What The Hanged Man Means in a Reading
The Hanged Man Tarot card is often one that brings confusion and uncertainty when pulled in a Tarot reading. And no wonder why! It is the Tarot card associated with Neptune, the planet of illusions, haziness, and dreams, after all. But what does it really mean when you pull it in a simple spread? What is it trying to say?
But never fear! We chatted with Deborah Rossetto, Tarot reader and creator of the popular Instagram account, @born_under_saturn_ to clear up all the Neptunian confusion.
Yes or No?
Let’s start with what happens when we see this in an easy yes/no Tarot reading. For example, a query like, “Should I quit my job?”
The Hanged Man is a complex card, but it definitely shares an answer where needed. When upright for a yes/no question, it suggests that we might want to hold off on making a decision until we can see the whole picture. If it’s reversed, it might indicate a “no,” and that you should not move forward.
The only time The Hanged Man might indicate a “yes” is if it appears for a situation that you know you’ve already done a lot of contemplation and shadow work. If it seems as if it’s congratulating you for doing this work, then you know it’s time to let go and move forward with confidence.
The Hanged Man often gets a bad reputation, as Rossetto explains. But it’s important to remember that no card is entirely positive or negative—they are all dynamic. So, in the case of The Hanged Man, there is much more to him than we might think.
“Many see this card as negative and stagnant, but it’s not just that,” she says. “It urges us to take a break and devote our energy to reflection.”
Being that The Hanged Man is associated with the planet Neptune, it represents a time when not everything is clear. There is haziness or confusion around something. It’s for that reason why we might want to stop and reflect before making any moves forward.
It’s also important to remember that Neptune is related to Pisces, the zodiac sign of peace, intuition, and spirituality. So, basically, this card asks you to find your stillness (as if meditating) in order to grasp the intuitive message you need to hear.
When upright, The Hanged Man asks you to stop and look at things in a different way.
“The ‘hanging man’ is precisely a man hanging upside down, and therefore has an upside down view,” says Rossetto. “This is a great symbol of a change of perspective.”
When the card appears reversed, it can indicate that we’re actually stuck in our ways and this cannot be ignored any longer, according to Rossetto. Seeing The Hanged Man upside down tells you that you’ve been ignoring the viewpoints of others. That, perhaps, it’s time to open your ears and make yourself known to the opinions that you aren’t familiar with.
When The Hanged Man appears in a love reading, she says it can often suggest a stagnant situation that needs attention. “It often speaks of relationships where communication is no longer good, where one feels trapped, or simply not understood.”
Rossetto notes that if the relationship is not yet established, it definitely represents a stalemate. “The people involved do not feel ready to freely express what they feel (due to external or internal impediments),” she says.
As advice? The Hanged Man encourages you to hold on and try not to make such a rash decision about something. It tells you to remember that you have time. In fact, it may even remind you that this is a confusing time for you, so you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself for taking extra moments to contemplate something.
Keep it slow. In fact, this may be the perfect time to get some outside spiritual help—with a professional Tarot reading.