I confess – I don’t usually read Tarot cards reversed. I always shuffle my deck so that all cards remain upright and if by chance a card happens to be reversed, I turn it right side up.
Why? Because I feel that incorporating reversals often adds unnecessary messiness and confusion. It’s like watching a foreign movie that’s dubbed and then trying to read lips and translate the other language and compare it with the language you heard to see how it matches up. Arrrgghhh!
Maybe that’s a bad analogy…but you get my drift! You don’t want to make extra work for yourself if you don’t have to. But having said that….
A few Tarot pros – namely Mary K. Greer and Radleigh Valentine – have inspired me to try reading with reversals. And you know what? It’s FUN!!!
So why read Tarot cards reversed? For starters, it adds a new dimension to your readings and it spices things up. It’s like adding a pinch of cayenne to your reading (or a red lacy thong).
When should you read with reversals? Only when you are totally bored of reading your Tarot cards upright. When that no longer feels challenging for you, its time to consider incorporating reversals. However, if you are just learning Tarot or still find it challenging enough, don’t bother with reversals, it will just make your head hurt!
Okay, so here’s the BIG question: How do I read a reversed Tarot card?
In 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card, Mary K. Greer describes 13 different ways to read Tarot reversals. Such as seeing a reversed tarot card as blocked, unavailable, unconscious, overturned or changing direction (to name a few).
So there isn’t just ONE way to read a reversal. You can experiment and see what fits best (and I will be writing more about this in future blog posts).
But if you are brand-new to reading Tarot reversals, its best to start with a simple approach so you don’t drive yourself bat-shit crazy.
When I was at Doreen Virtue’s Certified Angel Card Reader workshop in April, co-teacher Radleigh Valentine explained reversals this way:
When a Tarot card is reversed, it simply means that you need to pay extra attention to that card. The card’s message is just that much stronger. So if you do a reading and one or two cards are reversed, you would give special emphasis to those reversed Tarot cards.
For example, lets say you get The Empress upright in your reading. The message may be that your sense of creativity and abundance is at an all time high. Yay! But if you get The Empress reversed it means holy shit! You need to pay attention to your creative yearnings because this is IMPORTANT!!!!
So by now you might be thinking well which is it? Do I read reversals as “blocks” or do I read them with “emphasis”?! Give me something solid I can go on here.
Here’s a super-juicy secret about reading Tarot cards:
You communicate to your deck how you will read with it, not the other way around.
Next time you do a reading, shuffle the deck so that at least 1/4 of the cards are reversed. Hold your deck in your hands, close your eyes and mentally tell your deck that you intend to read the reversed Tarot cards in the same way you would if they were upright, only with a stronger emphasis.
Now your deck knows what language to use when communicating to you.
So you don’t need to worry that you are wrongly interpreting the reversed cards. If you intend to interpret them that way, you are doing it right. So don’t be thinking “but what if it is actually indicating a block?” It isn’t. Unless you intend that all reversed cards symbolize blocks.
So once you’ve got your reversed card (or cards) in front of you, try reading it upright first and then reversing it again. Notice how reversing it changes the vibe or meaning for you.
In the comments below, tell me what reversed Tarot cards you got when you tried this. How did it deepen the reading for you? Do you normally read reversed cards? If so, what is your method?