The Hanged Man (XII) Reversed

(Card Descriptions Based On Original Rider-Waite Colors – Still Under US Games Inc. Copyright)



When The Hanged Man Reverses he suggests that you have not heeded his message.  You refuse to go in and instead struggle to remain in control and on top of a situation that is not to be, or not working. You may be absorbed or obsessed with the material world of having and getting.  Your inner voice cannot compete with the noise and din from the outward fight. If you do not take the time out now to reflect, you will repeat the same mistakes again and again until you learn the lesson. A word of warning from the Spirit World. Each time a lesson is not learned, it will return to you again and again, but each time it returns it will have become even more challenging.   On the other hand it can suggest that there are a lot of demands on you at present which make you feel tied up and restricted. You may long to be free and have a bit of time to yourself and to think, but your obligations right now prohibit such luxuries.

The Reversed Hanged Man may indicate that you are hanging onto a relationship that is not working because you couldn’t be bothered to either sort it out or get out of it.  You may be jumping from one disastrous relationship to another and laying the blame on your partner all the time.  If you bothered to take the time to reflect on why this happens all the time, you might see a pattern and learn a thing or two. The Hanged Man Reversed can suggest you are fighting your inner-self in some way.

In his Reversed Aspect, he can suggest a time when you have lost faith in life and think it will never get any better. Remember, that life is constantly in motion and that this time too will pass. It is a time to strive for acceptance, resignation, and a search for inner-peace. On the other hand The Reversed Hanged Man may indicate that the difficult time is just about over and that life is beginning to pick up again.

There can be a tendency to selfishness and hidden motives as The Reversed Hanged Man appears to hide or conceal something behind his back. He can also appear to show off as he balances on the tree, tiptoed on one leg.  When Reversed you may not be as quick to volunteer for a worthy cause, or may volunteer only to pull out again. You may appear to be kind and charitable on the outside yet secretly resent giving anything or making any sacrifices. Maybe you don’t give a second thought to sacrificing all those around you to get where you are going.

Back To The Hanged Man (XII)  Upright

Back to Lesson 5

The Fool Upright  The Fool Reversed

The Magician Upright  The Magician Reversed

The High Priestess Upright   The High Priestess Reversed

The Empress Upright   The Empress Reversed

The Emperor Upright    The Emperor Reversed

The Heirophant Upright    The Heirophant Reversed

The Lovers Upright     The Lovers Reversed

The Chariot Upright   The Chariot Reversed

Strength Upright     Strength Reversed

The Hermit Upright   The Hermit Reversed

The Wheel of Fortune Upright   The Wheel of Fortune Reversed

Justice Upright   Justice Reversed

The Hanged Man Upright   The Hanged Man Reversed

Death Upright     Death Reversed

Temperence Upright     Temperence Reversed

The Devil Upright   The Devil Reversed

The Tower Upright     The Tower Reversed

The Star Upright     The Star Reversed

The Moon Upright    The Moon Reversed

The Sun Upright     The Sun Reversed

Judgement Upright      Judgement Reversed

The World Upright     The World Reversed


Lesson 1   Lesson 2    Lesson 3   Lesson 4



12 replies »

  1. Will you by any chance upload a page where you can see what a card means in a particular position?
    Like now I have the hanged man reversed as card 8 (celtic cross)
    And I have absolutely no idea what to think of this..


    • Hi R,

      I know what you mean. I have been uploading practice readings and also will do several exercises for reading cards in different positions. I am writing each day and building the course bit by bit but there is only one of me and so much to do. However, even with the exercises, a lot will come down to personal interpretation. Your Hanged Man lies in position 8 of the Celtic Cross but that is not the only information you need to be looking at. The remaining cards in the reading and your question all need to be taken into consideration. As a stand alone reading, such as a one Card Reading, The Hanged Man again will have many meanings but your question is very important and your initial response to the card upon viewing it. There are also many different versions of the Celtic Cross and allocated positions. Position 8 has different meanings depending on the type of celtic cross you are using.

      Let me know the position and allocated meaning and question and I will see if I can help you through any light on it.




