Tarot Meaning
Tarot Meaning: The 78 Tarot cards, their meanings in divination and free online reading.
By Stefan Stenudd
Stefan Stenudd
About me
I'm a Swedish writer and astrologer. In addition to fiction, I've written books about astrology as well as Taoism and other East Asian traditions. I'm also a historian of ideas, researching the thought patterns in creation myths. My personal website: stenudd.com

Tarot Meaning & Online Reading

Tarot Online Reading

Major Arcana

Minor Arcana

The Celtic Cross

Tarot Card Decks

The Rider-Waite Tarot

Tarot vs. Playing Cards

What to Make of It

Tarot Copyright

Tarot Unfolded

Contact




Other Divination:

Complete Horoscope
Complete Horoscope
How predictions are done by classical astrology and the complete horoscope, with many examples.

I Ching Online
I Ching Online
The 64 hexa­grams of the Chinese classic I Ching and what they mean in divination. Try it online for free.


Major Arcana
Click the image to get the Tarot card reading.

The Fool Tarot Card The Magician Tarot Card The High Priestess Tarot Card The Empress Tarot Card The Emperor Tarot Card The Hierophant Tarot Card The Lovers Tarot Card The Chariot Tarot Card Strength Tarot Card The Hermit Tarot Card Wheel of Fortune Tarot Card Justice Tarot Card The Hanged Man Tarot Card Death Tarot Card Temperance Tarot Card The Devil Tarot Card The Tower Tarot Card The Star Tarot Card The Moon Tarot Card The Sun Tarot Card Judgement Tarot Card The World Tarot Card


Books by Stefan Stenudd:

Your Health in Your Horoscope, by Stefan Stenudd.

Your Health in Your Horoscope
This book shows you what your horoscope says about your health, according to the old tradition of medical astrology. You learn what the planets, the Zodiac signs and the other ingredients of the horoscope reveal about many health issues. Click the image to see the book (and Kindle ebook) at Amazon.


The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man

The Meaning of the Hanged Man
Major Arcana Tarot Card in Readings


The Tarot Hanged Man card meaning in a nutshell:
Great personal sacrifice
that still doesn't hurt much.

The Tarot Hanged Man card is about personal sacrifice, of course. But this figure seems not to be broken, although hanging upside-down. He will bounce right back, as soon as he manages to get free. It's not that he heals easily. The Tarot Hanged Man is one of the few who is not hurt to begin with, as if invul­nerable. Maybe that's what tempts other people to use him as a scapegoat.



     The Tarot Hanged Man has a halo, and not a small one at that. Hanging from the wooden structure it makes him look a bit like Jesus on the cross. The martyr. He's probably hanging upside-down not to bear too much resemblance to Christ. That would have been blasphemy in the time when this image took its shape.

     There's a parallel to the Tarot image of the Hanged Man in the early history of the Christians. The disciple Peter was crucified and asked to be done so upside-down, according to some old sources, because he felt unworthy of the same death as his master. Here's a painting of it by Caravaggio, made in 1601:


The Crucifixion of Peter. Painting by Caravaggio, 1601.


     But the Tarot Hanged Man is a martyr that neither dies nor suffers that tremendously. He has a way of shaking it off, the essence of which is his unharmed belief in the universal power of good. An optimist, indeed. Someone who loves life so much that he sees the light of it and not its shadows.

     When victimized by other people, and that happens frequently, the Tarot Hanged Man doesn't feel like a victim. When exposed to envy or even hate, he sees beyond it and pities the people who are so aggravated. The Tarot Hanged Man may even blame himself, but not for long. He has trust in all of mankind, however hard reality might whip him.

     So, in a Tarot reading the Hanged Man card indicates a sacrifice, maybe even a big one, but it will not be harmful at length. You will come out of it on top. Like they say: what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and in this case happier, too.


A. E. Waite's Texts
About the Tarot Hanged Man Card

12. The Hanged Man. This is the symbol which is supposed to represent Prudence, and Eliphas Levi says, in his most shallow and plausible manner, that it is the adept bound by his engagements. The figure of a man is suspended head-downwards from a gibbet, to which he is attached by a rope about one of his ankles. The arms are bound behind him, and one leg is crossed over the other. According to another, and indeed the prevailing interpretation, he signifies sacrifice, but all current meanings attributed to this card are cartomancists' intuitions, apart from any real value on the symbolical side. The fortune-tellers of the eighteenth century who circulated Tarots, depict a semi-feminine youth in jerkin, poised erect on one foot and loosely attached to a short stake driven into the ground.


The Inner Symbolism of the Tarot Hanged Man Card

The gallows from which he is suspended forms a Tau cross, while the figure - from the position of the legs - forms a fylfot cross. There is a nimbus about the head of the seeming martyr. It should be noted (1) that the tree of sacrifice is living wood, with leaves thereon; (2) that the face expresses deep entrancement, not suffering; (3) that the figure, as a whole, suggests life in suspension, but life and not death. It is a card of profound significance, but all the significance is veiled. One of his editors suggests that Eliphas Levi did not know the meaning, which is unquestionable nor did the editor himself. It has been called falsely a card of martyrdom, a card a of prudence, a card of the Great Work, a card of duty; but we may exhaust all published interpretations and find only vanity. I will say very simply on my own part that it expresses the relation, in one of its aspects, between the Divine and the Universe.

He who can understand that the story of his higher nature is imbedded in this symbolism will receive intimations concerning a great awakening that is possible, and will know that after the sacred Mystery of Death there is a glorious Mystery of Resurrection.


Divinatory Meaning of the Tarot Hanged Man Card

Wisdom, circumspection, discernment, trials, sacrifice, intuition, divination, prophecy. Reversed: Selfishness, the crowd, body politic.



The Tarot Major Arcana

  1. The Magician

  2. The High Priestess

  3. The Empress

  4. The Emperor

  5. The Hierophant

  6. The Lovers

  7. The Chariot

  8. Strength

  9. The Hermit

  10. Wheel of Fortune

  11. Justice

  12. The Hanged Man

  13. Death

  14. Temperance

  15. The Devil

  16. The Tower

  17. The Star

  18. The Moon

  19. The Sun

  20. Judgement

  21. The World

  22. The Fool


The Book

Tarot Unfolded, by Stefan Stenudd.
Tarot Unfolded

This book by Stefan Stenudd presents an imag­inative reading of the divination cards, which is the most appropriate for the Tarot since it consists of symbolic images. Several spreads are introduced, as well as the meanings of all the 78 cards and their pictures. Also, it gives many examples of symbolic and allegorical imagery within and beyond the Tarot. This book will help you find your own intuitive way of making inspired Tarot card readings. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.