There are many different opinions and a long standing debate within tarot circles about the meaning, relevance or otherwise of reversed cards. It is all a matter of personal choice whether you need them or not. Reversed cards at times give negative connotations as compared to upright cards. It is also said that an upside down card reveals that the energy is there, but not yet developed. If you want to use reversed cards, the simplest way to interpret them is to consider that this quality may be somehow lacking in your life right know, or that the qualities it represents need to be made conscious. Personally, I always run all cards into the upright position, because the rich symbolism of the upright cards will tell you what is lacking, what is needed, which energy is passive dormant or active at any moment in your life.
A word on reversals:
Whether or not to use reversals is a decision you must make for yourself.
The thing with Tarot is that an upside down card may not be a true reversal at all. It may signify a situation completely irrelevant to what you feel when the card is right-side-up.
Reversals can be helpful in pointing out direction.
For instance, the direction a knight card ends up tells whether the coming change is going to be a challenge or make things easier. On a page, use the direction to help decide if it will be good or bad news. Also use direction to determine if something is beginning or ending.
There are six general schools of thought on this issue.
- There is no need to use reversals since the entire spectrum of emotion and action is already covered in the 78 cards.
- Reverse cards mean the exact opposite of the upright meaning.
- A Reversed card signals that the energy of the upright card is blocked or may be delayed in some way.
- A reversed card has the same meaning as an upright card but special attention should be paid to it.
- There is no reverse definition but a reverse card signals to use the negative, extreme aspect of each card’s meaning (as I am sure you noticed throughout the lesson, each card offers a spectrum of meaning).
- Reverse cards can indicate direction as if an action or event or emotion is coming or going, past or present. This is especially true of cards that signify movement such as the knights.