Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Hanged Man Tarot Card - What Does it Mean?

By Alison Yates

The Hanged Man card can sometimes worry the recipient if drawn in a tarot reading. The image of a hanged man is one that conjures up feelings of death, crime and punishment. But this card is far from those meanings.

In most popular images, the Hanged Man card shows someone being suspended rather than hanged, and by the leg, not the neck. Also, the figure seems quite unperturbed. He's not in pain, nor remorseful, nor is he angry. In fact -- he's just hanging there.

Here is the crux of this card's meaning. It speaks of suspending participation in things. Let things flow, let things happen. Get too involved in things and you could fall on your head!

Another important meaning is the need to suspend our own needs, wants and desires. Although such sacrifice can be painful, it will help us appreciate more the needs of others around us.

Some of the questions this card poses when it is drawn in a tarot reading are:

* What things have you sacrificed in the past, whether willingly or not?

* Are there things you are prepared to give up to achieve your goals?

* When might doing nothing be the right thing to do, for you?

The Hanged Man tarot card has several meanings that can be quite negative on first sight. Perhaps its most potent meaning is self-sacrifice. The recipient will have to give something up, there's no doubt of this. Because this is the only way he will achieve what he really wants.

If the recipient can't or won't make that sacrifice, he or she may enter a period of stagnation, where nothing is gained, although nothing is lost too.

Although usually not as bad as it first appears, it can indicate some negative aspects such as ill health, stress and anxiety, and can perhaps represent a trial of passage and hence the self-sacrifice aspect of this card.


The key personality aspect of this card is someone who puts other before themselves, often to their own detriment. Look to redress the balance, think of yourself more, and in the long run, you'll be better equipped to truly help others better.

Family and friends

Again, when this card is drawn, the recipient is putting others first, but too much.


Something has to be given up to improve health. Most likely this can mean sacrificing an unhealthy lifestyle for a healthier one!

Love Life

The theme of sacrifice pervades love relationships with this card. The Hanged Man tarot card shows that in order for the relationship to flourish and prosper sacrifices need to be made.


In relation to a person's career the Hanged Man card often indicates a career involving caring such as nursing. Or it could indicate a need to be more caring and compassionate with work colleagues.

General Aspects

Fixed ideas and concepts may need to be looked at again, re-evaluated and changes made. Things have moved on and the recipient must move on too, or be left behind to stagnate. Look at things from a different angle -- even upside down, like the character of this card!

Alison Yates wrote this article. To learn more about the Tarot, Crystals Psychic Abilities, the Seven Secrets, Chakras, Colour meanings, Herbal Lore, and Magic Spells visit .

1 comment:

Riverwolf, said...

Just diggin' around for a little extra insight into this card. I seem to keep drawing it! I'm still learning tarot and typically draw 1 card a day to meditate on. Anyway, the Man keeps coming up--this week alone, I drew him twice, even after shuffling!

Thanks for giving me more to meditate on.