Thursday, September 5, 2013

On Reversals

There are several schools of thought on reversals. One is that the card has a different, almost opposite meaning. If books list reversal meanings, that's usually what you see. And that's one way.

Some people don't use them at all -- they either shuffle in a way that keeps all the cards upright, or flip them before they start reading. One of my tarot teachers uses the Thoth deck, which has no reversals -- each card contains the potential meanings both positive and negative. Like the Devil, often associated with taboo. Which is some cases can get you out of a box that's trapping you, and which in other cases can violate social norms in harmful ways. Which is right? Depends on you, the question, the other cards. So you don't have to read reversals at all -- just know that each card contains all expressions of its energy and decide which feel appropriate.

I have a hybrid approach. I note the overall number of reversed cards (half is average) and if the ratio is more or less, I pay attention. Less reversals can mean an overall clear path, more can mean blockages and obstruction overall.

Next, I note which cards were reversed. I don't read the card's meaning differently, but I do consider if that energy might be being blocked or not coming through as strongly as possible for some reason. Another consideration -- that the card's shadow energy is being expressed. Like the Four of Pentacles, which is about protecting resources. Which is grand -- we should all save up for the rainy day. But if it were reversed, I might consider if there's some selfishness, over-protectiveness, or greed being expressed. So NOT the opposite -- just a different flavor.

Experiment, see what feels right to you. I've had amazing readings using all these methods.

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