  2. Well ,I kinda dismissed that reading as I couldn’t make sense of it(and thought it had a “definite” meaning at that particular place for some reason)
    Though , I did a new reading just a few minutes ago , it’s more of an “open reading” as in I’ll just see what the cards tell me..
    If you’d like to share your thoughts about them that would be great but I wont expect anything of you as that would be disrespectful ofcourse…
    1. 7 of pentacles reversed
    2. 8 of pentacles reversed
    3. the tower
    4. 5 of wands reversed
    5. temperance reversed
    6. the high priestess
    7. king of swords reversed
    8. 6 of pentacles
    9. queen of swords
    10. death.

    I kind of had relationships in the back of my head during this reading , and it doesnt quite make sense..
    And that would be great to read , don’t your fingers hurt from all the typing?


    • Hi R,

      Can you let me know the type of Celtic Cross you are using, as in what each position means, as this Spread has many variations. I also need to ask if you are reversing a lot of cards when you are shuffling etc., as half of your cards are reversed. It is advisable not to reverse large numbers of cards otherwise you will get a very heavy reading. Shuffle, reverse a few, shuffle again, reverse a few and maybe one more shuffle to a reverse a few. What I mean by a few is between 1 to 4. As you shuffle after each reverse, some that you have already reversed may become upright again. This is normal.

      I will need that information before I can come to any conclusions. However, you say that even though this was an open reading, you did have relationships in the back of your mind. From the cards you have selected this is quite a loaded reading and suggests many, many blocks to you having successful relationships. There may have been a disastrous or traumatic incident in the past and with the Death Card as the outcome, then massive transformation and change will be necessary if you are to make progress in this area.

      I really need to know the positions you are working with. If you can get them to me, I will help you with your Reading but will not do a full one for you. This is nothing to do with money but for you to understand how the cards work you must, be able to figure it out yourself. I also suggest you do not skip any of the lesson work that I have provided to date. You need to study the cards as best as possible so that you will understand their general associations. You do not need to know everything, but knowledge is power. It is also important for you to understand the nature, qualities and characteristics of the Elements as per the Suits, Wands, Cups, Air and Earth.

      I will wait for you to get back to me. Please bear in mind that this is a holiday weekend in Ireland and I will be out and about but I will get back to you in the next couple of days.

      R, I will also be introducing a system which will allow, people like yourself, to post me a Reading, Cards drawn etc. I will then post the Reading with relevant question and mini background with it on the site for open viewing. No personal details given such as name or email address, but will be letting the readers know whether it is a man or woman and general age group. Any reader or student will be free to do their own interpretation, but they will need to explain how they are arriving at their conclusions so that other students can learn from each other. We all have something to teach each other, even seasoned readers can learn something new from their students. Tarot is constantly evolving and adapting as each new generation comes along.




      • Hi Vivien,

        I see it has multiple meanings now? I always perform it as is described in the little book you get with the rider-waite pack but without a ‘chosen’ significator , I don’t know if you happen to have it laying around so I’ll post it here ;

        1 first card which I think describes the “atmosphere” of the issue
        2. obstacles
        3. represents the best I can arrive at or what “crowns” me.
        4. this is beneath me and what I can work with
        5.this is what I’m passing away from
        6. this is what is coming into action
        7. Myself/attitude
        8. environment and people around me
        9. hopes fears (or unexpected element that could come into play)
        10. what will come

        and yes I’m in a complex situation , another celtic cross spread told me that this “relation” was meant to be (the lovers & judgement) but all in all I suppose it’s telling me that I need to learn to move away from it or just learn how to break up with people , as this girl is very very self conscious and doesn’t want to meet with me because she thinks we’ll break up anyways, that I probably wont like her after all..
        I really like her and I know she likes me too , and I want to help her but the whole situation is just odd and annoying..

        And yes I’ve read all the minor arcana lessons but apparently I forgot about the other two tabs , I’m on it , also do you have any tips for remembering more in one go?

        that lesson plan sounds good , though seasoned readers can learn more from beginners than beginners can learn from beginners, I do Kung Fu and my teacher says the same and I know what you mean but when you’re a beginner it’s best to learn the first part from someone who knows more about it, it sounds like a good idea though.

