The Major Arcana in Depth
12. The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man, the twelfth Major Arcana card, signifies surrender, sacrifice, and the need for a shift in perspective. It emphasizes the importance of releasing control, accepting the unknown, and being open to change and transformation. The card serves as a reminder to remain composed during uncertain times and embrace new experiences for personal growth. In some readings, the Hanged Man can represent feeling stuck or the need to let go of beliefs, habits, or relationships to make way for new opportunities and growth.

Illustrating the power of surrender and the importance of seeing things from a different angle, the central figure is typically portrayed as a man hanging upside-down from a tree or a wooden structure, such as a crossbeam or a T-shaped post. His legs are often crossed, forming the shape of an inverted number four, and his arms may be positioned behind his back or tied to the structure.

The figure's inverted position symbolizes the need to let go of preconceived notions and embrace a new perspective in order to gain a deeper understanding of oneself and the world. The presence of the tree or wooden structure represents the individual's connection to the earth and the natural cycles of life, as well as the idea that growth and transformation often require sacrifice and surrender.

The Hanged Man's serene expression, despite his seemingly uncomfortable position, signifies the power of acceptance and the importance of remaining calm and composed in the face of uncertainty or adversity. This expression also alludes to the idea that true wisdom and insight can only be gained by embracing change and being open to new experiences and perspectives.

When the Hanged Man appears in a Tarot reading, it often signifies the need for surrender, sacrifice, and a shift in perspective. This card encourages the querent to let go of their attachments, release control, and be open to the unknown in order to facilitate personal growth and transformation. The Hanged Man also serves as a reminder of the importance of staying calm and composed in the face of uncertainty, as well as the value of accepting change and embracing new viewpoints.

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