Do you use reversals in Tarot readings? I have been thinking some more about reversals lately and realise it’s been nearly three years since I last wrote about them. A lot can happen in three years. My views on reading with reversals have become more clearly defined and my own reading style has matured.
1. It’s just not natural – When I did my first ever Tarot reading, before I had studied or read any books about it, it didn’t even occur to me to put the cards upside down. What did occur to me was to just put the cards down, look at the pictures and see what they had to say. Simples. Years later, when I started serious Tarot studies, I read a books that insisted that you get a wider range of meanings by allowing the cards mix together so that about half of them turn out reversed in the reading. I persisted with this inorganic way of reading until the day I got my first round deck and things just clicked…
2. Reversals limit the expression of the cards – This is what I realised when I started reading with the Circle of Life Tarot which is a round deck. What was the point in doing reversals when there are 360 different meanings? Why limit yourself to two? Working with the round cards, I first allowed them to fall any which way and tried to interpret them to as exact a degree I could… and then I realised that it doesn’t matter! The cards themselves will tell me where in the spectrum they fall if I put them upright. It is also much easier to get an overview of the spread this way.
3. Dignities work better when you are clairsentient – Working with Elemental Dignities allows me to tune into the energy of the cards and how that energy meets with adjacent cards. Coming from a dance background, I need to feel the card’s energy in my body and the visual confusion caused by a reversal just makes that more difficult.
4. I love art – Most of the decks I get, I purchase because I enjoy the artwork. Putting a card upside down is not how the artist intended the image to be viewed in most cases. The only exception I know of is the Revelations Tarot deck by Zach Wong, which has reversals painted into it. I may not be terribly clairvoyant but viewing the artwork carefully and using it as a springboard is honing my clairvoyance in a way that would simply not be possible with upside down cards.
5. I want to hear the cards – After clairsentience, clairaudience is my strongest clair. I need to hear what the cards have to say. If I invited you around for a chat and asked you to do a handstand, the chat may soon get a bit awkward – especially if we are discussing things of a sensitive nature, which is almost always the case when doing Tarot readings for clients.
When we work with upright cards, it is much easier for them to work the way they are intended, i.e. portals for your own intuition and/or psychic ability. In my opinion, relying on reversals is a bit like relying on Little White Book keywords and the sooner you do away with them, the better! I do believe most professional Tarot readers work only with upright cards.