The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man is numbered twelve and is depicted as a figure, usually male, hanging upside down from a tree or branch. He often has his hands behind his back, as though tied (though as you can see the Thoth interpretation moves away from this aspect of apparent helpnessness). Usually one leg is tucked behind the other to form a triangle shape. Strangely though, he tends to look quite happy and content with his situation.

Not a very popular card, the Hanged Man deals with sacrifice, delays and waiting - and also being bogged down and helplessness. We sacrifice every time we make a choice - reading this web page means you have sacrificed reading the alternatives. Since sacrifice can mean giving up one thing of value for another thing of equal or greater value, this card can easily be seen as representing the natural and normal function of disposing of something that no longer suits its purpose as well as its replacement will.

The Hanged Man is totally vulnerable, his attitude is "whatever will be, will be". He accepts everything that happens with equanimity and courage - he is, after all, simply giving in to his destiny. He can sometimes represent the person who has waited too long, who is perhaps scared to change. We should endure with strength and inner peace, but also be courageous enough to take action when destiny calls.

The Hanged Man

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