Tarot Reversals… What and Why


So I’m noticing this conversation floating around in my own personal Tarot community, and it’s something that has ended alliances and divided households.

Turned brother against brother, and mother against son.

……. Or something.

Tarot reversals.

So should you or shouldn’t you?

I’m going to risk losing my official Tarot Reader card here, and say this;

IT DOESN’T FREAKING MATTER It’s really a matter of personal opinion.

Some people say that the cards in the deck are completely capable of communicating any possible message as they are, without the need of reversals.  Other people say that reversals signify that whatever the card is portraying is blocked, delayed, muted, or otherwise unable to be expressed as completely as it should be.  And still others say that reversals signify the opposite of what the upright card would mean.  And still others say that they only acknowledge reversals if the author of the deck’s LWB included meanings for reversed cards.

I’ve done readings with reversals and without.  In my own personal opinion, it feels like the cards have more to say when reversals are acknowledged.  The message goes a little deeper.

But that doesn’t mean that the cards can’t deliver the same message if reversals aren’t acknowledged.  And, bear in mind, I really haven’t done a whole lot of practice doing readings without reversals.  At this point, reversals have simply been too deeply ingrained in my head.  I see an upside-down 5 of Pentacles and I don’t see it as “an upside-down 5 of Pentacles.”  I see it as “moving on from a loss, learning to let go, the worst is over.”

I’m at a point now where I already associate certain meanings with cards that show up reversed.  It’s kind of hard to undo that habit.  I can’t look at a reversed card and not think of the reversed meaning.

So it’s difficult, really, for me to argue the points of reading without reversals.  My brain has already been wired to acknowledge and read reversals.  To me, an upside-down Magician is not the same card as a right-side-up Magician.

Still, I’ve had reading done by readers who didn’t use reversals, and the readings were clear, concise, and accurate.

So, bottom line:

If you want to read reversals, you go right on ahead.  If you don’t, then you go right on ahead.  Do what’s best for you.  The cards can and will adjust to pretty much anything you can think to put them through.


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