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The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Reversals







Ultimate Guide


Tarot Reversals



Learn to Read Reversals the Right Way



Valeria BlacK

















The electronic version of this book is free. You may share it on social media, through emails, on your website/blog, or on any other internet platform, as long as you provide attribution to the author. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the author endorses you or your use. You may not use the material for commercial purposes. All portions of this book is copyrighted and you may not share parts of it, remix it, transform, or build upon the material without the express written permission of the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

© 2017 Valeria Black

All rights reserved.


ISBN 9781521258095




















Dedicated to all Tarot readers who love reversed cards

and my sister.






















































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Table of Contents



Part I



Who is this Book For?

The Truth about Reversals

The Secret to Accurate Readings

Do You Really Need Reversals?

How to Shuffle-in Reversed Cards



Part II


The Gift of Unconventional Wisdom

Cards that are Truly Upside-Down

Excessive and Explosive Energies

The Red Flag of Undermined Energy

Cards that are Internalized

Cards that Speak of Other Cards

Cards that Show Movement and Give Direction

Cards that Tell a Story

The Roadmap to Solving Problems

Misused Energy

Energy Projection

Delays and Obstacles

When You Have Blocked Energy



Part III



You Will Forget unless You Do This

Exercise 1: Easy Tarot Reversal

Exercise 2: The Five Elements Spread

Exercise 3: The Inverted Pyramid Spread


This is Not the End

About the Author























Part I


Approaching Reversals the Right Way



It is not enough to just know the meaning of the cards.












Who is this Book For?



You have a valuable resource in your hands. Not because I wrote it—although that is an interesting way of looking at it—but because this book can transform your Tarot readings.

Nevertheless, be forewarned. This is not a superficial piece by any chance, and choosing to peruse it just once is ill-advised. Of course, you can always choose to do exactly that, but then you might as well never read it.

This book is capable of changing your life. After you read it, you will never look at a deck of Tarot cards the same way again. Therefore, before I tell you how to use this book, let us first discuss who this book is for.


Is this book for you?


This book is not for everyone. That is the truth.

If you have never touched a Tarot deck before in your life, and merely found this book while looking for a good Tarot reader, then please don’t waste your time reading any further. This book is not for you.

If you are a brand new Tarot learner who just bought their first deck yesterday (or some time that is figuratively considered “yesterday”), then don’t read any further. This book is not for you (although you can save it for later when you are better prepared).

But if you have some experience with Tarot cards, even if it is just a few months of intensive immersion, or are regularly surprised by a deck that tries to reverse cards during the shuffle (true story), then by golly, this book is for you!


How to Use this Book


The design of the book is simple: Start from the next chapter and keep going onward.

Why? Because I have written this book in such a manner that skipping along will simply disorient you when I refer to things mentioned in a previous chapter. Therefore, stick to my rule, and I promise you that at the end of this journey you will never fear reversed cards again.

There is one exception to this rule though: If you have been reading reversed cards for quite a while now and are comfortable with them, feel free to read this book however you please. You are a veteran and I have full faith in you. You definitely won’t get lost.

So, ready to begin?

Let’s go!














The Truth about Reversals



If you take a Tarot card and turn it upside-down, you get a reversed card. Sounds simple, but it is not quite so.

The truth is: If you want to do readings with reversals, there are a few things you must first learn.


1. All Decks can’t be reversed.


Decks that follow the Golden Dawn school of Tarot do not believe in reversals, and so cannot be reversed. The deck creator accomplishes this by making the image on the card’s back asymmetric so that it immediately stands out if accidentally reversed. And these decks aren’t the only ones out there.

So as a rule of thumb, if your card’s back looks the same in either direction, you have a reversible deck. If not, stick to the uprights when using those cards.







2. Many people intensely dislike reversals.


Reversals are incredibly polarizing. You either love them or you hate them. And while most of us tend to stick to our comfort zones and do as we please, there are some Tarot readers who are incredibly vocal about their dislike, and make it their mission in life to discourage others from using reversals.

This attitude reminds me of those kids in school who berate Mathematics as the vilest subject on the planet because they are failing it. But it also gives us a lesson in human psychology.

Here’s the deal: The number of Tarot readers who do not like reversals is a lot more than those who do. Therefore, by the law of “truth in numbers”, this perception of dislike has created an air of mystery and fear of reversed cards. This ultimately discourages more and more people from learning reversals, and ignorance lives on, multiplying with every generation.

It is time to shatter this foolishness.


3. Reversals are unconventional by nature.


There is the reason why reversals are so polarizing. Not only do they stand out as unconventional cards by the virtue of their topsy-turvy nature, but they also tap into our personal unconventionality when they show up in a reading.

Unfortunately, not everyone is comfortable owning their uniqueness.

Human beings are tribal creatures. It is a genetic thing. And tribes have always conditioned tribe members since birth to follow the tribe’s logic. This maintains law and order, and prevents chaos from reigning supreme. That’s why when something stands out, we immediately resist it and throw up defenses because it is different from what we were taught is correct.

This is the reason why reversed cards evoke such drastic reactions from people. We are conditioned from birth to stay straight and toe the line. Therefore, hanging upside down is an absolute no-no.

But the truth is: Chaos is as important as order. It is the thing that births creativity. That’s why a society without unconventional people always remains stagnant and dies off without progress and innovation.

