Friday, February 23, 2024

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. Also, 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 to a tarot reading.


The Hanged Man Tarot Card Meanings – Upright


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

the hanged man

Past Events:

You’ve recently been in seclusion, having retreated from your situation to survive it. This may have been on the heels of a tragedy or a situation you felt you 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 that you not be seen as a primary actor in events in the days to come. 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. And, 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 harming. 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 reversed

Past 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 unseen hands are manipulating your current situation.


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 will bring this back home to roost. Act openly, and clearly, and communicate honestly with those about you to prevent being suspected of nefarious acts.

Associated Colors:

Blue for patience

Meditation For The Hanged Man – Upright

This tarot meditation of the hanged man card upright is about the power of patience and inaction, and the Hanged man shall be your guide. Place the blue cloth in front of you, with the blue candle at the top.

Place your card upright on the cloth in front of you. As you slip into this meditation, feel a sense of calm come over you, the knowledge that you can proceed forward by not moving.


You find yourself in a small room, with a door in front of you. You are sitting in a chair, and someone is standing in front of you, talking to you, charging you to action.

A strange man with a blue tunic and grey pants stands by the door, unseen by the man talking to you. The man is most insistent that you must act, that you must do something about all this.

Caution is the Key

Every time you open your mouth to respond, the man in the blue tunic puts his finger to his lips with a secret smile and shakes his head. The person in front of you grows ever more furious, incensed at your lack of action.

But still, the man in blue cautions you against action. Eventually, the man speaking to you grows frustrated and begins pummeling you—the man in blue motions for you to cover your head but not respond.

How can I not respond? This man is assaulting me! He yells he screams, he kicks! How can I not respond to this behavior to defend myself? But you trust the man in blue follow his instructions, and defend yourself.

Eventually, the man grows disgusted and storms out of the room, still not noticing the man in blue. He laughs brightly and motions for you to join him, slipping through a secret side door.

Tarot Meditation Techniques For The Hanged Man Upright Card

Behind this door is a hallway adjacent to the one outside, and you watch in silence as the man in blue follows along, looking out at your tormentor in the hallway.

In the hallway, you see that another is berating him for his treatment of you and that you are to be set free from your restraints. Your inaction showed that you were innocent of whatever you were being attacked for.

You had done nothing while others pointed and accused, and your inaction is what eventually showed your innocence.

He looks at you and smiles, telling you the secret of a situation current in your life that is affected by this. Do not act. He cautions and watches, and you will understand why to listen, and you will learn why.

As you think over this tarot meditation of the Hanged Man, mark down its details in your journal, and think about the results over time. The action you may need to take right now may be no action at all.

Associated Colors:

Black for protection/hiding

Meditation For The Hanged Man – Reversed

This tarot meditation of the Hanged Man reversed card will be on the dangers of hidden action and deception, both from the position of the actor and those being acted upon.

Place a black cloth before you with a black candle at its top, with the Hanged Man card placed before you inverted. As you sink into the meditation, feel the air of mystery, suspicion, and duplicity come over you.

You come into the meditation in a room of indeterminate size. It is almost entirely a velvet dark, with pockets of light where people perform various actions, but all of them eye the dark suspiciously.

You know you must speak to these people, but you also know the dark is dangerous. Somewhere in your heart, you know that there are people in the dark enacting secret plans.

So you begin to enact one of your own, why, rather than going through the dark, you can get the people you want to talk to come to you. You begin making quiet deals.

You whisper to one person with the intent of getting them to talk to the others to get who you wish to speak to, to come to you.

It becomes difficult as time goes on, you have to keep all the cards in balance, and people begin to suspect.

You then start running into other’s plans and having to make deals with them. All you want to do is speak to this particular person, to get this one particular thing, but you do not feel you can go directly.

You have to make concessions, you have to make deals, and you are no longer sure whether you are the manipulator or the manipulated.

Tarot Meditation Techniques For The Hanged Man Reversed Card

Everything becomes suspect. You no longer trust any of these strange people in their pockets of light, and in some ways, are no longer trusting your own words or decisions.

After all, what if you’re being manipulated? Would you even know? Ultimately the game continues, no one goes anywhere, everyone attempts to pull strings on everyone else, and all remains in tangled stasis.

Eventually, you realize the only way to win this game is not to play. So you slowly pull yourself out of the tarot meditation, removing yourself from this tangled mess. Think carefully about the meditation, the life you live, and the behaviors you engage in.

Are you attempting to manipulate others? Are you trying to pull strings? Please write your observations on this situation and your place in your journal, and consider the power of openness and honesty. Playing your game above board is the best way to go more often than not.

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