Shifting Perspectives With The Hanged Man

Shifting Perspectives With The Hanged Man May 2, 2018

Image Credit: Yannawit Dhammasaro | Standard License

Over the years I’ve picked up many different techniques of interpretation with tarot readings in my tarot practice. I’ve developed a method that mixes traditional interpretations with unconventional methods, intuition, and psychic ability. Each tarot card can mean many different things and the traditional meanings have evolved and shifted several times over its history. The interpretation of the cards tend to be a very personal practice and a card’s meaning can shift depending on surrounding cards, the specific deck being used, or any psychic or intuitive information that is coming to the reader.

Some of the more common standard interpretations of the Hanged Man card involves surrender, sacrifice, and seeing things from a different perspective. It is the latter that I want to focus on. I wanted to share a method that I sometimes incorporate an out-of-the-box method when it comes to the Hanged Man card in the tarot that came to me when meditating on the card. I have found it super helpful in gaining a deeper level of understanding in readings.

While meditating on the Hanged Man in a reading a few years back, I strongly sensed that the card was relaying that something was not being seen correctly by the client and that an alternative perspective was needed to bring her happiness. But what was it? I decided to “dive” into the card with my mind’s eye and take on the role of the Hanged Man in the card to see if I could get more clarity. This is a practice that many tarot readers will engage in. While “being” the Hanged Man I began to take a look around. What would the hanged man see that would give him the halo of clarity depicted on his card?

Then it struck me! I realized that of course he’d be looking at everything upside down and the things that he’d see upside down would be right-side up for him. The alternative perspective would be all the reversed cards in the spread, read in isolation of the other cards to form a new message – but the cards would be read as if they were right-side up – because it’s the Hanged Man’s viewpoint and perspective. This would deliver a completely new message of a perspective not being seen that should be for the situation.

For example, let’s say you’re doing a eight card spread and you receive the following cards:

Ace of Cups (Reversed)
Three of Swords
The Hanged Man
Two of Swords
Two of Cups (Reversed)
The Fool (Reversed)

The Hanged Man’s point of view would be: Ace of Cups, Two of Cups, The Fool – so those three cards would be read in combination as if they were right-side up to see what the shift in perspective should be. This technique brings a whole new level of insight and clarity to the reading, as well as providing a bit of guidance on what they should be focusing on. So while in the main reading the cards would be read as reversed with all the other tarot cards, the new layer of meaning would focus solely on the reversed cards and be read upright.

Image Credit: Дмитрий Филин | Standard License

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15 Ways To Interpret Tarot Reversals

Reversed cards can be intimidating for someone new to tarot. While some may choose to ignore them as having any different meaning reversed or may choose to remember their alternate meanings (as provided in the Little White Books) – it doesn’t have to be that way. Learning the meanings of 78 cards is a lot in itself, doubling that to 156 can be completely overwhelming. Reversals can bring a lot more layers and nuances to a reading that can be missed if reversals are just ignored. Here I’ve shared the 15 different methods of reading reversal cards that I teach in my in-person tarot workshops. This is available for Patreon supporters with the tier “In The Know Jackalope” and higher.


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