Unconventional things in life push us forward. And reversed cards do the same for Tarot.


4. To learn reversals, you must first teach yourself to think sideways.


Having laid the foundation in the previous points, this is what it boils down to—

You cannot approach something as unconventional as reversed cards through simple conventional ways. That means memorizing their meaning is not only hopeless, it is laughably wrong.

Then, what is the right way?

Let me show you.
















The Secret to Accurate Readings



Let us go back to Math for a second.

The reason why so many people fail in Math is because their fundamentals are flawed. Nobody bothered to fix their basics.

What do you think happens because of that?

The kid’s tower gets built on weak foundations, and one day comes crashing down when it gets too much.

I was never good at Math. There were times when I used to get a big fat zero. Needless to say, my parents were disappointed. But all that changed when my tutor cleared my fundamentals. I then went on to score 96 out of 100 in my board exam.

Forget about that bragging session for a second (I am only a human, after all), you will understand what I was trying to get at with that story.


The Secret Sauce


It is simple: Just like Math, your Tarot basics need to be really good if you ever hope to accurately read reversals.

Sorry, if you were expecting me to pull a rabbit out of the hat, but that’s the secret sauce.




Know the rules before you break them.


What this means is that if you are a beginner, you need to stop worrying about reversals and get on with learning the upright cards first. And though memorizing keywords are a great way to start you off on that course, remember not to overdo it. Rote learning will cripple your ability to connect with the spiritual plane later.

The correct way is to mix up memorizing with intuitive-learning. This way you will have a general idea about the cards but will also allow the pictures to tell you the full story, which includes the good and the bad.

Do this, and your intuition will strengthen over time. And believe me when I say this — you will need your intuition with reversals.

Only move onto reversals, when you are confident with your uprights. This is crucial because with reversed cards visual cues will be restricted. Therefore, you will need to rely on your fundamentals to keep you steady as you navigate this upside-down world. Your intuition simply helps you think sideways and land on the correct interpretation.


Reversals and Chinese Philosophy


Another reason why you need a strong intuition is because the world of reversals is Yin.

In Chinese philosophy, Yin and Yang are halves of a balanced whole. Yin is receptive and yang is active. Yin is feminine, yang is masculine. Yin is night, yang is day.

Yin and Yang are opposites, but together they form a balanced whole. So in essence, they are both in tension and dynamic flow with each other at all times. It is the same in Tarot.

Upright cards are yang. They are upfront about their meanings, and you see them clear as day.

Reversed cards are yin. They are unconventional, and don’t speak clearly at all.

A heavily yang individual will therefore find reversed cards truly abhorrent because they aren’t balanced within to understand yin. Similarly, a heavily yin person will have no trouble understanding reversals because they are already in touch with their intuition, but may find it difficult to give concrete answers because they are not in touch with their yang.

That’s why it is very important to use both memory and intuition while building up your foundation. This helps tremendously when you start reading reversals. Your memory of the upright keeps you in touch with your logical mind and yang self, allowing you to give clear answers, and your intuition (yin) allows you to sink into your subconscious and land on the accurate meaning.


Okay, so we now know the right way to learn to read reversed cards. But we still haven’t addressed the pink elephant in the room: Are reversals really needed for an accurate reading?


Let’s find out.















Do You Really Need Reversed Cards?



Let’s settle this once and for all. The answer is no.

Yes, seriously! I am saying that. But I have a very good reason.


The Reason Why You Don’t Need Reversals

Every time we use Tarot, we tell it how we are going to deal the cards before we start shuffling. And every time, regardless of the type of shuffle, kind of draw, or number of cards, we somehow get the right answer after changing all the variables. It’s as if the cards have the superpower to defy the theory of probability!

Now, some psychologists might suggest that Tarot readers simply see the answers they want to and would have arrived at it regardless of the cards drawn. To counter their argument, I would first ask them to go and study Tarot before they humiliate themselves as ignorant idiots, and then educate them how just about “any” card would never work.

Coming back to the real point I was making, we all agree that the cards stick to the rules we set. This is the reason why reversed cards are absolutely not required, if you do not want to use them.


Using Reversed Cards might actually be bad for you.


Reversed cards are really bad for you if you are—

1. An absolute beginner

2. A fully yang individual with an underdeveloped or nonexistent intuition

We have already discussed why, so I will not repeat it. But if you happen to be one, you absolutely do not need to use reversed cards to get accurate answers from the Tarot.

Now let’s look at the other side of the story.


The Reason Why Reversals are Awesome


Reversed cards add way more depth to your reading if you understand how to read them. That’s why Tarot readers who use them regularly absolutely love them.

The truth is: It is easy to go with the crowd, never use reversals, and say they suck. But I promise you this — if you choose to go beyond your comfort zone and learn these cards the right way, your life will never be the same again.

After all, you are a Tarot reader! You already love exploring taboo territories. And this fondness for the occult immediately qualifies you as an unconventional individual who is perfectly capable of reading reversed cards. You just need to accept your uniqueness to unlock this mystery.

The day you accept this—accept your unconventionality—and embrace reversed cards, the deep ocean of your subconscious will open up to you, and from that day your life will never be the same again.

Are you ready to transform? Yes? Good.







