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Upright only decks


Holly
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I noticed in one of the other threads some of the respondents mentioned tarot decks that don't have reversals by design. That's very interesting. I've never heard of tarot decks being set up that way. I think Robbin Wood was mentioned, but what are some other decks like this? 

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Some decks have books or little booklet where the artist / creator expresses an intention that they should be used upright only. Also other decks have backs of the cards that you cannot reverse, you can tell they are upside down by the backing artwork. Also some books or LWB's (Little White Books) don't give meanings to reversed cards and only upright.

 

You can use them still reversed if you like, you can use tarot decks however you like with your own systems. But sometimes the artists don't intent for them to be used reversed.

 

The Wild Unknown deck has a page in the guidebook with it, which says that it works best with intuition to read the cards upright. There is a specific instruction. Sometimes I have ignored this using it 🙂

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The Bonefire Tarot was designed to be read upright only; I remember that the author of this deck said it in the companion book that comes with the deck, and so she gave no particular meanings for reversals (but it’s not something forbidden of course).

 

A Tarot deck like the 5-cent Tarot by Madam Clara was designed for reversals; actually it would be a little nonsensical to read this one upright only.

Edited by Decan
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27 minutes ago, gregory said:

Really - why ?

Because of the keywords on each of the cards.

Okay we can always ignore the keywords for reversals but it would be to bad for this deck.

Otherwise I’m not wild about reversals myself.

Edited by Decan
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AlbaTross

With cards that have backs that aren't reversible, there is definitely a range in just how noticeable it really is.  Oftentimes, it's a minor detail in the design that the undiscerning eye wouldn't notice and I no longer pay much heed to myself.  There are decks where it's quite blatantly obvious though.  In that case I still mostly ignore it because I do reversals in my readings, but during my shuffling and deck-cutting method I often end up having to choose my stack knowing that one or more undoubtedly have a reversed card on the top.  It's not a deal-breaker for me, and although it's certainly not ideal, I can roll with it.

 

A far more common thing I come across is decks with guidebooks that only cover the upright meanings of the cards.  While I have my preferred source for general readings, I often default to the LWB or guidebook for a deck because even if it's just a sentence or two, it usually speaks into the specific imagery of the deck to some capacity, which can provide insight that may differ slightly from what I would get from say, the equivalent RWS card.  The way I typically resolve the issue of there being no provided reversal reading is to read the upright meaning provided, then hop on over to Biddy Tarot to read up on the reversal meaning derived from the traditional cards.  It also helps that I have since committed the basics of certain card meanings to memory, including their reversals, in which case I could just recall that and not have to look up anything...though there are reasons I may still want to consult the guidebook as the imagery may include the creator's personal interpretations or the guidebook itself may be part of the experience.  So, I definitely prefer when guidebooks include both upright and reversal meanings, but I can roll with the absence of the latter if need be.  

Edited by AlbaTross
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Thanks guys! Huh .... I never would have considered the card backs. Wouldn't have thought it had a meaning. Just would have thought it was a design choice. 

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On 8/10/2021 at 3:58 AM, Holly said:

Thanks guys! Huh .... I never would have considered the card backs. Wouldn't have thought it had a meaning. Just would have thought it was a design choice. 

With the Da Vinci Enigma deck, one of Caitlin Matthews', The backs, while non-representative and geometric, are all subtlely different. Her recommendation? Draw as many cards as you feel you need, look at their backs and see which ones join  together in pairs or in larger groups. There will always be some that don't. Read the joint ones as praise or recommendations, read the individual ones as warnings. 🙂

 

Or you could ignore that, shuffle the deck and do what you always do. That works too.

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TdM doesn't traditionally use reversals. Most TdM readers don't use them, anyway. I believe it's Camoin who has a particular use for a reversal in a spread but it isn't as if the card meaning itself is read has a reversed meaning. (It get complicated from here on out, so don't quote me on what I just said.)

 

 

Edited by fire cat pickles
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On 8/27/2021 at 12:55 PM, PathWalker said:

Then there are circular decks - some folks don't do reversals at all with them, and so folks do a whole range of of upright, through left or right slanting, to upside-down

Yes, I like that about the Daughters of the Moon

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Guess I am a little late to the party . . .

I think the one that stands out I got after hearing good things,

Tarot Illuminati

https://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/illuminati/

 

The accompanying book doesn't mention reversals. When I read with it I find it to sometimes be, too upbeat. This is especially true if I am looking into something more serious. Just my way of thinking.

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