        I’m personally struggling with “adding the cards up” , to connect them and give it one “precise” meaning … as far as precise gets in the tarot..

        on a side note , It may sound weird but I don’t think I’ll have a serious relationship anytime soon , there’s just some weird force blocking it , it’s hard to describe but I just cant help it…


      • Oh and I (not)always reverse half the pack , than shuffle and reverse a bundle of +/-5 cards occasionally , I though that would be a good way…


      • Hi R,

        Sorry, I have been very busy and only getting to reply to you now. Half the pack is too many cards to be reversing and you are also reversing more as you shuffle. That is why you are getting so many reversed cards in your readings. All these reversed cards put a very negative slant on things and suggest more than mere blocks or delay.

        All the deck should be upright to start with and properly cleansed of previous readings. Shuffle whilst concentrating on your question, reverse a few (3/4) shuffle again, reverse a few (3/4), maybe repeat this once more or not depending on your gut feeling. Then draw your cards.

        Also the wording given for the positions in the little books is often confusing and complex. Sometimes they are too vague and the student reader is not clear what it actually means. Use a Celtic Cross Spread that uses simple language. Such as:

        Position 1 – The Issue at Present
        Position 2 – What the Challenge is surrounding the Issue
        Position 3 – The Past in relation to the issue
        Position 4 – The Future, where the issue is heading
        Position 5 – Above, what you are consciously aware of and striving for. The best outcome for the issue. What you want.
        Position 6 – Below, what is going on on a subconscious level. Deep emotions and psychological influences. The undercurrents that are influencing the issue. You may be aware of these on a deep level or not. If the card is reversed there is a good chance that you are not. Pay careful attention to the information it yields.
        Position 7 – Advice, how to move the issue forward.
        Position 8 – Surrounding Energies, the people, atmosphere and events that surround the person and the issue. These are influences that are largely out of your control.
        Position 9 – Hopes and Fears. If card is positive then hope is more dominant. If card is negative or reversed then fear is controlling the issue and blocking it from being resolved. Sometimes hopes and fears can be interlinked and inter-related. Hoping for something, but terrified of the implications of getting it. Such as the fear of success.
        Position 10 – The Outcome. This is the probable outcome and not set in stone. The Outcome based on the current trend, actions, feelings, attitude and behaviour of all involved. If it is a negative card it may be in the power of the querant to change it. If it is a Major Arcana Card, changing the trend may be more difficult and fixed.

        I will have a look at your reading again on Friday as I will be gone all day tomorrow. I suggest that you do another reading using the reversing method above but with the same question. Then compare the two readings. In the meantime I will have a look at your reading again. All the reversed cards may apply in the long run when I give it my full attention.

        Today, I posted the interpretation to a Practice Reading using the Horse Shoe Spread. This Spread is a simpler version of the Celtic Cross and maybe easier for you to use as a learning tool. The link to it is here.

        You will see how I connect the cards and arrive at my interpretation. It may be of assistance to you.

        Best of luck and I will get back to you as soon as I can.



  3. Hi Vivien,

    (your last post didn’t have a reply button)
    I’ve done a work-related reading in a way you described and the result is as follows :
    1.Page of cups
    2.5 of wands of swords (above)
    4.The moon (below)
    5.The hermit (left)
    6.10 of wands (right)
    7, Queen of cups
    8. The Star
    9. Ace of Wands
    10. 5 of cups (yikes)

    of course I always have a little bit of my relationship in the back of my mind but I don’t think this affects the reading ..

    This reading is fairly understandable since I had a vacation and spent a lot of time thinking about -a lot- (the hermit)
    the 10 of wands possibly suggests that I’m going to have to work an awful lot (I know for sure that this is going to be the case , because it was told to me today)
    I assume the page of cups is me / my actions since I’m overflowing with joyful emotions for no apparant reason , haha.
    I’m not sure about the 5 of wands , moon and page of swords though , I can make a mildly accurate reading but I’m going to wait with typing all of it out for if you want to hear it.
    This ace of wands/5 of cups combination is bothering me though as I’m currently wanting to pursue something different than what I’m busy with (working at a restaurant) and I wonder if I keep doing this work for the rest of this year , if I will end up disappointed or anything like that.

    I didn’t know if you wanted me to do another relationship spread , but I just did one about my work instead and I thought i might as well share..
    it looks interesting for sure , I also feel like dismissing that previous reading since I can’t get anything relatable out of it , besides that it’s going well now so I’m just going to take this for granted for a little while and maybe do another reading when my joy is less.. I assume a lot of it is okay now so I ‘d rather feel this feeling for a while..