How to Shuffle-in Reversed Cards



There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to Tarot. The decks work as you intend them to. Therefore, you can either choose to use the following techniques or come up with your own. It does not matter as long as you set the intention before you start shuffling.


Technique 1


Shuffle the cards, cut them in three parts, and then flip the middle third upside-down. Stack the three parts with the reversed cards in the middle. Shuffle again and you are ready to deal.


Technique 2


Scatter the cards on the table and use your hands to rotate them in a messy tangle. Make sure you are focused on your question as you do so. Once satisfied, stack the cards and shuffle them one last time before you do your reading.










Part II

Reading Reversed Cards



Now that the ground work is done, let us dig right in and understand the different ways of interpreting reversals. Read them, understand them, and apply them. Remember: Reversed cards don’t come bearing the same message all the time. But you will be fine as long as you let your gut be your guide.











The Gift of Unconventional Wisdom



In Alice in Wonderland, when Alice reaches the room at the bottom of the rabbit-hole, she finds a key that unlocks a tiny door. When she realizes that she can’t use the door, she looks around the room and finds a potion bottle tagged – “Drink Me”.

Now anyone in their proper senses would know not to drink anything from a suspicious bottle that is even more suspiciously marked “Drink Me”. But not Alice. She takes a gulp and shrinks down to the size of a rat.

Her unconventionality is exhibited again when she eats two bites of the “Eat Me” cake and grows to a gigantic size. Long story short: These leaps of faith allow her to exit into Wonderland.

Just like the story above, reversed Tarot cards will sometimes tell you to take the unconventional path and use the energy of the card-in-question unconventionally.

For example, suppose you get the Reversed Ace of Swords.

When upright, this card speaks of those lightbulb moments when we are inspired by a brilliant idea. But when reversed, the wisdom is of the unconventional kind—

Instead of germinating your own idea, the Reversed Ace of Swords might be telling you to plant one in another’s head. This way you will be inspiring someone else to take the kind of action that would be beneficial to you.

Sounds manipulative, I know, but it all depends on your intent.
























Cards that are Truly Upside-Down



This meaning happens to be the reason why reversals get such a bad rep. But that’s because no one bothers to tell the entire truth.

Here’s the deal: Upright Tarot cards are both good and bad (every single one of them). So if you reverse the meaning of the upright card, you still get a good meaning and a bad for the reversed.

Confused? Here’s an example—

The upright Star is a card of hope. It speaks of trusting the Universe and knowing you will be alright. It is an exceptionally positive card, but it also has its negative side.

The darker side of the upright Star is too much optimism.

Maybe you have lost touch with reality because you are flying too high. Maybe you are so focused on the spiritual that you have forgotten that it will only show you the right direction, but will not drop things in your lap if you don’t follow it up with actions in the physical world.

Knowing this about the uprights, we can safely say that the Reversed Star manifesting as a complete reversal of the upright will also have both kinds of meanings.

As a reversal of the positive, this card could be telling you that your hopes and wishes are going to be dashed to the ground. Similarly, as a reversal of the negative, it could be saying that you are making things happen by successfully grounding your spiritual inspiration in reality.

Always remember: There are two sides to a story.
























Excessive and Explosive Energies



Lighting up a hand grenade to look for a candle in the dark is a deadly mistake. It will give you light, no doubt, but will also evaporate you along with the candle. That’s the kind of excessive energy we are speaking of here.

When a Tarot reversal speaks of an excess, go back to the meaning of the upright card to get a hang of the situation.

For example, while the upright Sun speaks of happiness, enthusiasm and all good things, the Reversed Sun could be pointing at a person or situation that burns out everything else in their presence.

Perhaps the querent is too egoistic and cannot bear to have the spotlight away for even a second, and throws a bloody big tantrum when it does! Perhaps the workplace is not as good as you thought at first. It seemed all positive and active—larger-than-life almost—but now you can smell the sharp tang of politics and unhealthy competition in the air.

These are different ways in which an excessive solar energy tends to manifest.

Use the same technique when dealing with other cards that hint at excesses. Go back to the meaning of the upright, and then figure out how it can explode all over the place.







The Red Flag of Undermined Energy



Tarot reversals can also point out undermined energy — energy that has not been fully realized or is weakened for some reason.

For example, say you get a Reversed Queen of Wands.

When upright, she is a fierce monarch who rules with confidence and a voice of steel. But that changes when she goes reversed.

A Reversed Queen of Wands resonating with weakened energy will feel wishy-washy and unconfident. She might even put on the mask of excessive behavior (something we call compensation) to hide her inner weaknesses.

The interesting thing is, when you look at undermined energy from this lens, you realize that excessive and undermined energies are two sides of the same coin. When you find a reversed card speaking of one, always remember to take the other side into consideration as well.









Cards that are Internalized



Tarot reversals may not be unconventional all the time, but what they always are is inwardly-oriented. They are Yin.

You will notice that each and every meaning in this book resonates with that statement —

Reversed cards that give unconventional wisdom, ask you to turn inward and listen to your intuition.

Reversed cards that go full 180o on the upright, speak of an internal manifestation.

Excessive energies, undermined energies, cards that confuse you, all speak of internalization in one way or another. Therefore, for every subsequent meaning try and see the cards through the lens of this knowledge. You will gain much more that way.

