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Card of the Week: The Hanged Man

“It’s been a long time, but remember who you are.” - Beyoncé

The Hanged Man, more often than not, is a male hanging upside down from a tree. He almost resembles someone who is meditating. In the Rider-Waite deck, he has a grin with his hands behind his headas if he is relaxing. The tree shows how grounded and rooted he is despite hanging upside down. This tree also has living leaves around the bark to show that it is living and growing.

This card is similar to the Hermit in the sense of taking a break and reflecting on your life. However, The Hanged Man represents a shorter reflecting period ‒ usually regarding a more specific situation ‒and is not as open-ended as the Hermit energy. For example, an ex comes back and you are contemplating if you should take them back or not. I doubt you need to enter full hermit mode but you will probably need a few days to sit and think about the best decision.

Other readers see this card as a sign someone is taking a break from the material world to get more aligned with their spiritual path, pausing life as they know it to get closer to what they feel their life should be. This is free-flowing energy and nothing to be forced. You will know if you need to take a step back and realign your actions to match your life purpose.


Past: You could have recently felt the need to change the priorities in your life. Maybe you quit your job to have more time to spend with family and work on your art‒something you feel is your true calling. Or perhaps you moved from the city to the suburbs to have more quiet time and the ability to actually hear your thoughts. Maybe you switched to a religion that you actually connect with‒not just the one your parents raised you on. Whatever the case might be, you recently canceled something in your life in hopes of feeling more connected with yourself. As we know, letting go of things isn’t always easy so be patient with yourself and you will soon see the payoff.

Present: You are in a current state of limbo, holding on to the past and obsessed with the future. Allow this time to bring on some much-needed reflection. When this card comes out, it’s clear you need to put a little more time into the decisions that you are making. Do not allow others to pressure or rush you, or convince you that they know what is best. Take meditation as an example: Everyone believes they know the best way to meditate to bring on the best results when in actuality, you are the only person who knows what method is best for you. During this reflection period, you might be acting outside of societal norms. Do not worry; by separating from the masses you can better understand the individual.

Future: The Hanged Man in the future represents someone who will soon experience some form of burnout and need to retreat back to self. You could be currently living a life that is pleasing to others but miserable for you. There is a call for you to listen to your inner voice and begin making the moves to create the life that you want to live. If you feel called to end certain relationships and cut ties with certain situations, do so in a timely manner. Try to remember there is no rush; the Hanged Man is peaceful and patient energy.


*Disclaimer: Reading tarot cards in reverse is totally up to the reader. There are many who choose not to. There is no right way to do it; go with your intuition. For some readers, a reverse means that the energy of that card cannot manifest into reality due to a block. So if you are someone who chooses to not read reversed cards you may skip this part, however, if you are that reader, keep reading!

Remember to always be authentic with your spiritual practices.*

The Hanged Man reversed speaks to someone who is having a hard time balancing the material world and their spiritual development. You could be too wrapped up in 3D matters such as money, impressing others, status, etc. This could be causing major dissatisfaction and depression. Before you start to think all is lost and nothing that you do matters, take a break, reflect, and figure out how different actions can bring on different results. Try to remember you are in charge of your life, and if you don’t like the story, change the plot and rearrange the characters.


You are being advised to listen to your inner voice more. If you struggle to hear it sometimes, learning new meditation methods could help greatly. Take a moment and ask yourself, who are you living for? If it is for anybody other than yourself then you have some serious work to do. Your life could feel like it’s not yours, which could be s causing you to disassociate and lack faith. If that is the case, all you have to do is take some things out and bring some things back in. Try to remember your spiritual development is meant to bring you back to who you always were and were meant to be. I always channel Beyoncé’s song Find Your Way Back. No, this is not an easy feat but always worth it in the end.

Work cited

Alexander, Skye, and Mary Shannon. The Only Tarot Book You'll Ever Need. 1st ed., vol. 1, Avon, Adams Media, 2019. 1 vols.

Symone Smith- @aquaa_CUNT

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