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What does it mean to not use reversals?

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 06 Mar 2003, and now archived in the Forum Library.



Lana  06 Mar 2003 
Well I'm puzzled. How is it possible to read without considering reversals? Wouldn't that change the entire reading? Or are there particular spreads which take this into account?

When reading, we train ourselves to notice even the smallest of details. Surely the inversion of the card is an important determining factor?

Is reading without revesals just a totally different method of reading?

Please explain! :P 


Sulis  06 Mar 2003 
Hi Lana welcome to Aeclectic. I don`t use reversals in my readings but I try to think of each card having a broad spectrum of meanings ranging from the typically upright meaning to the typically reversed. I use intuition along with the card position and the meanings and positions of the surrounding cards to work out what a particular card means. The question and how the cards relate to it also play their part.
My favorite decks are World Spirit and Stone tarot and both of those have non-reversalble backs.

Love and light

Crystalmynx xx 


Lee  06 Mar 2003 
If one shuffles the deck in such a way that reversals do not occur, then one would have no reversals to interpret, resulting in a reversal-free reading, and then one could proceed to read the cards as one does with reversals, except that, as crystalmynx says, one might try to be open to a greater range of polarities in each card.

-- Lee :) 


Woof  06 Mar 2003 
Reversals are a tough one for me. I use them but I think it does slow down the entire learning curve.
In some respects I think I'm just a natural reversal user in that I can't shuffle without turning half the deck around each time I do so. It's just the way I handle the cards, to alter that would make shuffling very difficult and uncomfortable. However, when I lay out the cards I often have difficulty registering an upside down card. I have to pick up the card and turn it around to see what it is. Then I find after I've put it down I have to turn my head half around to read it. And often this whole process messes with my flow of intuition. I'm considering starting to lay out the cards, and then righting all reversed cards but put some kind of marker, (stone, penny, whatever) on them to know their energy is reversed.
I guess I'm the perfect candidate to drop reversals, but I just can't seem to.
Woof 


magpie9  06 Mar 2003 
I stopped reading reversals a few years ago, it was really hard to do, but was worth the work. One day I realized that when I laid out any spread with reversals, my stomach would clench.

That didn't seem like a good thing to me. So over a period of time, I changed my shuffling so that it would not automaticaly give me lots of reversals, and got into seeing each card as both positive and negitive all at the same time. This was not an overnight change!

Now when I see a reversed card, I mentally mark it as a card to consider more deeply in the reading than I otherwise would. I may end up reading it reversed, based on intuition, surrounding cards, etc., just as I might read a upright card as reversed for the same reasons.

Actually, it sounds more complicated than it is.....what if a deck is round? The cards can come up at any sort of an angle off true upright or true reversed. That's sort of how it works for me.
I hope I havn't confused things furthur for you. :) 


Mojo  06 Mar 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by Lee
If one shuffles the deck in such a way that reversals do not occur, then one would have no reversals to interpret, resulting in a reversal-free reading, and then one could proceed to read the cards as one does with reversals, except that, as crystalmynx says, one might try to be open to a greater range of polarities in each card.

And if one stood on one leg in a bucket of chicken fat with one finger in their ear while holding a tadpole between their knees and humming the chorus of I Am Very Fond Of Elderberry Wine from Die Fledermaus, then one is very likely to avoid getting pregnant.

However, why would anyone go through the trouble when there are easier ways to achieve the same goal?

Let the cards fall as they may and read them any way you care to.

Why does this discussion keep happening? 


jeank74  06 Mar 2003 
I have only been studying tarot for a month. The book I study suggests not to bother reading reversal. The reason is very simple and I would like to share it with you. The author, Susan Levitt, explains that a deck of tarot cards is a full journey within it self. Hence, it has enough cards to represent the ups and downs in your life. For example, FIVE OF PENTACLES/DISKS mean lack of money. Is there a card for "prosperity" or "weath" other than the reverse of FIVE PENTACLES? Of course there are, SIX OF PENTACLES/DISKS or ACE OF PENTACLES/DISK would be the answer. If you study all 78 cards in your deck, you will be able to find pairs of cards with opposite meaning.