Back to the point on hand, what does internalized mean in relation to Tarot?

It means absorbing something so completely that it becomes a part of the personality. Therefore, if you get a Reversed 5 of Pentacles, the reversal could be speaking of a person who has internalized that he is poor.

Such a person, regardless of how rich he gets, will always hoard away his wealth and live like a miser. This is because this man “knows” he is poor and is afraid that one day destiny will figure out he is a fraud and take away all his wealth.

Now let’s look at a positive card.

If instead of the 5 of Pentacles we were speaking of the 6 of Cups, the game changes totally.

The 6 of Cups is a very sweet card. It signifies friendship and platonic love. Therefore, the Reversed 6 of Cups, resonating with the energy of internalization, would speak of a person who has internalized the principles of amity and love.























Cards that Speak of Other Cards



Now we are moving on to those meanings of tarot reversals that are slightly topsy-turvy in nature.

But before I tell you about them, here’s the deal: A Tarot card never stands in vacuum. It always has others to add to its meaning. This can be in the form of a numerological line-up that follows a logical sequence, or an astrological grouping of similar elements. It can also be a recurring element through the cards, like a river that shows up in its entirety when you arrange adjacent cards in a single file.

Therefore, if you really think about it, a reversed card referring to another Tarot card is not that far-fetched an idea. To understand that we will look at two different reversed cards.

Let’s take the King of Swords.

Both the King and the Queen are masters of their elements, but while the Queen manifests it inwardly and leads through example, the King manifests it outwardly and leads on the frontline.

One is Yin. The other is yang.

Therefore if the Reversed King of Swords shows up resonating as another card, it might be referring to the internalization of the mastery over Air, like the Queen of Swords. Or he could be referring to the still underdeveloped Knight of Swords, who wants to be king (and even thinks of himself as such), but is far from being a master yet.

Let’s see another card.

Suppose you get the Reversed 8 of Pentacles. While the upright card speaks of relentless hard work, the reversed might be saying that the querent is feeling a little “out of it” and not in the mood to put in much effort. So it asks the querent to go back to the lesson of the 7 of Pentacles and find stable ground by relearning patience.




















Cards that Show Movement and Give Direction



The first time I came across this phenomenon was during a personal Tarot reading.

It was near the end of the month, and I was doing my regular Month-in-Love Tarot spread to figure out how my love life would be next month. Needless to say, I was hoping for a good reading because I was in love at that time. But what I got from the cards blew my mind.

This particular spread has four cards arranged in a line, with the last card representing the lesson I would learn from the events of the entire month. And what I saw when I turned it over threw me off my game completely.

The Reversed Knight of Wands was the last card, and he appeared to be galloping away from the other three. It was a slap of reality across my face.

The Reversed Knight of Wands retained his upright energy in this position, but by moving away from love he was telling me to stop getting distracted by meaningless pursuits.

Had I internalized the energy yet? No. After all, the card was in the position of the lesson I “would” learn. But did I learn it by the end of the month? Yes, I did.

Reversed cards will sometimes tell you a story through movement, like the above example. And this phenomena can happen in numerous ways.

You may find the Reversed Princess of Pentacles looking towards another card.

Perhaps the Reversed Ace of Cups is pouring its emotions into a card directly underneath it.

Or maybe the staves of the Reversed 8 of Wands are hurtling away somewhere.

Learn to keep an eye out for these movements and I promise you your readings will improve vastly in their accuracy. It sure did for me.




















Cards that Tell a Story



Tarot cards are chock-full of symbols and archetypes. The pictures more or less tell you the entire meaning, if you keep an eye out for it. But you need to rely on your intuition to read this way.

Once you have learnt to trust your intuition and decipher the story of the upright cards, doing the same with the reversed isn’t that difficult.

For example, when you look at the image of the Reversed 9 of Cups, you immediately know that the cups are empty since they have spilt everything on the floor. The man even seems to be grimacing. Therefore, this card speaks of emotional dissatisfaction and emptiness.

How about the Reversed 3 of Swords? The swords seem to be popping out of the pierced heart and falling away. Therefore, this card represents a broken heart that has started to heal (even though sadness still remains).

Another interesting way reversed cards tell stories is through symbols that recur in different cards of the same Tarot spread.

I recently noticed this when I was testing the Inverted Pyramid Spread (described in Exercise #3). When I laid out the cards, I noticed that the cup beside the Reversed King of Cups was being reflected in the hands of the leading girl from the Reversed 3 of Cups. Since the card positions were as different as they get, there was an obvious connection between the two. So I looked closer.

The Reversed King of Cups is the master of all things Water. This means emotions, the subconscious, and psychology. But in this reading he was solitary in his stance — sitting atop his throne and looking down on people. He appeared egoistic.

The girl in the Reversed 3 of Cups was also saying something important. She appeared to be the leader since she was standing on a slightly higher ground that the other girls. And the cup she held above her head was resonating with the cup of the King of Cups. It was astonishing when I realized that she was the King!

Instead of being an egoistic leader, as shown in the King card, this girl was the leader who is also your friend. She was the kind who helps you rise along with her. Therefore, her followers/friends stood before her with their own cups raised. She had helped them master the element of Water.

