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PsychicWitch's Avatar
Join Date: 09 May 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 32
Question Reversals a must?

In the instruction book the divinatory meanings also gives you a reversed meaning, but I have also read a book that says that the author doesn't read reversals and that you don't need to. So should I read tarot reversals or not? Is it manditory and are reversals worth it?
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Old 10-05-2007     Top   #1
UrbanFool's Avatar
Join Date: 17 Apr 2007
Location: No. California, USA
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I think they're worth it myself, but they're by no means mandatory.

You'll find that some people are so intuitive they could read squares of toilet paper, but others do better with the reversals.

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Old 10-05-2007     Top   #2
Gavriela's Avatar
Join Date: 11 Mar 2007
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And some of us read dignities instead of inverted cards, some people use other methods, and some don't do any. It's entirely up to you.
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Old 10-05-2007     Top   #3
PsychicWitch's Avatar
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what are dignities? and could you explain some other methods used?
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Old 10-05-2007     Top   #4
Join Date: 01 Jun 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 18,911

No, they are not a must! I don't use them, simply because I don't like them, I have tried, and for me it just makes things a bit too complicated for my liking.

As for most things, each to their own. There is no one thing that is set in stone, using reversals is a suggestion, it is not a requirement. I don't use reversals and give good readings without them!

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Old 10-05-2007     Top   #5
frelkins's Avatar
Join Date: 19 Mar 2007
Location: USA & Denmark;
Posts: 1,987

to paraphrase umbrae: read all the books, practice with the cards, keep a daily journal -- and then throw it all away and do only what works for you. you should be your own expert. never let anyone dissuade your from your own path.
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Old 10-05-2007     Top   #6
wytchwood's Avatar
Join Date: 08 Mar 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 2,159

I have always used dignities in the past, but am considering using reversals, at least for a time, to see how I get on with them. As I've never used them before, I won't know whether they're effective or not until I try it. It's up to you really, but I like the idea of using either dignities or reversals, as it gives another dimension to a reading. Saying that, it's probably best to become familiar with the upright meanings first if you're a beginner (you don't say if you are or not).

Edited to add:

Just noticed your question asking about dignities. It's basically a system which can be used instead of reversals. It works like this:

If neighbouring cards are of opposite suits, they can be considered ill-dignified and the 'reverse' meanings are applied. Each suit relates to an element, it is the opposite elements which makes them opposite suits. Therefore Cups and wands (water and fire) are mutually hostile, likewise sword and pentacles (air and earth). Other suits are neutral with each other, but suits of the same 'sex' are more supportive than those of the other sex. eg. Cups and pentacles are female, wands and swords are male. In addition, the meaning of a card can be sweetened or soured according to it's proximity to 'evil' cards, or cards who's meanings put a negative slant on things. It's a flexible system up to a point, but it rules out the possibility of certain cards being read together in other ways as they are controlled by dignity. I tend to play it by ear and make sense of it intuitively.
Hope this helps.


Last edited by wytchwood; 10-05-2007 at 07:47.
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Old 10-05-2007     Top   #7
EnriqueEnriquez's Avatar
Join Date: 10 Sep 2004
Location: N.Y. U.S.A.
Posts: 421

If they make sense to you, use them. If they donít make sense to you, donít use them.

I personally think that a card can have positive and negative associations, but I donít think that depends on the card being upside-down, or not. It depends on the context, and on the feelings the card elicits in the person you are reading for.

But as Grouch Marx said: ďThis is my philosophy. If you donít like it, don't worry. I have another one!Ē :-)

enrique enriquez/hieroglyphic terrorism

CHOKING HASSARD: the future contains small parts that might be very easy to swallow.
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Old 10-05-2007     Top   #8
jayem's Avatar
Join Date: 29 Mar 2007
Location: Chicago, IL, US
Posts: 913

completely up to you. the beautiful thing about tarot is that you dont HAVE to do anything!
i personally dont use reversals, for i believe the cards were meant to be read right side up... but, i am trying to learn the meanings for reversed cards if i feel like using them in the near future. to me, though, they make things more complicated.
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Old 10-05-2007     Top   #9
Moonbow's Avatar
Join Date: 08 Nov 2003
Location: Southern England
Posts: 9,113

Very nice Enrique, and good to see you back with us too.

Reversals is something I am never quite comfortable with because I really do like to see the card upright, even if it's one that I am totally familiar with. Each reading is different afterall and to be able to see the entire reading and how the cards interact with each other plays an important part to me.

I have read with reversals but nearly always find myself puting the card upright anyway so that I can get the sense of the spread as a whole. I think perhaps this is a very personal thing, just as it is to either have the cards facing yourself or the client, or whether they sit next to you or opposite.

I try both ways, (or either way!) and some decks suit the cards laid out upright. I suggest trying both ways and seeing which suits your style.
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Old 10-05-2007     Top   #10
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