Therefore, you don't need to worry about the reversals. Just study the picture in your card and that will give you the story.

Hope it helps. 


magpie9  06 Mar 2003 
:D :D :D :D :D ...etc., .....etc., ....etc.,


Mojo wrote " And if one stood on one leg in a bucket of chicken fat with one finger in their ear while holding a tadpole between their knees and humming the chorus of I Am Very Fond Of Elderberry Wine from Die Fledermaus, then one is very likely to avoid getting pregnant."

Thank you, Mojo, for a wonderfully vivid and screamingly funny mental image. I will treasure it for a long long time. :D
I am ROFL 


Dark Inquisitor  06 Mar 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by Mojo
And if one stood on one leg in a bucket of chicken fat with one finger in their ear while holding a tadpole between their knees and humming the chorus of I Am Very Fond Of Elderberry Wine from Die Fledermaus , then one is very likely to avoid getting pregnant.

However, why would anyone go through the trouble when there are easier ways to achieve the same goal?


Why does this discussion keep happening?



HIDE YOUR EYES ALL WHO FEAR THE TRUTH.
(If you are easily upset by reality, go away now!!!)

Why?

Misinformation, disinformation, avoidance, denial, repression, controlling, perfectionism, fear, anxiety, rigidity, self-pity, mutual enabling, habits, rituals, convenience,self-justification,hubris, safety,security,discomfort with change, etc., etc.

Take your pick.

But I have decided it is a good thing. Please also remove the Devil & Death - feel better today !

Tarotphelia 


Mimers  06 Mar 2003 
It's getting hot in here!


Quote:
originally posted by Mojo

Why does this discussion keep happening?


Because some of us have not been around here long enough to realize it is a repeat offender.

I don't read reversals because I don't yet feel comfortable with it. I expect for that to change in the future, but when I am ready.

Mimers 


Lee  06 Mar 2003 
Lots of people read with reversals, lots of people read without reversals, to each their own. Some people feel threatened when they see others doing something differently than themselves. Everyone should feel free to read in whatever way they want. Every Aeclectic member should feel free to ask whatever they want about Tarot, whenever they want, without being snapped at.

So there! :P

-- Lee 


Dark Inquisitor  06 Mar 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by Lee

Everyone should feel free to read in whatever way they want.

-- Lee [/b]


I assume they already do- but hopefully we shouldn't be oblivious as to why we are doing things & what it means to us on a deeper level. We can sit here for eternity never disagreeing or taking a closer look , and I think that is what most people really want.

So, as I said before, I think it is a good thing not to use reversals !

Tarotphelia 


Faerie Lin  06 Mar 2003 
For me reversals do not mean "the opposite". They are in the same frame of meaning but looked at differently... meaning, something self induced, or on the verge of coming into play OR even out of play, things along those lines. One may say "Oh but the card positions will tell you what is about to come into play and out of play." This is true but the cards not in these positions may have a changed effect also like a 'hidden factors' position, a hidden factor my only be effecting you for only a little while, or a "crossing card" may not be affect you for that long.

For me, reversals leave alot of room for more cards to show themselves for a bigger picture of what is going on. Reversals are friendly! They want you to see more!

Now yes, I do think one can read accurate without reversals, but I think using reversals they can delve in even more.

ohhhhh, I'm about to get it ain't I? 


Elvisisnotdead  06 Mar 2003 
If a penny falls out of your pocket and onto the ground. No matter what side it lands on. ITS STILL A PENNY!

Jerry 


magpie9  06 Mar 2003 
Elvisnotdead said:
"If a penny falls out of your pocket and onto the ground. No matter what side it lands on. ITS STILL A PENNY!"

I say, Yes!

The original question, I thought, was how can you (is it possible to) read not-reversed, not, Is it right or wrong to read not-reversed?

Or did I miss something here? 


Icestorm  07 Mar 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by Elvisisnotdead
If a penny falls out of your pocket and onto the ground. No matter what side it lands on. ITS STILL A PENNY!

