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The Hanged Man | Symbology & Interpretations | Tarot Card Meanings

A card of sacrifice and surrender, The Hanged Man asks you to pause and reflect before you pursue any further action. It is time to become a martyr, which means you may have to sacrifice something to receive something else in return. The card of Neptune, The Hanged Man portrays calm emotions during a situation of uncertainty.

The Hanged Man Keywords

​Upright Keywords

​Reversed Keywords

Sacrifice, surrender, letting go, trials, lessons, spiritual growth, divination, higher learning, waiting, enlightenment, mindfulness, perspective, martyrdom

Impulsive, imbalance, resistance, repetition, misdirection, impatience, unnecessary actions, restriction

Imagery & Symbolism

The imagery of The Hanged Man card typically features a figure suspended upside down by one leg. The hanging often takes place from a structure like a tree or a horizontal beam. The figure's arms are sometimes bound behind its back, forming a triangular shape with the suspended leg.

The facial expression of the figure is often serene, suggesting a sense of acceptance or contemplation. The background may include elements such as a serene landscape or body of water. The overall visual composition creates a feeling of suspension, inversion, and a unique perspective on the situation.

The Hanged Man
The Hanged Man

Crossed Legs: Only one of his legs is tied up, which means he still somewhat has freedom and agency.

Hanging Upside Down: Symbolises seeing things from a different perspective, as well as being open-minded.

Facial Expression: The Hanged Man shows a face of calmness and entrancements rather than suffering.

Halo Around Head: Symbolises enlightenment on another level, as well as wisdom and new insight.

Red Pants: Symbolises his passion and the physical.

Blue Vest: Signifies knowledge, as well as the emotional state.


The Hanged Man Tarot Card Meanings


In a general reading, The Hanged Man suggests it is time to surrender and pause. Do not act, but instead be still. You need to wait for more information before you make any further moves, but also remember to be patient, and mindful of all perspectives happening around you.

The Hanged Man is a card of sacrifice, so you need to give up something to achieve what you want. This could be giving up your time, belongings, knowledge, or something else that will be of importance to you. There is an element of grieving with the Hanged Man, so whatever you give up, you will most likely be closely attached to, however, by giving this up, you will receive your desires in return. REVERSE

The Hanged Man is a card that represents uncertainty, so whatever you sacrifice, there is absolutely no guarantee what you desire will come about. This could appear in a reversed position when you make an unnecessary sacrifice.

The Hanged Man is also a card about patience, and waiting for more information before you move to the next step, therefore, in reverse this can suggest an imbalance and lack of patience, leading you to rush into decisions and take rash and naïve actions.



The Hanged Man appearing in relationships can suggest uncertainty in relationships. This means that relationships may be sacrificed or given up for the sake of something else, which will ultimately end in relationships ending. It is also possible that sacrifices will be made for the sake of love and relationships.

On a positive note, this may suggest that your relationship will make spiritual improvements on an enlightened and wise level, as you are making sacrificial changes for the sake of your relationship.

On a more negative note, this could also mean the loss of what is precious to you. As this card is very uncertain, any actions you take will need to be considered carefully, it is important to be patient and wait for more information before you make any next steps. REVERSE

The Hanged Man can suggest a lack of balance and harmony in relationships which can cause feelings of uncertainty. The Hanged Man in reverse position holds stagnant, trapped, and restricted energy that needs to be freed. I would interpret this as being in a relationship that is restrictive and not moving forward.

This could also be interpreted as the stubbornness of an individual, who is not willing to move a relationship forward and wants to stay in one place, which hinders relationship development.

Due to this imbalance, there is unlikely to be strong spiritual growth in relationships, and there may also be impulsive and directionless behaviours. You must pause, be mindful of your actions, and listen to each other.



When The Hanged Man appears in career, job, or business-related readings, this can mean that you need to allow any career, business, or financial circumstances to unfold and see what information is presented before you take action.

It is important to avoid taking on any upcoming projects or actions that will create uncertain risks. Now is a time for planning and researching rather than making bold moves forward. REVERSE

The Hanged Man can indicate uncertainty causes tension and scattered energy. This can be seen as impulsivity or making rash decisions based on a lack of facts and preparation.



The Hanged Man can indicate a changed perception of ideas around your financial situation. This can allow you to broaden your horizons and have a stronger understanding of your financial situation, but I would also interpret the Hanged Man as a warning not to invest or make any impulsive financial decisions at this time. REVERSE

The Hanged Man can suggest that you are making unnecessary financial sacrifices and investments that are not coming to fruition. You may be making these decisions and choices due to believing you understand the facts, but more research and information are needed.



In a health reading, The Hanged Man can indicate illnesses that will take time to recover and heal from. There may be a sacrifice that is needed, such as your time to heal, or a material sacrifice, such as medical bills and investments.

The Hanged Man can also be interpreted as a need to be patient to take time and make decisions. It is important to gather information about all medical treatment options and consider each one carefully before you make a choice. REVERSE

The Hanged Man can indicate trouble moving forward from health issues. You may be indecisive about choices that you are uncertain about, however, it is also important to remember that The Hanged Man is a card of sacrifice, and one thing needs to be sacrificed for something else to be gained. It is important to be open-minded to all options, including alternative and holistic therapies, and it may even be time to think outside of the box.


As an individual, the Hanged Man is a freedom-lover who likes to ride out the wave before jumping to choices and actions. This individual is a martyrdom type, which means they are willing to risk it all for the sake of their desires.


A card of surrender and an intentional pause. The Hanged Man can signify prophecy or divination, and spiritual development on many levels.


Can suggest stagnation and self-sabotage of self. Maybe you are holding onto something that you should not be. Can suggest wasted or useless sacrifices and failed investments. It is also a card to suggest stalling for time and procrastination.