The Hanged Man - 12


After rereading the passages pertaining to "The Hanged Man" in Robin's book, I was reminded once again that this man, as Robin has drawn him, is hanging of his own, free will...not forced by anyone or anything, nor is he attached by a rope or gagged. After thinking a bit about this, I feel that sometimes others and certainly myself are our own worst enemies. In other words, I may be free to not be *hung out to dry*, so to speak, but somehow I may be so caught up in the situation, that I forget I can uncross my legs and be released. THAT kind of situation is migraine-making for me, personally.

On a brighter note, this card often does, again depending on the spread or where it falls, depict looking at things from a different perspective than what's otherwise currently evident to me. It's a reminder that I don't always have all the answers and perhaps listening to others, more research or just opening up to all the possibilities, is in order.

A funny (at least to me!) aside, when this card is reversed, the guy reminds me of an Irish step dancer, mid-air, with long hair flowing (ok, the branch has got to go...but usually I don't see it anyways, in this case.) That said, the reversed card isn't particularly bleak or menacing in any way. How could it be...the guy is dancing in my eyes?! Perhaps I should, too!!


this Hanged Man, looks like one of those guys from the circus! The red pants, the silky white shirt, doing weird stuff in the wires (in this case, the branches of a tree!)...:D he is a pro in being in that weird position!!
He is in that position by is own free will, like spinningspider has said. So, i guess this card speaks of "free will". Our own, or other person's.

I also see a warning, because even though he is a pro, he must pay attention to what he is doing (keep legs closed!), or else he might have a biig fall! He also must have strenght, to be in that weird position! So, i guess one should have strenght to face weird (or at least unespected) situations.

I also agree that it advices one to look "at things from a different perspective", has spinningspider also said.


This card has come up a lot in my personal readings; numerologically, it's even associated with my birthday.

So tonight, I tried coming up with a better understanding of the card. At first, I likened it to life, leaving a snare trap in the middle of the woods. You're taking your time walking through the woods of life, so much so that life walks away to find something else interesting. Finally, you get snared and you're now dangling from a tree, by yourself and there's only one other thing that knows you're out there, and that thing is nowhere to be found.

Upon reading the first poster's analysis, I re-examined the card and was reminded by the fact that there's no snare or trap; he's there on my own free will.

Sometimes we might think we all get screwed by life and we blame the unfairness of the world on external circumstances without ever realizing we're the ones who get ourselves into some sticky situations.

Once we figure out it was our own doing that got us up in that tree in the first place, we'll conclude that we're the only ones who can get ourselves out of the tree. I like to think of that conclusion as the reverse reading.


I come upon a thick forest. The trees, shrouded in mist, are massive and elegant. My footsteps are muffled as I wander among the giants. Every few steps I stop, breathe in the earthy scent and listen. Life is going on around me, and with limited sight, my hearing has become my guide. I marvel at the way that works. In the middle of my reverie, I hear a far away voice, "Psst." Another person is near-by. "Up here." Raising my eyes upward, I see a very strange sight; a young man is hanging upside down from the bough of a tree. He is not tied, only holding on by the sheer strength of his legs. I notice the limb is actually a connection between two trees, on either side of him.

His is certainly a strange morning exercise. It seems as if I've stepped into a world of circus acrobats. I am uncertain what to make of it all, though many things come to mind. There is a sense of balance, perhaps between two worlds, or even between the past and the present. That upon which he hangs seems to be bridging some place, or some time. He is literally suspended; frozen in time?

In this gray world, he stands out in his colorful raiment: bright red tight-like leggings, and a billowing white blouse. It takes strength and courage to hang on, I suspect, not to mention a purity of heart, to keep himself aloft. His blonde hair hangs down and were he upright, it would have seemed to be standing straight up on his head. His hands are clasped behind his back. I see no alarm in his expression, only determined concentration. He certainly is viewing things from another perspective.

Perhaps he practicing to be a vampire? Certainly, viewing the world from his position, is akin to seeing another side, or putting yourself in another's position.

Of course, hanged also implies sentenced, convicted and being punished. Yet, without the bonds, it might be self-inflicted. Being suspended thus, he might become stunted, mixed up, stalled, or perhaps he is just hanging around?

Remembering from where I'd just come, it occurrs to me that perhaps our 'hanged man' is being tested? Or having failed with Madam Justess this is what a person must suffer? It certainly is an awkard position.

My mind is in chaos trying to puzzle this out. One thing is for sure, he's seeing things from 'both sides now.'

*Song for the Hanged Man: Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell

~ ~ ~

A few points of interest. I noted the triangles his legs and arms make, and considered it to mean triangular thinking, though, I missed Robin's meaning, which I should have picked up on: "a symbol of the first degree of Wicca."

Along with my own thoughts of this being a new perspective, it represents suspense (I like that), and change. Suspended from living trees also represents a "growing experience" from surrendering oneself to new attitudes. This is all about seeking to gain knowledge and wisdom. What I failed to actually notice was the halo of light surrounding his head.

Keywords: balance; bridging two worlds - changing; new perspective; non-conformity; strength; courage; purity of heart; (self)-sacrifice; surrender; serenity; exercising free will; liberation (of spirit); devotion; learning; growing; suspense.
(reversed) stuck, stalled, frozen in time; turned around; mixed up.


"My footsteps are muffled as I wander among the giants. Every few steps I stop, breathe in the earthy scent and listen." - another one that made me travel to another place! :)

i really like your story-telling side! I must improve mine!

"Remembering from where I'd just come, it occurrs to me that perhaps our 'hanged man' is being tested? Or having failed with Madam Justess this is what a person must suffer?" - this is an interesting point...


Thank you Moonson! One of the things I'm finding about learning my deck one on one is that it is giving my muse huge opportunity to get back into action, for which my muse if very excited, and happy dancing :)

This whole process is very telling just simply by see what it is I pick up on, before I've ever read the book. I'm using two books after I do my initial viewing and journaling: Robin's book and Rachel Pollack's "Tarot Wisdom" which has been the greatest help for this 2nd level group of cards.