The Hanged Man: Embracing Life’s Pause for Deeper Insight

Wheel of Fortune Tarot Card depicting a dynamic wheel, representing change

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The Hanged Man, a card steeped in enigma and depth, stands out in the tarot deck as a symbol of pause, reflection, and seeing things differently.

Unlike other tarot cards that propel action or decision-making, The Hanged Man invites us to halt and consider the world from an unfamiliar vantage point.

It embodies the essence of patience, urging us to suspend our immediate impulses and embrace a fresh perspective. This card is not about physical suspension but rather a metaphorical pause, encouraging introspection and contemplation.

In tarot readings, The Hanged Man serves as a reminder that sometimes stepping back is necessary to move forward, making it a powerful card of patience and perspective.

The Hanged Man Tarot Card

Key Facts

  • Upright Position: Symbolizes reflection, new perspectives, and patience; a period of time for personal growth and reevaluation.
  • Reversed Position: Indicates resistance to change, feeling stuck in a difficult situation, and the need for active participation.
  • Love Reading: Encourages viewing relationships from new angles and patience in romantic life.
  • Career and Finances: Suggests rethinking career path and financial situation; a time for contemplation rather than action.
  • Spirituality: Highlights the importance of pausing for spiritual growth and gaining deeper insights.
  • Yes or No Readings: Generally indicates a “No” for immediate actions but a “Yes” for contemplation and patience.

The Hanged Man Meaning

The Hanged Man’s imagery is as compelling as its message. The card typically depicts a man suspended upside down, his physical body hanging in a serene state, with one foot bound to a tree or a beam, and the other bent at a knee in a relaxed pose.

His facial expression is often calm, suggesting peace and acceptance rather than distress. This upside-down stance is a powerful symbol of surrender, not to defeat, but to a higher understanding and a new way of looking at the world.

The card’s essence lies in letting go of old mental models and preconceived notions. It suggests a period where one might benefit from releasing outdated beliefs and embracing a period of uncertainty to gain new insights.

The Hanged Man is not about physical inaction but rather about mental and spiritual reevaluation.

It invites us to consider alternative perspectives, to question our current paths, and to open ourselves to new possibilities that only become visible when we allow ourselves to see things differently.

The Hanged Man Reversed

When The Hanged Man appears in a reversed position, its meanings delve into the realm of resistance and stagnation. This inversion can signify a period where one feels stuck in a bad situation, unable to move forward or change direction. It might represent a time when it feels like the wrong time for action, where every path seems blocked or futile.

In this reversed state, The Hanged Man reflects a reluctance to embrace new perspectives or actively participate in one’s own life. It can indicate a phase where one is clinging to outdated views or resisting the necessary pause for introspection. This resistance can lead to a feeling of being trapped, both mentally and emotionally, in a cycle that no longer serves one’s growth or well-being.

The reversed Hanged Man calls for a reevaluation of one’s current stance, urging a break from the cycle of resistance. It asks us to reconsider our approach, to find the courage to let go of the familiar, and to embrace the unknown with an open mind.

Wheel of Fortune Tarot Card with heart-shaped symbols, symbolizing love's cycles.

The Hanged Man Love

In romantic life, The Hanged Man is a beacon for introspection and reevaluation. When it appears in a tarot love reading, it often suggests that it’s time to view a romantic relationship from a new angle.

This card encourages individuals to step back and reassess their emotional connections, advocating for patience and understanding in love. It’s about suspending immediate judgments or reactions to see the deeper truths of a relationship.

The essence of The Hanged Man in love is the cultivation of a fresh perspective. It may indicate that one or both partners need to alter their viewpoint to understand the relationship’s dynamics better.

This card doesn’t necessarily signify trouble in paradise; rather, it’s an opportunity to deepen the connection through mutual understanding and patience.

It’s a reminder that sometimes, the most profound insights in love come from a place of stillness and contemplation, allowing partners to see each other and their relationship in a new light.


When The Hanged Man appears reversed in a love context, it can point to stagnation or a stalemate in a romantic relationship. This position may indicate an inability or unwillingness to see things from a partner’s perspective, leading to a standstill in the relationship’s growth.

It can also suggest a reluctance to embrace necessary changes or to let go of outdated patterns that no longer serve the relationship.

Overcoming these challenges in love requires embracing change and seeking new understanding. The reversed Hanged Man in love readings calls for breaking free from rigid mindsets and opening up to new ways of relating and connecting.

