Dreaming of the Hanged Man Tarot Card: Meaning and Perspectives


Key Takeaways:

  • The Hanged Man tarot card symbolizes sacrifice, surrender, and relinquishing control.
  • It represents the need to look at situations from a different perspective and embrace uncertainty.
  • The Hanged Man advises us to suspend action, embrace patience, change our perspective, and trust the process of life.
  • In dreams, the Hanged Man may signify feeling stuck or trapped, the need for new perspectives, personal sacrifice, suspension and reflection, embracing change, and spiritual growth.

If you’ve ever dreamt of the Hanged Man tarot card, you may have experienced its powerful symbolism of sacrifice, surrender, and relinquishing control. Let’s delve into the meaning of this card and what it could signify for your dream.

Symbolism of the Hanged Man Tarot Card

1. Orientation and Position of the Hanged Man

The Hanged Man is depicted as hanging upside down from a wooden beam or tree branch. This unique position represents a reversal or suspension of the usual order of things. It suggests the need to look at a situation from a different perspective. By turning our world upside down, we gain new [1] insights and understanding.

The Hanged Man’s calm and serene facial expression indicates that he is in this position willingly, symbolizing self-sacrifice and surrender. He has chosen to pause, reflecting a willingness to let go of control and embrace a state of suspension. It reminds us that sometimes, in order to gain clarity and wisdom, we must relinquish our usual ways of thinking and surrender to the unknown.

2. Iconography in the Hanged Man Card

  1. Tree
    The tree from which the Hanged Man hangs is often associated with the Tree of Life. It represents growth, balance, and a connection to the natural world. Just as trees root themselves in the earth while reaching for the sky, this symbolizes our need to remain grounded while seeking spiritual enlightenment.
  2. Halo
    The Hanged Man is often depicted with a halo around his head, symbolizing enlightenment and spiritual illumination. It signifies an expanded consciousness and a connection to higher realms of understanding.
  3. Legs crossed
    The Hanged Man’s legs are usually arranged in a figure-four shape, with one leg crossed over the other. This position represents balance and harmony between opposing forces. It indicates that there is a need for equilibrium during this time of suspension.
  4. Hands behind back
    The Hanged Man’s hands are held behind his back, forming an inverted triangle. This triangle represents the element of water and the realm of emotions. It suggests the need to explore one’s inner world and engage in introspection.

3. The Role of the Tree and Halo in the Symbolism

The tree in the Hanged Man card represents our connection to nature and the physical world. It reminds us that we are part of a larger ecosystem and that we need to be grounded in order to achieve spiritual growth. The halo, on the other hand, represents our connection to the divine and our potential for enlightenment. It reminds us to look beyond the material realm and seek higher truths.

The combination of the tree and halo signifies the integration of earthly and spiritual realms. It represents the need for balance between our worldly responsibilities and our spiritual journey. By embracing both aspects of our existence, we can achieve a state of harmony and wholeness.

Moreover, the overall symbolism of the Hanged Man Tarot card suggests a temporary surrender or sacrifice. It signifies a voluntary pause to gain new insights and perspectives. This card encourages us to let go of control, embrace uncertainty, and trust in the process of life.

Meaning of the Hanged Man Tarot Card

The Hanged Man tarot card is a powerful and thought-provoking symbol that holds deep meanings. It represents sacrifice, surrender, and a willingness to let go of control. In this section, we will explore the meaning of the Hanged Man Tarot card in the upright position, the significance of the reversed Hanged Man, [1] and the advice offered by this card.

1. Meaning in Upright Position

When the Hanged Man appears in an upright position, it signifies a period of suspension and waiting. It suggests a time for introspection, reflection, and contemplation. The Hanged Man understands that his current position is a sacrifice he needs to make in order to progress forward. He willingly takes this pause to reassess his path and gain new perspectives.

