The Hanged Man Tarot Card Meaning

The Hanged Man, a seemingly paradoxical card in the Tarot deck, beckons us to embrace the power of stillness and surrender. Suspended upside-down, the figure in this card captures a moment of introspection and voluntary sacrifice, urging us to see the world from a different vantage point.

While it might initially evoke feelings of stagnation or indecision, a deeper exploration reveals its profound message of enlightenment, patience, and transformative growth.

In this article, we’ll journey through the myriad interpretations of the Hanged Man, uncovering its rich symbolism and understanding its significance in various facets of our lives. Whether you’re a seasoned Tarot reader or a curious novice, the insights offered by this card promise to illuminate paths previously unseen.

  • The Hanged Man Tarot card embodies rich symbolic meanings, such as the presence of the tree of life and the suspended state of being upside-down. It is a potent instrument for introspection, surrender, and transformative growth. This card imparts the significance of embracing stillness and exercising patience while encouraging us to shift our perspectives and attain a profound comprehension of our spiritual journey.
  • Combining the Hanged Man with other Tarot cards, such as the Death, Fool, and Tower cards, offers profound insights into life’s transitions. These combinations signify significant transformations, new beginnings after introspection, and the necessary upheavals for growth and enlightenment.
  • Resistance to change is an underlying theme when the Hanged Man appears reversed in readings. Whether in love, career and finances, health, or spirituality, the card urges us to let go, accept necessary changes, and embrace the unknown, paving the way for personal and spiritual growth.

The Hanged Man: Description

The Hanged Man Tarot card depicts a man suspended upside-down, hanging by his foot from the living world tree.

This world tree, deeply rooted in the underworld and robustly supporting the heavens, symbolizes the cosmic order connecting the different realms of existence.

The man’s facial expression exudes calmness, suggesting that his inversion is not a punishment but a self-imposed state of enlightenment.

His attire consists of red pants, a symbol of human passion and desire, and a blue vest, indicating a state of emotional tranquility.

A radiant halo encircles his head, a clear sign of enlightenment and newfound understanding, illuminating his serene demeanor amidst the seemingly uncomfortable situation.

Key Terms Upright

  • Sacrifice
  • New Outlook
  • Waiting
  • Enlightenment
  • Surrender

Key Terms Reversed

  • Indecisiveness
  • Stalling
  • Resistance
  • Avoiding Sacrifice
  • Indifference

The Hanged Man Upright – Meaning and Interpretation

The upright Hanged Man indicates a pause, reflection, and surrender time. This card encourages you to let go of old habits and stagnant thinking and, instead, embrace stillness.

You can gain greater clarity and understanding by looking at things from a fresh and enlightened perspective. The Hanged Man demands voluntary sacrifice and encourages you to embrace uncertainty or discomfort willingly.

Through this process, you can deepen your self-awareness and gain a profound understanding of the world.

Trust the journey, surrender to the present moment, and flow with life. The Hanged Man tarot card represents transformative personal growth and the wisdom from patience and acceptance.

It symbolizes a time of contemplation, where thoughtful introspection replaces hurried actions. During this phase, wisdom is cultivated in silence.

Love and Relationships

Waiting for the right moment and surrendering to the flow of life can be especially challenging in matters of the heart. However, when the Hanged Man tarot card appears in a love reading, it encourages patience and letting go of expectations.

the hanged man tarot card

This card urges you to step back from any rush or pressure in your romantic endeavors and instead focus on understanding yourself and your partner on a deeper level. This period of stillness can bring a greater understanding and awareness of your relationship, leading to transformative growth.

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Career and Finances

The Hanged Man suggests uncertainty or feeling stuck in one’s career. Gain a fresh perspective on your job or finances.

It may suggest that delays or setbacks are necessary for your growth and development. Embrace this moment of waiting, surrender to the process, and trust that things will unfold as they should. This card also symbolizes the need for voluntary sacrifice to achieve success in the long run.

the hanged man tarot card meaning


Reflecting on our physical health and well-being is essential for a holistic understanding of ourselves. When the Hanged Man tarot card appears in a health reading, it may indicate the need for surrendering to the healing process.

This card urges you to let go of resistance or impatience and embrace stillness while your body heals.

It also encourages mental and emotional reflection, as our physical health is often interconnected with our mental and emotional state.


Our journey toward enlightenment and spiritual growth often requires surrendering to the unknown. When the Hanged Man emerges in a spiritual reading, it symbolizes a period of deep introspection and surrender to the universe.

This card urges you to let go of preconceived notions or expectations and trust the journey toward understanding yourself on a deeper level.


The association of the Hanged Man with the planet Neptune and the zodiac sign Pisces further solidifies its message of surrender, introspection, and spiritual growth.

Neptune symbolizes illusions, dreams, and subconscious thoughts, while Pisces represents intuition and empathy. The Hanged Man’s connection to these energies reinforces its call to embrace stillness and let go of control to better understand ourselves.

The Hanged Man Reversed – Meaning and Interpretation

When the Hanged Man emerges upside down in a tarot reading, it often points to reluctance, evasion, and procrastination. This stance intensifies feelings of inertia or standstill, stemming from a hesitancy to embrace essential shifts or sacrifices.