It’s about finding the courage to let go of the familiar and venture into a relationship’s unexplored territories, fostering growth and deeper emotional bonds.

Quick Major Arcana Tarot Guide

The Fool – Beginnings

The Magician – Manifestation

The High Priestess – Mystery

The Empress – Fertility

The Emperor – Authority

The Hierophant – Tradition

The Lovers – Union

The Chariot – Control

Strength – Courage

The Hermit – Introspection

Wheel of Fortune – Fate

Justice – Fairness

The Hanged Man – Sacrifice

Death – Transformation

Temperance – Balance

The Devil – Temptation

The Tower – Upheaval

The Star – Hope

The Moon – Illusion

The Sun – Vitality

Judgement – Rebirth

The World – Completion

Wands – Energy

Cups – Emotions

Swords – Intellect

Pentacles – Material

The Hanged Man Money and Career Meaning

In career readings, The Hanged Man often signifies a period of reflection and reassessment regarding one’s career path and financial situation. This card suggests that it might be time to pause and rethink your professional trajectory or financial plans.

It’s not about making hasty decisions but rather about taking a step back to evaluate your current situation from a different perspective.

The Hanged Man in this context is a reminder that sometimes, the best way to advance in your career or improve your financial situation is to stop and reflect. It encourages taking a break from the daily grind to contemplate your long-term goals and aspirations.

This card can indicate that a period of suspension or a temporary slowdown in career progress is necessary to gain clarity and realign with your true professional objectives.


The reversed Hanged Man in the context of money and career can indicate feeling trapped in a financial situation or career path.

This position may suggest that you are stuck in negative patterns that hinder your financial stability or career growth. It’s a sign that the current approach to your professional life or financial management might not be serving you well.

Breaking free from these negative patterns requires a fresh approach and a willingness to explore new strategies.

The reversed Hanged Man in career readings calls for innovative thinking and the courage to step out of your comfort zone. It’s about challenging the status quo and seeking alternative paths to financial stability and career fulfillment.

This card encourages you to reassess your financial and professional goals and to be open to unconventional methods to achieve them.

Wheel of Fortune Tarot Card with spiritual symbols, representing growth.

The Hanged Man Spirituality Meaning

The Hanged Man in tarot readings often heralds a profound spiritual awakening, emphasizing the value of stillness and pause in one’s spiritual journey.

This card encourages individuals to embrace periods of inactivity not as wasted time but as essential phases for spiritual growth and personal development.

It serves as a reminder that sometimes, the most significant spiritual progress occurs not through action, but through contemplation and reflection.

This card’s presence in a reading is a call to look at the human experience from a spiritual viewpoint, to understand life’s trials and tribulations as opportunities for deep, soulful learning.

The Hanged Man invites you to temporarily suspend your everyday concerns and consider your life from a more spiritual perspective. It’s about finding wisdom in stillness, learning to let go of the need to do constantly, and instead, allowing yourself to be simply.

This card is a powerful symbol of the transformative power of introspection in achieving personal and spiritual enlightenment.


When The Hanged Man appears reversed in a spiritual context, it may indicate a period of stagnation or a sense of chronic fatigue in your spiritual journey. This position can suggest a struggle to maintain focus and dedication to spiritual practices, leading to a feeling of being spiritually drained or disconnected.

The reversed Hanged Man in spirituality readings calls for a renewal of spiritual energy and a reinvigoration of your spiritual practices. It’s a sign to reevaluate your spiritual path and find new ways to engage with your spiritual self.

This may involve exploring different forms of meditation, seeking spiritual guidance, or simply allowing yourself time to rest and recuperate. The key is to recognize the importance of nurturing your spiritual well-being and to take steps to prevent poor concentration and disconnection from your spiritual essence.

The Hanged Man Yes or No

In ‘Yes or No’ tarot readings, The Hanged Man typically suggests a “No” regarding questions about taking immediate action. This card advises patience and waiting for the right moment, emphasizing the need for contemplation and reflection before making significant decisions.

It’s a reminder that sometimes the best course of action is to pause and reconsider your options, allowing the right path to reveal itself in due time. The Hanged Man encourages a thoughtful approach, where waiting and observing can lead to more informed and beneficial outcomes.

Griff Williams

MindEasy founder & meditation teacher

Griff Williams is an accredited meditation teacher and founder of MindEasy. He spent 12 years working as a London firefighter before changing paths to pursue building MindEasy. He received his diploma in meditation teaching from The British School of Meditation.