The upright Hanged Man indicates that it may not be the right time to take action or make important decisions. It advises patience and a willingness to wait for the right opportunity or for things to fall into place naturally. This card teaches us that sometimes, stalling certain actions can bring greater clarity and insight.

2. Significance of Reversed Hanged Man

In its reversed position, the Hanged Man suggests feelings of frustration and stagnation. You may feel like you are sacrificing your time without seeing any progress or rewards. This card symbolizes a period when you feel stuck or unable to move forward despite your efforts. It can signify a lack of direction or a sense of being powerless.

The reversed Hanged Man reminds you that it’s essential to take action and make a change. It prompts you to reevaluate your situation and consider different perspectives. This card signifies a time when old beliefs or approaches may no longer serve you, urging you to find new ways of thinking and doing things.

3. Advice Offered by the Hanged Man Tarot Card

The Hanged Man offers valuable advice to those who receive this card:

  1. Suspend Action
    The Hanged Man advises you to suspend certain action and wait for the right moment. Sometimes, taking a step back and reflecting can lead to better decisions and opportunities.
  2. Embrace Patience
    This card encourages you to practice patience and acceptance. Understand that not all things can be rushed, and waiting for the right time can lead to more favorable outcomes.
  3. Change Perspective
    The Hanged Man teaches the importance of changing your perspective. Seek new ways of looking at situations, which can bring fresh insights and alternative solutions.
  4. Sacrifice for Growth
    Embrace the idea of sacrificing certain things for personal growth and development. Letting go of control and surrendering to the flow of life can lead to profound self-discovery.
  5. Trust the Process
    Trust that during your suspended state, the universe is working in your favor. Believe that when the time is right, you will move forward with renewed purpose and clarity.
  6. Reevaluate Priorities
    Use this period of waiting to reevaluate your priorities. Consider what truly matters to you, letting go of what no longer serves your highest good.

The Hanged Man Tarot card reminds us that sometimes waiting and suspending action can be a vital part of our journey. It urges us to embrace patience, change our perspective, and trust that the process of surrendering will bring growth and new opportunities.

Hanged Man Tarot Card Dream Meaning

person playing with cards
Photo by Sergi Viladesau

Dreams are a fascinating window into our subconscious mind, offering insights and messages that can sometimes be difficult to decipher. When it comes to the Hanged Man Tarot card appearing in dreams, the symbolism and meaning can be deep and multifaceted. In this section, we will explore the different interpretations of the Hanged Man Tarot card based on various dream scenarios, as well as provide a psychological and emotional analysis of dreams involving the Hanged Man.

1. Interpretations Based on Different Dream Scenarios

  1. You are the Hanged Man in the dream
    This scenario suggests that you may be feeling stuck or trapped in your current situation. It could indicate a need to look at things from a different perspective or try a new approach to move forward. You may be experiencing a sense of suspension, and this dream encourages you to embrace this period of pause and introspection.
  2. You see someone else as the Hanged Man in the dream
    If you see someone else as the Hanged Man in your dream, it may symbolize that someone you know is feeling stuck or trapped in their own life. This dream could be urging you to offer support or assistance to help them see things differently. It may also indicate that you need to let go of control and allow someone else to take the lead.
  3. You witness the Hanged Man in a public place, like a town square
    This dream scenario signifies a feeling of disconnection from society or a sense of standing out in a way that makes you uncomfortable. The appearance of the Hanged Man in a public place represents a need for connection and community. It may be suggesting that you seek support and guidance from others during this time of suspension.
  4. The Hanged Man is surrounded by alligators
    This dream scenario suggests that you are facing challenges and obstacles in your life, and you may need to be patient and wait for the right time to take action. The presence of alligators symbolizes the need to be adaptable and flexible in the face of adversity. It is encouraging you to navigate through these challenges with resilience and determination.
  5. The Hanged Man is at a baby shower
    If you dream of the Hanged Man at a baby shower, it may represent a need to take a step back and reassess your priorities. It could indicate a new beginning or fresh start in your life, as baby showers symbolize new life and growth. This dream scenario may also suggest a need for nurturing and self-care during this time of transition.
  6. The Hanged Man is eating cat food
    This dream scenario signifies that you may not be taking care of yourself adequately in some aspect of your life. It could indicate neglecting your basic needs or settling for something that is not beneficial for you. The presence of cat food symbolizes the need for independence and self-sufficiency. It is reminding you to prioritize your well-being and make choices that align with your true needs and desires.
  7. The Hanged Man is in a fight and wins
    This dream scenario indicates that you are facing a challenging situation in your life, but you have the strength and resilience to overcome it. It represents a power of assertiveness and standing up for yourself in the face of adversity. This dream encourages you to embrace your inner strength and take decisive action when necessary.

