Beltane Tarot Blog Hop: The Hanged Man


Welcome to the Beltane Tarot Blog Hop!  Our topic this hop is how to deal with a “distasteful” tarot card when it comes up in a reading. The “distasteful” cards are those which when turned over (revealed) evoke a strong negative reaction.  How do we deal with these cards when they show up? What do we tell our clients? What rituals (actions) can we take to better cope with these energies?

The Hanged Man Rider Waite deck

The Hanged Man
Rider Waite deck

I chose to look at The Hanged Man for this blog hop. I picked The Hanged Man because I’m surprised and a bit confused why so many of my clients don’t like this card. What’s so “distasteful” about The Hanged Man?, I always wonder when a client makes a sad face at him. I happen to think it’s a great card!  It’s one of my favorites! Therefore, I tend to get a bit excited to share my enthusiasm and optimism when this card shows up in a reading. I think, ok, here’s my moment to shine and give some seriously heartfelt opinions and advice about The Hanged Man and what his energy means for the client.  In a way, this upbeat and excited vibe is may way of expressing the positive aspects of this card.  I try hard to convey a sense of possibility and affirmative action that can result from working with the energy of The Hanged Man.

To me, The Hanged Man indicates being fully present in the moment. This idea of being present can seem so simple to the point of being cliche, but it’s really a life-long mission for me. I feel like it’s a worthy goal for us all and I want to inspire others to take up and spread present moment consciousness amongst their people. So I get to convincing the querent of this simple positivity. The ability to live in the moment helps us to find our calm center from which to radiant out serenity, make good choices, and live in alignment with our personal values.  All too often we just react immediately without waiting patiently and carefully sensing the right action for ourselves.

The Hanged Man offers an alternative way of being, a conscious and proactive method of living. Being in the present is of the utmost importance to living a happy life. Everything that happens in our lives happens in the present, so it is so necessary and helpful to be aware and fully conscious in the moment in order to experience real joy.  Happiness can only exist in the present, since the future will never come and the past is left far behind us.  The Hanged Man is present in the joy of the moment, dwelling not long on the past or hoping longingly for a future that will always be a ways off.  I think The Hanged Man can be a very hopeful card for creating a time of joy and peace and I emphasize this in my tarot readings.

The Hanged Man Shadowscapes Tarot

The Hanged Man
Shadowscapes Tarot

One ritual that this card pointedly indicates is to try and see things from a different perspective. So often we get immersed completely in our personal drama and lose our ability to see alternatives or ways out.  Getting a tarot reading is often a sign that a person wants outside advice and comparatively objective viewpoints on her/his life situation. It is only a first step, though. The huge next impulse is to do something, change your outlook, opinion, habits, attitudes, etc. That’s hard, and maybe it’s too big of a leap for a second step.  It’s one thing to hear someone else tell you, or to tell yourself, that things need to change, and another thing to actually do something about it. The Hanged Man can be a practical stepping stone to action.  He says, just chill and keep your eyes and your heart open until it makes sense.  It’s not about doing with The Hanged Man, it’s about observing and waiting. It’s about getting in touch with serenity instead of acting blindly or impulsively. That can be tough when your whole being wants to act and The Hanged Man asks for inaction.  He’s practically a command to go meditate, which is scary and hard for some people, but is proven to be so helpful and enlightening.

I hope you enjoyed my take on how The Hanged Man can be viewed in a positive light and put some of that “distasteful” feeling aside when you see it come up in a reading.  Please continue along on the Tarot Blog Hop using the links below to see what my fellow hoppers have to say about interpreting unpleasant tarot cards in productive ways.  Happy Beltane!


16 thoughts on “Beltane Tarot Blog Hop: The Hanged Man

  1. I really like this card, be present but as a expectador and not an actor.
    Enjoy being hang, it is a chance to sit back and relax.

    • Yes, I love to see this card because it says to me that I should just be quiet and observing, which sounds like a nice break from always striving to get somewhere! Where are we all trying to get so fast?!

  2. I think the unease that some folks get around HM is a sign if the times… people feel that they always have to be doing something, filling every hour wit activity etc… sometimes we need that necessary pause… to actively do nothing and ‘waste’ time in wonderful ways… 🙂

    • I totally agree! The culture of BUSY! that we live in is tough and kind of ridiculous. Why is it so cool to have way too much to do?! It can be difficult to convince a person that they will be happier doing less when we are constantly bombarded by messages that doing more is what will make us happy.

  3. We are very impatient these days. Everything must be now, instant gratification. We send and email and expect and immediate reply, as though nobody has anything better to do that await out missives. We order something online and get annoyed if it’s not delivered the next day, when once we would have been fine with waiting 28 days, almost a whole month. That the Hanged Man is found distasteful is, I think, a reflection of this impatience.

    • I am definitely guilty of overchecking my inbox hoping for a speedy reply to my latest “missive” 🙂 It can be so helpful to reflect on the Hanged Man and ask myself how important this email (or whatever it is that I want RIGHT NOW) is in the grand scheme of my life purpose. It’s always not very important when taken in that larger perspective or what I want to accomplish as a person.

    • Yeah, I’ve definitely let a few clients down with the news that things aren’t going to immediately be totally different. People don’t usually want to hear that they have some work to do, especially meditative inner work, before they will see real change in life. I try to include some action steps when the Hanged Man appears, even if the first action step is to stop and sit quietly for 5 minutes every day.

  4. Having a strong dash of Queen of Wands, I admit to sometimes being impatient when I can’t be “doing”. The message to accept simply “being” is always a good one 🙂

    • It can be so wonderful to just check in with yourself and focus on how you are feeling physically, emotionally and mentally. Who are you right at this moment? A few peaceful moments can open up big doors into creativity and innovation that can lead to some super purposeful “doing”!

  5. I completely agree. With the way our society is it is the normal to always be doing something to never slow down. I have personally felt a calling to engage in inner meditative work and work on what’s internal. That I think produces more results than anything that we can do on this physical realm. It is an honor to receive the hanged man and be reminded of how powerful our thoughts and our minds really are.

  6. I’m usually quite happy when this card shows up – I can always benefit from slowing down and being ‘in the now’, rather than racing ahead of myself. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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