The Hanged Man Tarot

Hanging Out with The Hanged Man

While tarot muggles usually fear the Death card (thanks to the pop-culture), some tarot readers find The Hanged Man as one of the most challenging cards, both to read and in reading.

The Hanged Man traditionally drawn as a man being hanged upside-down by one ankle, but he looks calm as if he is doing this by his own choice. The interpretation of it varies from self-sacrifice, waiting, being stuck to contemplation.

At the beginning of my tarot journey, I tended to put a little importance on The Hanged Man. if I pulled it in the mornings as a daily drawing I deemed it as:

“it’s going to be a chill day”

Or if it’s a yes/no question or as the answer to a situational question as:

“must wait”

That’s pretty much it.

Until I learned that The Hanged Man is my birth card.

After sulking why my birth card wasn’t Strength, The Star or even The Tower, I slowly built a connection with The Hanged Man.

I made an effort to understand it. Starting by deliberately spending more time with it to reviewing the same card on different decks.

I have since learned that The Hanged Man is about the liminal space (what a cool term, might make it as a blog name).

Not unlike The Fool.

The difference though, The Fool is more like taking a deep breath before stepping into the next thing. It’s the space between two things, two actions; sort of like a comma. Meanwhile, The Hanged Man ranged from meditative breaths to being or choosing to be “stuck” in that space for a certain period.

Hence the need to be thread it a bit more mindfully.

I find this interesting, especially relating to it being my birth card because if there is one thing I can’t stand in life, it’s the feeling of being stuck. A situation that I have been avoiding and wriggled-out-from all my life. Being stuck, restrained and controlled is entirely against my nature. Which is why when I realized that Hanged Man could also be a deliberate choice of not to be grounded, it made much more sense to me.

And I could relate to it to a T.

I also learned that The Hanged Man is the most potent tarot card in Shamanism. As the person who looks like he is hanging in our world, essentially is standing in another world. They are also often seen as the meditating Buddha.

Numerical wise, The Hanged Man equates to number three, which is a powerful number in witchcraft and represents growth in the world of tarot.

All these and more learning only grow my fascination with The Hanged Man.

Image-wise my fave depiction of The Hanged Man comes from the Spacious Tarot deck (no surprise there I guess, it’s a favorite deck of mine). In here The Hanged Man has been renamed to The Hanged One — which I appreciate as it’s more of inclusive rep — accompanied by the image of half earth floating in the galaxy seen from the Moon’s vantage point.

In a word, it’s gorgeous.

It also made me wonder whether we all are in a perpetual hanging position, floating in this world.

Being the in-between beings.

It serves a great reminder that we are just passing through this world while paradoxically asking us to hit a pause and enjoy the moment.

7 thoughts on “Hanging Out with The Hanged Man

  1. I love The Hanged One! For one thing, 1+2=3 so I always think of it as gestation that is inside the outer vision of The Empress. The Hanged One is nurtured, held and waiting for the right moment…to see the truth about what it will take to get reborn (often the meaning of Death). So much with this card!!!

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