2. Psychological and Emotional Analysis of Dreams With The Hanged Man

Dreams involving the Hanged Man Tarot card can offer valuable insights into our psychological and emotional state. Here are some psychological and emotional elements to consider when interpreting dreams with the Hanged Man:

  1. Surrender
    • The appearance of the Hanged Man represents surrender and letting go.
    • This dream suggests that there may be areas in your life where you need to release control and allow things to unfold naturally.
    • It may indicate a need to accept the present circumstances and trust in the process of transformation.
  2. New Perspectives
    • Dreams with the Hanged Man often signify a need for a change in perspective or attitude.
    • This dream suggests that you may be stuck in old patterns of thinking or reacting.
    • It encourages you to consider alternative viewpoints and explore new ways of approaching situations.
  3. Personal Sacrifice
    • The Hanged Man reflects personal sacrifice and selflessness.
    • This dream may indicate that you are facing a situation where you must prioritize the needs of others over your own.
    • It calls for a willingness to let go of personal desires for the greater good.
  4. Suspension and Reflection
    • Dreams featuring the Hanged Man symbolize a period of suspension and reflection.
    • It suggests that you may be in a state of transition or limbo between two phases of your life.
    • This dream encourages you to embrace the pause and use this time for introspection, self-discovery, and personal growth.
  5. Embracing Change
    • Dreams with the Hanged Man often indicate a need to embrace change and step out of your comfort zone.
    • It may suggest that you are resisting necessary changes in your life or holding onto old patterns that no longer serve you.
    • This dream urges you to be open-minded, adaptable, and willing to let go of what no longer serves your highest good.
  6. Spiritual Growth
    • The Hanged Man represents spiritual growth or enlightenment.
    • Dreams with this card can signal a deepening connection to your spirituality or a desire to explore deeper levels of consciousness.
    • This dream encourages you to prioritize your spiritual well-being and seek out practices that nurture your soul.

By considering these psychological and emotional aspects, you can gain a deeper understanding of the messages and lessons that the Hanged Man Tarot card is conveying in your dreams.

The Hanged Man in Various Cultures and Religions

yellow and red hanging decors
Photo by Joshuva Daniel

The Hanged Man tarot card is deeply rooted in mythology, symbolism, and spirituality. It has connections to various cultures and religions, each adding layers of meaning and interpretation to this enigmatic card. Let’s explore some of these connections:

1. The Link Between Norse Mythology and the Hanged Man Card

In Norse mythology, the Hanged Man has a significant connection to Odin, the Norse Allfather. Odin hung himself from Yggdrasil, the World Tree, for nine days and nine nights to gain wisdom. He sacrificed one of his eyes to gain “sight,” expanding his vision beyond the surface level of reality. This act of self-sacrifice and seeking knowledge resonates with the themes of surrender and enlightenment depicted in the Hanged Man tarot card.

2. Connections Between Christian Symbolism and the Hanged Man

The Hanged Man card also evokes Christian symbolism, particularly in its depiction of Jesus on the cross. Jesus’ crucifixion and subsequent resurrection created a new world and brought salvation to humanity. Similarly, the Hanged Man encourages us to find solace in our periods of suspension or uncertainty, reminding us that there can be growth and transformation even in our most challenging experiences.

