Today’s prompt is: “Do you read reversals? Why/why not?”
As usual, you can find all the prompts here :).
I do read reversals. I struggle with them many times, and there are periods in which I stop reading them, but, in general, I try to read them and incorporate them in my reading.
But why do I do that, especially if I struggle with them?
I must make a disclaimer: I am not criticizing how other people read. Everyone has their own way of reading the cards, and everyone has their reasons for doing so.
That said, I do think that by not reading reversals, I use a smaller “spectrum of meaning” for the card. I read about this concept in Mary K. Greer‘s Tarot Reversals, I think. Mary K. Greer is one of the most amazing teacher I have ever had the pleasure to read: her books are always very informative but in a way that is not schematic: she makes the cards alive and can really help you make them your own.
Anyway, I digress. In her book, she tells that, for her, every card has a “spectrum of meaning”: from right side up, to upside down, and with all the other degrees in between. If one uses a round deck, this is more visible, because the card can come up inclined at whatever angle possible. For normal, rectangular cards, if one is upside down, or reversed, then it indicates that this card is somehow twisted or blocked. One must assess intuitively, and by using context, at what degree the reversed card is “twisted”. Does it represent a blocked energy? Or just one that is starting slow? Something that is going the opposite way than the right side up card? And so on.
Reading without reversals, imho, means losing a lot of these degrees.
Not only that. Many readers use the reversed meaning in another way: if the card is, say, the Obstacle position, they read it more negatively than if it is in the Advoce position (for example). I do not like this method, because it assumes that certain meanings can *only* be associated with said positions. Sometimes, though, what seems obvious may not be so.
Take the Death card. If in the Advice position, we could say that it’s saying: “Go with the change. Let it go.”
If it is in the Obstacles position, we would surely say: “You are resisting a necessary change. Don’t. Find a way to accept it.”
But it CAN be that sometimes the actually good thing to do is resist a change, and sometimes the obstacles is an actual change that is detrimental to our situation.
With reversals, such a situation is actually very clear. Without them, it is less so.
So, that’s why I don’t want to give up reversals and become good at them :). What are your opinion on reversals?