I sometimes struggle to interpret or find empowerment in upside-down Tarot cards. Readings get murky when cards point in the opposite direction only to offer a new myriad of possible interpretations. It may equate to potential not yet reached, the opposite of the card’s meaning, inward-pointed energy or the “shadow” of the card among other possibilities.
When, for example, the Tower - Major Arcana #16 falls reversed, the reader is left interpreting by way of multiple-choice: Is this iconic card’s potential is just around the corner, implying impending doom? If the opposite of its meaning is true then worst is over. In the case that the “turning inward” approach has been applied: you feel like the Tower inside, meditate on the Tower, etc. The conflict in reading reversed cards sometimes leaves me swinging blindly at meaning.
Is reading shadows the most intuitive way to divine? Maybe sometimes.
Square decks like the Dark Days Tarot deck offer four directions as opposed to two. This allows the cards to be read cyclically instead of dualistically. Each of the four directions point to specific beats in nature that gracefully interact such as the four seasons, the four elements, the four quarterly moon phases, etc. The four-sided method of interpretation may be more intuitively readable.
If you don’t have a square deck, it’s not a problem. Simply treat reversed cards as if they’re beckoning for more information. Try one of these methods per reading:
Treat the reversed card like you would a bottle in the game of spin the bottle: give it a twirl and see where it points. The top of the card points the way. What direction is it pointing toward? If it’s north, you might begin to visualize northern locations of interest to your story, the element of earth and/or earth signed people, finances and resources, etc.
If your deck or surface doesn’t allow for spinning, try putting a bowl or hat in the center of the spread space. Eyes open or closed, flick the card with a subtle flick of the wrist, aiming to land it in the bowl. Discover the direction your card has landed once you’ve flicked whether it’s in or outside of the bowl.
If you connect with numerology, toss a dice when a reversed card feels murky to read, then apply what comes to you about that number to the card’s meaning and pair the interpretation for additional information.
For more ways to be playful with your deck, check out this post that includes tips for how to tap into your Child Self during your Tarot readings.
Stay tuned for further reading on the numbers in the Tarot. See you at the next full or dark moon, subscribers. x
Shop Dark Days Tarot decks here.