Jerry



But if I was in a casino, and this penny was used in two-ups, then which side it lands on becomes very important, doesnt it?
(dont ask)

I think the reason I like to use reversals, though, is because they give a much broader range of meanings to the cards, and allow more flexibility for card-pairings. I also find it easier to give a broader picture with reversals, as when i read without it my readings tend to be much too bright and happy when it definitely shouldnt be.

I think that the traditional 78 card tarot contain more 'positive' cards than 'negative' cards, by each card having a reverse this balance issue is, to an extent, fixed. (Im a sucker for balance) 


cjtarot  07 Mar 2003 
Hi,

Ok..revisiting subjects is great to me..there are a lot of new people who want to voice an opinion on a subject that was brought up a year or so ago. and let's face it searching old topics isn't always easy...THAT SAID..

Reversals are a hard decision. To me the advise of "Read and study the books, learn the meanings up and reversed..then toss the book and do as you will" worked. This means, if you feel comfortable with a deck reading reversals do..but if not, don't..

FOR INSANCE, the Sacred Circle deck has photo type pictures..when reversed it is verry hard for me to "see"..the look on the peoples face, what item in the card stands out.. so when I lay the spread, I just go back and turn the cards so they face me.

The thing to do is try both ways and see how you feel...

Blessings,

CJ 


Aoife  07 Mar 2003 
I stopped 'dealing' reversals a short while ago because I felt to read upright/reverse was too restrictive and prescriptive. I prefer to allow the surrounding cards to interact and suggest the shades of meaning for any particular one. 


Aerin  07 Mar 2003 
I'm in the group who read a range of meanings with uprights rather than use reversals. I do not see a card in itself as intrinsically positive or intrinsically negative and I do not have to see a card upside down to consider a different side to it. That's where I am at the moment.

The book I recommend on reversals is Mary Greer's, it is excellent and gives a whole load of ways you can use them e.g. some people see them as the negative meaning of the card, some as the card's energy not yet manifesting itself etc etc etc. It also has some specific advice about round decks and how to read with them. I also liked her method of reading upright, shuffling the spread cards, then reversing one and seeing which one it is (this is then the card to pay most attention to).

If you do or you don't want to read with reversals then this book is worthwhile getting. It enabled me to experiment in ways I would not have otherwise done with confidence, and enhanced my understanding of the full spectrum of meanings.

Like anything, it is a personal choice.

Aerin 


jema  07 Mar 2003 
... and remember that:
if you don't use Elemental Dignities you should remove this or that card cause you are doing it out of:
"Misinformation, disinformation, avoidance, denial, repression, controlling, perfectionism, fear, anxiety, rigidity, self-pity, mutual enabling, habits, rituals, convenience,self-justification,hubris, safety,security,discomfort with change, etc etc..."

i wonder why it is so threatening to others that not everyone is using that same technic that they are using.
i don't go around calling people who reverse cards for cowards and suggest they suffer from hubris. but then i am sure i am misunderstanding things again and that it is as usual just a joke.

jema,
*feeling daft again* 


Diana  07 Mar 2003 
Right, the topic is "What does it mean to not use reversals?". As I don't use reversals, I could perhaps tell you what it means. It means nothing at all. The cards are read in exactly the same way. It just means that they are not up-side-down on the table in front of you. But depending on the surrounding cards, their meanings change, their shades change, their hues and aromas change.

So it means nothing in particular. Having up-side-down cards is just one method. My husband when he drives a car, drives real smooth - takes him a while to get up to the speed limit, and slows down way before turning a corner. I drive more like a maniac - speeding up to 50 kilometers an hour in a few seconds, and braking only just before turning the corner. But we both get to the same destination at more or less the same time.

See what I mean?

