When you tour his museum, he wants you to intuitively choose your own route through the facility and trust the guidance that directs you. His tarot deck is like that, too. It’s so unique that relying on traditional meanings won’t help you interpret the messages you get as you work with his deck. You have to use and trust your intuition if you want to retrieve meaningful messages.
That’s perfect for me because I read and teach the Tarot intuitively. That way I know I’m receiving beneficial information. I encourage you to approach the Tarot (and life) from this perspective, too. To give you an experience of this, I’m including an excerpt on reading reverse or upside down cards from chapter 5 of my book, The Infinite Tarot.
How to read and interpret Reverse (upside down) Cards:
Many Tarot practitioners interpret a Tarot card differently when it’s upside down after it’s been turned over by the Tarot practitioner or the querent. They feel that it’s upside down to warn them that they need to pay special attention to the card.
What do I do when a reverse card shows up in a spread? I turn it right side up and I keep reading, interpreting the card from it’s now upright position.
I don’t read reverse cards any differently than I do when they’re upright. I’ve never had the experience (or the luck!) of walking into a room and seeing someone or something standing on their head so that I’d know I needed to pay special attention to them or be wary of them for some reason. I’ve always had to read the energy of a person, space or situation just the way it showed up, and I’m guessing that you’ve had to size up life’s situations that way, too.
Inherent in each Tarot card are all of its possibilities—positive, negative and neutral. A card, regardless of its position, upright or upside down, the other cards around it and the energy of the question and the querent at the time of the reading contain more than enough information to attract your attention and guide you to all of the pertinent information related to the question or issue. It’s been my experience that you can get all of the information you need from the cards in their upright position without adding the extra work and using the valuable time it takes to learn the reverse meanings of the cards.
I urge my students to learn to read the cards without placing special emphasis on reversed cards. If they’ve had prior experience reading the Tarot with reversed cards, I honor their experience and their method and I ask them not to read the cards from a reversed position during the class. Sometimes, a student who learned the Tarot with me will decide later that they want to read reverse cards and sometimes, a student with prior experience, will choose not to read reverse cards anymore. When that happens, I honor that person’s choice and I encourage them to do what works best for them
That being said, when I consult with another Tarot card practitioner, I don’t care if they read reversed cards or not. I’m not a ‘back seat driver’ and if my intuition leads me to a particular oracle for information I need, I’m more than happy to let them obtain it in the manner that works best for them.
That’s my approach to reading and interpreting a Tarot card that shows up in a reversed or upside down position. I invite you to test drive this method a few times and see how it works for you. I also invite you to learn more about developing and using your intuition with the Tarot by purchasing my book, The Infinite Tarot. Just click on the Store tab on the navigation bar at the top of this page and you’ll be directed to the Store page.