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How to Interpret Reversed Tarot Cards

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Interpreting Reversed Tarot Card Meanings 


Especially for beginners in tarot, one of the most challenging aspects of readings is interpreting the reversed meanings of cards. You might have thought that reversed cards only bring bad news or contain purely negative meanings. In fact, some tarot readers choose to ignore reversed interpretations altogether, simply turning the cards upright when they appear reversed. However, I believe this goes against the nature of tarot, and reversed cards should indeed be interpreted.

So, how can you interpret reversed tarot cards? Some of you might be thinking, "Oh no, after learning the meanings of 78 cards upright, now we have to learn their reversed meanings?" Don't worry; after discussing some methods on this page, you will realize that you don't have to memorize the reversed meanings of each card. By applying a few methods, you can interpret reversed cards.

In essence, the methods I will discuss here involve turning the story of each card upside down. Additionally, the perspective of the card changes when it is reversed, resulting in a kind of negative shift in its meaning. For instance, when a card with a numerical value of 1 is reversed, its numerological value becomes -1. I will talk about these aspects. Reversing the meaning of a card adds depth to your readings. So, even though you might think you are working with 78 cards, including their reversed meanings, you are actually working with a total of 156 cards when you consider the additional depth.

From here, I will discuss a few methods for interpreting reversed tarot cards. You can choose to apply one or more of these methods or even all of them depending on your preference. Let's get started.

Method 1: Nothing in Excess! 

Reversed cards may indicate extremes!

Excessive anything is usually unhealthy. When tarot cards appear reversed, they may point to an excessive manifestation of the event described in the card, resulting in an imbalance. The person might be exaggerating the situation to the point where it disrupts their peace. For example, Pentacle cards often relate to financial matters and material well-being. While giving and helping are always good, avoiding miserliness is important. However, when Pentacle cards appear reversed, they might suggest wastefulness.

Going to extremes can lead to disruptions in other areas of life. For instance, Cup cards usually represent emotions, romance, and love. When reversed, they could signify that emotions have overridden reason, leading to poor decisions. This isn't a good thing. A person should make balanced decisions in life.

Method 2: Reducing the Energy, Lightening of Meaning:

Another way to interpret reversed tarot cards is to reduce the intensity of the card's meaning. Here, the idea is to decrease the energy of the card. For example, if a card talks about intense pain, when reversed, it might indicate that the pain is starting to subside. Or, if a card signifies achieving a peak or victory, when reversed, it might still indicate a form of success, but not in the way the person hoped. The person didn't leave empty-handed.

Method 3: Think of the Opposite Meaning:

In this method, you can focus on the complete opposite of the meaning presented by the card. Victory cards could indicate defeat when reversed, or cards signifying harmony and unity could indicate discord. Or, cards representing reaching the summit could instead signify a fall and failure. When using this method, you completely shift your perspective to the opposite meaning.

Method 4: Energy Blocked, Event Hindered:

A commonly used method by many tarot readers is interpreting reversed cards as indicating an obstruction to the event described by the card. For example, King cards are typically associated with authority and success, but when reversed, they might indicate an obstacle preventing that success. There could be an energy present, but it's either blocked or inaccessible. The person may not be in the right place at the right time or might lack the necessary conditions for the success represented by the card.

Method 5: A Worse and More Negative Content:

While I'm not particularly fond of this method, you may come across negative and gloomy terms like betrayal, deception, separation, disharmony, and the like when reading about reversed tarot card meanings. Unfortunately, this method is quite common when interpreting reversed cards. However, it's up to you to choose which method to use, and you don't have to employ this one if it doesn't resonate with you.

Method 6: Flip the Image and See What Happens:

One of my favorite methods is to simply turn the card's image upside down and observe the changes. For instance, if a card depicts a person hanging upside down, and when reversed, they appear right-side up, it could suggest that they are returning to normalcy and seeing things as they truly are. Or, if a card shows a king sitting on a throne, reversing it could make the king fall from the throne, symbolizing a loss of rank and status. This method is the most straightforward and practical.

Method 7: It's Okay to Forget All These Methods and Trust Your Intuition:

As mentioned earlier, tarot is not just about the images, numerology, astrology, and symbolism on the cards. You should interpret tarot based on your intuition, using these other factors as guidelines and clues. The same applies to reversed tarot cards. When a card is reversed, it's essential to listen to what your inner feelings tell you. How did you feel when you saw the card reversed? What changes did you sense? How was it different from when it was upright? Answering these questions from your own inner world will guide your interpretation.

Feel free to choose the method or methods that resonate with you, and remember that tarot reading is a highly intuitive and personal practice. Trust your instincts, and your readings will become even more insightful.

Numerology in Tarot


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