(Although the other day, an up-side-down card suddenly appeared in a reading I was doing for someone. I read it as such, because it was most revealing. I told Tarotphelia and she didn't even say "I told you so!" :laugh: ). 


napaea  07 Mar 2003 
throwing in my "two pennies"

on a typical reading, i don't use reversals. i lay the cards out, pick out the cards that call to me, and read them.

if - while i'm shuffling - i feel i NEED reversals, then i reverse a few, and if they come up in the reading, i do what i can do.
but with my style of reading, which is not exactly by the book, reversals just stop the flow for me most of the time.

so i am one who does better NOT using reversals. and i don't beleive this limits me at all! i tend to know when the 5 of pentacles is saying "oooo, hard times ahead" and when it is saying "ahhhh, relief from hard times", so the reversals don't really add anything for me. except to indicate importance of the card, maybe. 


Dark Inquisitor  07 Mar 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by jema
... and remember that:
if you don't use Elemental Dignities you should remove this or that card cause you are doing it out of:
"Misinformation, disinformation, avoidance, denial, repression, controlling, perfectionism, fear, anxiety, rigidity, self-pity, mutual enabling, habits, rituals, convenience,self-justification,hubris, safety,security,discomfort with change, etc etc..."

i wonder why it is so threatening to others that not everyone is using that same technic that they are using.
i don't go around calling people who reverse cards for cowards and suggest they suffer from hubris. but then i am sure i am misunderstanding things again and that it is as usual just a joke.

jema,
*feeling daft again*


Dear jema- you are anything but daft !

The list I made is not a list of accusations. It is a list compiled from what I have observed people saying in their own words, in their own posts.

A question of "Why?" was asked, & I answered to the best of my ability.

To suggest that I am threatend by the flip of a card is not to know me very well.

As an example, if a person says they are afraid of reversals, they have fear. They take a mental leap & say it is the reversal that is giving them the fear. Then no more reversals, reversals are bad. The fear is within them, the reversal is just touching it. What the fear really is can only be answered by introspection . But if one runs from it each time, one can never grow beyond it. Then , if after all that, the person starts making posts about how fearful reversals are, they proliferate their own illusion to others and it becomes a cycle of mutual reinforcement.

I myself am not fond of pip cards. But I will not let that hold me back. I have decks with pip cards & practice regularly. Yes, it is hard & unfamiliar. But I respect that there is something to be gained by the mastery of it, I can see that by the posts of others who do use pip cards. And that is how the tarot was originally, so there must be some merit in it, even if I may not see it immediately. By challenging ourselves , we learn & grow. By looking at what may be underlying our actions, we can know ourselves if we want to & then have power over our limitations.

Tarotphelia 


Faerie Lin  07 Mar 2003 
Diana and Napaea!

Diana I find that very interesting for you that card to come up reversal like that! Just that one card? Seemingly to NEED to be there like that? Wow!

and Napaea, I think that is VERY intuitive, "knowing" when you should use reversals and not! 


Aerin  08 Mar 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by Tarotphelia
By challenging ourselves , we learn & grow. By looking at what may be underlying our actions, we can know ourselves if we want to & then have power over our limitations.

Tarotphelia


Just because someone doesn't choose to use reverals, that doesn't mean they are making that choice from fear. That may be true for some, I don't believe it is true for everyone (natural distate of generalisations coming in here).

I definitely don't get the 'reversals are negative' thing, seems far too simplistic to me like thinking that certain cards are always 'negative' and others always 'positive'. I do agree that is is worthwhile challenging our assumptions, and would therefore like to say.......

If a reader has used reversals from the beginning, a big challenge for them may be to read without using reversals.

Aerin :) 


Lana  08 Mar 2003 
To those who answered my inquiry in earnest, I thankyou. It's nice to know how so many of you read. :) I personally don't feel comfortable doing my tarot study without reversals! Maybe I'm just too used to the idea of their existence.

And on the other point which sparked some debate in here, I find it amusing that one should take offence to questions that may have already been examined before. After all, things could be different now. There are different people, different opinions. And thankyou cjtarot! It is sometimes difficult to locate exactly what you're looking for! I did do a search on this topic to begin with to be confronted by many many pages with varying topics all related, but not what I was looking for.

I understand it is sometimes difficult to like a 'newbie' (hehe) and I thankyou again, those with the understanding to be accepting of a newbie but I do believe this is a forum and this is the section on using tarot cards. I am sure there are only so many questions that can be asked in such a section such that already-covered ground is not reviewed and as I said berfore, I did believe this was a forum when I joined, not a club.

