7 ways to interpret tarot reversals

7 Ways to Interpret Tarot Reversals

7 ways to interpret tarot reversals

As I have explained in a previous post, I stopped using Tarot reversals more than a decade ago. It might surprise you to know that many Tarot professionals do not use them, especially since most of the Tarot books for beginners tend to include them. Not only do they include them but they make reversals seem kind of obligatory to use. This is a shame because I think you need to be able to choose for yourself. What works best may depend on how your brain is wired. If you are more of an intuitive reader you may find it difficult to stick with a binary system that includes reversals, for instance. Nevertheless, in today’s post, we cover some reasons why working with reversals might be a good idea and also share seven different ways to interpret Tarot reversals.

Do you use reversals? Let me know in the comments!

Pros of Reading with Reversals

While some Tarot readers may feel uncomfortable with reversals, incorporating them into readings can offer significant benefits. Reversals can serve as a way to add depth to the interpretation, presenting a nuanced view that might not be apparent with upright cards alone. This alternative perspective can be especially valuable for the beginner looking to explore the full spectrum of meaning within the cards.

Additionally, reversals can act as a tool to highlight areas in a querent’s life that may require more attention or suggest internal conflicts and repressed feelings. For readers who traditionally do not use reversals, experimenting with them might open up a new dimension of the cards, lending an unexpected layer of insight and a more comprehensive understanding of the reading.

How to Incorporate Reversals

When considering incorporating a smaller number of reversed cards into your readings—around 10-20% of the deck—deliberation in shuffling is key to ensuring an appropriate distribution. To achieve this, separate a fraction of the deck, roughly one-fifth or less, and turn these cards 180 degrees to reverse them. Gently recombine this portion with the rest of the upright deck and shuffle all the cards thoroughly. Overhand shuffling or cutting the deck into smaller stacks and riffle shuffling each before reassembling can be effective methods. This technique will help maintain a balance between upright and reversed cards, preventing an overrepresentation of either in your Tarot readings, thus creating the desired subtle blend of energies for nuanced interpretations.

7 Ways to Interpret Tarot Reversals

Below you will find some of the ways to interpret Tarot reversals. I recommend sticking to just one of these when you first begin using reversals. Do a few readings and see how this perspective works for you before trying the next one. Once you have worked with all of them separately, you can allow your inner guidance to show you which interpretation is the correct one.

1. Blocked or Delayed Energy

Reversed Tarot cards can symbolise that the card’s traditional energy or message is blocked or delayed in some manner. It might not be fully manifesting in the querent’s life, or there could be external factors hindering the process. This perspective invites reflection on potential obstacles or challenges that need to be addressed.

2. Internalisation of Energy

When a card appears reversed, it can indicate that its energies are being internalised rather than expressed outwardly. The querent might be struggling with the themes of the card on a very personal level, pointing towards introspection, personal challenges, or psychological issues that might be at play.

3. Opposite Meaning

One of the more straightforward interpretations of a reversal is to consider it as the opposite of the card’s upright meaning. This approach suggests a dichotomy where the reversal signifies the absence or negation of the card’s standard implications, urging a reevaluation of the circumstances in contrast to the expected.

4. Exacerbated Traits

Reversals might also highlight an exaggeration or an intensified aspect of the card’s meaning. This can represent situations or personality traits that have gone to extremes, suggesting an imbalance that may be causing distress or complications in the querent’s life. In this instance, the reversal acts as a symbolic exclamation mark.

5. A Call to Action

A reversed card can function as a call to action, signalling that the querent needs to address the issues represented by the card with urgency. It may denote a situation that requires rectification or a proactive approach to prevent further setbacks or negative outcomes.

6. Reflection and Retrospection

The inverted position of a Tarot card could invite the querent to reflect on past actions or situations related to the card’s theme. It’s an opportunity for learning and gathering wisdom from past experiences, using what has transpired to inform current decisions and paths.

7. Unrecognised Potential

Lastly, a reversal can indicate unrecognized or untapped potential. The card might suggest hidden talents, overlooked opportunities, or resources that the querent has not yet leveraged. This viewpoint encourages the exploration of strengths or possibilities that may be lying dormant.

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