The Hanging Man Tarot Card Meanings & Combinations
XII The Hanging Man Correspondences:
Keywords & phrases:
Suspension, life in limbo. Alternative view. Self-sacrifice.
Hanged Man Tarot Card Meanings:
Perhaps it is the title, but people often feel uncomfortable and expect the worst when confronted by this card but, generally, I find it creates delays, a sense of being in limbo, which can be frustrating if you’re trying to forge ahead. Although, this is the point of The Hanging Man, so he seems something of a conundrum, yet within itself, the card also offers a message of advice on how to proceed.
The Hanging Man’s position is voluntary and provides a unique perspective, an alternative view that sees the world through a different lens, so when this card appears it may be time to look at things from a different angle, engage lateral thinking, and ‘think outside the box.’
This may sound easier said than done, for however open-minded we like to think ourselves to be, when we set off down a track we often become blinkered or blinded by our view of it, to really see it from another perspective may require stepping into others’ shoes and viewing it from different angles. From this new viewpoint a resolution may be found but could also require a certain amount of self-sacrifice, if only to relinquish our ‘ideal.’ A period of reassessment may be needed in order to find a new way forward and release those events currently suspended.
The image of the Hanging Man is often likened to the story of the Norse God, Odin, who voluntarily hung upside down from the world tree for nine days and nights without sustenance, sacrificing himself to receive enlightenment; the ritual death and rebirth a shaman undertakes, and in return perceived the mystery of the runes.
Some readers relate this card to the sign of a traitor, as in Renaissance Italy these were punished in a pose similar to an inverted crucifixion known as pittura infamante, (meaning, defaming portrait).
If reversed or badly aspected, being selfish or unwilling to sacrifice, narrow minded or a locked perspective (blinkered),
Similar or supporting cards: The Hanging Man is often found together with the Two of Swords (stalemate, non-movement) Page of Swords (delay) when emphasising this context. The Hermit (wisdom and contemplation, but also a slow moving card in terms of time) The Fool (also unconventional and free thinking).
Opposing or contradictory cards: The Hierophant (conventional) Eight of Wands, Knight of Swords (both bring speed into play)
Hanging Man Tarot Card Combinations: I mainly tend to find this card creates delays and usually prolongs the wait for an outcome to any matter under question. Therefore, as an ‘outcome’ card it would imply no movement without reassessment. In a string, or simple line, the card following would be most important to show how the situation is released, although normally it can still delay events quite significantly.
You'll find more information to help you in Easy Tarot: Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All! book and card set.
Available from bookshops, Llewellyn, Amazon.com, & UK.
Material provided here is in addition and complementary to the kit. Copyrighted material displayed with permission of Llewellyn. Please see my notes regarding combinations and reversals on the main index page.