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12 - The Hanged Man - Tarot Card Meanings

Key Symbolism  


sacrifices, seeing things from a different angle, gaining deeper insight, making a pause to reflect on a matter, a change of opinion, acceptance and surrender to what is, to just wait and see, a standstill, feeling trapped, feeling restricted, being passive, blockages, to give away control, helplessness, to see the positive sides of something negative.

12 - hanged_19.jpg

The Hanged Man - Description and Symbolism


A man is hanging from a Tau Cross on just one leg. The other leg is bent to form a cross, which symbolizes balance. His arms are tied behind his back. On his head we see a bright yellow light, which illustrates his spiritual attainment. He seems to hang there calmly and on his own will, knowing that this position will give him another perspective.


The Hanged Man - General Meaning

The Hanged Man has the number 12, which can be reduced to 3 and symbolizes growth. He can appear in situations when we chose to surrender to what is happening to us, or advise us to do so - especially when it is something that we are unable to change. To just surrender to what is, can open new doors, because we finally stop directing our thoughts to something that might just be hurtful. If we surrender, a healing process can finally set in. He also symbolizes the act of looking at something from a different perspective. To view something from a different angle sometimes brings new insights. Another meaning of this card is "taking a break.". This might not be the right time to take action. The Hanged Man can also represent situations when we feel restricted in our freedom. Lastly, he can represent sacrifices that we need to make in order to reach some other goal.


The Hanged Man - Love Meaning

In a love reading the Hanged Man can be about all the things mentioned above. If you don’t understand your partners view, try to see their perspective. Sometimes sacrifices and compromises need to be made to sustain the peace between two people. The Hanged Man can also hint at an unhappy relationship, where you feel like you sacrifice too much, or you even feel restricted in your freedom.

The Hanged Man - As Feelings

If you ask how somone feels for you, the Hanged Man can indicate that the person in question feels like it is best to surrender. They don't want to fight against their current circumstances. They might feel at peace with a situation. Another meaning could be that they feel like a victim. They might feel restricted or they might feel like they are being punished.  Lastly, it can indicate that they feel enlightened. Maybe they have changed their perspective lately and see things from a different point of view. ​

The Hanged Man Reversed -
Tarot Card Meanings

Key Symbolism  


being unable to accept current circumstances, being unable to see another perspective,

not wanting to make a sacrifice, not letting go of an opinion, being stubborn, 

coming out of a phase of inactivity, overcoming a blockage, not wanting to give away control

Hanged Man Reversed - General Meaning

When the Hanged Man appears reversed in a reading, he can indicate the reluctance to just surrender to an unpleasant situation you are in. In that case the Hanged Man reversed can advise you to just let go and make the best of your current circumstances. Fighting against what can't be changed, will just take away from your energy. It can also indicate that you are feeling trapped at the time. You might not be able to act in the way you want to. Another meaning could be that you have to make a sacrifice that you are not willing to or reluctant to make.  He can also indicate that you hesitate to act. You might be scared to take action for some reason, so you chose to stay in a state of inactivity.


Hanged Man Reversed - Love Meaning

In a reading about a relationship the Hanged Man reversed can indicate that someone is unwilling or unable to see their partners point of view. It can also represent a situation when someone is unwilling to make a sacrifice for the relationship. If the Hanged Man reversed appears as an advice, it can also caution against making a sacrifice for a relationship. 

Hanged Man Reversed - As Feelings

If you ask how someone feels for you, the Hanged Man reversed can indicate that the person you ask about feels like they have to make a sacrifice to be with you, but they might be unwilling to make it. They might also feel like their freedom is limited because of their relationship with you. 

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© Illustrations from the Radiant Rider-Waite 2015 reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems Inc., Stanford, CT 06902. c. 2015 by U.S. Games Systems Inc. All rights reserved.

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