You might be holding onto outdated viewpoints, habits, or convictions, hindering your path to personal evolution. In this reversed position, The Hanged Man nudges you to face these hesitations and reevaluate the changes you’ve been sidestepping.

reversed hanged man

Perhaps it’s an opportune moment to release rigid beliefs, relinquish control, and welcome a fresh outlook. This card isn’t about enduring hardship or endless sacrifice but symbolizes a self-imposed interlude for introspection, comprehension, and eventual metamorphosis. Embracing this reflective pause could propel you forward on your life’s path.

Love and Relationships

The reversed Hanged Man can point to a fear of letting go and surrendering to the unknown in relationships. You may be holding onto past traumas, habits, or beliefs, hindering your romantic connections.

This card urges you to release control and open yourself to new perspectives and possibilities. It also serves as a reminder that voluntary sacrifice is necessary for healthy and fulfilling relationships.

Career and Finances

In work and finances, the Hanged Man reversed warns against impulsive decisions and procrastination. You may avoid necessary changes or sacrifices in your career or financial situation.

This card suggests stepping back to gain a fresh perspective and letting go of resistance or avoidance. It also advises against making hasty financial decisions without proper contemplation.


A holistic approach to health is crucial when the Hanged Man materializes reversed in a health reading. You may avoid necessary lifestyle changes or overlook underlying mental and emotional factors contributing to your physical well-being.

This card urges you to let go of resistance and embrace stillness, allowing yourself the time and space to reflect on your overall health.


The reversed Hanged Man highlights a reluctance to delve deeper into your spiritual journey. You may avoid necessary introspection and clinging to old beliefs or practices that no longer serve you.

hanging man

This major arcana card encourages you to let go of any resistance and embrace the unknown, trusting in the process of transformation and growth. Seeking guidance and understanding from trusted sources can also be beneficial.

Symbolism and Key Themes

The Hanged Man Tarot card meaning is full of symbolism, such as the tree of life, the upside-down suspension, the peaceful expression, and the halo. The tree of life acts as a spiritual bridge, connecting the higher spiritual realm to the physical world and the lower spiritual realm, signifying a sense of interconnectedness and oneness.

It reminds us that despite our differences and the apparent chaos of life, we are all part of the same universal entity. The card encourages us to recognize this inherent unity and accept the diverse experiences that contribute to the grand tapestry of life.

The upside-down suspension of the hanged man is a metaphor for shifting perspectives and surrendering to the universe’s wisdom.

It symbolizes the voluntary suspension of one’s ordinary viewpoint, a willingness to hang limbo-like between the mundane and the divine, to see things in a new light. In the realm of the spirit, truth is often paradoxical, and the Hanged Man prompts us to invert our understanding and turn our world on its head to gain a deeper, more enlightened perspective.

The tranquil expression on the Hanged Man’s face suggests acceptance and a voluntary sacrifice, a surrender to the spiritual journey, regardless of where it may lead. The halo encircling his head stands as a beacon of enlightenment and spiritual understanding, the glowing testament of a soul that has embraced the wisdom of the divine and is bathed in the illuminating light of higher consciousness.

Important Tarot Card Combinations with The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man and The Death: This combination often indicates a significant transformation following deep introspection. It signifies an end to a phase or situation and the beginning of something new. It’s an invitation to surrender old patterns and embrace the coming change.

major arcana tarot cards

The Hanged Man and The Fool: This pair suggests a fresh start after a time of introspection. It often represents a leap of faith and the beginning of an exciting new journey. The Fool imparts a sense of liberation and encourages stepping into the unknown, while The Hanged Man provides the necessary pause for reflection and inner exploration.

The Hanged Man and The Tower: This combination warns of potential upheavals or challenges following a period of stagnation or reluctance to change. The Tower can signal disruptive change or revelation, while the Hanged Man suggests that this upheaval may be necessary for growth and enlightenment. It’s an invitation to let go of resistance and embrace the transformation ahead.

Final Thoughts

With its meaningful artistry of introspection and surrender, the Hanged Man is a poignant reminder of the transformative power of pause and perspective.

In a world that often values constant motion and quick decisions, this card invites us to find strength in stillness, wisdom in waiting, and growth in letting go.

Whether upright, signaling a voluntary sacrifice for deeper understanding, or reversed, hinting at resistance to change, the Hanged Man challenges us to reevaluate our viewpoints and embrace the lessons from seeing the world differently.

As we conclude our exploration of this enigmatic card, let’s remember that sometimes, the most profound insights and growth come not from relentless action but from moments of deliberate reflection and surrender.

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Christina Johnson

About the Author

My name is Christina, and I am the founder of centerspirited. Being a physiotherapist for several years I have found that many people, including myself, don’t achieve well-being only from a physical point of view. I’ve always viewed a person’s body, soul, and emotions as a whole construct of beauty. Always being a yoga enthusiast, I finally became an instructor myself. On a secret mission to capture spirituality in all of her beautiful shapes, I found myself being guided on a way through ayurvedic nutrition and lifestyle. Through this platform, I will hopefully be able to help other beautiful souls out there find their inner peace and bond with their spiritual selves.

Tarot Card Reading & Your Destiny
Your destiny is shaped by your choices, and tarot can help you make the right ones. Get your hands on our eBook!
Free Download: Tarot Card Reading & Your Destiny
Your destiny is shaped by your choices, and tarot can help you make the right ones. Get your hands on our eBook!