According to A.E. Waite, the Hanged Man is not a card of death, but of suspended life. We see in the artwork that instead of torment, the man is entranced, and rather than gallows, he is hanging from a live tree.
"self-sacrifice for the sake of self-improvement"
It’s hard for me to draw this card and not immediately think of Woden, sacrificing himself by hanging from a tree to gain the knowledge of the runes, and it’s that ideal that sticks with me: self-sacrifice for the sake of self-improvement.
This may be the student buried in debt and lacking time for friends or family, struggling to better themselves. Or, it could be the shift-worker putting in extra overtime hoping for a raise or promotion. The card is a reminder that some things require you make a great sacrifice of yourself for your own betterment, and to remember that some day your will reap what you’ve sown.
When things get difficult, visualize the end product. See yourself with all of the knowledge, luxury, security, or whatever else that you are working so hard for and sacrificing so much to attain. You, and who you want to be, are worth the struggle. Blessed be!