The Meaning Of The Hanged Man Tarot Card

 Why Trust Us

The Hanged Man Tarot Card

Major Arcana cards add an all-inclusive spiritual or philosophical layer to any reading.

The Hanged Man card’s message is about taking advantage of a pause in the action to gain enlightenment. Whatever is slowing you down, don’t fight it. See it as an opportunity to see things from a new perspective.

The Hanged Man Tarot Card Description

The Hanged Man Tarot Card is anything but conventional.

To better understand the meaning of this card, let’s take note of the artistry involved:

  • Tree – Some say this is the World Tree of Nordic mythology, which would be appropriate. The symbolism says sometimes “the world” pulls you off track. An enforced pause may not be in the plan, yet you have no choice but to stay in one place for a while.
  • Person – Even though their situation looks uncomfortable, this person appears relaxed. Aware of being in for a wait, they’ve chosen not to struggle against this situation.
  • Halo – The reward for accepting the delay and relaxing into it is seeing things from a new point of view. You will see things in a way you might never have stopped to consider before. What you observe while in this holding pattern is valuable information you can use.

This card is about making the most of an unexpected delay. Even when you’re stuck, you’re not helpless. Relax and enjoy the opportunity to learn and grow.

Key Facts

UprightSacrifice, reflection, pause, new perspective, letting go
ReversedStagnation, unwillingness, stagnation, missed opportunities
Yes or NoMaybe
Astrological SignPisces
Key Facts: The Hanged Man Tarot Card

Upright Meaning of The Hanged Man

The upright meaning of this card is the same as the core meaning: When forced to pause, relax and observe.

This is a time to set aside resistance and embrace the moment. It may not be apparent, but this delay is key to your progress.

Here are the central themes:

  • Surrender – The Hanged Man signals to let go and allow this pause without fighting it. Resistance is futile, so you may as well not wear yourself out.
  • Reflection – While you’re “hung up,” you can use this opportunity to reflect. What’s been working for you on your path so far? And what needs to be fixed? You’re in a good position to see fresh solutions to nagging problems.
Upright Love
Upright Career MeaningUpright Health Meaning
Surrendering to the flow of love and embracing patience in relationshipsA period of suspension or waiting in the career, trusting that it will lead to growthTake a step back to focus on mental and emotional well-being, embracing stillness and self-reflection

Love and Relationships – Upright, The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man in a love spread wants you to pause and consider your love relationship. This is your sign to stop and collaborate with your partner.

Every couple faces challenges. It helps if you reflect on your combined strategy. Have an honest chat and get on the same page together.

If you’re looking for love, The Hanged Man says you’ve been delayed for a good reason. Take the opportunity to think about who you want to be in a loving partnership.

When you don’t push romance, it finds you at the perfect time. Until then, work on being your best self.

Career and Work – Upright, The Hanged Man

For a career reading, the Hanged Man invites you to reassess your professional goals. If you’ve reached a stalemate on your current path, you can use this pause to get creative.

The possibilities are endless, and a little bit of searching can open up a brand new path. One that better reflects your values and intentions in the world.

What’s more, you can take the opportunity to gain special insight about what’s hanging you up. You chose the current job for a reason. If you are clever, you may see a way to progress.

Acknowledge that you are not entirely in control of your situation. Surrender to a new perspective that comes with fresh opportunities for success.

Health and Wellness – Upright, The Hanged Man

When it’s about your health, the Hanged Man calls for a time-out from regular activities. Stop what you’re doing and listen to your body. Your mental and physical well-being takes priority.

This card points to relaxation as a necessary part of personal progress. Sometimes, you can glean more information by talking and doing less.

Take an opportunity to sit still and process what’s happening around you. The insights you find may surprise you.

Spiritual Context – Upright, The Hanged Man

Spiritually speaking, the Hanged Man is about the wisdom you can gain from being still. You are being called to awaken to a new way of understanding.

Reflect on the symbolism and spiritual practices you feel drawn to. You don’t have to adopt a new religion to appreciate its teachings.

Surrender is the key ingredient. You have to stop doing and allow yourself to be. Try out some meditative practices that help relax your mind and body.

Listen to the still, small voice within.

Reversed Meaning of The Hanged Man

When The Hanged Man comes out in reverseyou may be struggling.

The Hanged Man is all about relaxing when you’re made to pause. If you’re feeling stuck and frustrated, it might seem like all that matters is your goal.

  • Fearing Failure – It could be that stopping now feels like giving up, and you don’t want to do that. But taking a break is not giving up. Something you can’t control is holding you back. So relax and take the opportunity to get your bearings.
  • What’s Missing – Sometimes your routine becomes a rut, and you stick to old and comfortable ways of being. This reversed card is your wake-up call: To improve your experience, you have to try new things.
  • Control Issues – This card sometimes means you need help to be in control. For things to improve, you’ll have to take a risk and let someone else drive.
Reversed Love MeaningReversed Career MeaningReversed Health Meaning
Feeling stuck or unyielding in relationshipsCareer stagnation or lack of progressWatch for potential health issues related to stress or feeling overwhelmed

Love and Relationships – Reversed, The Hanged Man

When The Hanged Man pops reversed in a love reading, it shows you have trouble letting go of the past. It’s too easy to assume what’s happened before will happen again. But it isn’t fair to dwell on old hurts to a point that affects your future romantic hopes.

