I remember the first time I saw this card. A friend of mine who was a Tarot reader did a reading for me, and was my first exposure to Tarot cards. I was left with the impression that things did not look good when The Hanged Man appeared in the spread. It retrospect it was very accurate and relevant to what I was experiencing then, which was a lot of emotional turmoil leaving me confused, and anxious about the future. I was hoping to find some sort of control over my situation, and this card didn't give me a lot of reassurance upon first seeing it.
The Hanged Man represents taking a break, waiting things out, distancing and withdrawal from all the turmoil in order to find a semblance of normalcy and balance again.
When we take this time, it's an opportunity to regroup, but mostly I think it's a lesson in patience, and that can feel like a sacrifice. I've never been the most patient person and it's something I've had to mindfully work at. Being an artist I suppose has helped me, because the creative process is a discipline which requires some patience and constant reassessment. Creating art is something I do as a creative person and it's what I love, so I don't think it is that difficult. I do have to step back to reassess and try to find a way to get an different perspective by distancing myself. Looking at my art work in a mirror helps me to see things in a way I wouldn't normally see.
However it's a different scenario when I've found myself in situations that I don't like or even hate, and are very challenging for one reason or another. This is the time my patience is really tested. I can choose to either persevere and work through it or throw up my arms in defeat and just give up. Fortunately I'm stubborn and I don't give up too easily. Eventually have to come to a level of comfort and calm with my situation, which is a big part of practicing patience, trusting in the unseen workings of my psyche, waiting, often with fear and anxiety, but with much hope.
The Greek Myth about Prometheus embodied in the Major Arcana card The Hanged Man, is pretty gruesome involving chains, an eagle and poor Prometheus's liver, but in spite of all this there is a good and merciful outcome!
As my grade nine Geography once said under her breath to her group of teen aged out of control class. patience is a virtue.