The Tarot Hanged Man is interesting for lots or reasons and perhaps primarily for just how much the meaning of this card has changed through the centuries…
1. The Hanged Man is one of the most complex cards to get a handle on. Part of the reason is because of how the meaning of this card has changed so drastically. In the Middle Ages, the cards was simply titled ‘traitor.’ Hanging a person upside down has been a well-known punishment for traitors in Italy for many centuries. The most recent famous such hanging was of the dictator Mussolini after WWII.
Gradually, over the centuries and as the cards spread to other parts of the world, the meaning changed to include voluntary sacrifice and eventually forgiveness and enlightenment. Personally, I believe all these meanings are part of this card’s energy so look to surrounding cards and the context of the question to make sense of which end of the spectrum.
According to Rachel Pollack, whether we get a positive negative Hanged Man experience depends very much on how well we manage to accept the truth of Justice in the preceding lesson. (The New Tarot Handbook)
2. The main chakra associated with the Hanged Man is the crown. This is quite explicit in the RWS Tarot imagery. Other chakras that may also be a good fit would be the Third Eye and Sacral chakras.
3. The astrological correspondence according to the Golden Dawn is Neptune. The Hanged Man also corresponds to the Element of Water.
4. The highest spiritual potential of The Hanged Man is forgiveness and surrender to the Divine.
5. When the Tarot Hanged Man shows up as the challenge, you might ask yourself: ‘What new perspective would be most helpful now?,’ ‘Am I in victim mode here?, ‘How well am I coping with not being able to move forward now?,’ ‘Where are my priorities not in the right order?,’ and ‘How can I relax and just be?’
6. The Hanged Man card corresponds with Archangels Asariel (Neptune) and Gabriel, ruler of the Element of Water. Crystals to use to connect with these angels are aqua aura and opalite for Asariel, and mother of pearl and carnelian for Gabriel, as well as all light green and turquoise stones. Archangel Gabriel is the ruler of Mondays so this is the best day for an angelic invocation, using a white candle. Archangel Asariel is best invoked on a Thursday.
7. On a Hanged Man sort of day you may…
- Experience an emotional release
- Gain a new perspective
- Feel tied up
- Be in victim mode
- Forgive someone
- Change your mind
- Rearrange your priorities
- Be delayed
- Sit things out
- Make a sacrifice
- Put others first
- Not move forward until you feel certain it is for the Highest Good
- Experience a profound epiphany
- Fall prey to illusion/delusion (Rx)
- Just be
- Renounce something you used to believe in
- Free yourself from a situation that has kept you stuck (Rx)
The Frideborg Tarot Hanged Man
Forgiveness is the final form of love.
– Reinhold Niebuhr