The Hanged Man Tarot Card Meaning - Upright, Reversed & More

The hanged man upright

The Hanged Man At A Glance

Keywords: Waiting, meditation, Justice served, getting what we deserve, stuck/trapped, punishment, learn lesson by waiting, all revealed in time, need to pause
Seasons: Autumn
Zodiac/Planet: Neptune

The Hanged Man Tarot Card Description

The Hanged Man is the thirteenth card within the major arcana of tarot and is numbered with a 12. The original depiction of The Hanged Man features a man hanging from a tree upside down by one ankle. His unrestrained leg bends and crosses behind his strung one making the symbol of 4, the number of balance.

This is a sight we don’t see anymore but being strung by one foot used to be a punishment for petty crimes like theft. Though the man in the image is upside down and presumably very uncomfortable his face is serene and a saintly halo glows around his head.

This says that he has learned patience from his punishment but also and more importantly he has learned a valuable lesson and been positively changed by doing his penance. Believe it or not he is grateful for this happening to him and he endeavors to do better with his life from now on.

The Hanged Man Upright Meaning

When The Hanged Man card is in its upright position it generally means that now will be a time of learning a lesson through patience. Patience itself is the lesson and we will be confronted with a choice or situation that we cannot think, work or muscle our way through. It will only be resolved by waiting. Waiting can feel incredibly frustrating so we are being asked to focus on something else whilst we wait.

It can also mean we are doing penance for a wrong doing or having karma be returned upon us. If this is the case we must do our penance with grace and make sure we have learned how to do better from now on.

“Learning patience can be a difficult experience, but once conquered, you will find life is easier.” - Catherine Pulsifer

The Hanged Man Reversed Meaning

The hanged man reversed

If The Hanged Man card appears reversed (the artwork is upside down) then it carries a slightly different meaning. The Hanged Man card, even when reversed, is still about patience but it has a twist. Reversed it can look a lot like needing to meditate and take more time before we act.

We are wrong about the situation but we currently don’t know or understand why yet. Waiting allows us to find out the correct option before we make the decision. We are being held back but it’s for our own good. Instead of feeling frustrated we should try to use this time wisely to see the situation from all angles so we can make a well-informed decision.

“Our patience will achieve more than our force.” - Edmund Burke

The Hanged Man: Yes or No

This is an absolute no from the universe. So much so that there is almost a feeling of contempt that we would even ask. If we ask a simple yes or no question and we receive The Hanged Man we can see a strong NOOO and look no further. If reversed it is still a no, but there might be a dash of pity instead of contempt from the universe.

Either way, we should not be getting our hopes up anytime soon. Unless a ‘no’ is the favorable answer we wanted in which case, let’s party.

Let’s Break Down The Hanged Man In Our Lives

Breaking down The Hanged Man card into the various areas of our lives, including love financial and introspective life.

The Hanged Man In Love

If the reader has asked a question about love and The Hanged Man card appears then it can suggest waiting for an answer from someone. We feel unsure where things stand within the relationship and want clarity or an answer but none is forthcoming. The card reminds us not to take our frustration out on the other person/people but instead to give them time and space and exercise our patience.

Reversed The Hanged Man in love can mean extreme frustration and impatience. Unhappiness within the relationship because it’s moving too slowly or the communication has stalled. It could also mean we are unable to get over a break up and move on. We are being asked to lovingly give ourselves time to heal.

The Hanged Man With Money

If The Hanged Man card appears when a question about money has been asked it is suggesting not to act at all but instead to wait and watch. In doing so we will see what would have happened without having to experience the consequences for ourselves.

Reversed The Hanged Man with money means we acted too brashly and are now quite literally paying for it. After whining and throwing ourselves a pity party we must dissect what has happened so we can learn from this and prevent it from happening again in future.

The Hanged Man At Work

When asking a question about a situation at work or about our careers The Hanged Man card can mean we have plateaued in our career and are craving adventure or a challenge. It could also signal that we are bored in our career or with our current role.

This card says think of ways to inject some fun into our jobs or maybe it is time to find a new one. We will have a period of time where we will have to serve our notice and this can feel like painfully slow waiting which seems to last forever. But eventually we will be in our new role and enjoy our work once again.

Reversed The Hanged Man at work suggests we are in a period of doing penance or learning the consequences of our mistakes. We all make mistakes because we are human. This does not mean we are bad people. But when we do make a mistake we need to accept responsibility and work to put things right. This card suggests we have made a mistake and must now begin to repair the damage we caused.

The Hanged Man With Others

If we are asking about our external world, either our immediate world of people we know or the world at large and we get The Hanged Man card as an answer it means we need to listen to others right now because they have a lot to teach us. Sometimes we are wrong.

No one is perfect all the time and in these times it will often be the kind words of a loved one who will show us how we are wrong. This card says it’s important not to resist their words right now because they are saving us from a very difficult situation in the future by listening to them now.

Reversed The Hanged Man with others can signify feeling completely misunderstood by others and feeling apart from society and our loved ones because of it. We long for someone to listen to us and really get us and every time we try we think we have finally found someone like this only to find out they don’t share our beliefs at all.

The Hanged Man With Self

The Hanged Man card relates to our internal world by asking up to begin a meditational practice. This can look like the classic daily meditation or journaling or practicing mindfulness whilst we go about our tasks. We can try all of these and more. We are being asked to try any technique which slows down our mind and allows us to process the events of the day with more clarity instead of just blazing through.

Reversed The Hanged Man card with self can symbolize the desperate need to slow down and process our recent stressful events or trauma. We have been moving through our lives very quickly but we now find the pace is overwhelming and we can’t cope anymore. We must find ways to slow down especially during stressful times. Techniques like breath work or ‘slow living’ are just a few which can be very helpful.

The Hanged Man As Feelings

The Hanged Man feels like a pity party. We’ve done something wrong and are paying for the consequences of our mistake(s). It doesn’t feel good and we might even be sulking a little (it’s okay, we all do it). This card feels like shame or embarrassment by having our mistakes known publicly or at the very least known to our social circle.

We have no choice but to wait it out. We also feel bored with doing our time and frustrated that we can’t move on from this until others have. We can feel better quicker by using our time wisely to reflect on our mistakes and learn from them.