To Reverse or Not Reverse – That is the Question?!

To Reverse or Not Reverse – That is the Question?!

Added at 15:52 on 17 February 2022

What should you do with reversed cards if you just don't understand them?

The issue of reversing Tarot cards can greatly confuse those new to Tarot, as well as those more experienced.

It is worth noting that when Tarot started, these simply were not an issue, and using reversed cards is not necessary. Once you have a grasp on the cards, you can then see that they stand up well on their own upright. So, using reversed cards is a matter of choice.

Tarot was, and still is, read by many 'Comparative Tarot Readers' solely upright. Within a spread, each card will be changed by its position, other cards by theirs, and each card by the cards within the spread, and here they are called Ill Defined or Well Defined, or badly placed/well placed—you get the drift. An individual card within a spread is not a sole entity but part of the holistic whole. For those who never wish to learn reversed, there is this richness mentioned with the ill-and-well-defined aspect that will be added to your readings in time with study, practice, and a greater understanding of the individual cards.

I advise those who are new or those who are confused by reversed cards to just leave them be. If a card gets turned upside down, just pop it up the right way. I never went near reversed cards for a decade. There is no rush.

Imagine going to a party where you need to get to know and understand every person there, and there are 78 people! How long do you expect it to take? Each person requires a relationship to understand who they are, and at first, you may only remember one thing about them or associate a single word with them—such as the one with the green eyes, blue top, new shoes, the strange one, etc.—but even that will take imagine 156 people. Isn't that a lot?

If you use reversed cards, you will have 156 relationships to build. If you are struggling, confused, or just not getting to grips with the tarot and you’re trying to use reversed cards, just leave that aspect to one side. You can always come back to it later.

Confusion with such issues can lead students to leave Tarot behind.

Don’t overload your senses; focus on the 78 relationships within the upright. You will lose nothing from doing so, but you may gain some confidence. 

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Understanding Tarot by Pam Richards



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