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Reading Reversals in Tarot "To read, or not to read reversals, that is the question"

Updated: Mar 24, 2021

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I don't think there is a hotter topic in the Tarot community than whether or not you should read card reversals. Of course you should read reversals, well actually that depends.

In my personal practice when a Tarot card comes up reversed I interpret that differently than when it is in the upright position. THIS IS MY PERSONAL PREFERENCE. We really need to get away from telling other Tarot readers what they should and shouldn't do in their own personal practice. Here's why:

I hold the belief that you will get the cards the way you are meant to interpret them. Your guides and your higher self know how you read cards and will guide you to select the cards based on your skills and abilities. Yes all the cards have traditional interpretations (specifically referring to the Rider Waite Smith decks) for the upright and reverse however intuition also plays a huge part in how one interprets the card meaning. We don't know what the reader is intuiting when they see the card so we really need to back away from insisting each reader interprets cards the same way we do. We all are coming into this practice with different skill sets and abilities. Each person comes into a reading with a different amount of intuitive abilities, critical thinking and interpretation of the Tarot cards.

Let's say I'm doing a reading for a client and the Sun reversed comes up. I might ask the client if they have been feeling sad or frustrated lately. The client will probably confirm this. You might be thinking, well if the reader doesn't read reversals and the Sun reversed comes up that has an entirely different traditional meaning. It is essentially the opposite meaning. The Sun interpreted as upright would indicate the client is very happy and joyful which we already confirmed is not the case with the client in this example. So you might be thinking I just proved the point that all readers need to read reversals in order to accurately read Tarot. Here's the catch, your higher self and your guides know that you don't read reversals so if you are intuitively shuffling and drawing cards you WOULD NEVER DRAW THE SUN REVERSED for this client if you do not interpret reversals. You would instead most likely draw another card to indicate the client's current state of sadness like say the 3 of swords, the 9 of swords, the 10 of swords etc.

We need to keep in mind that Tarot is blend of both logic and intuition. The amounts specific amounts of each that you use depends entirely on YOU and you will get the cards the way that YOU interpret them in your practice.

Do you see what I mean here?

I suggest we all do a little more inclusivity and a lot less gatekeeping and superiority in the Spiritual community. Let's support and build each other up rather than tear each other down.

I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on this topic in the comments!

My favorite deck that I am using here is the original Rider-Waite deck.


We all know the Wheel of Fortune has a very different upright and reverse meaning in the traditional sense. Upright it can mean Good Luck in the Reverse it can mean Bad Luck. If you are a reader who doesn't read reversed cards you wouldn't get this card in that specific reading if you needed to tell the client they might be facing a period of not so great luck. You would probably get The 10 of Swords, or The Tower etc.


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