, the man is actually very serene and totally accepting of his fate.

This is along your Fool’s Journey in the major arcana. The card represents lessons you have learned in life when you take full responsibility for your actions. And then learning to accept the consequences with grace. It is about letting go of what one cannot control.

There is a need for you to release the tight grip you have on ideas and situations at hand. This strategy does not work for you anymore, so it’s better if you become an agent of change instead. Make the sacrifice and by being the better man in order to break out all your old behavioral patterns.

Whenever there is a feeling of betrayal, being the victim. Or are ashamed because of your own actions, try looking at things from a different perspective. This card is a representation of the serenity prayer’s first phrase. “Please grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”. The only thing we can control is ourselves, the rest we need to release and learn to accept with grace.

Seeing the World Through a Different Lens

This card is the 12th card in the major arcana. Again, the man’s position is voluntary. The alternative view is seeing the world using a different lens. So when this card appears on your reading it may be the perfect time to look at things from a different point of view. Something outside the box. Of course, this is easier said than done.

No matter how open-minded you think yourself to be, when you set a course down a path, you are usually blinded by your perspective of them. In order to see it from a different angle, you may need to step into another shoe and view it using a fresh set of eyes.

Using this brand new view could result in finding the solution. However, this may also require a great amount of self-sacrifice. You may need to let go of your ideals. There may be a period of reassessment so you could find a new way forward.

Some keywords associated with the card are:

  • Pause
  • Reflection
  • Meditation
  • Change
  • Potential Growth
  • Decisions
  • Letting Go

The Hanged Man’s message is when your life seems to be at a standstill, review your past and look to your future. It’s about suspension, rather than being about life or death. This signifies a time for insight so deep that for a brief moment nothing but this specific insight exists.

This card symbolizes moments of suspension between the physical and the mystical worlds. They don’t last and require a form of sacrifice. With a sensible perspective or belief, a dream, wish, hope, time, or money. To gain, you must learn to give.

There are times when you will need to sacrifice positions. Be open to a truce, or different ideas in order to find the solutions necessary for bringing about the change. But one thing is certain. Regardless if the insight is big or small, mundane or spiritual, once you see the Hanged Man, the way you see things will never be the same.

Analyzing the Imagery

the hanged man tarot

Here’s a look at the card using a traditional RWS deck to analyze and understand the imagery.

The man’s face is particularly telling because there is no sign of discomfort or struggle. It is a process of voluntary surrender because he knows the outcome will eventually result in his benefit.

The halo surrounding his head symbolizes enlightenment, of gaining higher insight and awareness. His crossed legs symbolize crossroads. We are at a crossroads and at a loss for a decision. It ties in with the card’s advice not to take action. Rather, you should be still, calm yourself, and the answers will soon arrive.

The ropes on his legs symbolize imprisonment and binding. Even if yes, he is there of his own free will, the rope symbolizes something else. That the more you struggle against your circumstances, the tighter all those knots will become. However, when you have patience and take the time, you can easily figure out how you can undo those knots.

The figure on the card has made the ultimate surrender. By sacrificing himself he emerged as the victor. He is able to move forward by standing still. By suspending time, you have all the time in this world.

It is time for some decision-making and it needs to be a positive one. The Hanged Man shows us the sacrifice and willingness to pay for the short-term loss in order to have long-term gains. You have to let go of your present circumstances, to reimagine, regroup, and make a decision based on a new perspective. Because in the end, it is for your greater good.

There is a need for one to let go in order to allow manifestations to take place. You’re given an opportunity to change directions and grow from the experience. Some journaling prompts are as follows:

  • How do you feel about waiting?
  • When has being patient served you? When has it not?
  • Do you often give yourself up? To your values, others, or causes?
  • Have you ever had an experience that changed your perception of an individual person, or situation?
  • What is the main difference between stillness and stagnation?

The daily affirmation for this card is ‘Surrender to Awaken’. It advises you to surrender to change the course of your life and allow the Universe to make its way to you.

This may be the fastest and easiest way to come to an understanding and awareness. It signifies feelings of vulnerability but is a card of vision as well. Get rid of your prejudice and be open to new ideas and experience new things. This could roughly translate to spending time with individuals you normally do not hang out with. Or doing things that frighten you, or trying new cuisine you never thought you would try.

The appearance of the Hanged Man tells you to give up something precious to you. You need to let go of your own ambitions and desires to arrive at the greater good. If this means sacrificing your relationships, your future, your life for the better, then by all means do it.

