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Reversals, and the lack thereof

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 14 Dec 2001, and now archived in the Forum Library.

Novena  14 Dec 2001 
Being still relatively new to tarot, I am still in a stage of exploring various styles of reading, and considering which methods work best for me. I'd like to hear some opinions regarding reversed cards -- specifically, what do you think of reading methods that disregard reversals? I've been seeing less common, but still compelling methods which do not distinguish between upright and reversed cards. Mostly these seem to attach a much more dynamic (read more complicated) meaning system, which encompasses, for example, both positive and negative aspects to a card that is typically seen as wholly positive, like the 9 of Cups.

I'm not asking for definite judgement calls -- I'm just curious what experiences people have had with these methods, and how they fit into tarot as a whole.


truthsayer  15 Dec 2001 
i'm not certain exactly what you are asking for but this is my experience w/ using reversals.

i don't go out of my way to reverse cards so if one should show up it has special significance to me. a reversed card increases the intensity of that card's position. i once considered reversed cards as negative or bad things coming but now i see it differently. during a quite difficult period, i must have drawn death, the 9 of swords or the tower every reading. i dreaded what it meant-- very deep transformation--the kind that turns your whole life upside down. so that transformation came to pass despite my struggle to prevent it. it's been 3 years and now i can see the light and personal growth that time of shadow produced. just b/c it was painful didn't mean it was bad. if i had had a different attitude it could have gone easier on me. how life or the cards in general are interpreted depends on your attitude. you can fight the tidal wave, fear it or you can make your peace and go w/ the flow. you can't control tidal waves but you can control your attitude in those moments. making peace w/ with life and enjoying what we have in this moment is often a good way to live but most of us won't settle for that. our resistance against what will be is what creates negative experiences w/ reversed cards--at least in my experience. i'm not saying some things aren't worth fighting for--just use the wisdom of the reversed cards to clue you in whether or not you are fighting what actually is in your best interest in the long run. cutting off your nose to spite your face is not a good thing but we've all done it at some time or other.

just b/c a reading lacks reversals isn't necessarily positive. perhaps this is an indication that the querent is in denial or living at only surface level. sometimes it does mean genuine contentment and peace w/ life. just see it for what you intuit the cards are saying even if it seems ridiculous in light of what you perceive or know about the querent. when you are just beginning tarot, it's so easy to make reading cards harder than it is. there's no shame in using a book til you are more confident. when you are just born no one expects you to jump off the delivery table and start walking and talking. things take time. it's expected.

hope this helps you. 

The Reversals, and the lack thereof thread was originally posted on 14 Dec 2001 in the Using Tarot Cards board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the threads in Using Tarot Cards, or read more archived threads.

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