Key 12 - The Hanged Man

Key 12 - The Hanged Man

Surrendering oneself to higher wisdom.


  • intuitive wisdom 
  • inner processes 
  • personal sacrifice 
  • enlightenment 
  • deja’vu experience 
  • to let oneself go 

There is wisdom in relation to spiritual matters. Prophetic powers seem to be indicated. You can expect big changes that will require you to adapt. After a short pause in your life, surrendering onself can lead to transformation. Wisdom will continue to grow through this phase of your life as your pathway becomes clearer to you. Material temptation will be conquered.

In-depth Description

A man is shown hung upside down from the tree of sacrifice, a gallows known as a tau cross. His one leg drops down behind the other, forming yet another called a fylfot cross. His arms are behind his back. Around his head can be seen a halo which indicates that he may have been a martyr. However his expression seems to be that of deep thought or trance and not suffering.

This man's attitude, position and posture, lend credence to the utter dependency of human personality on the Tree of Cosmic Life.

We have in this card self-surrender to a higher wisdom. There is spiritual growth. He has discarded his personal self and is concentrating on the emotional and mystical state of life. It is a complete reversal of his usual state of life.

In a reading you can expect massive changes with a need to adapt to new ideas. As difficulties begin to wane, the way will become clearer to the seeker. His wisdom will definitely increase. You should expect to conquer your materialist temptations during this time of growth. It will however, require a pause in one's life while you make this self-surrender leading to the transformation.


  • false prophecy 
  • selfishness 
  • egotism 
  • materialism 
  • loss of faith 

Be wary of false prophecy. There could be selfishness, egotism, excessive materialism and a loss of faith. A false sense of security may arise. Don't make unnecessary sacrifices for selfish reasons.

Illustrations from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck®, known also as the Rider Tarot and the Waite Tarot, reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Copyright© 1971 by U.S. Games, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited. The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck® is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Inc.