Tarot Card Reversals

Tarot Card Reversals

Get more meaning when you turn that Tarot card upside down

By Tarot.com Staff

Do you have a handle on the Tarot card basics? Well, then, you're ready for reversals!

Most of the Tarot readings you'll see on Tarot.com deal strictly with upright Tarot cards because they are easier to interpret. But many advanced Tarot readers often shuffle their decks to include reversed Tarot cards because they can lend another layer of insight.

Turned upside down, Tarot cards can have an entirely different meaning from their upright interpretations. Some people think a reversed Tarot card guarantees bad news, but that's not the case at all. Often reversed Tarot cards deliver good news, or simply strengthen, weaken, or redirect the primary message of the upright card.

When reversed cards show up in your Tarot reading, you must listen to your gut and look at the surrounding cards to understand what the reversed Tarot card is trying to tell you. It may be positive, negative or neither -- it could just be conveying a lesson you need to learn.

Four of the most common ways to interpret reverse Tarot cards include:

Opposite meaning of the upright Tarot card

Many Tarot readers who use reversals simply believe the reversed Tarot card delivers the exact opposite message of the upright card. For example, if The Devil card shows up in a reading it can indicate being trapped, whereas the reversed Devil card can indicate being set free. This is the easiest way to interpret reversed Tarot cards, but it's not necessarily the best way.

Increased or decreased energy

Some Tarot readers believe reversed Tarot cards indicate the same basic energy of the upright card, only it will be strengthened or lessened. For example, if you draw the 3 of Swords Tarot card upright, it can indicate heartbreak. But if you draw the 3 of Swords in reverse, it can indicate you are either less heartbroken than you were previously -- or that your extreme hurt feels insurmountable. With this method of reading reversals, it is up to the querent to determine the true meaning of the card, so you must listen to your gut and pay close attention to the surrounding cards.

Delays and blocked energy

It's possible your reversed Tarot card is simply trying to tell you there will be a block or delay before the upright meaning of the card is fulfilled. For example, the 10 of Cups in an upright position is a card of celebration -- it indicates happiness, marriage, birth, and other reasons to rejoice. If this card shows up reversed in your spread, it can mean you will still have these things -- but you'll have to wait for them. This isn't to be taken as a negative thing, however, simply a lesson to be patient or to help you find a way to remove the block.

Internal energy

Usually upright Tarot cards represent people, energies, and situations that are happening around you, impacting your life from the outside. When a Tarot card is reversed, however, its meaning can change to one of internal influence. For example, the Page of Cups in an upright position can indicate a new person or relationship entering your life. The Page of Wands reversed, though, could mean new emotions are welling up within you -- that your own views of love and feeling are changing, apart from outside circumstances or who happens to be in your life at that time.

Using reversed Tarot cards is more complicated because the meaning isn't always clear, so such readings are best for more advanced Tarot readers. But the way to become advanced is through experience, so go ahead and practice! The more Tarot readings you do, the more intuitive the process will become, whether upright or reverse.

Learn any reversed Tarot card's meaning NOW »

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