    You don’t have to hurry or anything , just take your time because I don’t mind, I’m not a paying customer and I’m content just with you responding..



    • Hi R,

      Just having a quick look at your cards here and you say, you understand the relevance of the Page of Cups, Hermit and Ten of Wands. You say, that this is a work related question and that you are hoping to do something else but at present you are very busy, going to be even busier, working in a restaurant. The restaurant is not your career of choice though. The Page of Swords is who you are aspiring to be. You have plans, big plans and as you say, have lots to think about at the moment. The thing is there is always an undercurrent to wariness with The Page of Swords, a nervousness and tension. I think you may talk a lot about what you want to do but I believe the presence of The Moon representing the influencing forces of your subconscious highlight a deep inner fear. These are old fears that are surfacing and are possibly holding you back. What you want to do career wise, involves taking a brave and bold step forward onto a path that must be taken if you wish to succeed. Old insecurities niggle away behind the scenes and the Page of Swords with this influence can develop traits of procrastination as he is fearful of taking the first step or can make elaborate excuses as to why the time is not right (too busy in work).

      The Hermit certainly suggests that you are on a journey of discovery and this is something that started some time back. There is a real need to know who you are, what your talents are and what you should be doing. Only part of the way is lit and it is the Hermit who has the ability to step under the gaze of The Moon and stare right back at her, saying ‘I am not afraid of the path ahead and the perils I may have to face’. With regards to relationships always being in the background I feel that you can be alone without being lonely and that you do need your space. A lot of personal development is happening for you right now. However, there is some kind of inner struggle going on at present with the Five of Wands. I think you may have a lot on your plate at present and are trying to keep too many balls in the air. The Page of Cups is showing us your outwardly pleasing self, the side you say is overflowing with emotions, so why are we seeing the Five of Wands and the battle crossing you. Are you suppressing the personality of the Page of Swords, intelligent, challenging, opinionated, mentally alert, in favour of the quieter and softer Page of Cups. I believe you feel that your are not utilising your full potential at present and fear that life may pass by before you get a chance. You may not feel that you are in a position to be your true self in front of everyone else. This may be because your work life does not reflect your true self. In a restaurant you have to smile and the customer is always right, The Page of Cups (I have worked in hotels for years). I believe you think there is more to you than that but your path forward is blocked by inner fears.

      Your Queen of Cups and Star show significant creative talents and abilities that are waiting to be realised. You have a talent that you may be unsure of or holding back with. You may not have time for them at the moment if you are busy, but it is where your true happiness lies. It is with these talents you wish to make a new start (Ace of Wands). You hold high hopes for a brand new start, a launch. You want to get something off the ground. There are also other creative people around you who share your interests and I believe some of your talents have been inherited. Your Moon influence together with the nervous disposition of The Page of Swords may hinder this. The Ace of Wands offer you a taper of light to ignite your plans and future. It asks you to feel the fire within and to act boldly, to seize the day and the opportunity. If you think about it too long (Page of Swords) it may be too late or pass you by.

      I worry that your Five of Wands may represent regrets and disappointment as the result of too much influence of The Moon and the overly analytical mind of The Page of Swords, whether upright or reversed. . Don’t get so bogged down in work and all the extra work you have to do to the extent that you lose sight of where you are going under the pressure of it all (ten of Wands).

      Also, be careful about getting drawn into tension and arguments in work. With so much extra work on your shoulders tempers can flare and there may be open discord.

      I am not sure if this throws any light on your question but this is what has come across to me.



      • Hey Vivien ,

        Yes I must say that is very accurate , but you didn’t mention the 5 of cups? Also I’m going to ask a lot of questions at once now , if I may ..
        You mentioned the star and the queen of cups together show unrealized talents and abilities , how do you know these two together mean this? Is there a book you can recommend about these underlying connections? At the moment I’m reading ’78 degrees of wisdom’.
        However what you just said really “struck” me , I could clearly imagine what you meant and I wonder if that’s because you’re an excellent writer with a lot of experience or if there’s something deeper , as what you just said about the cards themselves made a lot of sense; the page of swords together with the moon and other combinations , when I read your reading it gives me the feeling that I can do the same for people but cant yet “access” this “place” that gives me that much insight in the whole thing (cards/feelings/connections , everything together I guess , it’s really hard for me to describe)

        And yes it did shed some light on my questions but it raised more , haha..
        I’ve done something now but I’m absolutely not sure of what’s going to happen now , I’m going to have to wait this one out.. thanks for your insight!


