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The Hanged Man - Meanings, Symbols.....

The Hanged Man-Marseille Tarot AMM.MO. Lo Scarabeo

The Hanged Man is the 12th card of the major arcana. We see a male figure hanging by a rope upside down. Images of torture come to mind. As described in Yoav Ben Doav's book, The Marseille Tarot Revealed, hanging someone upside down was a form of torture. This was used in ancient times to humiliate and inflict pain on those with unconventional beliefs of the times - Romans would hang Christians and in other places, Jews and Muslims would be hung upside down. When you look at this card, the theme of punishment, backing away from a situation, pausing to reflect, and sacrifice comes to mind.

What the card can represent:

  • A pause to gain a moment of steadiness after a turbulent time

  • Sacrifice in order to maintain one's principles or faith

  • Reflection of oneself, situation/environment before going forward

  • Warning of sacrificing yourself so much that you are putting yourself at risk

  • Warning of martyr syndrome/complex

  • Warning of victim complex in the way that a person is not coping in healthy ways

The Hanged Man- Tarot de Marseille, Jean Noblet

The Hanged Man can remind us:

  • We have choices. We don't have to do everything all at once. We can choose our activities

  • We can take a break. If we are feeling that we are taking on too much; we may allow ourselves a break.

  • Making no decision is actually a decision, We have made the choice not to act


  • The top branch used as a beam indicates balancing two opposing choices, forces in your life

  • The crossed leg references noble acts and high-minded principles similar to the Emperor and the World where this posture also appears. This posture is inverted so it can indicate a sacrifice because of high-minded or highly principled acts. Sacrifice is an honourable thing.

  • The 12 cuts on the branches symbolize:

    • the 12 zodiac signs (how someone defines themselves and stays true to that description)

    • the 12 Apostles who were specifically chosen by Jesus and stayed true to Jesus;

    • the cuts are in red, the colour of blood indicating the removal of things that no longer serve us. Painful sacrifice.

  • The rope indicates what binds or holds us to our principles, people, or things.

The Hanged Man-CBD, Conver Ben Dov Tarot de Marseille

The 12th card in the major arcana:

The twelfth card corresponds to the number 2 which represents:

  • duality - perhaps you are dealing with 2 choices: can indicate a moment to think or reflect on these choices. It can also mean doing too much at once.

  • confrontation, conflict

  • clash of reality and strongly held principles/ideals

  • confrontation, conflict - you have "hit a wall" and need to withdraw because of exhaustion. It is time to create harmony and balance in your life

  • polarities or opposites

  • Difficulty in making choices/decisions

When the Hanged Man appears in a spread where the question is about Love:

The seeker may have a hard time giving up on a relationship. Sometimes relationships do not last long no matter how good the intentions are from both parties. It is time to let go and move on. This also indicates that there is a decision to be made and the seeker or their partner is avoiding the issue; perhaps one partner wants to get married and the other is dragging their heels and avoiding the issue. The seeker may be hanging on to a relationship because they think it's the right thing to do even though this relationship may be an unhappy one. The seeker may think the relationship is wonderful the way it is, but the partner wants to take the relationship further and the seeker is reluctant to make the change; for example, the partner wants to move in together, but the seeker feels the relationship is fine just how it is. When the card is reversed, letting go of a relationship is difficult. It can also mean that the seeker is waiting on someone else to make the decision i.e. marriage or moving in together. There is waiting experienced by the seeker - they are waiting for the partner to make a decision.

The Hanged Man - Classic Tarot

When the question is about work:

The upright Hanged Man indicates boredom and that there are better things to do. The seeker should use this time wisely to reflect on how to move up career-wise and keep an eye out for opportunities. Patience needs to be practiced in this situation - "good things come to those who wait" If the card appears reversed, it does indicate feelings of low self-worth. Don't get down on yourself if things do not go your way. Be careful of playing the victim at work as no one likes the martyr (or the whiner). If the seeker feels that they are bearing most of the responsibility at work then they should take it upon themselves to make adjustments. Perhaps they don't to do as much as they think they do. The best advice is to make sure that the seeker doesn't adopt a bad attitude such as "a chip on their shoulder".

The Hanged Man- Rider Waite Tarot

When the question is about money:

The seeker may be experiencing a time when they have to pay for everything or take on the most of bills. The seeker should know that they need to share responsibility. It's hard to express the fact that you need help in sharing the financial stress, but you may find that someone will be more than willing to help. Also, it may indicate that you notice that someone close to you needs help with a financial burden that you have benefited from. When the card appears reversed, it's time to reflect on your attitude toward money. Sharing is wonderful and it keeps the positive and prosperous vibes going, but it is not good if you resent sharing. Appreciate when someone shares with you with grace and know it is important to give as well with grace.

The Hanged Man from Jean Dodal Marseille Tarot Jean-Claude Flornoy

When the question is regarding health:

Your health needs to be looked after. If the seeker has gone to the doctor and received a list of changes they have to make, the seeker will be upset. It's okay to take some time to reflect on how well or not you are taking care of your health, but don't put off the doctor's advice. If the card appears reversed, the seeker is their own worst enemy when it comes to their health. The seeker may have too much pride to take advice from anyone. It's time to listen to your body and stop ignoring warning signs of health issues.

The Deviant Moon - Hanged Man

Keywords: sacrifice, pause, duality, confrontation, hesitation, martyr, victim

Messages: Accept your reality. Sometimes change has to happen. It's okay to take your time to evaluate your options. Do not be afraid of advice. There are times you have to just let go and move on.


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