I beg the pardon of the 'elite', but then again, you could just choose to disregard threads not relevant nor interesting to you.

Peace Out! :D 


Mojo  08 Mar 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by Lana
I beg the pardon of the 'elite', but then again, you could just choose to disregard threads not relevant nor interesting to you.

See the little button marked "search" at the top of the page? Try using it sometime. If you had, you would have seen that this particular topic comes up on the order of about every 10 days or so. And the arguments back and forth are the same ones, repeated over and over and over. It gets old. 


Diana  09 Mar 2003 
Lana's question actually had not been asked before, as far as I know. Her question had a different slant to previous questions, which were very much "do you use reversals" kind of thing. Her particular way of putting it "What does it mean to not use reversals" was not read by some of the posters (we tend to read too quickly sometimes). And actually, her question has not yet been fully answered. In fact, this question can only be answered properly by people who don't use reversals, because only they can give insight into their way of reading like this. Or even better, by people who use both systems and who can compare them.

And even if she did post the exact same question that has been asked before, a kind soul could have given her some links to older threads, and given her some friendly advice on how to go about using the Search button. (The Search button is not always very user-friendly - the other day I was looking for a thread and I had to wade through tons of useless stuff before I found what I was looking for.)

Lana: please ask ALL the questions you want to! Aeclectic is certainly not a club. :) 


stenoboy  09 Mar 2003 
Hear, hear.

Being a newb myself, I don't want to be frightened off bringing up a topic because it's "been covered before in another thread". It may well have, but I do not believe the other thread/s will hold all the answers to the question. Issues and ideas evolve, so they must be discussed. Otherwise, why are they still teaching Chaucer in universities?!

What might be an answer is for the more seasoned readers to have their own space on the forum, and links to common questions could be part of a sticky at the top of the post listings so people who are new to this game could be directed to posts or articles that cover the more common questions.

As for the discussion on this thread - I started learning with reversals, but have decided, for now, to stop using them and to learn and know the basics of each card before I start reading them upside-down. But that's just how I want to do it. There's too much to take in as it is. 


jakyle  09 Mar 2003 
CHICKEN 


Lana  09 Mar 2003 
Ooooh. Sarcasm! Well Mojo I did do a search and had you bothered to read my post more carefully, you would have learnt that. I did not find what I was after. Seeing as you're so adamant though, put yer money where yer mouth is and show a link. Or I shan't believe you. :P

Quote:
Originally posted by Diana
Lana's question actually had not been asked before, as far as I know. Her question had a different slant to previous questions, which were very much "do you use reversals" kind of thing. Her particular way of putting it "What does it mean to not use reversals" was not read by some of the posters (we tend to read too quickly sometimes). And actually, her question has not yet been fully answered.

Lana: please ask ALL the questions you want to! Aeclectic is certainly not a club. :)


Thankyou Diana. :) And actually, I did notice quite a few - obviously friendlier people - did give links to old threads to other people. Before I joined I thought people were generally nice here but I guess there's always at least one who will make a fuss just to be contrary and make themselves feel better. Disappointing but a fact of life I guess. ;)

And to stenoboy: Exactly! There's always a new spin on something. And there's a point too about more stickies or something. :) Hmm. 


Diana  09 Mar 2003 
Lana:

Mojo, as you may have noticed, is a Scoundrel, a Rogue and a Rascal. :laugh: (And may I add, an excellent Tarot reader.)

Please tell me, did you find any old threads that helped you, or are there still aspects to your question that are in the dark? 


bec  18 Mar 2003 
it means that you miss out a whole lot of obvious information that many many way to many readers are creating otherwise.

I cant believe reversals can make such a fuzz eeevverytime they are mentioned :P

it's like aeclectic is being devided by earthquake - REVERSALS - crack and splash.

As I wrote once before, wanna do a wake up call in aeclectic, you just yell


R E V E R S A L S

that will make them post.



