The Hanged Man Tarot Card Meanings


12 is the number of The Hanged Man.  12 carries the energy of a suspended creative force, this isn’t good or bad, the outcome is determined by the user.  This number wields the self sufficient fresh starts of the one, the intuitive passivity of the two and the creative flow of the three.  To truly access the power of the 12 a pause and self reflection are needed. This pause allows for the harnessing of power and figuring out a new approach to the problems at hand.


First, we see the tree, a symbol for the world tree that the Norse God Odin hung from and also a symbol for the tree of life mentioned in cultures around the world.  Next, we see the relaxed facial expression of the man himself, this represents surrender to the experience. Additionally, the upside down position of his body is symbolic of gaining a new perspective. Finally, we see the halo, a spiritual signifier, a sign of enlightenment and a symbol of protection.

Upright Meaning The Hanged Man

Something is holding you up.  This could mean a delay in projects you are undertaking or a gentle nudge to slow down and look within.  It’s time to surrender to the process involved and check in with yourself while you wait. If you’ve been making a lot of self sacrifices lately understand the rewards are coming but you need to remain patient.  Finally this card represents developing a new perspective. Although the world may seem upside down there is something you can learn right now if you are willing.

Reverse Meaning of The Hanged Man

When The reversed Hanged Man Tarot Card comes up in a reading, it shows a closed mind.  It’s time to open your mind and try to see things from a different angle.  Consequently, if you aren’t willing to look at things differently you are going to stay stuck. Another important meaning of this reversal is martyrdom.  Finally, this card can mean staying attached to a story or attitude that makes you a victim, you are encouraged to find a new perspective that’s a little more satisfying.

Self Reflection

The Hanged Man is asking you to consider the following questions:

  • What can I look at differently?
  • Where am I rushing things?
  • How can I learn to surrender?
  • Who help me see things differently?

Want to learn more about tarot?

Listen to the Fool’s Guide to Tarot. A podcast about the tarot card meanings!

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram!