3 Ways to Read a Reversed Tarot Card

by - October 03, 2017

Reversed tarot cards can make learning tarot even more intimidating. When you start out on your journey to learn tarot, you are learning the meaning for 78 different cards, when you add in reversed meanings, you're now looking at learning 156 different meanings for the tarot cards. This can be overwhelming.

Some readers prefer not to use reversed meanings claiming they are not needed to give a full reading. I have also heard that you may not need to use reversals if your intuition is strong enough and the cards are just the starting point for your intuition to really kick in. I'm not sure how I feel about this idea. Feels like it bashes people who read with reversals and says they're not as in touch with their intuition. But that's just my opinion.

Other people love reversals and say that they bring an entirely new layer to the tarot reading.

In the end the choice is yours whether or not you read with reversals. You are no less of a tarot reader with either decision.

I personally chose whether or not to read with reversals based on the deck and sometimes just how I feel that day. It's hit or miss. You don't have to commit to one way or the other.

Now that I've gotten all that out of the way here's some basics about tarot card reversals.

 What is a reversal?

A tarot card reversal is when the tarot card you pull comes out with the face up and upside down. 

Note: If you are working with a spread that uses a card that goes from left to right, you need to make a decision on which way (left or right) is up and which way is down, and stick to this decision so your guides or the Universe will know how to give you the cards.

What do they mean?

Each reversed tarot card has it's own meaning. How you interpret the card is up to you and what you feel guided to. There are multiple ways to interpret a reversed tarot card, the way that you interpret the card is up to you and how it feels at that time. Most times, it s a variation of the upright meaning like in the example below.

Example:  4 of Cups: Upright the 4 of Cups can mean that you are bored with things and that you don't want to look at what it being presented to you. You want to continue to sulk and feel bad. When reversed, the 4 of Cups can mean that you're bored with what you have or you have missed an opportunity that was presented to you.

3 Ways to Read a Reversed Tarot Card

Internal Versus External Energy

Reversed cards can symbolize that you need to work on something within yourself. For example, if you get the Sun reversed it may mean that you need to work on learning to create your own happiness and stop relying on other people to tell you when you are happy and when you shouldn't be happy. When you are working on yourself, and bringing the focus inward, you are no longer focusing on the external energies that are acting upon you and affecting your choices and decisions. 


A reversed tarot card could mean that the energy of the card may be delayed in coming to you. For example, the 8 of wands shows that energies are quickly moving forward and passions may be moving along. But reversed this card may show that there is a delay in moving your passions forward and that you either need to give it some times, or there is something blocking these energies from getting to you. You may need to clear out these blocks before this speedy energy can get to you.

Opposite Meaning

When the card is reversed, it may mean that the energy is the opposite of the upright meaning. For example, the 7 of cups is showing you all of these lovely options from which you can choose from. These are all of the things that you want. When the card is reversed, it looks like all of these lovely things are falling out of the cups and falling away from you and you are chasing them, trying to grab them, before they're no longer in your reach. 

I hope that these 3 ways to look at a reversed tarot card were helpful to you in your tarot journey and please remember that there is no "right way" to read a tarot card. There's only YOUR way.

Are You Interested In Connecting to Your Authentic Self through Tarot? Check out my Intuitive Tarot Guide to Connecting to Your Authentic Self!

Check Out These Posts For More Awesomeness