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An Alternative Way to Reading Reversed Tarot Cards

By March 10, 2016 October 14th, 2018


Reversed Tarot cards.

You either love them or hate them.

Me – I love them.

Why? Because I've discovered a number of different ways to read reversed Tarot cards without getting stuck in the ‘doom and gloom' that is so often associated with reversals.

But there's one technique for reading reversals that I love the most. It's soulful, healing and deeply insightful. Yet many Tarot readers aren't even aware that this technique exists!

In this post, I'll show you this alternative way of reading reversed Tarot cards that will add true depth and meaning to your Tarot readings – without the doom and gloom!

Tarot Cards As Energy

Before we get into the technique, let's get back to basics …

At the core of it, Tarot cards are energy.

That is, each card is an expression of energy in its many different formats.

For example, the Four of Swords is an expression of peace, rest and contemplation. When we encounter the Four of Swords in our everyday lives, we experience it as energy that manifests in different ways – taking a break from work, spending some time thinking about a situation before acting or getting more sleep.

Or take the Knight of Pentacles. He is an expression of following a routine, being consistent and sticking at it. Again, this energy can appear in our lives, either as a part of ourselves that is being expressed, or a part of someone else. It may manifest as the daily grind of 9-to-5 work, commitment to an exercise plan, or setting budgets.

So the Tarot cards represent pure energy and our interpretation of the card is how that energy will manifest in our lives. Got it?

Upright Tarot Cards Are ‘Externally Expressed Energy'

When I look at an upright Tarot card, I see it as ‘externally expressed energy'. That is, the energy of that Tarot card is expressed outwardly into the world.

So, for the Four of Swords, you are letting others know you're taking a break (you don't just disappear into your own head).

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Or with the Knight of Pentacles, you are creating household budgets or you are turning up to work every day.

Upright Tarot cards represent energy that is experienced in your external environment and in your relationships with people and situations.

Reversed Tarot Cards Are ‘Internally Expressed Energy'

If upright cards represent externally expressed energy, then reversed Tarot cards are internally expressed energy. That is, energy that is held within ourselves or that is more private or even secretive.

The Four of Swords is no longer about taking a break from work, but finding peace within and calming your inner thought process. Or, there may be a period of retreat, away from others and in private.

And the Knight of Pentacles reversed is no longer about showing up every day at work and following the routine, but creating personal routines and applying self-discipline to stay committed to those routines.

To make things really simple, take the upright meaning of the Tarot card, and then add “self” or “private” to the interpretation.

For example, the Empress is about nurturing and therefore the reversed Empress is about self-nurturing.

Or the Eight of Cups is about escape and therefore the reversed Eight of Cups is about a private escape (one that no-one knows about).

See – it can be quite simple indeed!

What I love most about this technique is that there is no ‘good' or ‘bad' message here (unlike the traditional reversed card meanings which focus on the opposite of the upright card meaning). It's simply where the energy is being felt.

This technique can also show where changes need to be made or where action needs to be taken. If your Tarot reading is mostly upright cards, then you know you're dealing with external situations and your relationships with others. If your Tarot reading is mostly reversed cards, then you know you're dealing with yourself and any required actions or changes need to happen within you first.

Over to You

It's time to give this technique a go! Grab your Tarot cards and split the deck into three piles. Turn one pile 180 degrees, so you're turning some of your upright cards into reversed cards. Then shuffle the deck again.

Now, do a simple 3-card Tarot reading and hopefully you'll get at least one reversed Tarot card in there. Take note of how the upright and reversed Tarot cards interact with each other and look for where the energy is either externalised or internalised. Think about where you can best focus your energy, based on these cards.



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