3 Ways To Read Tarot Reversals

In Tarot Tips by David Harvey0 Comments

 Tarot Reversals: How To Read Reversed Tarot Cards

Tarot reversals is a hotly debated topic and one that I want to shed some light on.  As a tarot tutor, one of the most common questions I get asked is “should I use reversals in a tarot reading?”

The short answer is…..it depends!  What I mean by that is that it totally depends on you.  I know many excellent tarot readers who do not do reversals at all.  This doesn’t mean that they are inferior in any way. It’s just a personal choice.

Personally, I love to do reversals.  I find that it just adds a different layer to my readings.  My intuition really kicks in with reversals and I think this is because there are not so many traditional meanings when it comes to tarot reversals and also various techniques to interpret them.

I would encourage you to tune into your own intuition to interpret reversals but I have put together a very basic cheat sheet as a freebie to get you started.  You can download it here…

Tarot Reversal Cheat Sheet

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When To Start Reading With Tarot Reversals

I got on to reversals fairly quickly after I started reading. However, I would say just do it at a time that is right for you.  Don’t feel pressured to do it and just start to incorporate them when your intuition is telling you to.

Are Reversals Bad?

This is a big myth that I want to debunk.  Many people think that seeing a spread that is full of reversals means that terrible things are going to happen and everything is a mess.  This is not the case at all.  It really depends on which cards are reversed and where they are positioned in the reading.

How To Read Tarot Reversals

There are many different techniques that you can use for reversals.  I wanted to give you 3 different methods that you can use to read reversals.  Finding your own way is my recommendation but this should hopefully be enough to get you started.  I tend to use a mix of all 3 and I will let my intuition guide me as to what the meaning could be for the card at that particular time.

I’ll give examples of the same cards for each scenario.

Internal Energy

If we start to think of the upright cards as an external expression of energy. This would mean that it’s how we present ourselves to the world.  We then want to think about reversed cards as internal energy.  This can mean that there is internal work to be done but it can also mean that you or the querent is keeping this to themselves.  Let’s look at a few examples to demonstrate this:

Three of Swords

If we look at the 3 of Swords upright we see that there could be heartbreak or at least having to make a decision that is difficult and weighs heavy on the heart.

If we are using this method it could be that we are going through a lot of heartache but maybe we don’t want to show that to the world.  Perhaps there is unrequited love or perhaps you are having a tough time in your marriage but trying to present a picture to everybody else that things are great.

With the lovely Ace of Pentacles, when upright, we see a card that is full of new opportunities and possibilities. It looks like there is a golden opportunity just there for the taking.

When reversed and using this technique we could see a person that is just burning for a new beginning or new job.  Perhaps they are scared to admit to themselves that a career change is needed or there is even a chance that they could miss out on this opportunity due to not being open to it.

When the two of cups is upright we see a loving couple who are very connected and balanced.  The communication is great and there is definitely a feeling that two become one.

The reversal could indicate that the querent is thinking and longing for that loving relationship.  Maybe they need to do a bit of work on loving themselves or perhaps they are over idealising what a perfect relationship looks like.

You see that this method is all about diving into what the internal energy could be rather than the external energy.

The Opposite

This is a rather simplistic way of reading reversals and not one that I particularly warm to, however, it might work for you.

You can basically look at the reversal as the opposite of what the upright card would be.

If we look at our previous examples….

The 3 of Swords could be avoiding heartache. Maybe the querent has made a decision and chosen a course of action which avoids heartache. Perhaps they are not going to be put in the position where they have to make a tough choice?

The Ace of Pentacles could be a lost or missed opportunity.  When the aces are upright they are all about new beginnings but perhaps this is not necessarily an ending but a false start or non-starter.

The 2 of Cups could be the end of a relationship or it could just be that things are not going so well in the relationship.  There could be some fallout or difference of opinion or maybe it means that the relationship is one sided and not balanced.

Intuitive Reading

This is my favourite way to read reversals.  I let my intuition go wild and really dive into the scene in the cards.  Whenever I am reading I am always thinking; what has happened before this scene? What will happen next? Are there many different people involved and what course of action will they take?

Three of Swords

If we look at the 3 of Swords reversed I see those swords falling out of the heart.  It’s almost as if the person is coming through the tough times and going through a healing process.  I imagine those swords will leave scars that will take a long time to heal but this is all part of the healing process.

If we look at the Ace of Pentacles.  Maybe that hand is actually holding the pentacle down.  Could this mean that you are trying too hard to take control of things instead of letting them grow naturally?  Maybe you see the pentacle falling from the hand, which could represent a lost opportunity or a refusal to accept financial help.

When I see The Chariot reversed, I often think that there are just some minor tweaks needed before the querent can move forward. I almost see that there is a problem with one of the wheels that needs addressing.  Once this has been repaired there will be no stopping you.  However, you first need to work out what areas of your life need addressing before you can reach your goals.

I quite often see the 7 of Wands as fighting off competition.  There is a struggle but you are on higher ground and in a winning position.  When I see this card reversed I think of the struggle coming to an end.  The competition or obstacles will still come flying at you but they will dissipate one at a time.  It’s a reminder to keep fighting the good fight if you want to stay on top.

So this is my journey through the land of reversals.  I’m only really scraping the surface but hopefully giving you enough information to get started and give it a go.  As you see there are many different techniques that you can use and I would encourage you to find the one that works best for you.

Don’t forget that you can download my cheat sheet here but again I would advise that you use this to start you off and would then encourage you to let your intuition shine through and develop your own meanings.

Tarot Reversal Cheat Sheet

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