The Hanged Man – Tarot card meaning

Rider Waite Major Arcana - The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man is the twelfth card in the Major Arcana. It retains some elements from Justice; there may be choices ahead; the figure is literally at a crossroads.

Energy without direction, or the feeling of being stuck can resonate with The Hanged Man. Letting go can be a theme here; you may need to sacrifice something in order to grow in life.

The Hanged man isn’t a positive card, as you may have guessed. On a more negative note, The Hanged Man isn’t going anywhere. Something may be holding him back, or he may be limiting his own ability.

At a glance

The Hanged Man is a tarot card that is associated with sacrifice, surrender, and letting go. It typically depicts a man suspended upside down from a tree, with one foot tied to the tree and the other foot hanging freely. The Hanged Man is in a position of surrender and submission, indicating a willingness to let go and trust in the universe.

The Hanged Man card suggests that you are being called to let go of something in your life, in order to move forward and make progress. It indicates that you are being asked to surrender control and trust in the universe, and to have faith that everything will work out for the best. The Hanged Man card can also represent a need for patience and stillness, indicating that you are being called to pause and reflect, in order to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and the world around you.

In some readings, the Hanged Man card can indicate that you are being supported and guided by a higher power or spiritual guide who is helping you to let go and trust in the universe. This guide may be a teacher, mentor, or trusted friend who can offer wisdom and guidance as you navigate the challenges of surrender and letting go. The Hanged Man card can also suggest that you are being called to use your newfound understanding and trust to help others.

hanged man anime

Card meanings


Consider your past sacrifices; especially those which were hardest to give up. have you grown as a person? Sacrifice is hard to make in the moment but we find a way to cope and live without what we give up.

Choices can affect us in many ways; sometimes we can only decide between two bad choices; one bad, the other worse.

Don’t be stuck in the past. The Hanged Man in the past position can show that we are hanging on to the past, we are ‘stuck’ there. Whether good or bad, it has happened. It’s time to learn all the lessons you need to learn, and then get on with life.


You might be facing a choice or upcoming decision when The Hanged Man is placed in the present position. This might be a choice that you are forced into making, or one where you are a fan of none of the given options; likely relating to you having to give something up.

You’ll need to do the best you can with the choices given to you. If this means that you are the victim of these choices, then in the bigger picture that may be the way to go.

You may be feeling stuck in a rut, with no idea how to escape. A step backwards can sometimes be a step forwards. The Hanged Man in the present position can represent a period where nothing new takes place; things just continue on as they did before. Change only happens if you manifest your will.


Your current path might be a self destructive one.Are you making the correct choices in life? Are you working towards what you want to achieve? We face choices every day.

Giving up can be a good thing. If you’re struggling in life now, consider your current path. Are you giving something up in order to pursue a dream or goal? Are you happy with the sacrifices you are making in life?

Be wary when you see the Hanged Man in the future position. It can suggest that your future is going to be much like your present. Things may not change for the better. While stability can be good, progression has to be made in life.

Consider the entire spread when you see the Hanged Man in the future position. You may be able to change your path by understanding the signs and symbols around you.

Work, careers and education

Stop and think about your future when The Hanged Man shows up in reference to your work or education. Can you change anything right now? If so, then it may be worth exploring other options. You might even be feeling you want to quit altogether.

Sometimes quitting shouldn’t be a failure, it can be seen as cutting your losses. If you’re going nowhere fast, you may as well stop.

Be sure you are actually making progress when you see The Hanged Man in regards to your career. Being stuck in a dead end job is dangerous for our body and mind. You may need to start searching for something better.

Love and Relationships

How is your relationship going? Is there something you’re putting off doing or telling to your partner?

Sacrifice is a key here, is there something that you should give up for the sake of your relationships? This could refer to a friendship as well as a romantic relationship. The Hanged Man when dealing with love is not the best of signs.

Consider your relationship to be reaching a crossroads. Which paths forward do you see? If you’re single right now, then again you may soon observe a crossroads point in your life.

The Hanged Man can also represent your relationship has come to a standstill. You may need to have a discussion with your partner about where you feel this your relationship is going.


The Hanged Man can strongly suggest sharing your wealth with others. What use is money to a dead man? Money is inert until it is used.

When we have money, it can control us. We can want more. Learn to live without,and by helping others you can see the good causes you can put your money towards.

Don’t expect any particularly quick gains or losses in the near future. The Hanged Man can suggest that your wealth is going to stay the same, or possibly stagnate. There may be much more you can do with your money,

Health and well-being

It’s time to address your bad habits and pick one to work on. Do you want to spend your entire life being controlled by an impulse? The Hanged Man when discussing health is not a great sign. No dead character would be.

Your choices affect your future, and you can live a healthier and more satisfying future by choosing a path which helps yourself and helps others. For an exercise, treat your body as if it was somebody else. How does it make you feel when you harm or help this other ‘person’?

Body and mind will only get better, recover or improve with some effort. If you do not put effort in, then your life will not improve. It is as simple as that. A little break can be good for you, but you do not want to be stagnant forever.

Other associations

Element: Water

Astrology: Neptune

As a Yes or No question: No.

Crystal: Blue Lace Agate


Surrender, Choices, Futility, Martyrdom, Suspension