What Does the Hanged Man Reversed Mean?


What does the Hanged Man reversed mean?

The Hanged Man is the twelfth card of the Major Arcana, traditionally depicted as a man suspended from a tree with his right foot bound and his facial expression one of serenity, indicating his position is his choice. It’s a card that, upright, encourages us to pause and consider a new perspective.

In the reverse position, the Hanged Man instead suggests that sometimes we are ignoring why we have paused. It can indicate that other people or circumstances have forced you to stop, leaving you blocked and frustrated. In times like this, the Hanged Man reversed tells you to let go of your expectations and work with what is.

It’s so easy to get swept up by the pressures and demands of day-to-day life, to take on projects and focus on the wrong parts of our lives. I know I tend to ignore issues that need my attention in favor of ones that seem much easier to handle!

The Hanged Man reversed shows us that we’re plowing on when we should be resting, and sometimes all that does is leave us stuck in one place, unable to move forward.

Before we dig into the Hanged Man Reversed Tarot card, I want to point out that I’ve listed a number of related articles at the bottom of this post in the Related Articles section, don’t press that back button until you check these out!

The Hanged Man Reversed, from the Crystal Tarot, published by Lo Scarabeo

Is the Hanged Man Reversed a Negative Card?

Encountering the Hanged Man reversed may seem frustrating at first glance. After all, nobody wants to put their life on hold or deal with setbacks and restrictions.

The Hanged Man reversed can be a sign that those things are inevitable. There is a sense of gloom that comes with this, which makes it easy to think of the card as a negative one. I’ll admit – if I draw the Hanged Man in reverse, my immediate thought is “oh, what now?”

However, as with all the tarot cards, it’s important that you look beyond the surface meanings and truly explore all the possibilities of the message you’re getting.

Here’s an article I wrote that talks about tarot cards being negative and why that might be… “Why are my tarot cards so negative?

Hinting at Delays and Indecision

Broadly, the appearance of the Hanged Man reversed indicates that you’re currently at a standstill, unable to generate forward momentum. Maybe that’s because you simply haven’t decided which direction to go in! The Hanged Man reversed asks you to reconsider your present position and accept that this isn’t the time to move forward.

Of course, this can be upsetting, but sometimes it’s important to slow down and look again at the situation you’re in. By pausing and reconsidering, we sometimes find a way forward we hadn’t previously considered.

Maybe you’ve resisted making a big decision because it requires hard work and sacrifice that you’re not ready for yet. The Hanged Man reversed reminds us that there’s never a “perfect time” to make those big moves, and sometimes we must make the leap before the Universe pushes us!

If you feel like life has already been “on hold” for too long, the reversed Hanged Man can suggest it’s now time to move forward once more, especially if your mindset about your situation has changed. Look for breakthroughs in your thinking and be prepared to forge ahead with a fresh perspective.

Are You Ignoring a Message?

When it feels as though everything is working against us and there’s no clear path forward, it’s easy to blame external factors. The Hanged Man reversed can be a sign that you need to look inward.

Are you hampered because you’re ignoring your inner voice? Often, we know what we need to do to change a situation for the better, but if it seems difficult or requires a sacrifice from us, it’s tempting to shift the blame outwards.

Take the time to examine what you can do to fix the problem!

Learn to Go with the Flow

Of course, sometimes we get stuck for reasons beyond our control, and the Hanged Man reversed can indicate this is the case for you. If circumstances are against you, it’s important not to resist, but to accept things as they are.

Life often throws a spanner in the works, so don’t get too attached to what you think “should” be. Instead, go with the flow and work with what you have.

Has the Change Already Come?

Another interpretation of the Hanged Man in reverse is that a difficult period in your life is coming to an end.

Think of it this way – the upright Hanged Man is suspended, but when he’s reversed, he’s back on his feet! It could be that the tough times that have kept you in suspension are passing, and you need to be ready to move forward once again.

What Are You Avoiding?

Sometimes the presence of the Hanged Man in reverse is a sign that you’re avoiding something. Perhaps you’re making bad decisions to avoid confronting some inner problem.

Are there changes in your life and behavior that you aren’t ready to face? If you really don’t know how to tackle an issue, it’s time to stop, breathe, and wait for more clarity.

If you already know what you need to do, don’t put it off any longer!

What About in Relationships?

If you’ve drawn the Hanged Man reversed in a relationship spread, you may be at a crossroads in your relationship. Perhaps you need to reconsider your ideas about love and partnerships and let go of anything that could be holding you back.

If you’re frustrated about your love life and feel like it’s not progressing, it’s time to rethink and ask yourself what you really want out of it. This can seem daunting, but don’t worry! You don’t have to rush into any major decisions.

The Hanged Man, both upright and reversed, tells us to tune into our intuition and take the time to reflect.

The Hanged Man reversed in a relationship spread could also be a warning of a troubled relationship. Perhaps you’re feeling stuck but are resistant to change your situation for some reason. This card reminds you that waiting for things to change by themselves is fine…but only up to a certain point!

Eventually, we have to take control of our own lives.

If you have a tendency to rush into relationships over and over, the Hanged Man reversed asks you to slow down and look at your patterns of behavior – what do you need to resolve before you can move on successfully?

I’ve written a couple of articles about spreads that you can use for love and relationships. Here is a list:

What Does the Hanged Man Reversed Mean for My Career?

the hanged man depicted in the Crystal Tarot, published by Lo Scarabeo
The Hanged Man, from the Crystal Tarot, published by Lo Scarabeo

If you’re asking questions about your career and the Hanged Man pops up in the reversed position, it’s likely things are not going according to plan for you.

Perhaps you want a career change but can’t figure out how to make it work. Perhaps you feel you’ve stagnated in your current role, but don’t know how to get out of the rut.

The Hanged Man reversed cautions against self-pity and letting the situation drag on too long.

Procrastination is a sure-fire momentum killer. Again, there’s never a “perfect time” to make the jump, so take an active role in your life! How can you change your perspective to help yourself move forward again?

The Hanged Man reversed can mean that you are unable or unwilling to deal with your problems. In a work context, this can be paralyzing, so take it as a sign that you need to take back control.

If you’re blaming others for your difficulties, now is the time to take responsibility. Remember that this card can indicate you’re resisting the hard work you know needs to be done.

If you’ve hit a roadblock on your career path, it’s worth asking yourself if you’ve explored every option for shaking things up.

What Can the Hanged Man Reversed Tell Me About My Health?

It’s important to note that you should always consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your health.

However, if you draw the Hanged Man reversed in a spread about your well-being, it’s a good signal that you need to tune into your body and pay a bit more attention to what it’s telling you!

Be Sure of Your Path

Ultimately, while the Hanged Man reversed can point to frustrations and delays, it is not an inherently negative card. Sometimes we need to be forced to take a break and re-evaluate where we stand.

  • Are the sacrifices we’re making worth it?
  • Are the choices we’re making the right ones?
  • Do we need to discard some long-held beliefs to make way for a fresh perspective?

These are all questions you should ask yourself when the Hanged Man appears reversed for you.

Being unwilling to consider different viewpoints keeps us stagnated, so a change in our vantage point can be a benefit – if we’re willing to work with it.

It’s healthy and important to re-examine our beliefs and discard what doesn’t work for us. The Hanged Man reversed tells us to engage with the world wisely, even if it means going through challenging times.

When the moment comes to flip ourselves right-way-up again, who knows what we’ll have discovered about ourselves?

What is certain, is that you will have gained the experience and knowledge to proceed with confidence – so never be afraid to hit the pause button and reconsider what you’re willing to do to achieve your goals.

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