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Grizabella

If You Don't Use Actual Card Reversals, How do You Know When To Read Them As Reversed?

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Grizabella

I was going to answer this question in the thread it was asked in, but it doesn't really apply to that subject so I've cut and pasted it in this new thread. I hope it's in the right section, but if not, I know our faithful and diligent mods will move it. ūüôā

 

 

I don't use actual reversed cards myself unless they just happen unintentionally.  I determine the meanings according to "all things considered" type reading method. Meaning that card combinations, the clients' questions, the imagery and looking at the spread as a whole to look for patterns of color and such things are how I interpret the reversed meanings if they apply. 

 

I'm also a strong believer in a precise question and named positions, too.  If a reader puts out a few cards and doesn't have a particular question or specific named positions, I call that a "puddle" spread. It's like pouring a glass of water on the counter to quench your thirst. You can lick it off the counter, but it's going to be very inadequate and not much help for your thirst. If you put the water into a container you can drink from, you've got a very efficient means of quenching your thirst.   Don't get me wrong, though. The "puddles" are a good tool for learning Tarot.  I'm not denigrating the use of them if you want to. In fact, I think there are some readers who find that they're better at readings if they use them. It's probably a matter of taste to some extent.  

 

You can also design your spread to include positions where the cards will be considered reversed in meanings. For a simple example, you might ask the question as a what if I do, what if I don't with regard to some sort of issue you're considering taking action on. The what if I do would be read as the positives of doing it, and then the next would be what you can expect if you don't do whatever it is.

 

Back to your question, though, you just learn to read the cards as having a reversed meaning as you go along. And there are differing opinions about the meanings of reversals. Some probably believe it's just the opposite of the upright meanings. That may work but I've found that adding in other factors from the card itself is also useful. For instance, imagine you've drawn the 9 of Cups reversed. Upright, the card used to be called the "wish card" meaning upright it grants your wish and the little chubby guy on the RWS card is looking very smug.  But reversed, all those cups spill whatever was in them if you turn them upside down. Upright, you could read the card as meaning the questioner has a very satisfying and fulfilling life at this time, but if reversed, they could be seen as being an emotional wreck over something since the Cups cards are associated with emotions.

 

 

 

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stephanelli

This will sound very vague, but to me it's all about the energy of the card and how it is in combination with the other cards, the question asked and such like.  It's easier to be sure when doing a spread with named positions but I find it sometimes comes up in 'puddle spreads' (I love that name for them!)

 

When I use a 'puddle spread' is generally because I want to intuitively feel into the situation more than in other readings.  I guess it's a pyschic gift of some sort but I can really feel the energy and emotions around a situation or person (whether I'm trying to or not), and often a reading will also come with the querents energy (even online readings).  For me, this is often my indicator for a card being read 'reversed'.

 

I'm not sure how helpful my two pennies worth is, but thought I'd share it anyway!

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katrinka

I don't use reversals as a rule. I know how to read them, I just don't see them as necessary. I bring a lot of cartomantic/Lenormand type techniques to a reading, and reversals jut fuzz up the picture. (It's OK - Crowley didn't use reversals, either.)

It's not so much a psychic thing as a "The 9 of Cups is flanked by the Tower and Death, maybe this ain't so good" thing. :classic_cool:

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Nordica De Spell

Thank you for posting this! ūü§ó

 

(I use reversals, but it was a very interesting read and alternate suggestions!)

 

***

 

Puddle spreads is something I’ve seen here are oftentimes used by those new to the tarot, and maybe in a 3-card spread. At first, I thought Oh Jikes (and yes, as a beginner I did it too!)

 

But as it’s turned out:

 

In some cases, I love ūüíö¬†puddle spreads...

 

(and in others, for sure where there’s defined positions.)

 

I.e Reading for myself, puddle spreads is definitely the mess you describe, but in some other cases I‚Äôve began¬†to feel that¬†the energy of the spread can light up more clearly (in some cases) where there‚Äôs ‚ÄĚno borders of defined use‚ÄĚ around the individual cards... The waters just run and blend with eachother in a life-like way...

 

I guess, how often are our inner energies, or life influences, contained to one area only... oftentimes they flow into eachother; (and it depends on the question and deck and spread though...)

 

So, recently I’ve felt that I don’t want to rule puddle spreads completely out from the arsenal of methods to approach the tarot...

