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La La 
Join Date: 05 Jul 2002
Location: Newcastle, Australia
Posts: 25
Beginners query- reversed cards????

Hello friends,
I'm a relative newbie and am wading in with what I hope is not a dumb question.
I was reading Angeline's thread "anyone else new to tarot" and checked out Thirteens posting "tarot basics" to get an over view but noticed there was no explanation of reversed meanings.
Most of the books I've read show meanings for reversals - is this strictly correct - reversing the cards sometimes reverses their meaning or enhances it in some way.

La La
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Old 08-08-2002     Top   #1
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Join Date: 31 Mar 2002
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 937

The only stupid questions are the ones that are never asked!

Reversed meanings refer to a way of working with the cards assuming a reversed/upside down card shows some sort of blockage and/or altered meaning. The energy and meaning of the card is the same, but it shows itself in a different way.

I say "a way of working with the cards" because not all of us use reversals at all, so if you give it a shot, or two, and find that reversals don't seem to agree with you, you don't HAVE to work with them. My belief is that both sides of the coin is in every one of the cards at all times, including what others may call reversed meanings, and use my intuition to determine how to read the card in every specific case.

Welcome to the forum, don't be shy to ask any question you like, and participate in any discussions, because that is just such a great way to learn and grow! See you around!

Light and love,

Aurum nostrum non est aurum vulgi.
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Old 08-08-2002     Top   #2
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Join Date: 20 Apr 2002
Location: Wigan, UK
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I'm also relatively new to the Tarot and I haven't really used reversed meanings up to now. I agree with Jenni-Li that the cards carry all the shades of meaning within themselves. Using reversals in effect directs the reader to one shade rather than another but the pattern of the spread might also do the same, coupled with intuition. Using reversals therefore is not necessarily 'better' than not using them.

However as Jenni-Li says it may well be worth trying it out just to see how you feel and whether it works for you. I'm going to experiment with reversals to see if it improves my readings but if not I'll go back to upright cards only. Trying out something different helps you develop as a reader and to establish your own style.



Wer meines Speeres
Spittze furchtet
durchschreite das Feuer nie!

Wotan, Die Walkure, Act III, Scene 3
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Old 10-08-2002     Top   #3
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Join Date: 04 Jan 2002
Location: Ottawa, Canada
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There are two schools of thought on this, and really, it comes down to personal preference.

I don't use reversals. This was because when I first learned tarot, I used a deck that believed all cards had a positive/negative aspect to them, and it had more to do with the querents reaction to the card, and/or it's position in the spread then whether or not it was reversed. For example, if your qyerent (or you, if you are reading for yourself) has a deep fear of committment, then the 9 cups is not going to be a welcome card for them. You see?

I think when you are just starting, you've got enough on your plate to consider. My 12 y.o. step-daughter is just learning tarot, and this is what I've advised her, too.
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Old 10-08-2002     Top   #4
the hermit 
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Join Date: 07 Jul 2002
Location: lost in the land of foolishness
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Re: Beginners query- reversed cards????

Originally posted by La La
Hello friends,
I'm a relative newbie and am wading in with what I hope is not a dumb question.
I was reading Angeline's thread "anyone else new to tarot" and checked out Thirteens posting "tarot basics" to get an over view but noticed there was no explanation of reversed meanings.
Most of the books I've read show meanings for reversals - is this strictly correct - reversing the cards sometimes reverses their meaning or enhances it in some way.
Take a peek for lots of opinions on reversals. I think you may find it an interesting and useful discussion of your question.

Last edited by firemaiden; 11-06-2003 at 20:57.
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Old 10-08-2002     Top   #5
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Join Date: 20 Mar 2002
Location: Upper Left-Coast, USA
Posts: 8,847

Excellent question!

When you are new, reversals may be difficult. Especially if you stick to the meanings in the little white books, or the trash that passes as expert author's pathetic attempts to write.

Go easy on the reversals at first. You may even want to ignore them for a while. Essentially you double your deck size.

Another member did a thread a bit ago that rocked. I highly suggest it.

For your reading pleasure:
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Old 28-08-2002     Top   #6
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Join Date: 25 Oct 2001
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I would also like to recommend Mary Greer's book "Tarot Reversals" as a resource.

Entity of the Water/West Corner
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Old 29-08-2002     Top   #7
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Wow Umbrae, thank you for reviving that thread! Absolutely fascinating new ways of relating to my reversals are tickling my brain now.

La La, my own reversal approach is a blending of things I've picked up along the way that seem to work for me and my Cards. I do encourage you, like everyone says, to devlop at your own pace and go with your own intuition. For years I did not read reversals. It's only been in the past few that I've started incorporating them into my readings. I just felt like I found ways that they finally made sense, when before they simply confused me.

I sometimes approach reversed cards in the way author Gail Fairfield discusses : Reversed cards are dealing with your inner world (thoughts, feelings, emotions) and regular cards your external world (action, material existence).

I sometimes find a card that suggests a reversal interpreation that doesn't fit that though, and I am only beginning to find what each card is trying to say in that case. So I'm still learning, and it's subjective.

Which is good! Go with what you feel, and keep asking questions! I've learned from it as well, and so do others....

"Sex is one of the nine reasons for reincarnation. The other eight are unimportant." -Henry Miller
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Old 29-08-2002     Top   #8
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Join Date: 25 Aug 2002
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 179

Thanks for your post. I really got some good suggestions!


"The greatest wisdom is to make the enjoyment of the present the supreme object of life because it is the only reality, all else being the play of thought." - Schopenhauer
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Old 09-09-2002     Top   #9
Join Date: 25 Aug 2005
Location: India
Posts: 55
On reversals

I have looked upon reversals in a reading as an unfavourable sign. So the first thing that i try to gather when I deal out a spread is the proportion of reversals in the spread.. I take a reversal free spread as a good sign i.e lessened obstacles, delays..
Is that a good way to look at reversals? The reason why I am asking is cos i did a spread for my frd who has applied for a new job..There were some indicative card such as two aces, a page of wands in the reading..There were no reversals.. So I have taken it as a gd sign... She got a two of pentacles in the final outcome, i think it will be a good change way as far her finances are concerned.. However, I'm only able to predict if it's a good move or not..I am unable to answer the question if she will get the job..Is it possible to predict if she will get the job or not?
In an earlier reading on a new job, most of the cards were reversed and there were no promising cards, so I deduced that there were too many obstacles..That reading worked. Due to some merger issues, they could'nt hire her.
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Old 11-10-2005     Top   #10
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