When Tarot Cards are Reversed: Understanding the Meaning and Interpretation

When it comes to tarot readings, the orientation of the cards is crucial. Tarot cards can be drawn in an upright or reversed position, and each orientation carries a different meaning. Reversed tarot cards can add a whole new layer of depth to your reading, providing insight into energy blocks, underlying issues, and unknown opportunities.

In a tarot reading, a reversed card can indicate a blockage or imbalance in the energy that the card represents. For example, the reversed Chariot card can signify a lack of direction, control, or focus, as well as potential setbacks and challenges. On the other hand, the reversed Death card can warn of an inability to progress, entrapment in a cycle of misfortune, and a refusal to embrace alteration.

While reversed tarot cards may seem daunting, they can also provide clarity and guidance. By understanding the meaning of reversed cards and their relationship to the rest of the reading, you can gain a deeper understanding of your situation and the energies at play. Whether you’re a seasoned tarot reader or just beginning, learning the meanings of reversed cards can help you unlock new insights and perspectives in your readings.

When Tarot Cards are Reversed Understanding the Meaning and Interpretation

Understanding Tarot Cards

When you draw a tarot card, it can either be upright or reversed. An upright tarot card has a different meaning than a reversed tarot card. The upright tarot card represents the positive aspects of the card, while the reversed tarot card represents the negative aspects.

The tarot card meanings are not set in stone, and can vary depending on the tarot reader and the question being asked. However, there are some common interpretations for each tarot card that can be used as a guide.

There are 78 cards in a tarot deck, which are divided into the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana consists of 22 cards, while the Minor Arcana consists of 56 cards. The Minor Arcana is further divided into four suits: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles.

When interpreting a tarot card, it is important to consider the card’s meaning in relation to the question being asked and the other cards in the spread. A tarot card’s meaning can also be influenced by its position in the spread.

Reading with reversed tarot cards can offer a new perspective on the reading. Reversed tarot cards can indicate blockages, delays, or negative influences. However, not all tarot readers use reversed tarot cards in their readings. Some readers prefer to only use upright tarot cards, while others use both upright and reversed tarot cards.

In conclusion, understanding the difference between upright and reversed tarot cards is essential for interpreting tarot readings accurately. By considering the meaning of each card, its position in the spread, and the question being asked, you can gain insights into the situation at hand.

Concept of Reversals in Tarot

In Tarot, a card is considered “reversed” when it appears upside down in a spread. Reversed Tarot cards are often interpreted as the opposite of their upright counterparts. For instance, if the upright card represents positivity, the reversed card may indicate negativity. However, some Tarot readers believe that reversed cards indicate blocked or internalized energy, rather than the opposite of the upright card’s meaning.

When interpreting reversed Tarot cards, it’s important to consider the context of the reading. Reversals may indicate obstacles or challenges in the querent’s life. They may also suggest a need to look inward and address negative thought patterns or behaviors. Alternatively, reversed cards can signify a release of blocked energy or a shift in perspective.

It’s worth noting that not all Tarot readers use reversed cards in their readings. Some prefer to read only with upright cards, while others use a combination of both. Ultimately, the decision to use reversed cards is a matter of personal preference and interpretation style.

If you do choose to read with reversed cards, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the meanings of both upright and reversed cards. This will allow you to interpret the cards accurately and provide insightful readings for your clients.

Interpreting Reversed Tarot Cards

When a tarot card is drawn in reverse, it can indicate a variety of meanings. Some tarot readers interpret reversed cards as the opposite of their upright meanings, while others see them as a blockage or delay on the path of the querent.

Interpreting reversed tarot cards requires a combination of intuition and insight, as well as a deep understanding of the tarot deck. For advanced tarot readers, reversed cards can offer a new way of working with the tarot cards, allowing for a more nuanced and detailed interpretation of a reading.

In general, it is important to consider the surrounding cards when interpreting a reversed tarot card. The cards that appear before and after the reversed card can provide valuable context and insight into its meaning.

For example, if the reversed Star card appears in a reading, it could indicate a loss of hope or a lack of inspiration. However, if the surrounding cards are positive, it could suggest that the querent is on the verge of a breakthrough or a new beginning.

Similarly, if the reversed World card appears in a reading, it could suggest a feeling of being stuck or trapped. However, if the surrounding cards are positive, it could indicate that the querent is on the brink of a major transformation or breakthrough.

Some of the major arcana cards that often appear in reversed positions include the Fool, the Empress, Strength, the Devil, the High Priestess, the Emperor, the Chariot, the Hermit, Temperance, the Tower, and the Moon. Each of these cards has its own unique set of meanings when reversed, and it is important to have a thorough understanding of each card in order to interpret them accurately.

Overall, interpreting reversed tarot cards requires a combination of intuition, insight, and knowledge of the tarot deck. With practice and experience, tarot readers can develop a deep understanding of the meanings behind each card, both upright and reversed.

Reversed Cards and Emotions

When interpreting reversed tarot cards, it’s important to understand how they can affect emotions. Reversed cards can indicate a decrease in intensity or a shift away from the energy of the card. This can result in a range of emotions from anxiety to relief, depending on the card and the context of the reading.

For example, the reversed Nine of Swords, which typically represents nightmares, anxiety, and inner turmoil, can indicate a release from these negative emotions. It may suggest that you are moving away from a period of intense stress and towards a more peaceful state of mind.

On the other hand, a reversed Three of Swords, which typically represents heartbreak and emotional pain, can indicate an increase in these negative emotions. It may suggest that you are about to experience a difficult period in your relationships or that you need to be cautious about getting too emotionally invested in a particular situation.

