Reversal.jpbA flipped card can make for a confusing Tarot reading. When I teach Tarot classes, I often encourage people to ignore any cards that come out upside-down, at least initially. They can be a confusing thing, for sure!

Reversal cards can be a pill, but they can also open up layers of intricate meanings. My reading this morning, using my Tarot of the Boroughs deck, came out like this:


And then my cat sat on them.

Thanks, Tildy.

Thanks, Tildy.

Three interpretations for your reversed cards:

1.) The opposite of their upright positions. 

If right-side up, the 10 of Wands+The Seeker (aka The Fool in most decks)+Judgment means for me it’s time to turn in a new direction. 10 of Wands means exhaustion. The Seeker means doing something new. Judgment, in this context, signifies right action. So, in reverse, I can take these cards to mean that it’s not the right time to do something new. As tired as I might personally be of someone or something, the relationship or project has not run its course.

2.) A modified version of the upright meaning

In this reading, the cards still signify fatigue and need to make a change, but they don’t spell collapse or tremendous upheaval. This reading suggests a small change to avoid potentially greater exhaustion later on.

3.) A hidden version of the upright position

The reversed reading may be exactly the same as the upright reading, but it’s something internal or private. It may mean the burn-out is something others are unaware of and the changes to be made are personal or private.

4.) Three reversed cards can be a clear no

One reading strategy I employ is pulling three cards for a yes/no question. Three upright mean yes. Three reversed mean, no. In addition, the cards pulled can help illustrate why the cards said yes or no. Perhaps my question was, “Should I clean out the back closet this week?” The answer may be no because I might just have too many other things happening at the moment. “You’re too tired. Don’t try to start anything new,” seems to be the message in that respect.

5.) You’ve asked the same question too many times or have been reading too long. 

I’ve found that when either I or a client ask the same questions repeatedly, even in slightly different ways, the Tarot gets tired and shuts down. When all cards come out in reverse and I’m not inspired to interpret them, it’s time to end the reading.

How to know which interpretation to go on? 

I recommend pulling what can be called a “clarity card” which is one to help you determine how to read your reading.

1.) The opposite of their upright positions: Clarity card is another Reversed Card. 

Another flipped card? Flip the meaning of the upright reading!

Another flipped card? Flip the meaning of the upright reading!

2.) A modified version of the upright meaning: Clarifying card is a “smaller” card than the others.


If you read Aces as “1’s”, which I do, you’ll see that because the Ace is smaller than the majority of the other cards (10 of Wands and 20-Judgment), it encourages an interpretation which is a modified version of the original.

3.) A hidden version of the upright position: Clarity card indicates something covert, secretive, or private.


In Tarot of the Boroughs 7 of Swords, a woman is sneaking up on a guy. The secretive nature of the card suggests the interpretation is something that’s not out in the open.

For “No” or “Stop reading” interpretations, it’s dependent on what you asked. Naturally, if you asked a yes/no question and got the three in reverse, it’s a no. If you’re getting all reversed cards after asking the same question 200 times, it’s time to stop.

These are just a few of the interpretations for reversed cards. I explore these more in-depth in my new book, Tarot for One: The Art of Reading For Yourself, which is now available for pre-order! 

Also, I have a new article out on Spiral Nature on the challenges and rewards of spiritual leadership. 


Hoping your Monday is as easy as Matilda’s Monday…..