I had never before received this idea from the 3 of Cups. It had always resonated with the energy of friendship and equality. But this time it resonated with the energy of a true leader who celebrates with her troops because she was as much a part of the battle as they were.

Wake up when you find such recurring symbols. They are rare, but they are incredibly important. .











The Roadmap to Solving Problems



We all have problems in life. We have good times too, no doubt, but no one can escape hardships.

What do you do when you face one?

While most people complain and remain on their asses, there are those proactive few who roll up their sleeves and get to work. Work that goes right to the heart of the issue and fixes it at the root.

Here’s the thing: everyone has the potential to be that person.

Is it hard work? Yes.

Does it leave you wanting to run away? Frequently.

Do you feel proud of yourself once you have fixed it? Absolutely!

Reversed cards will sometimes show up bearing this message. They will tell you how to get to the root of a problem and fix it. But the answer is never easy.

For example, while the upright 8 of Cups is about taking a spiritual sabbatical from your emotional attachments and going on a journey to find your own truth, a Reversed 8 of Cups is about taking this same journey inwards.

In the reversed position, this card asks you to dive in deep beyond the darkness of your psyche and purge the poison that is lurking in your unconscious.

Is it tough to accomplish? You bet your ass it is. But the fruits of that labor and the courage you show to accomplish it are sweeter than you can ever imagine.

Be extra attentive when a reversal shows up bearing this message. It’s the Universe’s way of telling you that you need to fix a problem at its root, otherwise history will just keep repeating itself.























Misused Energy



At last we have arrived at a full-out baddie!

Like I mentioned before, both upright and reversed cards have an entire spectrum of meanings, ranging from good to bad. This one focuses on the latter.

For example, the upright Hierophant is the spiritual leader of the community, and upholds order through organized culture and structured teachings.

On the other hand, the Reversed Hierophant is a cult leader (like Jim Jones) who poisons his followers’ minds and rakes up serious bad karma with every student he turns. Jim Jones poisoned them literally!

Another example would be the Reversed Queen of Cups.

When upright, she is the master of the emotional plane and the queen of tapping into the vast ocean of the subconscious. But misdirect her energies, and suddenly she becomes a secretive control freak who binds her lover in chains of manipulation and possessiveness, thus drowning him with her intensity (in a very bad way).








Energy Projection



When I was an undergraduate in college, there was a girl in my class who had a serious case of delusion. She thought every guy who spoke to her for more than a few minutes was secretly in love with her. Unfortunately, all it did was tell everyone that she was the one who secretly admired them.

I am sure you know someone like this.

How about a person who thinks everyone is mean to them but goes around being a sarcastic asshole?

Tarot reversals can sometimes point out projected energies of this kind and wake us up to our faults.

For example, an upright 9 of Pentacles represents someone who is enjoying the fruits of their hardwork in the form of accumulated wealth. But if this energy was projected, this same person might feel that everyone else has it all while they toil away endlessly without reward. They might even get jealous of these “perceived” wealthy individuals, even though in reality they have nothing to be jealous of. The projection simply prevents them from perceiving their own wealth.

Watch out for such red flags. When they come up, spend some extra time to figure out why you are projecting onto another.







Delays and Obstacles



This one is a fairly simply to interpret. After all, when things go upside-down, you know that it takes a while to go right-side-up.

Let’s pick a card.

When the Reversed 3 of Cups turns up bearing this message, it could be saying that you are going to find it difficult to make friends when you socialize. Perhaps it is pointing at an internalized environment of unfriendliness, which makes you give off bad vibes. Or maybe it is pointing out that you are trying too hard to fit in a crowd that is not on the same wavelength as you.

When reversals speak of obstacles and delays, make sure you find out how to improve the situation. It is very easy to get fatalistic and believe you are doomed. But if you accept your power over your own life, you will realize that there is always a way out of every bad situation. And if not a way out, then a way to mitigate it.











When you have Blocked Energy



We have finally arrived at the last point. And I left it for the end for a good reason.

Tarot reversals very frequently reveal an internal block that is creating the bad situation. When we deal with such energies, the biggest problem is not the block in itself, it is that the individual is rarely willing to do anything about it.

Therefore, when a reversed card signifies a block, be careful how you explain it to the querent.

For example, suppose you do a love reading and the Reversed 4 of Wands shows up in the future position, it can mean a lot of things, probably even referring to the querent’s internalized desire to marry the love interest. But if the card resonates like a block, it might be telling you that the querent has some inherent fears of getting hitched, and is therefore sabotaging the relationship even before the possibility of marriage shows up.

Upfront honesty in such a situation will not be wise because the querent will not believe you. Instead, ask them gentle questions that encourages them to own up to this block before you reveal what the card meant. This way the person will be more willing to find a way to heal, and it will be a win-win for all.
























Part III

Using Reversed Cards



The final frontier.














You Will Forget Unless You Do This



Knowledge is worthless unless it is applied in real time.

This Guide is just a place for you to start your journey with Tarot reversals, but you will forget the lessons as soon as you close the book unless you practice with real cards.

I know it can seem like a daunting task if you think about the end goal, but pull back a little and you may just save yourself from getting overwhelmed.

You don’t have to learn it all in one day. Give yourself time and keep practicing.

In the following chapters I will give you some tools to practice this new knowledge. But don’t jump at them all in one go. They are ordered in the sequence of increasing difficulty, so choose your tools wisely.