I LOVE reversals, I USE reversals and to be honest, all the zillion of reasons of why you dont need them ........ BS 


Kaz  18 Mar 2003 
bec : :P
nice to see you again :-) 


joya250  18 Mar 2003 
first off, even if one does find back-logged information... it's an old thread, and one they cannot interact with personally. Maybe one should ask himself why "repeated" threads bother one so much? hmmmm?

okay, now, moving on! I am pleased to see this question as a recent topic. I have been studying tarot for 2 years... and have not committed to using reversals either way. Guess I'm still on the fence. I can see how they have their value... but then again, they could also detract from a reading if one gets intimidated (as I occasionally do) when they appear.

I have found them to be more of a hinderance than a help... at least until I feel I know the cards inside and out and am at the high standard of comfort I have set for myself. Right now when I see a reversed card, I take it to mean that the energy of the card is blocked... I know it goes much deeper than that... but I am unable to give the interpretation of the reversal justice. In other words, it deserves a fuller explanation (imho) than what I can presently give... and therefore, I do not read them as of yet.

However, I have found that once I know how to shuffle without creating reversals... that it is so tricky to purposely turn the cards to create reversals. I feel like I am distorting half the deck, on purpose... now why would you want to begin a reading with half the deck turned around? What is the purpose in setting up half the cards to that state? I feel like I'm poluting them! hmmm, anyone's feeling on this? My question here is WHY turn half the deck around on purpose???

thanks. :) joy 


miranda  18 Mar 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by Mojo
See the little button marked "search" at the top of the page? Try using it sometime. If you had, you would have seen that this particular topic comes up on the order of about every 10 days or so. And the arguments back and forth are the same ones, repeated over and over and over. It gets old.




she did say she searched
<>

you could not be just a *tad* more patient with her? 


wolfen045  26 Mar 2003 
I too am a newbie not just to aeclectic but to the internet as well. When you are first learning a new thing you take "baby steps" For example I am still learning the abreviations and slang terms some people use in their postings. I am still not sure of how everything works on this site, so I for one, would hope people have patience with me. that said, I would like to adress the topic at hand. I don't really use reversals. I have enough trouble shuffling some of my decks as is because I have really bad arthritis in both hands. So for me it is a matter of practicality, to not try to turn some cards around. I am always dropping cards as is!! but if some cards present themselves to me as reversed,I do read them that way. I also place a great deal of emphasis on the relationships between the cards in the spreads and their positions. Blessings on all, wolfen Ps the Arthritis also is the reason for the large number of typos i make :( 


miranda  31 Mar 2003 
haha my typos are due to the fact that i just dont pay attention :):) 


amyel  31 Mar 2003 
The question: What does it mean not to use reversals....

My take: When I first started, I used a deck that didn't advocate reversals. The theory being being that each card had both positive & negative elements to it. When a card twisted it's way around, I uprighted it.

Nowadays, when I do a reading, I take note of reversals - I may or may not physically upright it - but I still read both the upright & reversed meanings. BTW, I do this for upright cards, too. Obviously, there are several factors when reading that we take into consideration, including the placement of the card itself in the spread, the meaning of the place in the spread, the position of the surrounding cards, perhaps any numerological elements for that card if you use these, the card's neighbors, patterns that show up - In short, I don't "treat" reversed cards any different then upright cards. The goal is to read the whole spread in its entirity. Each card reveals another element or piece of the puzzle. It is only when you have put the puzzle together that you see the full picture. For me, this is the most challenging part - don't lose the forest for the trees. 


azuremariposa  02 Apr 2003 
i can see how this subject would come up alot, as there seems to be two (very divided) schools of thought on this one...
so...i might as well join the fray, no? ;) (italics are Lana's questions)
How is it possible to read without considering reversals? um...quite easily possible since it's often hard for new readers to interpret the cards in their upright positions, nevermind reversals...
Wouldn't that change the entire reading? i don't think so...not the entire reading at least...there are so many factors to consider when interpretting a card (meaning, position, placement of other cards near it) that often the situation is addressed w/o need of the "reversed" interpretation...(imho)
Or are there particular spreads which take this into account? not that i am aware of, but i do believe others have mentioned things of this nature...
When reading, we train ourselves to notice even the smallest of details. Surely the inversion of the card is an important determining factor? of course it is...but again, sometimes it is not always necessary...and sometimes it just becomes too confusing to interpret it as such...
Is reading without revesals just a totally different method of reading? pretty much, but not really...lol...meaning that everyone learns differently, everyone reads differently...what works for you might not work for me, but might work for someone else entirely...

