The Hanged Man

Short description: suspension, surrender, sacrifice, letting go.

Astrological utensils: Neptune

Number: 12

This Arcana depicts a young man is hanged by his right leg on a T-shaped column made of trees, his hands are tied together behind his back. It may appear as this man is suffering. However, his face expresses calmness and tranquility, and head emits light. The man’s left leg is freely thrown behind his right leg.

As a rule, the Hanged Man is approached as a student, as on the one hand, studying always assumes coercion, restriction of freedom, albeit temporary, and on the other hand, it brings you a new, perhaps the opposite of the usual, view of things. In the transcendental meaning, the Hanged Man is the Initiated, who has known the mystical side of things, who has also realized the impossibility of interfering in their course. That is why the man is simply resting. Temporary inconveniences are no longer able to embarrass his soul.

At one time this card was called “Traitor” (traitors were hung that way) and interpreted literally as a threat of betrayal or punishment for it. However, the name “The Hanged Man” appears already in the XVI century, and one of the French names of this card – Potence, directly points to its other meaning, because “potentiation” is called erecting into a new degree, and in homeopathy, this term means the process of making medicines, turning poisons into medicines .

The Hanged Man also has other meanings. In the Egyptian Tarot, it is called the Sacrifice, although the modern meaning of the Hanged Man (in the direct position) is that you do not need a sacrifice, it is unnecessary.

What does it mean? The Hanged Man is a person who brings the light of the highest spiritual wisdom to others, so pulling out this card means that you have begun or will soon begin the journey to your spiritual growth. In addition, it can mean that you are going to part with your old self, giving up materialistic and worldly concerns in favor of the path leading to spiritual enlightenment. This card can also indicate goodwill and the ability to open up to new ideas.

What if you see an inverted card? If you pull out an inverted card, it means that you neglect your spiritual potential and become more preoccupied with your worldly “I”, which means that you have closed your heart and mind for spiritual guidance. You are vulnerable to the influence of other people who do not have your interests in their heart and can deceive you, so you need to act cautiously and avoid taking hasty decisions. In addition, you will not hesitate to question the values ​​and beliefs that you now adhere to.

What other meanings does it have? Success with a sacrifice. A suspension of affairs followed by a turning point, however the changes are more likely to be in the mental/spiritual rather than a physical event. A growth in character as a result of dealing with problems. There maybe something very good which results from difficult circumstances. Try to rise above the problems and look at them from another angle. No use struggling, be still, this is only a temporary situation, so you may as well use the time wisely. This card can sometimes frighten people, but put simply it shows the need to adapt to changes in order to find inner peace. Look at things from a different angle in order to gain a new perspective.

What does this card tell about different aspects of your live


The first meaning is stagnation, which is slowing down of the progress of affairs, perhaps even significant, if not stopping altogether. Your project is “frozen”, promised to increase – and no further sound, it’s impossible to move on to the new business, the most important plans come across irresistible obstacles. Although such stagnation rarely occurs unexpectedly. It all starts with troubles, small, but annoying; we are angry, of course, but do not attach importance to them. Only when they accumulate a lot, the loss of the tempo becomes noticeable, and there it is not far to the finish. And there is no persistence, not even forceful methods. And the only way out of this situation is to realize that we are at an impasse. Only when we are really ready to reorganize and re-educate, problems will begin to be solved.


Here it means a certain crisis. You have been clinging too long for something and now you see that this was your biggest hindrance but that’s the great meaning of this card. It often happens that a person has been sick for a long time or was out of work, and this presses and will press on him until he is rebuilt and retrained, not accustomed to a new view of the world or to new conditions and occupations. If you have already come to the conclusion that you have reached a dead end, but have not yet understood what was wrong or what have been hanging on for too long, then only the peace in the soul and patient self-contemplation can help you. And, having examined and analyzed, as it should, its own problem, we will sooner or later come to know its essence, you will find out what has been overlooked so far.

Love and Relationships

In the sphere of personal affairs, the Hanged Man most often shows its saddest sides. It may mean that you are firmly stuck in the present very unhappy situation. It can be a life of solitude for quite some time, a series of unsuccessful attempts to find or restore a reliable partnership, or, on the contrary, get rid of a ridiculous union into which you have become involved in your own negligence. However, anyway, this card here also means the need to rebuild and, first of all, realize what you have once misunderstood or did, after which the thresher earned it.

Other interpretations

  • Astrological correspondences: Pisces and Neptune. Saturn in the 8th house. Planet Limit, separation and farewell, dying and rebirth.
  • Kabbalistic meaning: experience.
  • Occult meaning: an open hand.
  • Physical meaning: the victim.
  • Places: those places in which we visit as necessary; ponderous speech; disgusted work; tortured related or friendly gatherings.