Right after the Justice card comes the twelfth card of the Major Arcana. It is the Hanged Man.
Like the Death card, the Hanged Man can appear ominous to some as it portrays a man hanging upside down and, in many decks, a rather grim grey background.
The Hanged Man can take on several meanings, depending on the context of the reading. Little is going on in the imagery, but the meaning is profound.
This is a deeply mysterious card but also one of the most complex in the deck. It is the ultimate expression of paradox. To understand the Hanged Man, one must live the Hanged Man. This can appear in any circumstance and at any time, but when it happens, we will know.
What Does the Hanged Man Mean?
Some of the Hanged Man meanings are:
- Experiencing an emotional release
- Surrendering and letting go
- Changing your mind
- Seeing things from a new perspective
- Being in limbo
- Living in the moment
- Waiting for the best opportunity
- Being vulnerable
- Relinquishing control
- Being a martyr
- Giving something up for a higher purpose
- Putting others before yourself
- Casting aside self-interest
What Does the Hanged Man Mean in Love & Relationships?
The Hanged Man is a card of powerful change in a love and relationship reading. The change may not always be obvious or external, but there is a great change occurring, often within an individual in the relationship.
It is a card of sacrifice in a relationship. This could indicate someone sacrificing their home, friends, or career for a lover. It can highlight surrendering to responsibility. Perhaps someone who spent all of their time going out partying and then becomes a parent. They then settle down and take care of their child.
If the Hanged Man turns up in the position of feelings, it indicates that they are feeling differently about you. Something has happened to change their feelings and perspective. There is an element of sacrifice here. In whichever way their feelings have changed, something is being given up to make way for something else.
It can mean that they are surrendering to their feelings for you. They may have tried to resist how they feel about you, but the Hanged Man indicates the only way forward is to surrender.
The Hanged Man Tarot card can also mean that the person has suspended their feelings for you. If they are hard to reach at this time, it means they are going through a process of transforming and understanding their feelings.
If you pull the Hanged Man for how someone sees you, they see you as someone completely different from anyone they have ever known.
They may be seeing you in a new light and are trying to figure out their thoughts and feelings. You may be someone who has turned their world upside down.
For what someone wants to happen between you, the Hanged Man indicates they want something to change. They may want to let go of something between you, or they want you to let go of something – it could be an idea, a feeling, or the relationship itself. Surrounding cards will help give a clearer picture.
Read this article next: The Top 10 Tarot Cards for Love
What Does the Hanged Man Mean in a Career Reading?
Pulling the Hanged Man in a career reading indicates you are going through a big change in your career.
You could have been working for years towards something, but the universe has different plans for you. As a Major Arcana card, it shows that the outcome is out of your hands, and your lesson here is surrendering to the experience.
Letting go of the notions you had may render you in limbo. But ultimately, the Hanged Man in a career reading shows you that things do not always go to plan, but it is important to trust in the universe that you are being led down the right path.
The Hanged Man in a career reading can also indicate that you are sacrificing your career for something else, or vice versa.
What About the Hanged Man as an Obstacle?
If the Hanged Man shows up as an obstacle card, it can indicate that you are struggling with moving forward.
Things may seem too cloudy at this time. As an obstacle card, the Hanged Man indicates sacrifices need to be made, but there is an unwillingness to make them.
In the position of an obstacle, the Hanged Man shows that a new perspective or shift is needed, but stubbornness may be involved. Something needs to be let go of – but for whatever reason, these steps are not being made.
What About the Hanged Man Reversed?
Reversed, the Hanged Man can indicate that you may have lost your way spiritually, and it is time to go back, reset, and start again.
The Hanged Man is ultimately a card of spiritual transformation, so in the reversed position, it indicates an element of ego that is not being let go of.
The Hanged Man reversed can also mean that you are coming out of your state of limbo and you have made sense of everything. You are ready to move forward.
How to Make the Hanged Man Work For You
One of the best ways to make the Hanged Man work for you and to tap into its energy is to practice mindfulness and then engage in deep meditation.
This is a highly spiritual card. Practice mindfulness by listening to the sound of your breath as you breathe in and out and focusing entirely on your surroundings.
Begin a relaxing meditation where you will not be disturbed and hold the card in front of you. What words spring to mind? What images pop into your head? What is your body telling you when you look at the Hanged Man? What messages are you receiving?
Note down your findings and reflect on them later to see how the Hanged Man helped and guided you during this time.
The Hanged Man: A New Perspective
Life is a current of constant change and evolution. The Hanged Man can happen to us at any stage of our life. It is a great paradox. The man is suspended in thin air, and yet he is moving forward. He is surrendering, and yet he is winning.
He is undergoing a process of evolution while doing nothing.
This is the message of the Hanged Man: seasons change, people come and go, our perspectives shift, and we continue to grow. The Hanged Man represents the great cycle of life itself. When he appears in a reading, let his energy guide you on your own personal journey or discovery.
Related article: You Pulled the Justice Tarot Card – Now What?