If you are just starting out, I recommend you to stick to Exercise #1 for now. You can scale up as and when you become more confident.

If you have some experience with reversals, and want something more challenging, Exercises #2 and #3 are for you.

These two exercises are original Tarot spreads created by me, and were designed to evoke the internalized energy of reversals. Therefore, both spreads are specifically for questions related to the self.

Another interesting thing about these spreads is that both are meant for reversed cards only. Therefore, try your hand at them only when you have sufficient experience under your belt. Otherwise you will only receive garbled answers.

If you are confident enough to try them, I would love to hear about your experience. In fact, if you tweak the spreads a bit and make them more interesting in some way, please do let me know all the more. My contact details are at the end of this book.

Now, let us start with Exercise #1.




















Exercise #1

Easy Tarot Reversal



This exercise is a fairly simple one. In fact, it is just a daily draw. But just because it is so simple, it is also the easiest to do all wrong.

Here the thing: Just drawing one card from a reversed deck is not enough to qualify as an exercise. You need to ask the Tarot a pointed question and then interpret the answer from the reversed card you draw. Without this question, you wouldn’t really know what the card is trying to say, and the exercise will be a complete waste of time.

If you find it a little difficult in the beginning, just flip over the card and refresh your mind with the upright. You will find it easier to interpret when you try again after this.


The Trick to Staying Motivated with this Exercise


Here’s the thing — it is very easy to lose ourselves in the daily grind of life and forget to practice. To prevent that, here are a few tips:-


1. Do this exercise first thing every morning before life gets in the way.


2. Ask an important question so that you actually work hard to decipher the answer. This will also stop you from getting bored after a few days.


3. Do this exercise with a friend. This way you can try your hand at reading reversals for someone else too.


4. Share the picture of your daily draw on Facebook or Twitter with an interesting (or funny) observation. You can even use #tarotreversal to find others who are doing it around the world.


5. Share it with me! I love meeting readers who like reversals too. Tag me on twitter @ValerieRBlack

















Exercise #2

The Five Elements Spread



Our world is divided into four elements – Earth, Water, Air, and Fire. The world of Tarot reflects the same through the Minor Arcana.




The suit of Pentacles stands for Earth. Therefore, it governs everything in the domain of this material world: Family, societal structure, career, finances, and our physical body and health.

Earth is the provider and the most stable. It is a realistic element and is firmly bound to materialism in all its aspects. It is rigid and immovable, yet it is capable of giving life. But when its core is shaken, like during an earthquake, it also has the capacity to destroy all that stands on top of it.




The suit of Cups stands for Water. And like water, it can be formless—taking the shape of the vessel it is put in—or as hard and unforgiving as ice. It governs emotions, romanticism, fantasy, psychic phenomena, mystical practices, spirituality, healing, cleansing, and intuition.

Water can be vast and deep, like the ocean, or shallow and flirty, like a tinkling stream. It can soothe and it can drown. It is a force to be reckoned with.




The suit of Swords stands for Air. It is the master of the mind. It governs our thoughts, the ideas that inspire us, communication, language, logic, reason, and social relationships. It can be light and flirty by a gentle breeze, or harsh and destructive like a hurricane.




The suit of Wands stands for Fire. And it is as beautiful and unforgiving as the element.

It governs energy in its rawest form — passion, impulsiveness, enthusiasm, and the drive that makes our ideas come to life. It is an element of determination and expansion. It is the principle of the leader.

You cannot control fire. Not even the smallest flower of spark. It goes where it pleases once it takes life. You can only follow it, or extinguish it completely.


What is the Fifth Element?


The fifth element is our spirit, our soul, the driving force of our life. It is balanced only when the four elements of life are balanced. But to get there you must first understand that you are not the body you have. You are the spirit that lives inside of it. That spirit is the reason why you can think and do what you want in your life, and the reason why you are who you are.



The Spread


I developed this Tarot spread as a tool for you to practice reading reversed cards. Needless to say, this spread is specifically for reversed cards only. Therefore, if you are just starting out in this territory, I recommend you practice the simple one-card readings for the moment before you try this one out.

The Five Elements spread was inspired by the spirit of balance. The Yin-Yang. And through its 5 cards you can learn a lot about yourself, and where you stand in the spectrum of balance.

The question it answers is this: What is the current status of my life and soul from the perspective of the five elements?

You can try different iterations of this question, but it boils down to the same thing: Who am I and where do I stand in life?

You can use this spread to know more about yourself, or help out a friend who needs some guidance. Just remember that the cards will simply tell you where each aspect of your life currently stands. They don’t tell you how to fix an imbalance, or show you the future. They only help you understand and accept the truth, even if you do not like it.

One word of warning: If you do this spread and find imbalances, don’t sink into a miasma of doom. All you need to do is follow up the reading with an appropriate spread, like the Celtic Cross, to figure out how to fix your imbalances.

Now let’s learn how to do it.








Card 1: Represents Earth

Card 2: Represents Water

Card 3: Represents Air

Card 4: Represents Fire

Card 5: Represent Spirit


How to Deal the Cards


First, make sure all the cards are reversed. Then, focus on the question and shuffle the deck any way you like. Keep shuffling until you are satisfied, and then deal cards, one after another, from the top of the shuffled deck.