3. Sleeping Beauty and the Hanged Man

Yoshi Yoshitani’s Tarot of the Divine deck portrays the Hanged Man as Sleeping Beauty, offering an intriguing connection between this fairy tale and the card’s symbolism. Sleeping Beauty, cursed by Maleficent to fall into a deep sleep until true love’s kiss awakens her, symbolizes both vulnerability and a transformative journey. She rests suspended between her old life as a peasant girl and her future as a royal figure. This resonates with the Hanged Man’s invitation to rest within chaos, surrender to uncertainty, and embrace the lessons hidden within challenging situations.

4. The Role of Inner Protectors

Another fascinating aspect of the Hanged Man’s symbolism is the presence of inner protectors, represented by Maleficent’s character. When we experience trauma or grief, we often find ourselves suspended, with our innocent and open-hearted parts going into hiding. Just as Prince Philip in Sleeping Beauty must face and slay fire-breathing dragons to rescue the princess, we too must confront our inner protectors. These protectors can show up as fears, doubts, or defense mechanisms, preventing us from fully embracing our innocence and vulnerability. The Hanged Man reminds us to gently reason with these inner dragons and allow our authentic selves to reemerge.

5. Swords, Briars, and Discernment

When Prince Philip confronts Maleficent in the form of a fire-breathing dragon, he is armed with the Sword of Truth and the Shield of Virtue. These symbols resonate with the suit of swords in tarot, which represents thought and worry. To master this suit and face our inner dragons, we need discernment. We must differentiate between our perceptions colored by trauma and our objective reality. This process allows us to cut through the briars that surround us, just as Prince Philip does in the fairy tale. The briars symbolize the first line of defense erected by our inner protectors.

6. The Transformation of Princess Aurora

When Princess Aurora wakes from her enchanted sleep, she undergoes a profound transformation. She goes from being a peasant girl raised in hiding to a royal figure who will soon become a spouse, queen, and mother. Like the Hanged Man card, she rests between two realities – not yet fully in one, but no longer in the other. Her journey speaks to the transformative power of moments of suspension and the self-discovery that can emerge from them.

7. Embracing Change and Moving Forward

The Hanged Man ultimately invites us to embrace change and move forward. While it assures us that we won’t be stuck forever, it also reminds us that we will never be the same again. We are urged to find comfort in the pause, learn from our experiences, and emerge from our periods of suspension with newfound wisdom and resilience. The Hanged Man’s symbolism resonates across cultures and religions, offering guidance and support as we navigate life’s challenges.

Key points to remember:

  • The Hanged Man has connections to Norse mythology, particularly Odin’s quest for wisdom.
  • Christian symbolism can be found in the card’s depiction of Jesus on the cross, emphasizing surrender and transformation.
  • The Hanged Man is personified as Sleeping Beauty in Yoshi Yoshitani’s Tarot of the Divine deck, highlighting vulnerability and transformation.
  • Inner protectors symbolized by Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty can hinder our growth unless we confront them.
  • The Sword of Truth and Shield of Virtue resonate with the suit of swords in tarot and represent the need for discernment when facing inner dragons.
  • Princess Aurora’s transformation from a peasant girl to a royal figure mirrors the Hanged Man’s invitation to embrace change and learn from periods of suspension.
  • The Hanged Man reminds us that while suspensions are temporary, we will never be the same again, and that can be a positive outcome.


If you find yourself dreaming of the Hanged Man tarot card, don’t worry, as it’s not necessarily a negative sign. Rather, it may suggest that you need to pause and reflect on your current situation. Are you feeling stuck or trapped? Do you need to let go of control and embrace uncertainty? Trust the process of life, and look at things from a new perspective. The Hanged Man advises patience and surrender, reminding you that sometimes things must fall apart so that something better can come together. Embrace change with an open heart and mind, and you’ll find that spiritual growth is just around the corner.


[1] The Hanged Man (tarot card) – Wikipedia

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