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How to interpret reversed Tarot cards

When cards appear reversed in a reading, there are are different methods as to how you can interpret them - and every reader might have their preference when it comes to that. 


I think that in general, just as with upright meanings, you should follow your intuition when trying to find out what they want to tell you. Not every method I describe below will work with every card, so it is important to let your intuition and your knowledge about the situation guide you. 


I started out not reading reversals and I used to be completely satisfied with the information I got. So, I think reading reversals is not a must. Also, as a beginner, I think, you should start by internalizing the upright meanings first. Later on, you can start experimenting with reading reversals.


When you start reading reversals, you might find that they add deeper meaning to your readings. They can also serve as a confirmation for the meaning of other cards. For example, the moon and the sun reversed seem to have a similar meaning. With the dim light of the moon, things can't be seen easily and the sun reversed can indicate that energy of the sun is taken away, or it could be seen as the opposite. There might be less light or even darkness. So it could mean that not all can be seen so clearly anymore. For example, in this situation someone might be hiding something from you, or it can be seen as an advice not to reveal too much. 


My favorite ways to interpret reversed tarot cards:


  • seeing possible downsides of the card:

for example the sun is normally seen as a very happy card, that talks about success, joy and carefree times. But a possible disadvantage could be that you are "blinded by the light of the sun". The feeling of joy, could make you less aware of possible downsides in a matter. Someone might not be honest with you and presenting themself from their very best side to disstract you from anything unfavourable. You might be blinded by them. 

  • seeing the reversal as blocked energy or a delay:


For example, I had the Ace of Wands reversed come up in a relationship reading and it turned out it had indicated, one of the people involed in the relationship was unhappy about having to wait to become intimate. There was a block in the passion, so to say.

  • seing the reversal as a cancellation of the energy:


For example the Ace of Cups reversed might indicate that the love that was once there is now gone. Three of Swords reversed can indicate that somone is coming out of their phase of grief. 

  • seing the reversal as the opposite:

a reversed card could also be seen as the opposite of what the card  might represent. For example when Ace of Cups can symbolize love in the best case, as the opposite, it can be seen as dislike or hate. But you must be aware that interpreting tarot cards like this, could make a reading kind of negative and also, I believe that in most cases the above mentioned methods already cover this method. But you can always follow your intuition. If you feel like a very negative meaning is exactly what the tarot wants to tell you then maybe it is a necessary information.


If you are unsure about what a reversed card might mean it can be a good idea to pull another card to clarify. You will notice that cards can confirm a possible meaning. For example Four of Swords and Strengh reversed can complement each other and indicate a phase of rest because of diminished strength.


By the way, you might like to put all cards into upright position before shuffling. This way you won't have too many reversed cards in your readings and it will probably make the interpretation easier. 

I see it like this: I intend for the cards to be in upright position, but when they fall out while shuffling and are reversed when I put them back in the staple, that is how they are supposed to come out. 

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