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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 choice