The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man Tarot Card Meaning

Stina Garbis

The Hanged Man tarot card is number 12 in the Major Arcana and represents the planet of Neptune. This is an interesting card as the Hanged Man is very much alive and is hanging from a living tree.  The tree is in the shape of the Tau cross, made popular by Saint Francis which represents his communion with God and even more of converting others and turning to your Higher Power and your fellow brothers.  The Hanged Man has a halo around his head which means he is getting understanding from his predicament. He is suspended by his foot, and his body, with the crossed leg is making the fylfot cross which represents peace, good fortune and good luck. Some may say if you reverse the Hanged Man, it looks like he is dancing a sailors jig with his hands behind his back, which may be a reason that this card is associated with the planet of the sea god, Neptune. In one aspect, he is in a tight predicament hanging there, but if you look at it from a different angle, he is rather happy and dancing.

The number 12 in numerology, represents creative thinking, looking at things in different ways, patience, independence, and hope. The planet Neptune, is a planet of intuition, psychic vision and dreams.

This card definitely means waiting and being suspended in time, yet its message may be unclear, unless you really study it. The Hanged Man with his halo is achieving enlightenment as he is growing in knowledge and understanding. This card follows the Hermit who is seeking deep wisdom. So in the Fool’s journey, this is where the Fool assimilates the knowledge of his Hermit days and figures out a way to incorporate it into and better his life. Following this card is the Death card where the Fool has to give up his past in order to move on into the future. So, in a way, the Hanged Man is dying for another chance at life in a more substantial way. He is suspended from the heavens and is having an earthly experience. He is bridging the gap between the divine and time. But it is in the experience of time standing still that he is able to figure out the meaning of life because he has that opportunity to pause. Which is the reason for the halo, he is gaining understanding of what his true purpose is, and what is the true meaning of life. Our lives are all a sacrifice, because none of us get out alive. Our lives are an experience of our higher power in the human body. No matter what, The Hanged Man is going to come down from his gallows, and will face his fate be it death or life. But his purpose on Earth is to live in truth and to experience all that life has to offer.

Tarotoo card

This card upright means stalling for time, a pause, and waiting for an answer.  It is the calm before the storm. The Hanged Man will get his answer, and things will move forward just not yet, it is not time. It is now a time to think and reflect, and be grateful for what you have, and to have faith that what is supposed to happen is what will happen. Sometimes The Hanged Man means that you’re getting strung along in a relationship or business deal, where a person is leading you on, and not giving you a satisfactory answer. You may be waiting for a relationship to start or a fantasy to become real and may be waiting unnecessarily because nothing may happen. You don’t want to stay as The Hanged Man for a long time, you want to eventually move forward.  This card may also mean that you’re getting a different perspective of a situation or that you are feeling blocked or frustrated. It can mean that you are losing touch with reality, that your feet aren’t on the ground. You may be acting like a martyr. It can mean feeling isolated, out of touch and out of reach from others.  Loneliness. But this card is always temporary and things won’t be like this forever.

Reversed meaning: this card can mean that you’re getting your answer, that you are free, that you have fulfilled your purpose for this time, and that you will be moving forward very soon. Reversed, this is a card of enlightenment as you now understand your position. You have had communion with the divine and have heard and understand your message and now know your next steps. It is liberation. It can mean that you are getting out of jail or being released from a trap. It can also mean an end of a relationship or a situation that is welcomed, with a scenario that has kept you in the dark, or has been stagnant. It could mean the end of a court trial, receiving a legal decision or any other situation that takes a long time to resolve.  Other meanings could include a disconnection from the divine. Having a lack of responsibility and not caring about what comes next. It can indicate being selfish, bored or vulnerable. Getting fired, or getting unstuck.

Yes / No meaning: when asking a yes or no question the answer would be no, but more correctly, “not yet”. Now is not the time. If The Hanged Man was a magic eight ball, it would reply, “Ask again later”. It can also mean an eventual yes but you have to start with a no answer, and then come back with greater knowledge.  For instance if you are asking about passing a test in school, it could be a situation where you have to retake the test. Where you have to study and relearn the material and then try a second, successful time. You got the answers wrong this time but next time you’ll get all the answers right.