The Hanged Man


Associations for the Hanged Man Tarot Card:

Number: 12

Planet: Neptune

Hebrew Letter: Mem



Previous Card: Justice

Next Card: Death

Important Symbols:

  • An individual hanging from a tree that is rooted in the underworld and is holding up the skies.
  • Right foot is bound
  • Left foot free but not hanging loose
  • halo showing spiritual elightenment

About The Hanged Man Tarot Card

The Hanged Man a card that focuses on an individual voluntarily hanging suspended, up-side down. They may not be comfortable, but they are regardless calm and at ease.

The Hanged Man is about voluntarily and consciously pausing all action for the purpose of reflection. This reflection will lead to knowledge and understanding that wasn’t obvious or wasn’t available unless action was paused. By taking a step back, by making strategic sacrifice, we gain a wealth of knowledge and understanding.

Tarot Card Readings: What does The Hanged Man Tarot Card Mean?

General Upright Interpretation

The Hanged Man is a call to action to stop whatever it is you are doing and reflect. Reassess you what you are trying to do or trying to control, and relinquish your influence over it.

Pause whatever is pressuring you or stressing urgency to allow the mental space to consider all of the moving factors.

Take a step back, and look at the big picture, quietly, actively, and without judgement. See the situation for what it is, and how you fit in it.

General Reverse Interpretation

When the Hanged Man appears in a reading in the reversed position, it means that it’s time to change perspective, and look at everything differently.

Journaling Prompts for The Hanged Man Tarot Card

  1. How will doing what you want to do affect the situation or problem at hand?
  2. How will doing the opposite to what you what to do affect the situation at hand?

Not Using the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot Deck?

Just because you’re not using the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, doesn’t mean you can’t use the resources on this site to help you.

Take some time to look at the imagery on your card. Here are some things to consider in addition to other materials you have to help you connect with the deck you are using if your deck is different than the one featured at the top of the page.

  1. How does the card illustrate suspended action?
    1. How does the suspended action convey deeper meaning and understanding?
  2. In what ways are ritual awareness and enlightenment expressed in this image?
  3. In what areas of your life do you think an act of sacrifice could bring change?
  4. What can you learn buy giving up or surrendering something?


The Fool | The Magician | The High Priestess | The Empress | The Emperor | The Hierophant | The Lovers | The Chariot | Strength | The Hermit | Wheel of Fortune | Justice | The Hanged Man | Death | Temperance | The Devil | The Tower | The Star | The Moon | The Sun | Judgement | The World


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