Forgiveness is about canceling all debts. Whatever you may think your ex or current partner owes you, you have to forget about it.

You’ll have to learn from your mistakes and leave the rest behind to move forward.

Surrender to your desire to give and receive love without blame or shame. The way to have happiness in the future is with an open heart and mind.

Career and Work – Reversed, The Hanged Man

For career, the reversed Hanged Man says you resist change in your professional life. You begin to miss opportunities when you don’t stay updated with training and technology.

Don’t let your career stagnate because you think the old way of doing it is “just fine.” Surrender to the flow of progress — dive in and let it carry you further than you can go.

Health and Wellness – Reversed, The Hanged Man

Regarding health, this reversed card wants you to unwind from self-limiting ways. Don’t assume you can’t do something if you haven’t tried.

Have a pep talk about your fear of failure. It takes a positive attitude to heal fully.

Getting better may include dropping some habits that get in your way. When you know what’s slowing you down, accept that it isn’t working for you and let it go.

Spiritual Context – Reversed, The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man, in reverse, points to your refusal to grow spiritually. You’re not open to different points of view, and you don’t want to revisit or realign your beliefs.

Stubborn stagnation like this can be overcome. By surrendering to compassion and understanding, you will feel more connected.

Divine guidance can be yours if you stop and listen. Let go of your skeptical notions and embrace this chance at enlightenment.

You are on the verge of a breakthroughDon’t let your fear of the unknown hold you back.

The Hanged Man: Yes or No

“Maybe. Get more information and ask again.”

The Hanged Man is one of the few cards in Tarot that doesn’t give a specific “yes or no” vibe. Instead, it advises that you wait for matters to unfold before you decide.

If you’re under pressure to decide and don’t have a “Heck Yeah!” feeling, the answer is No.

The Hanged Man and Astrology

When you add Astrology to a Tarot reading, you get another layer of significance. In astrology, the Hanged Man card symbols are the planet Neptune and the sign Pisces.

  • Neptune – Like the oceans ruled by the god Neptune, this planet covers many areas. Everything from imaginative creativity to illusions to faith is represented here. The Hanged Man has plenty of time to observe and imagine how his course might change after that. He also can believe that this pause is temporary, so relax and enjoy the show.
  • Pisces – Pisces is the final sign of the zodiac, so it carries themes of relaxing and reflecting. It’s where one part of our journey ends and another begins. So, taking a break and appreciating how far you’ve come is appropriate.

So, the downtime and creativity of The Hanged Man isn’t about giving up. Rather, it’s an opportunity to take a needed break and shift focus.

The Hanged Man and Numerology

Numerology is about the symbolism of numbers. The Hanged Man’s number in Tarot is 12. In numerology, you add the numbers until they are reduced to a single-digit number.

In this example: 1+2=3. So the Hanged Man card vibrates the number Three.

In the Tarot, Three represents progress. This may seem counter-intuitive, but the idea is that you can make progress by relaxing and observing what’s around you.

The guidance is this: Embrace the slow-down. Don’t fight what you can’t control. There is value to be found in this pause.

The Hanged Man as a Daily Card

In a daily Tarot draw, the Hanged Man card reminds you to take it easy when you hit a wall.

Don’t struggle against what you cannot control. Give yourself and the world some grace as you accept the things you cannot change.

If there is something you need to see, it will probably come up today. So don’t worry about what’s holding you back. Instead, focus your attention on what you don’t usually notice.

How to use The Hanged Man in a Reading?

To use this card in a reading, you must remember that it wants you to stop and pay attention.

As a Major Arcana card, The Hanged Man’s influence is stronger than a regular suit card. And whatever other cards turn up with it, it broadcasts a message of relaxation and enlightenment!

Here are some themes to pay attention to:

  • Pregnant Pause – You are in a holding pattern. Pay attention to this message to pause and reflect. It may take an hour, a month, or a year, but the timing is not the issue. Don’t exhaust yourself in a fruitless battle. Instead, embrace this opportunity and take a real break.
  • POV – Perspective is everything, and you are in a good position to upgrade yours. It’s a good time to search your heart and mind for new wisdom. It’s also a good time to take in what’s happening around you. There is valuable information to be gained there.
  • Surrender – Whatever gives you this time-out, struggling won’t help you. The primary message of this card is to surrender to your circumstances. You can only find the way to your preferred reality by accepting what is real for you now.

How to use The Hanged Man in a Love Reading?

In love, The Hanged Man shows there is cause to step back and think about your relationship. When disagreements arise, pause and reflect.

It’s possible the two of you are waiting to find out about something important. It can put you in touch with how you feel and what you want from this love.