 

But preferably not the puddle method¬†for a 12-card spread, (for myself or anyone,) though! ūüôā

 

(It would probably work for a purely intuitional reader, though, with however many cards?)

 

(Probably the worst spreads to try and read are the ones where there’s supposed to be a definition to each position, but it’s been defined too vaguely... And the question posed has been vague too... in those cases, I rarely know what to read, at all.)

 

I LOVE¬†the ‚ÄĚpuddle spread‚ÄĚ name! Next time I see one, I‚Äôll just think to myself that ‚ÄĚOh, it‚Äôs a Puddle Spread!‚Ä̬†ūüíēūüíē

 

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Nordica De Spell

P.s

 

@Grizabella,

 

To completely derail, there’s a thread on here about how to read horizontal cards... 

 

Personally I don’t know at all how to read them, and would love to hear how you do it?

 

 

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Cookie

If the upright is the ideal situation then the reversal is not how it was meant to be nor turn out to be.  Somethings gone wrong in the process & the planing (we all know that the littlest thing can put us off our stride).   Something's stagnated, they need get flux & movement back in this area of their lives.  The card's energy wants to be turned the right side up.

 

This is just my humble opinion, but if the moon or the stars are in the reversed card then the sky becomes the sea & the celestial bodies become reflections, so the person really needs to think about or ponder their life and existence.

 

If there is water in the reversed card (like the ace of cups for example) then this becomes the sky, and if they don't take evasive action they're lives are going to get a proverbial soaking.

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Nordica De Spell
3 minutes ago, Cookie said:

if the moon or the stars are in the reversed card then the sky becomes the sea & the celestial bodies become reflections, so the person really needs to think about or ponder their life and existence.

... how very beautiful!

 

Thanks for sharing!¬†ūü§ó

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Cookie
Posted (edited)

Thank you @Nordica De Spell

 

Just realised I didn't answer the question properly though!¬† I hope i don't do this in my exams next week¬†ūüôā

Edited by Cookie
add more

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Wanderer

Personally I see the meaning of a particular card as a loose spectrum, each reflecting the range of precise scenarios around one particular concept. The upright and reversed meanings can be at opposite ends (although normally these spectra aren't quite as linear as that!), but they both relate to the same concept. For example, Death is about change: at one extreme it is the end of one thing and the beginning of another, but reversed it can mean stagnation and being trapped in one way of being. Somewhere in the middle is the desire or need for change, but lack of enough drive to achieve it. 

 

    When I'm not using reversals (the Wildwood isn't built to incorporate them), I read the cards as the concepts embodied in them, rather than as the end-members themselves. The question of 'when to read the card reversed' isn't quite right, because it's not an either/or situation. Each card is a spectrum, and where on the spectrum the meaning falls depends on the context, the surrounding cards, and the nature of the question... as well as just plain intuition.

 

   Personally, I find reading single cards is quite hard, for exactly this reason: one card can tell us the spectrum of concepts that is important, but you need to add something extra to show in which direction it is pointing. Death talks about change, but is it the need for one, or resistance to it? With more cards, the meaning usually becomes clearer as part of  the emerging narrative. 

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PageOfCups
1 hour ago, Cookie said:

If the upright is the ideal situation then the reversal is not how it was meant to be nor turn out to be.  Somethings gone wrong in the process & the planing (we all know that the littlest thing can put us off our stride).   Something's stagnated, they need get flux & movement back in this area of their lives.  The card's energy wants to be turned the right side up.

 

This is just my humble opinion, but if the moon or the stars are in the reversed card then the sky becomes the sea & the celestial bodies become reflections, so the person really needs to think about or ponder their life and existence.

 

If there is water in the reversed card (like the ace of cups for example) then this becomes the sky, and if they don't take evasive action they're lives are going to get a proverbial soaking.

This is awesome!

 

me personally, when it comes to the Cups suite,¬†I sometimes imagine the contents of the cups spilling. Especially when it‚Äôs like the 9 of Cups or whatever. ūü•ā

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Eric

But, do cards have to be read as reversed?

 

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Wanderer
6 minutes ago, Joe said:

But, do cards have to be read as reversed?

 

Not at all... but they do have to be consistently. If you intend to read reversals, then a reversed card will turn up when appropriate. If you intend not to have any reversed concepts at all... well, then, don't use the reversed concepts. :azn:

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Cookie
1 hour ago, PageOfCups said:

This is awesome!

