The Hanged Man is a key figure in the soul's journey. He represents initiation. In some decks (like the Rider-Smith) he is hanging from a cross linking his suffering with the martyrdom of Christ. This interpretation is reinforced by the halo. The upside-down pose of the Hanged Man represents a reversal in attitude and perception, but can also be indicative of a loss of position. He is going through an ordeal, willingly, to further his goal.
Below you can view the various artistic interpretations of the The Hanged Man card.
The Hanged Man is observing life from a new point of view.
Upside down. Heels over head.
He hangs on for dear life because everything has changed.
The poles of the compass have shifted.
This is the long dark night of the soul.
Logic has its limits. The mind must give up its certainties.
This is the time to trust the right-brain intuitive skills.
It is very painful to hang in this position between two worlds.
You must use the Strength gained in the Hermit and the Wheel of Fortune.
The only way to endure at this point is to remain centered.
You must act from your own truth. Trust your guts.
You must penetrate beyond the reflection of things to see naked truth;
to discern the authentic in the midst of the mirage;
to see that which has been reflected.
Come out of the cave.
Your new understandings are in contradiction to former values and convictions.
What was once thought to be right is now wrong.
The rules of the game have been switched.
Up is down and down is up.
This is the terrible fear that you might be losing your mind.
Itís like changing channels too fast. Disorientation and confusion.
Itís the crazy-maker. Which way is up?
Can you trust your gut feelings?
Can you act in a genuine, spontaneous way?
Are you hanging in there?