Struggles are absolutely pointless at this time. The best thing to do is surrender and let things go for now. Spend all your energy on worthwhile things instead. You can only feel to be in control once you learn to let go, and win only if you surrender. With that in mind, this sacrifice won’t sound so bad.

The Hanged Man Reading for Love

What does the Hanged Man tarot card mean for love? Well, it wants you to do something different. Change your hairstyle, go for a new hobby, even switch your online dating strategy. Whatever it is you have been doing, try something new.

the hanged man in a love reading

It is time to set aside your own selfish resentments for you to release the past. Let go and move on to something better. There is no need to change yourself, but there is a need to change those patterns.

What you have been doing has not resulted in the relationship that you want, so far. So try something radically new. If you’re in a relationship with tons of issues, put aside your own desires. Focus on finding the perfect solution that spells out the best for both of you. The moment you let go of your resentments and release your pain, there will appear a new path that will bring you closer together.

When your heart is hurting, this card is asking you to release the past and move forward. If you were meant to be together, that should have happened. Trust that things are working as they should be. There is someone amazing waiting for you soon as you move on from this heartbreak.

The Hanged Man Tarot Card Meaning for Health

Relieve the pressure from your body. Look at your health and fitness using a different point of view. If you have been doing yoga a lot, maybe you could add some running. Kickboxing would also be great for your routine. Of course, there is no way you could control everything about your health. But this card is telling you about the things that are within your control.

Release everything else and don’t waste your time worrying about what you cannot influence. Have full responsibility for things you can control. These are your thoughts, choices, beliefs, and actions. Let the rest go. If they are outside your control, they are beyond your concern.

The Hanged Man Card Upright

This suggests that you will be sitting on the fence for a while. You cannot commit to a course of action in one way or another. It is because you do not know what you can and should submit to. You are going through a serious deliberation process.

This is unlike the Hermit who is just withdrawing in order to assimilate, contemplate, acclimate, then go back to the fold. It is an evaluation process. You’re not only evaluating the situation around you. They are being evaluated as well.

For earth-based reading, this indicates that things are slowing down at your workplace. It is because again, people are going through an evaluation. Application processes may be stalled. There may also be a situation with a client or superior where you can’t get feedback from them at this time. It is a standstill.

For air-based reading with communications. This indicates that the person you’re trying to reach right now cannot give you a final answer. Not the one you want, at least, much less the one you hate. It is telling you to wait than to fore out the ‘no’.

reevaluate the opportunities

As a challenge, this card shows you the need to take some time to reevaluate the opportunities right in front of you. Take things at a slower pace. You may have accidentally stuck those hands into too many pies. Make sure you organize and accommodate new things surrounding you. Whether they’re new jobs, relationships, or lifestyle.

New emotions, with water. This indicates the person you’re with, or the person you want to get with, or maybe just yourself. Are very preoccupied with evaluating the ramifications of this situation. You are choosing the non-involvement platform. But at this time, you should just let things be.

You need some space here since you have no idea what you are going to commit to. If you were going to make a commitment either way at this time, it will be made half-heartedly. This could mean somebody who is either fearful of commitment or having a sexual identity crisis. It is especially true if you have two wands or two pentacles nearby.

For some spiritual advice, this card indicates you need to take a break. There is nothing you can do at this time that will become the right decision. Nothing feels right at the moment. So anything you do now will be falsely.

The Hanged Man Card Reversed

This shows that you are finally coming off the fence, for better or for worse. You are committing to a new cycle of growth in your life, and things are about to progress as they should.

For an earth-based reading, this could be hearing back positive or negative feedback. This may be the result of an application, test, or interview. There’s also a chance that when it comes to punishment or punitive damages, you might be able to get off with less punishment than you anticipated.

For air-based reading, you may be finally hearing from someone whom you have been trying to get a straight answer from.

As a challenge, it’s pretty cut and dry. But you need to get off the fence first. If it is you who thinks you do not have many options in front of you then you may not have been paying close attention. Your deliberation process is over. If you still feel you require more time for healing, it’s time you take some initiative. You are either healed or you are not. There is no such thing as recovering forever.

For emotions-based reading, it shows that it is time to either stick it out or move forward. You and your partner may have a Hanged Man reversed when you agree to disagree. Deciding to go on happily and just let each other be yourselves. One of you may decide to take another road, but this doesn’t mean your relationship needs to end.

This could also mean for single individuals a second chance to be with somebody they met, who was at the wrong place at the wrong time back then.

For spiritual advice, this is the time to get on your feet and act. You either stop anticipating and start participating or find something else to do altogether.

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