More than 200 years after tarot made it’s debut in Italy, readers began interpreting the cards differently if they were pulled from the deck upside down or reversed . This trend of interpreting a reversed card differently continues today.
Some decks, like The Mythic Tarot and The Enchanted Tarot (and some readers) choose to interpret the cards the same way regardless of whether they’re upright or reversed. But some readers and decks like The Quest Tarot offer a different interpretation of the card if it’s reversed.
I sometimes choose to interpret reversed cards differently because this offers yet another 78 set of interpretations to choose from, in effect doubling the size and interpretive power of the deck. Now, how would this affect your reading?
Well, if, for example, you pulled the Knight (or Son) of Wands this could mean a sudden, exciting business trip or vacation. It could also signify a charming, fun, hot, young guy coming into your life who’ll be there for a good time not a long time. However, the Son of Wands reversed would mean that an anticipated trip wasn’t going to happen, or that it’s not a good time for a trip. It could also signify a young guy who, unlike his cheery upright brother, is narrow-minded and stuck in a rut.
However, just because a card’s reversed, doesn’t always mean it’s negative. Eight of Cups upright, for example, often signifies that you can’t do anything more: you’ve just got to grieve and move on. Not an easy card. But the Eight of Cups reversed implies joy and success will be moving into your life. It also implies that you will be in the right place at the right time!
When do you interpret a card as reversed? Well, obviously, you could interpret a card as reversed when it’s upside down. But you can also choose to read a card as reversed if the cards around it seem to indicate that it’s reversed.
So, what does that mean for you? Don’t over-analyze, just go with your gut response. The cards often reflect what a higher power or your subconscious want you to know. So you just trust your instincts and go!
And if you’re new to tarot, I would suggest getting to know the cards very well upright, before adding reversed cards to the mix.