When interpreting reversed cards, it’s important to pay attention to your own emotions and how they relate to the cards. If a particular card or reading is causing you anxiety or discomfort, it may be a sign that you need to take a step back and reevaluate the situation.

Ultimately, the meaning of a reversed card will depend on the context of the reading and the other cards in the spread. By paying attention to your emotions and using your intuition, you can gain a deeper understanding of the messages that the cards are trying to convey.

Reversed Cards in Love Tarot Readings

When you’re doing a love tarot reading, reversed cards can add a new layer of insight to your interpretation. However, it’s important to remember that a reversed card doesn’t always have a negative connotation. In fact, it can simply indicate a shift in energy or perspective.

For example, the 10 of Cups reversed may suggest that you’re experiencing a temporary setback in your relationship. However, it could also indicate that you’re focusing too much on the idealized version of love and not enough on the reality of your current situation. This card can serve as a reminder to appreciate the small moments of happiness and to work on building a strong foundation for your relationship.

When interpreting reversed cards in a love reading, it’s important to pay attention to the surrounding cards and the overall energy of the spread. A reversed card may simply be a minor obstacle to overcome, or it could indicate a larger issue that needs to be addressed.

Here are some common interpretations for reversed cards in love tarot readings:

  • The Lovers reversed: This card may suggest that you’re struggling to make a decision about your relationship. You may be feeling torn between two options or unsure about the direction you want to take.
  • The Empress reversed: This card can indicate a lack of nurturing or support in your relationship. You may feel like your needs are not being met, or that your partner is not providing the emotional support you require.
  • The Devil reversed: This card can suggest that you’re breaking free from a toxic or unhealthy relationship. You may be realizing that your partner is not good for you, or that you need to let go of a destructive pattern of behavior.
  • The Tower reversed: This card may indicate a fear of change or a reluctance to let go of the past. You may be holding onto a relationship that is no longer serving you, or resisting a necessary transformation in your love life.

Remember, reversed cards are not always negative. They can provide valuable insights and guidance for your relationship. By approaching them with an open mind and a willingness to learn, you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your partner.

Challenges with Reversed Tarot Cards

Reading reversed tarot cards can present unique challenges and require a different approach to interpreting the cards. Here are some of the common challenges you may encounter when reading with reversed tarot cards:


Reversed tarot cards can often indicate a lesson that needs to be learned. It may be helpful to approach the card with an open mind and look for the lesson or message it is trying to convey.


Reversed cards can also create confusion, especially for beginners. It’s important to take the time to fully understand the meaning of each card and how it can be interpreted when reversed.


Reversed tarot cards can sometimes indicate addiction or unhealthy patterns. If you see a reversed card that relates to addiction, it may be a warning to break free from negative patterns and seek help if needed.

Decreased Intensity

Another challenge with reversed tarot cards is interpreting the decreased intensity of the card. When a card is reversed, it can indicate a decrease in intensity or energy. This can be helpful in situations where the upright card may have been overwhelming or intense.

Card is Being Blocked

Reversed tarot cards can also indicate that the energy of the card is being blocked or inhibited. This could be a sign that something is preventing the energy of the card from manifesting fully.

Blocks and Delays

Reversed cards can also indicate blocks or delays in a situation. It’s important to consider the card’s meaning and how it may be impacting the situation at hand.

Overall, reading reversed tarot cards can be challenging, but with practice and an open mind, you can learn to interpret them effectively.

Tarot Reading Techniques for Beginners

If you are new to tarot reading, it can be overwhelming to learn all the different techniques and spreads. However, keeping it simple and focusing on the basics is the best way to start. Here are a few tarot reading techniques for beginners to get you started:

Shuffle the Cards

Before you begin your tarot reading, it is essential to shuffle the cards thoroughly. This helps to clear any energy from the previous reading and allows you to focus on the current reading. You can shuffle the cards in any way you like, but it’s important to shuffle them well to ensure that the cards are well mixed.

Set Your Intention

Setting your intention is an important part of any tarot reading. It helps you to focus your energy and attention on the question or issue you want to explore. Take a few moments to think about your intention for the reading before you begin. You can write it down or say it out loud to help you focus your mind.

Connect with the Querent

When you are doing a tarot reading for someone else, it’s important to connect with the querent or seeker. You can do this by taking a few deep breaths and focusing your attention on the person you are reading for. You can also ask them to shuffle the cards or hold them while you shuffle to help them connect with the cards.

Keep it Private

Tarot readings can be very personal, so it’s important to keep them private. If you are doing a reading for someone else, make sure you are in a quiet, private space where you won’t be disturbed. If you are doing a reading for yourself, find a quiet place where you can focus without distractions.

Sign Up for a Tarot Newsletter

If you are interested in learning more about tarot reading, signing up for a tarot newsletter is a great way to stay up to date on the latest trends and techniques. Biddy Tarot is a popular tarot website that offers a free newsletter with tips, tricks, and advice for tarot beginners.

Reading Reversed Tarot Cards

Reading reversed tarot cards can add a new layer of insight to your readings, but it can also be challenging for beginners. The key is to focus on the energy and meaning of the card, rather than the traditional interpretation. Labyrinthos offers a great guide on how to interpret reversed tarot cards without the doom and gloom.

Stick to Tradition

While there are many different tarot reading techniques and spreads, it’s important to stick to tradition when you are first starting out. This will help you to build a strong foundation of knowledge and understanding that you can build on as you become more experienced.

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