You don’t need to cut the deck for this one. But if you are not comfortable with this kind of a deal, you can use your usual method. As we have discussed, the Tarot adheres to the rules you set and works within those guidelines. So you shouldn’t have a problem if you want to deal in any other way.

Interpreting the Spread


1. Start with the general impression you get from the cards once you have turned them over. All five in their entirety will give you a positive, negative, or a neutral impression. Neutral simply means there are both good and bad cards. It does not mean you are balanced.


2. Card 1 deals with that aspect of your life that is connected to the element Earth. I have already described each element in this chapter so I will not repeat it here, but keep those keywords in mind when you interpret this card.

Card 2 deals with Water, Card 3 with Air, and Card 4 with Fire. Each of these elements also have their attributes, as described, so keep them in mind when interpreting them.


3. Each position describes one aspect of your life. Earth centers on your material life. Water deals with the emotional one. Air with the mental processes, and Fire with your drive and passions.


4. Card 5 represents your soul. But it will only tell you where your soul stands at the moment you do the reading. Therefore, you might have been a good person all your life, but if at the time of the reading you decide to join the dark side, this card will resonate with that choice, not with your past.

For example, you might have been an evader in the past who liked tricking their way to get things, but have recently taken a U-turn to go straight. A Reversed 7 of Swords in this position will then speak of this decision of your soul to be honest henceforth.


5. Earth and Air are opposing elements. So are Fire and Water. Look for connections between these diagonal cards. If a connection exists, it is an important one.

Opposites might have tension between them, but the balance between the two gives rise to harmony. Similarly, an imbalance can create difficulties.

6. Earth and Water are harmonious elements. So are Fire and Air. Connections between these cards are also significant. Harmonious flow can ease your life, while discords can be annoying.


7. Earth and Fire are inconjunct elements. So are Water and Air. What this means is that these elements don’t understand each other at all. Don’t confuse this with the energy of opposites. Opposites may not see eye-to-eye, but they still understand where each is coming from. Inconjunct elements just don’t get the point of the other. So when you have connections forming between these cards, take note. There is something interesting going on here.


8. There will be connections between cards based on their suit and the element of their position. For example, a Reversed 6 of Swords in the position of Earth clearly shows that there is a direct connection with the card in the position of Air. This 6 of Swords thus adds onto the meaning of Card 3.

9. Look out for saturated spreads that contain cards from only a single suit. This represents an imbalance because you are approaching every aspect of your life from only one guiding principle.


10. Try to find the connection between all four elemental cards with the Spirit card in the center. This is the soul after all. Harmonious connections can suggest your soul is on the right track. Discordant connections ask you to fix particular aspects of your life to find balance within your soul.


11. Major Arcana cards in any position will reflect those areas of your life that are very important at the moment. If your spirit card is one, then it means your soul is currently going through a life-changing situation.







Exercise #3

The Inverted Pyramid Spread



We all aspire to be greater than who we are. Some want to achieve respect from society. Others want to be known for helping the poor. Still others want to be called revolutionaries. But all these aspirations are tied by a common string —


Who do you want to be remembered as when you are dead and gone?


The Inverted Pyramid Spread is designed to help you answer this critical question.

The truth is: At your funeral, no one counts the number of houses and cars you owned. They don’t talk about the number of mergers you did. They don’t discuss how wealthy you were. They speak of something entirely different.

They speak of the qualities that made you humane. They appreciate you, if you were a good role model — a person with a vision that changed their lives. They cry for you, if you touched them with kindness and humility.

People remember us by the strength of our goodness. Notoriety is never praised after death, simply cursed for generations, the way Hitler still is.

The Inverted Pyramid Spread will help you figure out how to become a shining beacon of light so people don’t forget you three seconds after you are gone. So the question you are aiming to ask with this spread is this: How do you want people to remember you after you are dead and gone?

It is not an easy spread by any means. But the answers can change your life.


On a Lighter Note

The Inverted Pyramid spread can be used for simpler questions as well. For example, you may want success in your career by becoming a leader in your field. The spread can definitely answer that. The important thing is, at the end of the day, whoever you become will define you. So choose wisely.

And for those of you who are not comfortable with reversed cards, you can definitely try the spread with uprights. But I recommend you to straighten the pyramid, if you want to go that way. The structure and positions of this spread are very specific for a reason.













The Spread


Cards 9 & 10: Represent who you are at present.

Cards 7 & 8: Represent the external influences on your situation.

Cards 4, 5 & 6: Represent the challenges life will throw at you to test your mettle.

Card 2 & 3: Represent the traits and characteristics you need to develop to defeat the challenges.

Card 1: Represents who you want to become.


How to Do the Spread


Since it is an only-reversed Tarot spread, make sure all your cards are reversed. Then proceed with shuffling.

While you can shuffle any way you like, the actual cards are dealt in a very specific way.

Think of the question as you shuffle. Once done, deal the cards from the top of the stack one after another until you have dealt out ten. Make sure you follow the position numbers as marked in the image. Don’t mix them up, especially those in the topmost layer.

How to Read the Story of the Inverted Pyramid


“To become who you want to be, you need to first defeat your greatest enemy – your own self.”


The Inverted Pyramid cascades down to one point: the “who” you want to become. But the path to that card is not easy. There are 3 levels of pain you must first master.


