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Why reading with reversals will double your Tarot insight

by Brigit on January 30, 2010 in Tarot 101

Reversed Tarots

Introducing reversed Tarot cards to your readings provides you with the opportunity to expand and deepen the insight drawn from your readings. Take 78 Tarot cards, reverse a random selection through your shuffling and suddenly you have doubled your Tarot deck to 156 different messages that you can possibly draw from. It is easy to see how reversed cards can add a whole new layer to your Tarot reading.

Reversed cards can be interpreted in many different ways and this is what makes their usage in a reading even more interesting. It moves the reading into a multidimensional space where there is light and shade, simplicities and complexities, highs and lows. It allows you, as the reader, to offer your client a balanced perspective that is targeted towards their specific situation, which will in turn help them to make the right decisions about their path forward. Reading with reversals is also a useful way to answer simple yes/no questions, with a reversed card signifying a ‘no’.

I first introduced reversals to my own readings in 2001, a couple of years after I had started to learn the Tarot. Yes, it was daunting in the beginning having to learn another 78 interpretations, but after a few more years of practice and lots of reading (books), I began to feel a lot more comfortable with the reversed cards and now couldn’t imagine doing a reading without them. Personally, I find that the reversed cards increase the depth and complexity of the reading and that I can be a lot more specific and targeted in my insight and advice for the client.

Of course, not everyone is comfortable with using reversed Tarot cards in their readings. Even seasoned experts choose to read only with upright cards, sometimes depending on the deck selected. For example, Mary K. Greer, author of The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals, still uses upright cards only when using the Thoth deck. If you’re new to the Tarot or just finding your footing with the cards, just having to learn the 78 upright interpretations is hard enough. In this case, it is best to focus your attention on the upright cards for the time being until you have a good grasp of each card. Nonetheless, don’t be afraid to try out a few reversals in your next reading – you may find it opens up a whole new way of looking at the cards.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

ursula August 11, 2012 at 1:28 am

am glad i read this about the reversal of the cards i am just starting out with tarot am a real beginner and decided to just look at the cards upright to start as reversed cards make me feel a bit edgy so will leave it for awhile until get some confidence about the cards, but my goodness how does anyone ever remember what all the cards mean. is it years of practising or does it just click at some point

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Corinne February 11, 2013 at 10:38 am

Hi Ursula
I have been learning/practicing Tarot around 14 months now – and all it takes is to keep reading and practising. A short course where you hear the information and get to speak with others around different interpretations really helps. If you keep at it – somewhere around 6 months is when it really clicked for me :)

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