The Hanged Man is a card of sacrifice, letting go, waiting and suspension. It's easy to see the Christian symbology in a man hanging on a cross and the theme of self sacrifice with this card. The glowing light behind his head symbolising his martyrdom. There are two main themes to this card, the first being the idea of progressing, achieving or obtaining a goal through sacrificing something else. The second theme is that of suspension or pause to activities. Some depictions of The Hanged Man show money falling from a purse and financial loss or expenses can also be a factor in the sacrifice.
The old name for The Hanged Man is The Traitor. In the middle ages in Italy traitors were hanged by a single foot from a tree. This old meaning can still apply and as a person it can be someone who has betrayed and is being punished.
Numerology: The Hanged Man has the number 12 in the major arcana. This is reduced in numerology to 3 (1+2). The number 3 is the number of self expression, joy, social gatherings and creativity. The message and advice hidden in the numerology of The Lone Man is one of getting out more and being social, being expressive and creative.
Never forget that Tarot deals with symbology and that this card may, in its simplest interpretation, refer to giving up a point of view and seeing things differently. The world looks different when you are hanging upside down!
Other online descriptions of The Hanged Man:
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