Level One


The topmost level have 4 cards. Out of these, the two in the middle represent who you are right now, and the outer two represent external influences in your life. For better or for worse, these cards are important. They reflect your reality. Accept it. You cannot go ahead if you resist the truth.


Level Two


The second level of the pyramid is the level of challenges. They are the byproduct of level one. That means, your present personality and external influences are responsible for them.


You are responsible for your own challenges.”


These 3 cards represent the challenges that can make or break you. Think of them as the gatekeepers of greatness.

They will throw the greatest obstacles in your way. Make it so difficult that you will want to break down and cry. And push you so hard that you will contemplate giving up. Don’t!

The sad thing is, with most people these gatekeepers will succeed. But when they win, you lose in life.

Then, how do you reach the tip of the pyramid? How do you defeat these monsters?

Unfortunately, you don’t have the ability to do that yet. After all, these challenges were created in the first place because you are who you are at the moment. So if you want to defeat them, you will need to learn some new skills. That’s where the level three cards come in.


Level Three


On this third level we see only 2 cards. These represent those abilities and traits you need to develop to defeat the level 2 challenges.

The brilliant thing is, once you master these two, you will suddenly realize that you are Card 1.

It’s almost magic! But only you will know that your overnight success required months and years of hard work to defeat the previous levels.

That’s why when you think about it, once you reach the tip, the reversed cards suddenly seem upright. What was once an inverted pyramid, appears to be a straight arduous climb.

Do the numbers make sense now?


Tips and Tricks


1. Cards 7 & 9 together give rise to the challenge in Card 4. Study them to understand why you are plagued by this particular challenge.


2. Similarly, Cards 9 & 10 create the challenge of Card 5.


3. Cards 8 & 10 form the challenge of Card 6. All these combinations will tell you very specific dynamics.


4. External influences can be very toxic. Remember: Sometimes you may have to cut off those influences to take away power from the challenges they help spawn. It is an efficient way of progressing, even if difficult to do so at first.


5. Cards 4, 5 & 6 speak of a specific personality trait when combined. This is different from the ones mentioned in Cards 9 & 10. Understand who this person is and you will have one monster to defeat instead of three. Of course, that will also mean that the monster will be bigger, but by condensing the challenges in this manner you can face the enormity of the task by narrowing your focus.

Your greatest enemy is your own self. The monster formed by the combination of the challenge cards is that aspect of your personality that is dominant at present and creating so much havoc in your life.


6. Cards 2 & 3 also speak of one single personality that becomes the hero capable of slaying the monster. Combine the traits mentioned here as well. But remember, you need to work hard to become this hero. Internalizing the principles is a good place to start.

7. Remember the various ways of interpreting reversals. You will be surprised how many cards show up bearing messages that need to be interpreted differently.


8. Don’t get overwhelmed. If you are not sure of reversed cards, leave this spread alone for the moment. You can return later when you are more comfortable.


9. If you know you don’t see your abilities clearly, ask a friend to sit by you as you try to interpret this spread. This way they can correct you if you over/underestimate your flaws.








This is Not the End



Reversed cards changed my life — they gave me clarity I did not have, and showed me the truth I did not want to see. They helped me become steel that survived the forging fire.

Now it is your turn.

Use this book. Try the exercises. Print out a copy and study it often. Just remember that if you don’t use this knowledge, it will fade soon.

You have one life. You can do this!

And while we are at it, let me know your thoughts about this book—

Did you enjoy it? Have you discovered something interesting while trying your hand at reversals? Did this book change your life in some way?

Share your experiences with me by leaving a comment at—

[* www.valeriablack.wordpress.com/books/ultimate-guide-to-tarot-reversals*]

And if you loved this book, don’t keep it yourself. Share it, email it, and pass it along for free to anyone you like, anyone you feel would benefit from it. You have my blessings, as long as the entire book remains intact, and no changes or adaptations are made to the contents or digital format in any way.

Let’s show the world how cool reversals truly are!

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About the Author



Valeria Black lives in India, and is an eccentric genius, who can make people laugh on the dullest of days. She finds it hilarious (and kind of annoying) when people misjudge her age based on her childlike face, but nevertheless thinks it is better to feel old in a body that doesn’t age than the other way round. When she is not writing or studying Tarot, she loves to read paranormal fiction and pretend to be badass heroines.


You can connect with Valeria on twitter - @ValerieRBlack


Or check out her website where she blogs about facts and fiction, science and occult, and a whole range of interesting things that go into her books.

Visit www.valeriablack.wordpress.com







The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Reversals

Reversals are not scary. You just need to be a little unconventional to read them. In this book, you will learn:- 1. The key mindset shift required to read Tarot reversals accurately. 2. The reason why reversed cards create so much upheaval in the Tarot community, and what it tells us about human nature. 3. The 13 unconventional ways of reading a reversal. ...and much more With tools, tips, and exercises built-into the content, this book doesn't just preach, but actually helps you put the knowledge into practice right away. Today is the last day you will ever be afraid of reversals. Be prepared for a life-changing experience.

  • ISBN: 9781370279067
  • Author: Valeria Black
  • Published: 2017-05-12 11:20:26
  • Words: 9615
The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Reversals The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Reversals