      • Hi R,

        There was no Five of Cups listed for your Reading. There was the Five of Wands and I spoke about that. In relation to your other question/s, I don’t think you will find any book that is going to give you meanings for the endless combinations that can occur in the Tarot. It is too vast an area. Unfortunately, there is no magic wand to be waved here, but if you are familiar with this saying ‘the penny will drop’ sooner or later, and when it does, you will say ‘aaaahhhh, now I get it’. It is a very individual thing and something that cannot be directly learned from a book. I believe you need to really get to know the individual cards and connect them to a story as I have done with many of the cards on my site. The Tarot is a vast, Universal Knowledge Story Book. It holds all our stories and we just have to learn its language.

        I am a great believer in reading, normal books that is, not the tarot. Reading novels; romance, thrillers, crime, historical etc. empowers the imagination and story-telling ability. What do you do when you watch a movie that is a thriller or drama? Do you sit there waiting for the final minutes to understand what is going on or do you try to work it out as you go along, with all the information at your disposal. Movies are just a series of images and pictures, clips that are chosen to tell the story. Dialogue is also very important, but with tarot you must use your imagination to hear what the characters are saying. For instance, I have a client who has just gone to Thailand to start a new life and expand their business. I drew two cards for them this morning. The World and the Eight of Pentacles. I am not going to go into their reading here as it is private but I could here the woman in the World shouting ‘look out world for here I come’ and ‘Yes, you have being very successful up to now, but don’t you dare rest on your laurels or get complacent. Just look over at the Eight of Pentacles, for this is what you have to remind yourself of before you get too carried away my dear. Hard work, commitment and keeping your eye on the ball now is very important. Keep your head down and even greater success will be yours if you work your ass off and don’t skimp on quality or standards. You have what it takes, but a lot will be expected of you. You are breaking into new territory now so you have a lot to learn yet. Good luck’

        A tarot blog I follow posted a great exercise which I re-blogged on this site. It suggested that when watching tv, be it news, movie or soap, have your deck of cards with you. Make sure they are cleansed and then concentrate on what is going on. Ask the cards questions in relation to what you are watching and try to interpret them before the tv offers answers. Then see if you came close to a match. If not, stare at the card and see if you can find connections and links that you have overlooked.

        It is very much down to looking beyond the obvious picture before you. A bit like stepping through the wardrobe in Narnia. You must enter the story to see what is going on. Like an actor takes on a character, the reader must do likewise. Personality profiling is very important. Get to know the various archetypal personalities, you will find them in the Court Cards, like you would your friends and family. Know what they are most likely to do and how they will act in any given situation. You will find archetypal situations in every movie, book or soap, they can also be found in the Minor Arcana stories.

        Do you see what I mean? Get the cards to speak to you. I will be posting some exercises soon in relation to connecting cards. However, they will only be examples and not for every card. I couldn’t possibly cover them all. I also have a chart that I will upload soon too which breaks down your spread and asks you to make the connections as you go.

        Yes, I have a vivid imagination and do write a lot so it is easier for me, but I think you maybe trying too hard. The harder you try to find the story and make the connections the more they will elude you. I pull my two cards each day and sometimes they make no sense to me.However, I keep them by my computer as I work and as the day progresses, their meaning begins to filter through. If not I take a look at them before bed and think back on my day. I usually kick myself for not getting it earlier, as by that time it is crystal clear to me. It is a great way of getting used to linking cards and discovering their subtle implications.

        Best of Luck,



  4. Hey Vivien ,

    I see, thank you for your help , also I would like to ask a final thing , I did a relationship spread reading and the challenge of the relationship was the two of cups , which confused me thoroughly… it felt like it said “you’re fat and you’re currently eating healthy , eating healthy is your challenge!” … and as I’ve made this comparison up on the spot I just wondered if it meant maintaining the relationship is the challenge… but since it’s a stage card it still gives a weird vibe .. the rest of the spread is very clear though.

    And not a question but I’m amazed at how accurate the description of the page of cups is , I even collected stones and crystals when I was a kid , it’s just creepy in a cool way 😀

    Anyways ,thanks for your help!



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