As a Tarot reader, you have a lot of cards that could appear when doing a reading. When you notice that when you flip a Tarot card, and it appears upside down, you may find yourself wondering if you should just flip it upright or if it means something more.
Tarot cards can be upside down and are referred to as being in the reversed position versus appearing upright. While each Tarot card has a designated traditional meaning, the reversed cards could represent the opposite meaning or a difference in energy, such as being internal or blocked.
If you are interested in learning more about what it means when Tarot cards appear in the reversed position (upside down), and if you should be incorporating this in your readings, keep reading below. However, keep in mind that it can be quite confusing at first, especially for new Tarot readers, so save the reversals for when you are more experienced and intuitive.
When you turn a Tarot card upside down, it has a completely different meaning compared to the upright positioning of the card. This does not mean that it is bad. It can give clearer guidance for the person you are reading when you choose to interpret cards in their reversed position as well.
With your intuition and guidance from resources out there, you will be able to understand the meaning of reversed cards. While looking for help in your journey to learn the reversed meaning of all 78 cards, the book Tarot Reversals for Beginners by Leeza Robertson has plenty of information so you can become a master in no time.
Nonetheless, you can always figure out the meanings on your own by using a specific method. Below we have outlined the four most common methods and techniques to interpret the meanings of the Tarot cards when they appear upside-down.
The Opposite Meaning
One way that some Tarot card readers interpret reversed cards is by switching the meaning of what the upright card means, essentially believing that the reversed card is just representing the opposite meaning of the upright card.
For example, if the death card were to be drawn in the upright position, it represents the ending of something, such as a project, a relationship, or even a plan you had. The opposite of this meaning would be the beginning of something, such as a new endeavor.
Although this way of reading reversals is actually claimed to not be the most effective way, so many Tarot readers choose to use one of the following three ways.
Difference in Energy
Another way of interpreting the meaning behind reversed cards is through an increase or decrease of the energy indicated in the upright meaning of the card.
By using both your intuition, the surrounding cards, and what the querent might have told you, you will be able to identify if the energy of the reversal is representing an increase or a decrease.
For example, the Queen of Wands energy is confident, and she thrives in social situations. If this card is in reverse, it could either represent too much confidence, resulting in arrogance, or too little confidence that appears as being shy or quiet.
You are then left to decide whether it is too much energy or too little. You can even ask the querent what role confidence may play in their life, and the insight you give can then be based on how they can increase or decrease their energy.
In the case of blocked energy, or sometimes referred to as delayed energy, the reversal of the card simply means that the upright meaning is available to you as long as you are patient or find a way to remove the block.
If the card that is in reverse is Temperance, instead of the upright meaning, which represents the feeling of moderation and harmony being in your life at the moment, something could be blocking your ability to feel the moderation and harmony. Either through patience or looking into why it will allow you to feel the upright purpose of the card.
External and Internal Energy
When a card is upright, it is typically expressing external energy. This external energy usually has to do with people or situations in your life and affects you.
When a Tarot card is reversed, it could represent that the energy is actually internal, from the inside out. In this case, if it was the Empress that appeared upright, this energy would be externally representing that you care for and watch out for others. However, in the reversed position, if this energy is internal, it could mean that you need to focus on taking care of and focusing on yourself.
The great part about doing it this way is that there are no bad or negative meanings, it simply just informs you whether you need to look outside of yourself or work within yourself.
Most professional Tarot readers love to include upside-down cards as part of their readings, and while you don’t have to, there are many benefits of doing so. While it does take some time to learn the messages that are uncovered from the reversed cards, it can prove to be extremely helpful to the person you are reading.
Nonetheless, it can get extremely complicated with all of the different ways you can read reversed Tarot cards. With that being said, you should only begin to use reversals when you have perfected working with upright cards.
Once you have become more experienced and intuitive, however, here are some of the many benefits of adding reversals to your Tarot readings:
- Expands your understanding of each Tarot card
- Deepens your relationship and your connection with the cards
- Can provide more insightful and accurate advice to the querent
- Adds a layer of depth to the reading that otherwise wouldn’t have been there
- Shows the querent where things need to change in their life on a more specific and meaningful level
- Makes for more interesting readings
If you are still worrisome about adding reversals to your readings, take some time prior to practice. When the time is right, you will feel more confident not only reading reversals but picking a technique in order to use them. When you do, you can pick a technique based on your instincts, personal experience, and other cards that arise in the reading or possibly just because you prefer it.
When you do, your querent will be amazed at the results they get from their readings and you will feel as if you were better able to look deeper into their situation to find the advice they needed to hear.
If you choose to add an extra layer of depth to your readings by including the upside-down (reversed) cards as part of the reading, you will be opening up yourself and your querent to a whole new layer of insight you wouldn’t have gotten before.
While you do not need to include reversed cards, by looking at what they represent as either the opposite meaning, being internal or blocked energy or even an increase or decrease of the energy presented in the upright card, you will provide more profound and deeper readings.
However, take your time and practice reading reversals on yourself first. Once you have done this, you will begin interpreting and developing your intuition to recognize the reversal meanings much faster and easier.