The Hanged Man Tarot Card
The Hanged Man Meaning
A somewhat controversial card, the Hanged Man is really about faith and letting to higher forces no matter what happens along the way. It shows how the skies are ruling our earthly circumstances through real, grounded situations and touchable problems we had to face, as the skies are where one foot is tied to the natural order of things. One needs to believe and instead of giving in to tension and struggle against the flow of time, let go wherever it might take them. The head will cleanse in the waters of the heart as emotions are the only actual uniting force we carry within, and this card shows how we are to feel rather than struggling to control. The actual turning upside down comes from the reality of human nature that prefers mind over emotion, brain over heart, and matter over childlike joy. The only part of the Hanged Man staying in the same spot where the card is turned upside-down is his sacral chakra and the law of beauty and love it carries into our physical existence. This card speaks of sacrifice but in all its purity, as we are to learn that each choice comes with a price tag to follow, and we are to be grown and responsible to pay (sacrifice) to achieve what we desire most.
Announcing big changes, it doesn’t exactly point out how happy the relationship or a new romance is about to become. Instead, the Hanged Man shows that we need to change perspective, embrace circumstances out of our control, and be careful to accept our partner just as they are instead of trying to change them to fit our needs. Turning our focus within, to matters of our own heart that are independent of outer influences, it shows us what we really want out of romance, and what we have yet to learn, question, and untangle ourselves from patterns that ancestors left for us to resolve.
When this card finds its way into a career reading, it typically shows the spiral of things that are out of our control and possibly points us towards other things in our life that need our attention. Depending on the professional choices we’ve made so far, it also shows that a project will end best if we don’t try to meddle with the path towards the goal. If we love what we do, it gives us the down-the-stream position where everything goes our way for as long as we follow our heart. The Hanged Man doesn’t speak of initiative or special, grand moves, new business ventures and partnerships, but rather of moving with the energies and the atmospheres that are already there, in search for our personal peace of mind. The focus needs to be on our own peace, or the image could distort and everything might fall apart.
The Hanged Man often seems like a bad omen, but it is really the deepest opportunity we get to heal ourselves and ground our spirituality to fix what is broken within. This card shows us that all our physical trouble comes from distorted convictions and perception, and that as our minds cleanse, we become stronger, healthier, and energized differently to control different areas of our lives. It reminds us to turn focus, change perspective, look at ourselves in the mirror and see what our eyes hide. It won’t settle for outer authorities, doctors, medication and procedures that don’t resolve internal processes that our body is trying to push us to think about.
The Hanged Man Reversed
The reversed position of the Hanged Man seems natural in some way, but it really shows our attempts to control destiny that are wasting too much of our energy and time. Some things should be just as they are as well as some parts of our personality, and when this card appears upside-down, it shows us that however hard we try, we cannot change what should be loved and embraced however it might seem. It calls for a deep process of self-love and acceptance, and gives information about possible struggles, manipulation, sleazy or cheap alternative ways to get things done when they aren’t at all necessary. It stands for stubbornness and our lack of readiness to accept the truth, as it is. This position calls on us to embrace our imperfections and forgive ourselves for not being perfect in terms of convictions brought on by other people who also never thought they are good enough.
The Hanged Man Time Line
Past - Our circumstances were what they were meant to be. The card of the Hanged Man shows inevitability, the natural flow of life and the order of things that might seem strange but is really in our own best interest. It always changes us, allows us to transform and grow, and set in the past, it speaks of situations that really turned out to be extremely beneficent in the long run, even though they pushed many of our buttons when we were inside them.
Present - The call for spiritual work, meditation, divination and letting go, this card invites us to dive into the Waters, figuratively or literally, to be who we are as we are in any circumstances that might arise, showing how beauty can be found in every problem we have today. It is a wonderful ally to give us the reversed but healthy perspective to contrast and compare with our own, and its presence in this moment shows that we are ready to transform, change our beliefs, and finally release the spasm of guilt or judgment that we have been carrying for a long time.
Future - Changes this card brings are never small, as it allows us to see the other side, stand in another's shoes, and brings the center of serenity into our daily matters through spiritual work. It is something to strive for, our authenticity set in place, in oneness with all other things surrounding us. In a future reading, it announces big turns, changes of pace, and ways in which we won’t be able to control circumstances so we can learn about much larger things in our life. It assures us that however things turn out, they will be the best fit for our authentic personal needs.
The Hanged Man History
Even in distant history, this card was meant to represent self-sacrifice and the blessings of giving up on our body for a higher cause, rather than punishment for the crime. The Hanged Man wasn’t always hanged upside-down though, with the exception in Tarocco Siciliano where he was hanged by the neck. In general, it was connected with capital punishment for a crime, but stood as the symbol of peace being found through such destiny, of debts repaid and the wholeness of responsibility set in place to set our spirit free. It was meant to represent the natural punishment, one that allows us to rid of karmic debt and misdeeds from the past that brought us to the unpleasant or dangerous position to begin with. It has always been the point of full responsibility for the past and all our mistakes.