 

me personally, when it comes to the Cups suite,¬†I sometimes imagine the contents of the cups spilling. Especially when it‚Äôs like the 9 of Cups or whatever. ūü•ā

Thank you @PageOfCups

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AJ-ish/Sharyn
5 hours ago, Wanderer said:

  (the Wildwood isn't built to incorporate them),

I've never understood this deck concept or construct. What does that mean? 

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Wanderer
Just now, AJ-ish/Sharyn said:

I've never understood this deck concept or construct. What does that mean? 

Basically, the authors didn't feel that reversals were necessary, or added to the meanings, so the guidance they provide doesn't include them. This means, firstly, that the range of meaning that normally falls into reversals has to be incorporated into the cards' general meanings, making them a little more varied and diverse in their implications. It's as I write above, really - the meaning of a card is the spectrum that includes 'positive' and 'negative' aspects of the same concepts. In order to reflect that, the cards' images are complex and often ambiguous; I have often seen cards as either positive or negative, depending on the context, the position in a spread, and of course intuition. Sometimes a different aspect of the card will come forward when you turn it over. The result is that their message can be varied, and (even more than normal) dependent on circumstances... I guess that they're stories, rather than sigils, if that makes sense. 

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Grizabella

One of the hurdles I found hard to cross when I first learned the meanings of the cards was how to interpret a card in relation to the actual question. But the cards "speak" in symbols and learning the general meanings is just a very early chore. There's much more to it than that.  Once I learned those, then came learning how to read the cards in combination and all the other bells and whistles Tarot comes with.

 

To learn reversals is just something I developed after awhile. To begin with I was just going to learn upright meanings and then go to using reversed cards but when I got to the place where I was ready to learn reversed cards, I just didn't feel I needed them. 

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fire cat pickles

I think the problem you mention, Griz, is part of the reason I've moved away from spreads in general over the years. The more knowledgeable I've become with the actual card meanings, all of the meanings including the forward and reversed (I consider all when reading as I don't use reversals but I do use dignities), the less I rely on positional meanings. It tends to muddy the waters. I pay closer attention to a final card in the row as sort of an Outcome card, and then focus on it as an indicator, or solution, to a problem.

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Grizabella

I agree that dignities can work very well, too, without using reversed cards.

 

I came back to make another comment about reading reversals if one chooses to use them. Every reader will develop their own meanings for reversed cards, whether they choose to actually reverse the cards or not.  Reading the cards in general is a very personal endeavor and it's only with time and experience that the reader finally morphs it all into a personally eloquent divination tool.

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JustPeachy

 

On 6/5/2019 at 3:34 PM, Grizabella said:

One of the hurdles I found hard to cross when I first learned the meanings of the cards was how to interpret a card in relation to the actual question. But the cards "speak" in symbols and learning the general meanings is just a very early chore. There's much more to it than that.  Once I learned those, then came learning how to read the cards in combination and all the other bells and whistles Tarot comes with.

 

To learn reversals is just something I developed after awhile. To begin with I was just going to learn upright meanings and then go to using reversed cards but when I got to the place where I was ready to learn reversed cards, I just didn't feel I needed them. 

I'm struggling with connecting the card to the question asked so I totally relate to that right now. It is getting a bit easier the more time I spend with my deck. Sometimes I sit down and "just tell stories" like drawing story boards for a movie or something without any specific question, although I do find that the first 1-2 "story boards" actually answer a question that I've had lurking in the back of my mind. I'm also finding that my deck (Centennial RWS) can have a cocky smart ass tone to it, which I appreciate in many ways. It doesn't suffer fools lightly, but it puts up with me in all my fumbling. :classic_laugh:

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devin
Posted (edited)

For a while now I've been working with attendance / aspect, and find it's a great method for cutting out instances of ambiguity. For example, if a card is flanked by two negative cards, it'll tend to take on its negative meaning. If, on the other hand, it is well attended, its positive aspect is emphasised. Neutral attendance signifies a lukewarm meaning. I also hold cards to the left as having a greater influence than those to the right. 

 

I suppose this is something akin to a simplified elemental dignities system. And I do think it's important to use some sort of system if you're not utilising positional spreads (which I almost never use).