when i first began my study of the Tarot, i used reversals and they used to freak me out...i just couldn't get a handle on them and really just didn't like them...it bugged me to see a card upside down, especially the first one...
as time went by, i developed my "style", which included having my querent hold the deck, but not shuffle...i did the shuffling, therefore i ensured i didn't get reversals...
as more time went by, i decided to let the cards do what they will...if i felt like "mish-mosh"ing the deck (i can't describe the shuffle properly, but it's where you force the two sets into each other, rather than letting your fingers separate them one by one...does that make sense?) and turning it, i would...if i felt like shuffling as you would for poker or gin, i would (i still love to arch the deck to bring both sides together...i'm such a nut)...so, now every once in awhile i get a reversed card, and i know it has meaning...but that's me...and that's how i developed as a reader...

and as i said, what works for you might not work for me, and what works for me might not work for you...

i think, Lana, that you will find much diversity in readings and readers here...what is important is to do what feels right FOR YOU...it's wonderful that we all share and learn from each other...experimentation is necessary when you are learning...and you will find that most certainly you will ALWAYS be learning...so, try...play...work...don't close your mind to one way or another, either...because what doesn't work for you today, might just work for you tomorrow...
just my thoughts (after a much needed lunch break...hehe) and opinions...do w/them what you will...
many blessings to all... 


Ruby7  06 Apr 2003 
When I started reading tarot a few years ago I used reversals. At some point (I have no idea when) I stopped using reversals without even realizing it. For me my readings just work better without using reversals. That doesn't mean that I always see the positive side of every card.

I was at a tarot workshop recently and the woman who was running the workshop brought up the question of using reversals. I was surprised to find out that she did not use reversals either.

I just feel like my cards are all together when they are the same way up, it doesn't feel right to me for them to be all mixed up. I don't like looking at pictures upside down. Of course you can turn it around to look at but it's not the same as having them all laid out in front of you.

anyway that's just how I feel. I'm sure everyone has their own personal feelings about this, and everyone should do what works for them. 


Minos  06 Apr 2003 
Do what thout Wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

"Well I'm puzzled. How is it possible to read without considering reversals?"

I do it all the time.

"Wouldn't that change the entire reading?"

Yes.

"Or are there particular spreads which take this into account?"

Some spreads work best with it, for reasons I'll explain below.

"When reading, we train ourselves to notice even the smallest of details. Surely the inversion of the card is an important determining factor?"

Of course it is. But if you shuffle in such a way that cards are not reversed, it doesn't really enter into the picture, does it?

"Is reading without revesals just a totally different method of reading?"

More or less.

"Please explain! :P"

Let's say each card has ten possible meanings. We'll call these a trhough j.

Now, if you read with reversals, if the card comes up reversed, you say to yourself: "okay, meanings a through e are now excluded; the meaning must be f, g, h i, or j".

You then proceed, on the basis of other cards in the reading, to determine which of the five meanings it is.

The reader who does not use reversals does not have the luxury of dispensing with half the possible meanings. Instead, she must pinpoint the significance of the card using only the context of the surrounding cards.

Someone who reads without reversals would say that, by reading with reversals, you throw out half of the possible permutations of a card; and that while reading with reversals takes more subtelty and is more difficult, it yields more nuanced readings.

In answer to your question above, some spreads are better for reading without reversals. Because one must depend more on context, spreads that group cards together, like the 15-card "Thoth" spread, tend to be more useful.

Love is the Law, Love under Will. 


Minos  06 Apr 2003 
One idea, which has come up in the posts of both pro-reversal and anti-reversal users, has astounded me.

