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Hanged man tarot card meanings

Hanged Man: Delay

Hanged Man Tarot
Card Meanings and Keywords:

The Hanged Man tarot card meanings in traditional tarot stem from its connection to both Astrology and Numerology. The Hanged Man tarot card can mean:


Letting go of control.

Seeing life from a new perspective.

Letting go of your position to get peace.

Pausing to reflect.


Learning from mistakes.

Sacrificing your self-interest to benefit a group.

Putting others first.

Waiting for a better opportunity.



Inability to change.

Missing an opportunity.

Symbolism in Hanged Man tarot card

The image of the Hanged Man symbolises the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, an organisation devoted to the study and practice of the occult. The gallows from which the man is suspended symbolises the Cross of Tau which represents all the symbolism of the Cross, including the sacrifices of Christ. It also symbolises the world tree, which gives this card reference to Odin who hung from the world tree to gain knowledge, symbolising there are learning and wisdom to be gained when this card shows up. The halo around his head indicates a holy person and spiritual attainment. It is also a reference to the sun, symbolising enlightenment. His red trousers represent passion. His blue coat represents knowledge. His yellow shoes represent idealism.  The man’s hands folded at the back of his body symbolises a time for non-action. His suspended state represents life being on hold, awaiting period. It also represents seeing the world and/or a situation from a different angle. The man has lost his position, but his face says he did so willingly, to further his goal. The peaceful expression on his face symbolises his free will.

Hanged Man tarot card and Astrology

The Hanged Man is ruled by Neptune and connected to the water element. Neptune rules drugs of any sort, both legal and illegal. Additionally, Neptune indicates fogs, gasses and sleep disorders, hypnosis and asphyxiation. Well placed, Neptune indicates psychics and idealists, writers, magicians, artists, and musicians. It is the planet of inspiration. Neptune purifies and asks us to sacrifice for the higher good, or for the love we have for one another. Neptune rules visual communication such as photography, film, dance, and paintings. When poorly placed, Neptune has issues with reality and suggests the seeker might be missing something or even hiding something. There might be memory problems, insanity, delusions and nervous breakdowns. Neptune also rules psychopaths, antisocial disorder, and sociopath. Neptune also rules the sea and is connected to the water element. Psychologically, Neptune makes us want to escape reality and to enter into a heavenly, blissful state. If poorly aspected this can make us vague, inconsistent and confused.

Hanged Man tarot card meanings upright

Hanged Man in a general reading

The Hanged Man represents being temporarily suspended. Life is on hold, but it serves a purpose. While you are being suspended you gain a whole new perspective, and this perspective is necessary for you to gain the insight and enlightenment necessary to take you to your next level. If you were to get hanged, what thoughts would flood your mind? The Hanged Man speaks of the kind of clarity you have just before you are about to lose it all. You would suddenly know what was of true importance, how much you love the people in your life and even love for life itself. Hanged Man tells you to reflect upon what is truly important to you, without having to have a near-death experience. By being temporarily inactive, just observing, seeing things in a new way, from someone who knows how important life is, a spiritual side will evolve and a thirst for more spiritual knowledge.The Hanged Man does not get grounded and balanced through putting his feet on the ground; instead, he achieves it through putting his head towards the ground where he starts to listen to the voice of life.

Hanged man in a love reading 

In a love reading, The Hanged Man Tarot card signifies taking a step back in your relationship. You will achieve so much more by doing a lot less. If you are very invested in your relationship The Hanged Man says you must now invest in yourself as an individual. Your partner will start noticing you when you stop trying to get his/hers attention. If the Seeker is single, The Hanged Man signifies manifesting love by learning to love life as single. The Hanged Man achieves through appreciation.

Hanged Man in a career reading

In a career reading, The Hanged Man tarot card signifies careers in pharmaceuticals, psychology, and innovation. Hanged Man can also speak of wanting more job satisfaction, but it is not yet time to make any big changes.

The Hanged Man as feelings

The Hanged man speaks of feeling inspired and ‘lit up’ in a way that is hard for the Seeker to explain to others. The Seeker is often misunderstood and also excluded at times, however, the Seeker feels enthusiastic about what they already have. The Seeker knows that they are only experiencing a temporary pause, and they patiently await for their time to come. They love deeply, but they are not yet ready to act on their feelings. They instead are observing everything carefully.

