What does it mean when the majority of Tarot cards are reversed?

by Brigit on January 30, 2010 in Tarot 101

Reversed Tarots

When the majority of a reading is made up of reversed Tarot cards, it can reflect a significant amount of blocked energy relating to the situation. There is a high level of confusion and misinterpretation and it is likely that the client is not seeing the situation clearly.

As the reader, be mindful that your client may not be very receptive to some of the messages in the reading, particularly if these messages are not what they are expecting to hear. Subsequently, reversed cards encourage the client to reflect inwardly for guidance at this time.

As Paul Fenton-Smith points out in his book Mastering The Tarot: A Guide To Advanced Tarot Reading And Practice, reversed cards indicate that the client needs to return to their past to learn an important lesson, before being able to move forward. Ask the client to reflect on what has been learnt from the past and consider how these lessons can be applied to the present and the future. By allowing space and time to reflect, your client will gain greater clarity and will be able to take control of the path ahead.

Reversed tarot cardsSome say that if the entire reading is made up of reversed cards, it’s best to postpone the reading to another time. This is because either the Universe isn’t ready to answer the question at hand or the client is not ready to hear the answer. I’m in two minds about this. Yes, I feel uncomfortable when I see a full reading of reversed cards and would love to just throw all the cards back into the deck and start again. However, I also feel that the Universe has presented those cards for a reason. Even if it signifies that there is a lot of blocked energy, confusion and misinterpretation, this in itself is an important message for the client.

An alternative option, as suggested by Mary K. Greer in The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals, is to lay out a new spread where the focus is on empowering the client to overcome current challenges. For example, if the original question was, “Where is my relationship headed with Paul?” and all cards in the reading are reversed, you may reword the question to “What will help me most at this time with regards to my relationship with Paul?”

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Aphrodisiastes September 21, 2011 at 4:00 am


Great post!


)O( Aphrodisiastes )O(


Rose October 29, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Reversed cards also means the problem/situation is passing; I have found that some reversed cards are more positive than upright e.g. 5 of pentacles reversed. Also, I recently did a love reading for a friend; his outcome card was 3 of swords reversed, including every card that I pulled out was reversed also, which has never happened to me before. His situation was that he had broken up with his ex-partner about 3 years ago and although he is still carrying some pain and burden from the past, he is ready to open himself to new love, which is indicated by the surrounding cards; 4 of pentacles reversed and 8 of swords reversed.

I’m starting to embrace reversed tarot cards and used to fear them, just like the Tower and the Death card, but I definitely feel that it comes down to how it is being interpreted. Reversed cards are very misunderstood and I hope people can start to see the positives in them.


Brigit October 30, 2012 at 7:34 am

Ah yes, that is certainly a good way of seeing reversals… the energy is passing. Thanks for sharing!


Oksana March 13, 2013 at 11:32 am

I did my own reading today and got almost all reversed cards, even the Tower and the Devil cards were reversed, the only was that wasn’t was the moon card…trying to figure out what it all means…


Brigit March 14, 2013 at 4:46 pm

An inward focus is needed… could also be a result of mercury retrograde right now


Miranda April 10, 2013 at 11:29 am

Had a mostly-reversed reading today for myself. Rather disappointing, as it was regarding a new project I wanted to start. Took the advice that it indicated blocked energy and did a three-card reading to clarify the blockage. Got 2 out of 3 reversed for that as well. 😛

Original spread (0ne I made up) on starting a blog about my spiritual journeys:
1. The Endeavor – The World (Reversed)
2. What do I bring to it? – The Lovers (Reversed)
3. What will assist me? – King of Pentacles (Reversed)
4. What will hinder me? – King of Wands (Reversed)
5. Near Future Goal – High Priest
6. Far Future Goal – Seven of Swords

Clarifying 3 card spread:
1. Nature of the Problem – Eight of Pentacles (Reversed)
2. Cause – The Fool
3. Solution – Eight of Wands (Reversed)

The overall message I got was that I was rushing into things, and had not thought it all through. I needed to wait and plan a bit more. Not sure if there’s other things I’m missing, however, as I am still new at this.


Brigit April 10, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Reversals can also reflect the need to bring your attention inwardly. This would fit given you’re asking about your spirituality.


Miranda April 10, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Interesting, I’ll have to ponder that one. Thank you!


Marina May 31, 2013 at 1:11 am

I did the horoscope spread for myself and most of the cards were reversed, except for The Sun, The Ace of Wands and The Empress. I didn’t ask any particular question though. I find that usually most cards are reversed when I do readings for myself. I am clearly not listening to the messages here! lol


Brigit June 3, 2013 at 6:57 am

There’s that… but there’s also the possibility that the reversed Tarot cards also show an inward focus. Particularly when you’re doing a self-reflection type of Tarot reading.


amanda October 5, 2015 at 4:17 pm

I agree that drawing reversed cards mean something I’m seeking inwardly. But I’m wondering how one card, the world reversed fits in with the rest of the cards for a spread I did. It was concerning how things are now for me, and I drew six cards using the major and minor arcana for a universal 6 card spread. I drew 4 reversed cards total. For the first position (how I feel about myself now), I got the six of cups reversed, which I know means I’m stuck in the past, and is very true.

The next card confuses me, as I got the world reversed for the second card position for (what I most want at this moment)–maybe closure from the past? The final cards in the final positions are as follows: I got the six of swords upright (for my fears), the 4th card was the five of cups reversed (for what is going for me), and justice (for what is going against me) in the 5th position. Lastly, I got the moon reversed in the final outcome position. I know what the cards mean generally, but if so, I’m wondering if anyone has any deeper insights, especially with the world card reversed in the second position in relation to the other cards in the spread.


Brigit October 6, 2015 at 10:35 am

The World reversed might be a sign that you do need closure. And also a sense of completion but from an inner perspective. That is, are you looking externally to fill the gaps internally, when really you need to focusing your attention within? It sounds like this reading is really calling your attention within, rather than outside of yourself.


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