This is the idea that reversals are too "negative" or "challenging". For me, what seems much more challenging and potentially negative is the idea that any given card may have a dark or negative meaning as well as a positive one - and that there is no obvious criterion for determining which is which.

Of course, this depends upon the reader not ignoring the "other" meaning.

And since not everyone has the good fortune to be a Gemini, maybe reversals are necessary for some people. ;) 


Rusty Neon  06 Apr 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by crystalmynx
I don`t use reversals in my readings but I try to think of each card having a broad spectrum of meanings ranging from the typically upright meaning to the typically reversed. I use intuition along with the card position and the meanings and positions of the surrounding cards to work out what a particular card means. The question and how the cards relate to it also play their part.


I don't use reversals and my approach to the cards is essentially like crystalmynx's approach. I admit that I've also tried elemental dignities but I never worked at it long enough for it to become automatic and effortless for me. Maybe I'll try again with elemental dignities.

I have to admit that I feel "guilty" sometimes about _not_ using reversals and/or elemental dignities:

(1) because others are using reversals or EDs, and
(2) the now-defunct Tarot Certification Board was requiring that applicants for the CTR designation show that they are using reversals, elemental dignities or another approach to get more meanings from the 78 cards.

My "guilt" has diminished quite a bit when I learned on another tarot list from a TCB examiner that she passed someone who didn't use reversals or EDs but rather an approach similar to crystalmynx's. So there you go!

Although the new approaches to reversals, as exemplified by Greer's book on reversals, have their merits in terms of psychological approaches to tarot, I personally find it incongruous that a reversed card, which IMHO would happen 50% of the time by the laws of probabilities**, should have such a wider spectrum of meanings and be more complex to decipher than the upright card or should be treated more "specially" than the upright card.

** I guess there are some who would say that laws of probabilities are meaningless in this context and that a reversal will occur when the vibrations/forces/whatever so dictate and without regard to probabilities. 


punkangelgcm437  03 May 2003 
I do use reversals because I find it helpful in finding "what energy is being blocked" type things. Just becuz something pops up reversed doesnt mean its bad, but can mean the good energy is being blocked and something needs to change. Thats how I often interpret the reversed meanings. But I also think as a beginner it would be easier to read w/out reversals. But I didnt do that when I began, so I'm not sure.

~punkangel~ 


LittleWing  04 May 2003 
everyone is different - and thats why this discussion will go on and on .........

i used reversals - then when 90% of my spread cards would be reversed i had to reconsider - it limited my interpretation - and i was not happy with my lovely cards all showing upside down and higgldy piggldy!

now i keep the cards the right way around - and if one or two cards oddly end up reversed - then of course i read them as reversed!

i dont believe the reversed is the 'negative' meaning. i interpret the cards good or bad meaning through intuition, and the other cards around it. but really there is no good or bad. just good or bad relating to the querants situation and whether it is in favor of working the way they want it. 


fairyhedgehog  04 May 2003 
Quote:
Originally posted by Ruby7
I don't like looking at pictures upside down.

Nor do I, which is why I am not using reversals.

I don't see that it matters whether you use reversals, sideways cards, all upright or all upside down - what matters is what works for you.

Having said that, I think it is possibly useful to be aware of reversed meanings as these can add extra dimensions to a card.

How reading without reversals works for me is that the pictures are the most important or at least the most immediate thing. I use tarot for meditation and for playing and I have had great fun with my son making up stories with the cards. It wouldn't be the same with the cards upside down.

Incidentally, I've been told that there isn't such a thing as a stupid question - only stupid answers ;) I hope people won't feel put off coming in here to talk about things we've already discussed. Only, if I don't want to keep repeating myself I might refer someone to an earlier thread. 


allibee  04 May 2003 
Lana, try here :

http://tarotforum.net/showthread.php?s=&threadid=9597&highlight=hellfire+sermon

allison 


The What does it mean to not use reversals? thread was originally posted on 06 Mar 2003 in the Using Tarot Cards board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the active threads in Using Tarot Cards, or read more archived threads.

 
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