 

Another thing I've been playing around with is integrating a near and far approach into my tarot practice (borrowed from lenormand). But I'm still playing around so won't really comment.

 

As for applying card's meanings to specific questions: Try and think of a card's essential nature, ie. What is The Wheel of Fortune? What does it do? How does it behave? Is it good or bad? Fast or slow? Who turns it? And then imagine how this essential nature/function gets to work in a variety of settings, like work, love, finances, etc.

 

Andy B. wrote a lovely piece on considering cards in this manner: https://abcartomancy.wordpress.com/2019/01/12/image-trumps-symbol/

 

Peace-out.

Edited by devin

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Saturn Celeste

I use reversals but I often look at them as blockages.  I also use them for yes/no readings using 4 cards or less.

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devin
On 6/5/2019 at 10:10 AM, katrinka said:

"The 9 of Cups is flanked by the Tower and Death, maybe this ain't so good" thing. :classic_cool:

Ha Ha just spotted this. I like the way you said in one sentence and an emoji what I took a few paragraphs to try and get across. ūüôā

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JohnLetter
On 6/5/2019 at 4:04 AM, Grizabella said:

I was going to answer this question in the thread it was asked in, but it doesn't really apply to that subject so I've cut and pasted it in this new thread. I hope it's in the right section, but if not, I know our faithful and diligent mods will move it. ūüôā

 

 

I don't use actual reversed cards myself unless they just happen unintentionally.  I determine the meanings according to "all things considered" type reading method. Meaning that card combinations, the clients' questions, the imagery and looking at the spread as a whole to look for patterns of color and such things are how I interpret the reversed meanings if they apply. 

 

I'm also a strong believer in a precise question and named positions, too.  If a reader puts out a few cards and doesn't have a particular question or specific named positions, I call that a "puddle" spread. It's like pouring a glass of water on the counter to quench your thirst. You can lick it off the counter, but it's going to be very inadequate and not much help for your thirst. If you put the water into a container you can drink from, you've got a very efficient means of quenching your thirst.   Don't get me wrong, though. The "puddles" are a good tool for learning Tarot.  I'm not denigrating the use of them if you want to. In fact, I think there are some readers who find that they're better at readings if they use them. It's probably a matter of taste to some extent.  

 

You can also design your spread to include positions where the cards will be considered reversed in meanings. For a simple example, you might ask the question as a what if I do, what if I don't with regard to some sort of issue you're considering taking action on. The what if I do would be read as the positives of doing it, and then the next would be what you can expect if you don't do whatever it is.

 

Back to your question, though, you just learn to read the cards as having a reversed meaning as you go along. And there are differing opinions about the meanings of reversals. Some probably believe it's just the opposite of the upright meanings. That may work but I've found that adding in other factors from the card itself is also useful. For instance, imagine you've drawn the 9 of Cups reversed. Upright, the card used to be called the "wish card" meaning upright it grants your wish and the little chubby guy on the RWS card is looking very smug.  But reversed, all those cups spill whatever was in them if you turn them upside down. Upright, you could read the card as meaning the questioner has a very satisfying and fulfilling life at this time, but if reversed, they could be seen as being an emotional wreck over something since the Cups cards are associated with emotions.

 

 

 

Me not, because 78 cards are more than enough for read and there are many positive and negative cards. Also I cant imagine how would I shuffle the cards for make them reversed lol.

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Saturn Celeste
1 hour ago, JohnLetter said:

Me not, because 78 cards are more than enough for read and there are many positive and negative cards. Also I cant imagine how would I shuffle the cards for make them reversed lol

You've said this many times John about using 78 cards but I just want to make sure you understand what you are saying.  Yes, there are 78 cards in the deck but you only read a few cards at a time.  What I do to put reversals in my deck is shuffle the cards very well, then I count out 21 cards and reverse them.  Then I put those cards in the middle of the deck and shuffle really good again.  So, if I deal out 3 cards, I might get a reversal, I might get all reversals or I don't get any reversals.  After the reading, I turn all the reversed cards upright in my deck and I'm ready for the next reading.  This is how I do it but every reader has their own technique for adding reversals.  In a Lenormand deck you do a grand tableau spread where you read all 36 cards but to read all 78 tarot cards at once would be really time consuming and not very efficient.  One tarot card can give a lot of information but 78 would be crazy!  Using reversals is a choice, not mandatory.

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