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The Hanged Man – Meanings & Interpretation – Major Arcana

The Hanged Man Meaning In A Tarot Reading

The Hanged Man dangles from his tree, his hands hidden from view, one leg crossed behind the other. He is the shining example of helplessness, and yet he holds a secret. He is not helpless, he has chosen to surrender to the situation, knowing that that way lies victory.

Read on to know how this tarot card from the Major Arcana of the Rider Waite deck can influence your life when it comes in a tarot reading.


The Hanged Man Tarot Card Meanings – Upright


the hanged manIn this position, the Hanged man has chosen to surrender to the situation about him. He knows that any action he would take would only serve to turn aside the victory that is already his. This card speaks of the power of inaction.

Past Events:

You’ve recently been in seclusion, having retreated from your situation in order to survive it. This may have been on the heels of a tragedy, or a situation you felt you simply couldn’t deal with.

Present Events:

Now is the time for patience, not action. Attempting to manipulate the current situation will not result in the end-game you wish, but will only serve to set you back. Be still, be quiet, and let the events unfold without your help.

Future Events:

It is important in the days to come that you not be seen as a primary actor in events. If you act, act carefully and do not let your manipulations of the situation be seen. If you may accomplish what you wish without action, then do so. If your hand in things is discovered, it will not go well for you.

The Hanged Man Tarot Card Meanings – Reversed


In this position, the Hanged Man only appears to be incapable of doing harm. He is the hidden actor, the manipulator in the dark, the whispers in your subconscious. Beware this one, and more still if the mirror is where you see him. It may be time to be brutally honest with yourself if this card appears, and see if your intentions are what you think they are.

the hanged man reversedPast Events:

Your current situation is the result of an unseen actor. If you have been suspecting that someone is out to get you, your suspicions are correct. Guard yourself and keep an eye out for this person who does not have your best in mind.

Present Events:

You have been hesitating to act, and the time for that has passed. But move stealthily, be cautious, and do what you need undetected. If you are not the primary actor, then know that your current situation is being manipulated by unseen hands.

Future Events:

This tarot card appearing in your future is an indication that events going on right now will be brought back to you. Even if you are not responsible for what is taking place, your choice of inaction is going to bring this back home to roost. Act openly, clearly, and communicate honestly with those about you to prevent being suspected of nefarious acts.

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