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The Hanged Man Tarot Card Meaning & Symbolism

The Hanged Man tarot card (XII) is the 13th Major Arcana card in the standard Rider-Waite Tarot deck. It represents a phase of stillness and your having to sit with whatever is going on in your life at the time. Read on to learn everything you need to know about The Hanged Man card when it shows up in your tarot spread.


Hanged Man Tarot Card Keywords

The Hanged Man Tarot Card Meaning & Symbolism (How To Learn Tarot For Beginners)

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Upright: confined, self-limiting, uncertainty, letting go, in limbo, stuck, lack of direction, needing release

Reversed: boredom, impulsiveness, detachment, negative patterns, bad habits


Hanged Man Card Description

The Hanged Man depicts a man hanging from a wood T-shaped cross.

He’s hanging upside-down, looking at the world from an entirely different viewpoint, and his peaceful and placid facial expression suggests that he chose to be in this position.

His head is surrounded by a halo, which represents new understanding, awareness, and enlightenment.

His right foot is tethered to the tree, but his left foot is free, tucked beneath his right leg and bent at the knee.

He forms an inverted triangle with his arms bent and hands behind his back.

The man is dressed in red pants, which represent human passion and the physical body, as well as a blue waistcoat, which represents knowledge.

The Hanged Man represents total submission, time suspension, martyrdom, and sacrifice for the greater good.


The Hanged Man as Feelings

Upright, The Hanged Man represents feelings of surrender, being stuck, and passivity.

It can signal a time when we feel like we are in limbo or making sacrifices for the people around us.

Reversed, this card suggests that we’re trying to break free from these feelings but have yet to do so.

It may mean that something is blocking our progress or we are feeling overwhelmed and powerless.


The Hanged Man as Advice

Upright, The Hanged Man is a reminder to pause and take time to reflect on the situation.

It can also suggest that there’s an opportunity for you to accept help or advice from others, rather than working alone.

Reversed, this card can suggest that you’re not seeing the potential for growth in your current situation, or that now is not the time to make sacrifices.

It could be telling you to take a step back and reconsider your options before making any decisions. 


The Hanged Man as How Someone Sees You

Upright, The Hanged Man means someone sees you as wise and generous.

They are aware of your selfless actions and admire you for them.

Reversed, this card can suggest that someone sees you as foolish or too trusting.

They may be jealous of your success or think you’re too naive to handle a certain situation. 

It could also mean that they don’t think highly of your talents or skills.

It’s important to remember that this is only one person’s opinion, and you don’t have to accept it if you don’t agree with it. You should always trust in yourself and your own judgement. 


The Hanged Man as What Someone Wants From You

Upright, The Hanged Man means someone wants you to take a step back and observe a situation before making any decisions.

They may also be asking you to provide them with some guidance or advice.

Reversed, this card can suggest that someone is trying to manipulate or influence you in an unfair way.

It could also mean they are expecting too much from you and taking your kindness for granted.


Upright Hanged Man Tarot Card Meanings

The Hanged Man tarot card (XII) is the 13th Major Arcana card in the standard Rider-Waite Tarot deck.

It represents:

  • Imprisonment, surrender, sacrifice, and devotion to a cause or ideal.
  • Stopping or delaying progress toward goals or desires.
  • Turning inward to develop intuition and psychic abilities.
  • Waiting for an outcome, such as the completion of a project or being rescued from circumstances beyond your control (a time when you may feel powerless). 

If you receive the Hanged Man upright in a tarot reading, it means that you may be feeling drained and exhausted from the events in your life lately.

 You may feel that you’ve reached a limit and are unable to take on any more or do anything beyond what you’re currently doing. 

The Hanged man indicates that you have reached a crossroads in your life where you must eventually make a decision but your hands are tied right now.

You feel like you have no power to change your circumstances, even if you desire to. 

It represents a time period in which you’ll need to stop and reflect on the direction your life is taking and what’s important to you.

You may be going through a difficult situation in which you feel powerless to change your circumstances or the people around you. 

People might be pressuring you, and it feels like they just don’t understand how much pressure you are under.

You’re unable to make decisions at this time because there is so much on your mind.

Everything is up in the air and open to change, and while that can be scary, it’s also liberating.

You’re just waiting for the outcome of the situation, hoping that you’ll find a solution soon or that your circumstances will improve without your involvement. 


Upright Hanged Man Meaning For Love


Upright Hanged Man Card Meanings For Relationships

If you are in a relationship and The Hanged Man appears upright, it signals that one r both of you feel unhappy or stuck in limbo and don’t see a way out.

If you are the one in a relationship who receives this card, it might indicate that you are feeling confined and stifled by your intimate or personal relationship.

You feel trapped and frustrated with where things are right now–you can’t make any decisions because of all the uncertainty surrounding your situation.

As far as your partner is concerned, they may feel helpless, as well.

You both are trying to remain positive and strong for the other person, but it may be difficult at times, especially when you feel like giving up or completely withdrawing from one another. 

It’s important to remember that you do have the power to walk away if that’s what serves you — even if it doesn’t seem like the easiest path.

One thing to consider is that you don’t have to decide right now.

Just think about what you want and don’t want in your relationship.

Think about whether it’s possible to work through this rough patch or if it might be time to call it quits on the relationship. 

Give it some time.



