The Hanged Man – Tarot Meaning Deep Dive

Welcome to part 13 of my 22 part Tarot Meanings Deep Dive series – each week we explore ONE major arcana card and uncover it’s secrets, symbols and messages.

Today we’re diving into The Hanged Man– a card of frustration, surrender and ultimate enlightenment!

Grab your Tarot journal, pen and a mug of coffee and settle in…

Keywords: Feeling powerless & stuck, going nowhere, surrender, acceptance, enlightenment, new perspective

T-shaped structure = horizontal vs vertical path
Tied hands and ankle = helplessness
Upside down man = different perspective
Serene facial expression, glow around head = enlightenment

Dark Side: Feeling stuck and powerless

Light Side: Finding a new understanding and perspective

Vertical vs horizontal path
Horizontal path = birth to death trajectory, linear timeline, outer life
Vertical path = The Now, presence, being, depth, spirit, awareness, inner life

Difficulty on the horizontal path forces us to go inward and ask the deeper questions in life.

1) Feeling Stuck & Powerless

The Hanged Man symbolizes a dead end where no amount of effort, action or willpower will get you anywhere. These moments in life are invitations to go inward.

The Hanged Man reminds you that when you can’t change your “outer landscape”, you must go in and change your “inner landscape” (beliefs, thoughts, feelings, responses, patterns).

Journalling Questions:

♥ Where are you stuck? How can you change your “inner landscape”?

♥ Where are we stuck as a collective? What questions should we be asking ourselves?

2) Surrender & Acceptance

The second step, after recognizing that you’re stuck and powerless, is to let go and surrender! The Hanged Man advises us to let go of the need to control things and have everything go according to plan – there’s more to life than that!

Accept things and people as they are, without judgment and without trying to fix things and see what happens. This will put you on the path to a new way of seeing things…

Journalling Questions:

♥ Think of a time in your life where you just gave up and let go…how did things eventually work out?

♥ What helps you let go and surrender?

♥ What happens when you fully accept everything and everyone (including yourself) as they are in this moment?

3) Enlightenment

The final and third stage of The Hanged Man is…Enlightenment! But enlightenment only happens AFTER we let go of plans, timelines, expectations and ideology and go inward.

Enlightenment represents a new vision and understanding of life – a cosmic AHA! moment, followed by blissful peace and serenity.

Journalling Questions:

♥ What does “enlightenment” mean to you?

♥ What do you think enlightenment will feel like?

The Wisdom of The Hanged Man

When we get stuck and feel we have no control or power over our outer lives, it’s time to move inward and become adept at shaping our inner world of thoughts, beliefs, emotions, energy and subconscious patterns.

Letting go of our need to control and change things can ultimately lead us to a new understanding of things – a divine acceptance of all that is – which leads to enlightenment!

The Hanged Man says “don’t forget to honour your vertical path as well as your horizontal path!”

Let me know in the comments below…When was YOUR last Hanged Man moment? And did it lead to a new understanding of things?

Join me next week as we dive into Death (the card I’ve been looking forward to exploring since I first started this series!)

You can find all my previous Tarot Meanings Deep Dives right here!

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