If you’re looking for love, this card advises that you pause and get to know yourself better. Before entering a new relationship, you should have a strong idea of who you are and what you want from love.

How to use The Hanged Man in a Career Reading?

The Hanged Man in a career spread is about stagnation in career progress. You may be reluctant to change and be waiting for the right opportunity to open up.

In either case, it’s important to be patient. Advancement takes time and strategy. Take this opportunity to upgrade your skills and knowhow.

For any reading it’s important to ask specific questionsKeep your job prospects in mind while you shuffle or mix the cards. Take a grounding breath. Trust what comes immediately to mind when you turn the card over.

Then, when The Hanged Man comes out in the reading, you can blend its surrender vibe with the other cards’ messages. This tells a more complete story.

How to use The Hanged Man in a Health Reading?

In a health reading, The Hanged Man represents taking the time to recover. Or it may indicate looking at your health from a different perspective.

It promises that you need time to rest and reflect if you don’t feel well now. You will soon feel better than ever by taking your time and not pushing.

The guidance for using it in a health reading is the same as any other reading. Compare and blend the story of this card with that of the others. The Hanged Man card wants you to pause for healing. There is wisdom to be gained while you wait.

The Hanged Man in Relation to Other Cards

The Hanged Man card gives an energy of stillness and serenity. Now is the time to slow down and gain a new perspective. But, just what is this pause really about? The answer may lie in the cards that surround it.

Here are some tips for comparing The Hanged Man with other cards:

  • Paired with Positive Cards: When positive cards surround the Hanged Man card, it indicates the need for calm reflection. Especially when things are going well, it pays to stop and appreciate what you have.
  • Balanced with Negative Cards: If The Hanged Man card appears with challenging cards, there is a lesson in the struggle. By taking time to consider your circumstances, you can learn about it. 
  • In the Company of Other Major Arcana Cards: Other Major Arcana cards sitting near The Hanged Man card enhance the power of this card. They add more dimension to the story, giving clues to the path ahead.

The Hanged Man card is an important part of the overall story a reading tells. The key to a good reading is to blend its message with the messages of the other cards in the spread.

Complementary Cards

Some cards support The Hanged Man. They do this by spelling out a similar story or adding depth and dimension to the tale of pause and reflection. When it shows up with complementary cards, the reasons for the pause become more clear.

Here are some cards that complement the Hanged Man card:

  • The Hermit– The Hermit and The Hanged Man have learning in common. Together, they remind you to take the opportunity to upgrade your knowledge base.
  • The Four of Swords – The Four of Swords and The Hanged Man have rest in common. Together, they encourage you to pause for recovery and reflection.
  • The High Priestess – The High Priestess and The Hanged Man have introspection in common. Together, they encourage you to trust your instincts and intuitive responses. It takes a calm emotional state to hear what your heart says.

Contrasting Cards

Some cards contrast with the energy of The Hanged Man, signaling a struggle against things you can’t control. These contrasting cards are a wake-up call when you lose touch with your path.

Here are some examples of cards that contrast with the energy of The Hanged Man card:

  • The Chariot– Where The Hanged Man offers a pause, The Chariot is full speed ahead. Together, they remind you to take breaks so you don’t burn out.
  • The Fool – Where The Hanged Man offers contemplation, The Fool prefers spontaneity. Together, they say, “Look before you leap!”
  • The Tower – The Hanged Man offers you change with peaceful contemplation. The Tower brings unexpected and unwelcome transformations. Together, they suggest that a change is inevitable. However, you have a choice to embrace or resist it.


So here we come to the end of our discussion about The Hanged Man in Tarot. It’s the message of surrender and observation. One that predicts enlightenment if you choose not to struggle.

With these themes in your life, you can expect to learn something from the holding pattern you’re in. You’ll find ease and enlightenment when you surrender to your circumstances. There is much to be learned by hanging around.


What does the Hanged Man Tarot card symbolize?

The Hanged Man represents surrender, letting go, and gaining a new perspective by suspending one’s usual way of thinking.

Is the Hanged Man a positive or negative card?

The Hanged Man is neither positive nor negative. It signifies a necessary sacrifice or pause in order to achieve personal growth and enlightenment.

How should I interpret the Hanged Man in a Tarot reading?

The Hanged Man suggests that you may need to change your perspective or sacrifice something in order to move forward in your current situation.

Does the Hanged Man card always indicate a literal hanging?

No, the Hanged Man card is symbolic and does not represent a literal hanging. It signifies a metaphorical suspension or pause in life.

Can the Hanged Man card indicate a period of stagnation or feeling stuck?

Yes, the Hanged Man can represent a period of feeling stuck or stagnant, but it also suggests that this pause is necessary for personal growth and transformation.

Related Stories

Share the Article

Want 3 Free Spirituality eBooks?

Your Daily Dose of Spiritual Guidance, Personality Quizzes and a glimpse of what the future holds for you – right in your Mailbox.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *