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The Hanged Man

Tarot Card Meaning

  • Upright Keywords:

    Surrender, Letting Go, Pause, Reflection, Sacrifice, Insight, Perspective

  • Reversed Keywords:

    Delay, Resistance, Stalling, Indecision, Inaction, Detachment, Unnecessary Sacrifice


The Hanged Man represents self-reflection, gaining new perspectives, letting go of control, sacrifice for greater understanding, and a period of necessary stillness. It symbolizes pause and surrender.

This article is reviewed and verified by our advisor

What Does The Hanged Man Tarot Card Mean?

The Hanged Man Tarot card shows an upside-down man hanged by his leg to a tree. The hanging man represents free will. We can say that by observing that his left foot is free and his hands are behind his back while his facial expressions are serene. According to Nebula’s tarot reading advisors, this card signals uncertainty, the situation of being trapped in something willingly, and a lack of the right direction.

If you’ve drawn this card, it means that you need a shift in perspective. The tarot deck encourages you to embrace uncertainty, take a step back, and give yourself some time to contemplate things without the pressure to act immediately. Being a person of action is important, but it’s equally important to be able to find wisdom in what initially looks like a standstill.

The Hanged Man Upright Tarot Card Meaning

In an upright position, this card signals sacrifice and contemplation. This card helps you in making critical decisions that are ultimately best for you. The upright Hanged Man is a sign that you shouldn’t be afraid to take a small pause. There’s no need to be in the action mode all the time. Sometimes, the best things happen to the people who are willing to let go of control and just give the situation time to resolve itself.

The Hanged Man Tarot Card Meaning: Love & Relationships

If you’re in a relationship that is not so romantic and joyful at the moment, The Hanged Man card in an upright position signifies that you need to step back and give your relationship a rest. During that time, you and your partner could rethink the relationship and make it better. Or, if you find that you’re not happy, you can call this relationship off willingly.

If you’re single, this signals that you should get out of the negative people circle and release all the negative feelings. The tarot deck might be trying to tell you that your friend group is no longer what it once was and toxicity is growing. Or perhaps it’s your family that’s the problem, and you need to confront your family members to straighten things up.

The Hanged Man Meaning: Money & Career

Are you not sure about your job or next business? This card can be a signal to take time out to plan your next move. The Hanged Man is all about well-considered decisions; it’s against being in a rush. So, if you are about to make a big career move, please don’t jump head-first.

If you’re struggling with money, The Hanged Man signals an opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade. Look around yourself and change your perspective on money; open up your mind to be able to make the right move. The solution might be right in front of you, and it might be exactly what you need to fix your money issues.

Upright Meaning: Past

If your questions for the deck were about your past, and you drew The Hanged Man, the cards are trying to tell you something about the period of stagnation or delay you experienced some time ago. Take a moment to think about it; perhaps it’s somehow relevant to where you are now, and you need to go back in time mentally to fully understand what the problem was back then.

The Hanged Man Reversed Tarot Card Meaning

The Hanged Man in a reversed position denotes negative patterns and stagnation. This card might be an indication for you that you’re making bad decisions impulsively and you need to stop and consider the situation. Unlike the upright Hanged Man, its reversed version is quite ominous. Chances are, you are about to make a big mistake unless you listen to the deck and take a step back to reconsider.

The Hanged Man Tarot Card Meaning: Love & Relationships

It’s time to make some changes in your love life if you’re in a relationship. You need to revamp it without making an unnecessary sacrifice. This will balance your relationship. If you’re single, this card indicates that the wait is over. You need to freshen your mind from toxic ex-relationships, and you’ll soon meet your soulmate.

The Hanged Man Meaning: Money & Career

If things are not going well in your career, this card signals stalling. Take the decision you’ve been procrastinating on for a long time. Stop sacrificing yourself for a career and think if what you’re doing now is what you want. Once you do that, new opportunities will present themselves.

Do you always find yourself in a situation where you hesitate to take the final step in making any investment? If that’s true, this card indicates that you need to figure yourself out well and take the next step. You can take counseling from a financial expert as well.

Reversed Meaning: Past

The Hanged Man in a reversed position stands for a time in your past when you resisted change or clung to outdated beliefs and habits. At the time, you were unwilling to embrace change and open your mind to new possibilities. Make sure it won’t happen again. Otherwise, you are at risk of facing another period of stagnation, which might get in the way of your long-term goals.

Is The Hanged Man a Yes or No Card?

Upright Hanged Man Meaning: Yes or No

If you’ve asked the cards a yes or no question, The Hanged Man in the upright position is a maybe. There is no clear answer to the question you’re asking (at least for now), and it’s up to you to figure out why that’s the case. The cards next to The Hanged Man in the spread might point toward the correct answer.

Reversed Hanged Man Meaning: Yes or No

The yes or no meaning of the reversed Hanged Man is a no, but… While the answer to your question is negative at the moment, you can change it and turn the situation in your favor—that’s what the deck is saying. However, you need to think twice whether or not all the effort you will have to put into things is worth it.

Reading The Hanged Man in a Spread

Now, let’s explore what this card means in a spread by outlining the popular tarot combinations with The Hanged Man:

The Tower. When you draw The Hanged Man in combination with The Tower, take a deep breath and get ready for a period of significant upheaval and transformation. You will likely experience a sudden and massive change soon.

The Lovers. Next to The Lovers, The Hanged Man points toward a big decision in your love life. It’s a sign that you need to take a step back and reevaluate your relationship to solve the issues you’ve been struggling with lately.

The Fool. When you draw The Hanged Man together with The Fool, it means that you’re about to embark on a new, exciting adventure and turn a new page in your life. However, the cards recommend you look before leaping.

The High Priestess. Next to The High Priestess, The Hanged Man is trying to communicate to you the importance of intuition. Don’t be afraid to trust your instincts—listen to your gut! Deep down, you know more than you think you do.

The Empress. If you draw The Empress and The Hanged Man together, it’s a bit of a warning. Probably, you’ve been too impulsive lately, and the cards advise you to be more patient. Remember, all good things take time.

The Hanged Man Tarot Guide

The Hanged Man Tarot Card Meaning