The Hanged Man is the card of sacrifice, surrender, and waiting. The Hanged Man is suspended upside down, viewing the world from an entirely different perspective. Even so, he shows little discomfort. He is serene and calm, with a halo around his head. This new perspective is giving him enlightenment.
The Hanged Man is a reminder that though we may want life and love to go a certain way, it is not always up to us on how things play out. Sometimes, the timing may not be quite right. Other times, being patient, doing nothing, and just letting the situation play out by itself gets us a better result. Additionally, there are times in life where sacrifice and a shift in perspective is needed.
If the Hanged Man appears in a Tarot spread as a person, that means that this person is patient and capable of seeing things through a different point of view. Of course this “differing” viewpoint will be relative to who’s inquiring. It is astrologically associated with Neptune (Piscean energy). Because Neptune carries a feminine energy, this card carries a passive, receptive energy. We all have a little bit of both energies expressed in a balanced way, regardless of which gender we identify as. Because this is a Major Arcana card, some of these defining traits make up a major part of their identity. So, for example, playing Devil’s Advocate will play a major role in who they are, or how they view themselves. Note that they may not reveal this side to you at the beginning stages of your relationship, to others, or ever.
For physical characteristics, the Hanged Man as a person represents someone who is dreamy and eccentric. This person will tend to have an artistic flair, and there will be a simplicity to their sensibility. Their aesthetic will tend to feature one thing seen from a different angle that changes the entire look, yet it catches attention. They’re not afraid to be different. Because this card is ruled by Pisces which rules the feet, and it literally features a person hung upside down, they may enjoy distinctive footwear or put a lot of consideration into what they wear on their feet. Alternatively, they may enjoy being barefoot or just embodying that relaxed “barefoot vibe”. Their favorite workouts may include yoga.
For emotional characteristics, the Hanged Man as a person represents someone who is selfless and calm. Much like the High Priestess in the upright position, the Hanged Man knows when to pause and reflect, and when to speak up. This person is a lot like the Hermit, except the Hermit looks within whereas the Hanged Man observes and takes into account other people’s experiences. They are some of the most accommodating people you will ever meet. And if they take a liking to you or your cause, they will happily sacrifice their own wants or needs to ensure that a goal is met. Because the Hanged Man is associated with unmaterialistic Pisces, this person may be the type to donate their last $5 to somebody who they think needs it more than they do.
For careers, the Hanged Man can represent someone who works with illusions, fantasies, or helps people see things from a different lens. Alternatively, they may also work in a field that is 12th House related. For instance, they may work in a mental health institution, a drug rehab facility, a prison, or at a church. They may be a writer of fiction, an actor, film director or cinematographer, a photographer, a Photoshop editor, or a visual artist. They’re usually very active on social media. Being in odd positions may be a part of their profession: they may be a yoga instructor, contortionist, or a performer for a troupe like Cirque du Soleil. This person may also work in some form of activism where they challenge conventional worldviews. They may be a social commentator on YouTube, other social media platforms, or traditional media. While they may not be traditionally viewed as agents of change, oftentimes their angle or take on things may be groundbreaking.
The Hanged Man as a person represents someone who makes you pause and contemplate. They have a calming effect on you. This is a type of person that you can have a “comfortable silence” with. And while they may shift your perspective on things, they usually don’t make a point of making that experience a jarring one. In fact, because a Hanged Man is such a relaxed energy, they might ease you into a new way of thinking through jokes and humor. Because Pisces is ruled by Neptune, they may have an almost “Mad Hatter”-like sense of humor. If they sacrifice something for you, they will usually do it in such an offhand manner to ensure that you don’t feel guilty for accepting their help.
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If the Hanged Man reversed appears in a Tarot spread as a person, that means that this person is unmovable. This can manifest in many different ways. For example, they could simply be stubborn. Or, this may be somebody who is physically very passive, you may find that it takes a lot to drag them out of their homes. Because this is a Major Arcana card, some of these traits are inherent aspects of their identity. Good or bad, nobody is perfect and people can change, if they choose to.
For physical characteristics, the Hanged Man reversed as a person represents someone who rarely moves or is incredibly passive. This may be somebody who lives an unhealthily sedentary lifestyle. They are not very active, they don’t exercise and they’re not very flexible. You may rarely see this person out and about. Whereas the upright Hanged Man practices “productive passivity” such as active listening or being in meditative states, in the reverse, they’re just lazy. If they’re not lazy, they may procrastinate due to perfectionism. The opposite of Pisces is Virgo, and sometimes in the reverse a card may manifest in the opposite energy that it is supposed to represent. So for example, a Hanged Man in reverse may manifest as a hypochondriac who refuses to leave the house due to germophobia.
For emotional characteristics, the Hanged Man reversed as a person represents someone who is inflexible in mind, emotion, and spirit. This could be an extremely stubborn person. The worst thing about this person’s stubbornness is that even reality and facts won’t change their minds. You could present them with all the physical evidence in the world, and they will still find a way to paint that evidence as something conspiratorial and sinister, or “fake news.” They are absolutely unwilling to see the other side of a story. Unfortunately, this can be potentially dangerous as it makes them prone to extremism and fanaticism. They can also be selfish and unaccommodating. This person would rather live in their self-created illusion than face reality.
For careers, the Hanged Man reversed can represent someone who works as a life-long slacker. This is a type of person who may shun work and cite some sort of “spiritual” reason why work is evil. Alternatively, a hangman in a reverse Energy may embody the shadow side of Pisces. So this could be somebody who creates illusions in a negative, or even illegal, way to make money. They could dabble in art theft or forgery, or they could be an outright con artist. Similar to the Devil, this is somebody whose work involves faking it until they make it, to create an illusion of something they’re not for gain. Think of an Instagram “influencer” with a fake following who approaches companies for free vacations and free stuff to “promote” or “review”. This is also a major “cult leader” energy, the type of fake “guru” who would swindle their followers out of their life savings.
The Hanged Man reversed as a person represents someone who makes you feel restless. This person may have a little bit of an unsettling energy. They don’t speak or move much, but somehow in their silence and stillness, you sense something off about them. Whether you’ve just gotten to know them or you’ve known them for ages, you just get a sense that they might be hiding something from you. Whereas an upright Hanged Man is all about Illuminating and showing a different point of view, a reversed Hanged Man wants the opposite. They are all about ensuring that you don’t see something from a different point of view, and usually that viewpoint enables you to see the truth. Because remember, the dark side of Pisces is all about negative illusions, such as lies and delusions. If you are romantically involved with this person, they won’t want you to realize that their behavior is toxic or abusive.
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For love readings, the Hanged Man reveals that everything comes at its own time. No matter how much we may want to, we cannot force love or a relationship. Sometimes, the best thing to do is nothing. When we are patient, opportunities will come. If we lean into the Hanged Man’s energy of patience and sacrifice, we will be ready to embrace opportunities when they do come–to the fullest.
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