Upright Hanged Man Card Meanings For Singles

If you are single and The Hanged Man appears in an upright position, it means that you may need to release any baggage holding you back from your past.

This could be old feelings of grief, fear, or resentment.   

You need to set yourself free and let go of these emotions before you can move forward in a positive direction.

It’s also possible that you are hanging onto your standard for what makes the ideal partner — but it may be time to open your heart and mind to other possibilities.

You have a preconceived impression of what you need in a partner, but The Hanged Man tells you that this is not serving your highest good.

It’s time to release these desires so you can open yourself up to more opportunities and the possibility of finding love and happiness. 

If you still have feelings for an ex and are wondering if they will come back to you, The Hanged Man is telling you that it’s probably time to let those ideas go.

It’s possible that you’ve been fixating on the idea of getting back together with this ex and it’s not helping your current situation.  It could be time to cut ties in a healthy way and move on with life without having to look over your shoulder at what might have been.


Upright Hanged Man Meaning For Money & Career

The upright Hanged Man generally means a period of uncertainty or anxiety when it comes to business, money, and career.

You feel as if you are unable to make the changes or decisions that would allow you to move forward.

It could be a sign that you need a change and new opportunities have been presented to you, but not taken advantage of yet.

This card asks you to not give up or assume the worst — things will work out.

It’s also possible that you are putting your career or business on the backburner because of financial issues or anxiety about money.  

You may have begun to feel burned out and uncertain of what direction to take.  

You may not be making any progress at all, but sometimes that’s just how it is.

You also might be stuck in a position where you’ve done all you can to move forward, but you’re waiting on someone else to give you the go-ahead.

In this situation, have patience and know that it’s just a time period that will pass.

If you’re having financial difficulty right now, make sure you don’t make any rash decisions that could make your situation worse.  

Try to remain calm and keep your eyes on the prize.

Remember that you can’t quit; you have to take one step at a time.

Just keep putting in the work until things get better for you financially. 


Reversed Hanged Man Tarot Card Meanings

The reversed Hanged Man can indicate that instead of hanging tight, being patient, and waiting to have all the information you need to make a good decision, you’re being rash, impulsive, and moving forward — usually to your detriment.

You have been looking for the easy way out and are acting impulsively because you’re trying to dodge uncomfortable emotions or feelings.  

This could be feelings of depression, anxiety, loneliness, or grief.  

They might be tied into your career, money, the direction of your life — whatever it is that’s causing you distress, you’re looking for the quick-fix and the easy way out, but this is the wrong move and the wrong time.

You are jumping from bad decision to bad decision, and what you need most now is to slow down, think things through, and accept that you must go through a period of waiting.

It’s time to take a deep breath, gather your strength, and have patience.

You can’t rush this process any longer; you must wait it out and allow yourself some time to adjust and regroup before making changes.  


Reversed Hanged Man Meaning For Love


Reversed Hanged Man Card Meanings For Relationships

If you’re in a relationship, the Hanged Man reversed indicates that you may be holding onto a relationship that you know is no longer serving you.

There is usually an underlying fear that if you end it, you will be alone or won’t find love again.

The truth is, you’ll be okay even if the relationship ends.

There are other people out there who can give you what you really want.  

But you’re blocking yourself from experiencing something that better serves you down the line because you’re too afraid to let go of what you have now.

The Hanged Man reversed also could indicate that the relationship could be saved, but you’re not currently prepared to do the work that it would take to get there.

You must take a step back, reassess the situation, and then decide what changes need to be made and if it’s worth the effort.

Either way, right now you have to choose whether to stay in a relationship and do the work to fix it, or to suffer the temporary pain of leaving for the promise of something better in the future.


Reversed Hanged Man Card Meanings For Singles

If you’re single, the Hanged Man reversed means you are constantly repeating the same negative relationship patterns.  

You may be rushing from one bad relationship to the next and never taking responsibility for the role you play in the outcome.

It signals a victim mentality, where you’re always pointing the blame at the other partner, rarely pausing to consider your input or own toxic traits.

Take a step back, slow down, figure out why this pattern continues, and what you need to do within yourself in order to change it.

Figure out what you want and slow down.


Reversed Hanged Man Meaning For Money & Career

The reversed Hanged Man means you are feeling helpless and demoralized at the moment.

You have a choice to make, which is whether or not you want things to improve.  

Right now, it might seem easier to just sit back, do nothing, and complain that you don’t get what you want out of your career or money situation.

But if you really want to improve your situation, you must take action and make some changes.

Your career is the primary vehicle for you to have a great life.

If you’ve been having some challenges in your career, now is the time to look at what changes must be made and how you can do that.  

You could also decide to re-evaluate your goals and aspirations, and figure out which ones are realistic and which ones need to be left behind.              


Final Thoughts On The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man Tarot Card Meaning & Symbolism (How To Learn Tarot For Beginners)

Congrats on taking the first step to working with the tarot and learning to read for yourself and those you love!

Just by interacting with different cards and learning more about their meanings, you are already on your way down your path to spiritual fulfillment and enlightenment. 

The next natural step is to make sure you receive your free numerology reading.

Few things are as powerful as numerology for helping you improve your tarot readings.

But I’m not going to tell you that the information you’ll uncover will make you a better tarot reader.

It’s better for you to get your reading and find that out for yourself.

That way, it’ll be a much more personal, special, and beautiful experience. 

Get your free reading now. 


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