Tarot Card meaning for the Hanged Man

In the Hanged Man card, we see a man hanging upside down from a branch. Despite not being in a seemingly comfortable position, a halo is clearly surrounding the man’s head - suggesting a form of enlightenment can be achieved after seeing things literally from a different perspective.

The Hanged Man as a day card

Today you can see your life and your day from a different angle and with this comes an element of insight and enlightenment. What do you see today that is different?
On the downside, being put in a position where you are forced to see a situation from a different angle may make you feel uncomfortable – if this is so, can you learn anything from the experience?

Negative or Reversed meaning for this card

The Hanged Man often goes along with a change in our thinking.  It could be a change in our situation but often, something triggers us and we are forced to see the situation from another angle. Whether we see the this card as a positive or negative experience will depend on how open we are to this process. Sometimes it is fairly easy to see the world from another angle. Sometimes we have to be forced into an uncomfortable position to see the world differently. (Does this ring a bell with the imagery on the card?)

How this card could present itself in real life

The Hanged Man is about opportunities to a certain extend. Opportunities to move away from the strong and structured believe system that we got when we were smaller. In regards to the Tarot, we would get those beliefs at an Emperor card for example. As we mature however, we need to alter the strong black and white beliefs from our childhood.

Examples from my own life would be seeing people in different cultures differently. I grew up in the Netherlands in a very Dutch community. As I grew up immigrated to Australia and have been exposed to an immense variety of different people and cultures. The ridged thinking about certain people from other countries, obtained in my childhood, did not apply anymore. Instead it is enlightening to see how open, friendly and the same we all are irrespective of which culture we grew up in and which faith we ascribe to.
This is a process I continue to experience every time I allow myself to be exposed to someone from another culture. This really is a willingness to be in the position of the figure on this card, which can be very rewarding and enlightening.

How this card is represented in other tarot decks

In most decks the Hanged Man is hanging upside down from a branch. Initially it seems like a type of punishment, but please look deeper into this card. If you look closely most cards show this halo around his head indicating that the person is getting strong enlightening insights through the situation they find themselves in.

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