If you are asking how someone is feeling about you, The Hanged Man can mean the person has withdrawn a bit and is acting a bit distant. They need to focus on other things at the moment. They want peace and quiet in their life to look within themselves. They are not going anywhere, they are just in deep thought and meditation at the moment.

Learn what the Hanged Man tarot card means in the Grand Tableau. 

Personality types in Hanged Man tarot card

The Hanged Man speaks of someone who is sacrificing parts of themselves to create a higher good. They don’t like conflict and will often carry most of the load to keep others happy and balanced. They are either doing too much or too little to help themselves. They like to escape into daydreams and need to pause regularly for reflection. When feeling attacked they often fall apart emotionally and can lash out quite dramatically. Their ideas are often unconventional and they both feel different and are different from the rest of us. The Hanged Man is viewing the world from a different perspective and is trying to figure out how the world works by observation. This is someone who is a mystic and a visionary, and who is bidding their time to make their move. This person might very well be a genius, something that is rarely appreciated in their time, often due to their own inconstant and vague efforts.

The Hanged Man is looking for intellectual connections with other people, rather than physical ones. He feels whole and complete already. He is not really hungry for more, he believes he already has everything he needs.  He wants to invent and create, and he doesn’t need any recognition for his efforts as he already feels very blessed. He loves nature and outdoor activities. 

Hanged man tarot card meanings

Hanged Man: Delay

Hanged Man tarot card meanings reversed

The Hanged Man tarot card reversed indicates stubbornness and selfishness, refusing to give up your perspective to gain new insight. This card reversed denotes someone who is feeling apart from the world and unable to communicate their point of view and their perspective to others. Often with the Hanged Man reversed there is no sacrifice and no new insight. As a consequence, the Seeker is unable to accomplish what they wanted. The Seeker is not willing to suffer the pain, so there is no gain either.

Personality types in reversed Hanged Man tarot card

The Hanged Man tarot card reversed is someone with strange antisocial behaviour. They might even show sociopathic or even psychopathic tendencies! Hanged Man reversed denotes a person lost in their own ideas and beliefs, and often with a poor or non-existent grip on reality. They might be completely living in a dream, deceiving themselves and others for their own selfish purposes. They might even sacrifice themselves for a cause that is false or in the belief that it will help someone else when in reality it will not. This is someone with a personality disorder, mental illness or a lack of moral.

Hanged Man tarot card combinations

Some important tarot card combinations including The Hanged Man:

The Hanged Man + The Fool: Plans delayed. Stay at home parent.

The Hanged Man + The Lovers: Complaisant in a relationship leads to unwanted pressure.

The Hanged Man + The Moon: A creative genius.

The Hanged Man + Ace of pentacles: Trying something new career-wise. Scientist.

The Hanged Man + Three of pentacles: Back to the drawing table.

The Hanged Man + Five of pentacles: A student. Low income.

The Hanged Man + Page of pentacles: Going back to school.

The Hanged Man + King of pentacles: A redundancy.

The Hanged Man + Two of cups: A one-sided friendship.

The Hanged Man + Three of cups: A long engagement.

The Hanged Man + Six of cups: Reluctant to grow up. Teenagers.

The Hanged Man + Knight of cups: A poet. Escaping reality.

The Hanged Man + Ace of swords: A philosopher.

The Hanged Man + Two of swords: Procrastinating. Fear of change.

The Hanged Man + Four of swords: Observational skills. Being an observer. Noticing what others don’t.

The Hanged Man + Five of swords: Antisocial behaviour. Danger.

The Hanged Man + Three of wands: Lack of perspective.

The Hanged Man + Four of wands: Being an outsider.

The Hanged Man + Five of wands: Aiming too low. Giving up too quickly.

The Hanged Man + Queen of wands: A counsellor. A healer.

The Hanged Man + King of wands: The modern man.

Hanged Man tarot card meanings summary

The Hanged Man tarot card means doing less achieves more. The more you let go, the more things will start to flow. The Hanged Man is willing to sacrifice being right to have peace in his life. When the Hanged Man shows up in your tarot cards you will have to choose; You can be right or you can have peace.

Learn what the Hanged Man tarot card means as a final card in a love reading.