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Now there may be many Readers out there who regularly practice what I am about to describe but this only began to register with me in recent weeks. What I am talking about here pertains to the Reversed Cards which remain sitting in the deck after the drawing or selection process has been completed. What is their purpose or use if at all? Why were they Reversed in the first place? What can we deduce from them? Should we just totally ignore them, or treat them like the remaining Upright Cards, as in, just not part of that Reading? Of course this only applies if you are using Reversed Cards in your Readings.
When I do a Reading, I ask the Querant to shuffle the deck and randomly select cards to be Reversed. Regardless of my efforts to instill the notion that ‘less is more’ when reversing, the Querant has a tendency to Reverse great big chunks of cards at a time unless closely monitored. On the other extreme, a Querant desperate for a certain Outcome, and who associates Reversed Cards with bad news, will be loathe to Reverse even one. If the shuffled deck has a hefty number of Reversed Cards, you can bet your bottom dollar they will be sitting right at the top of the deck when you go to draw. Both Querant and Reader alike, instantly deflate when they appear one after in the Spread. When this happens, and it does, especially when I am momentarily distracted and not keeping an eye on how well the shuffling is going, I have to make a decision either to run with the Reading as it is, or throw all the cards back into the deck and start from scratch.
A 100% Reversed Card Spread can be tough to tackle, and also confusing for a Querant unless they are familiar with Tarot and keen to understand what might be going on. For the Reader it is a feat of intense mental and emotional gymnastics. Not the best thing to be facing after a long day of Readings.
Let’s stick with the Querant who follows the guidance of their Reader. They shuffle well and randomly Reverse small numbers of cards as they go. The Cards are drawn, and we find one or two of the Reversed Cards have turned up in the Spread. This is perfectly normal. So too is the complete absence of them. The Reading goes ahead without thought of what might lie in the remaining deck. A Reversed Card gets another opportunity to make an appearance if extra cards are drawn to flush out the meaning of a card that is behaving vague or ambiguous. Other than that, the remaining Reversed Cards stay concealed.
After the Querant has left, I do my usual energy clearing for both cards and self. I quickly upright all the deck and break up the previous order of the cards by re-dealing them into three separate piles. After that I give them a good old shuffle and they are ready to go for the next Querant. This brings me back to my opening paragraph on this post. Should we be paying some kind of attention to cards that have been deliberately Reversed, but fail to appear in the Spread? Do they hold any occult meaning for the Querant? Could there be avoidance issues at play or denial? Maybe, the Querant is not yet ready to hear or deal with the implications of certain Reversed Cards? Could they be secrets, or repressions buried deep within. Is it possibly information that cannot be revealed to them just yet, or are they simply sitting there, holding no great importance in the grand scheme of things, totally oblivious to their Reversed state?
What I Discovered!
This all came about after a particular challenging reading I did for a Querant who had several complicated issues going on in her life at the time. The Querant booked a long session with me and we explored several aspects of the situation. As we expected, Reversed Cards presented regularly throughout the Reading which yielded much needed information. The Reading was very successful but there were still a few areas we were stuck on regardless of how much we probed. This is very common in Tarot Reading as it is quite impossible to factor in all probabilities, especially when doing large readings. There is no point in forcing a reading after a period of time if it seems reluctant to cooperate. Shouting at it doesn’t help either. Neither does drawing several extra cards, one after another, in the hope of getting something that fits or makes sense. It is best to leave well alone at that stage. Enough is enough and you will only exasperate yourself or go mad. The same happens when Dowsing. It is possible to ask one question too many. You need to put the cards down and call it a day, as desperation may have taken over.
The Key to Unlock The Block
That is exactly what we did. The Querant left with much to think about and I set about my energy clearing ritual. The Reading had been so intense, I found it hard to switch off from all the issues and cards that had presented. I toyed with their images in my head, hoping that something I missed might suddenly reveal itself now that I was alone and able to concentrate. I began going through the deck to upright any Reversed Cards in preparation for my next Reading. Maybe I was still psychically attached to the Reading while doing this because I began to become aware of all the Reversed Cards that hadn’t been drawn, the cards that had remained hidden in the deck. Something about them clicked with me. Instead of Uprighting them and moving on, I set them aside for further examination. There were three in total. Not a lot considering we were working with two decks, but there they were, hiding out, skulking around corners not wanting to be found.
Somewhere in my brain a light bulb switched on and the penny dropped. These three Reversed Cards held the key to the block we had encountered at the end of the Reading. I felt excited as I made the connections, and their story unraveled with great ease. These three cards provided the missing pieces of the jig-saw, but I wondered why they had chosen to stay hidden. We had drawn extra cards at many stages throughout the Reading, but these three had failed to appear. I pondered the reasons this might be so. I knew my client was very keen to get to the bottom of her challenges so she could move on in life, but with these three cards I felt there was a subconscious reluctance to do so. Something was not quite ready to engage with the action plan for progress. The three cards in question were not awful by any means, but if they had appeared in the Reading, would have fitted in perfectly, offering very relevant information. I then became conflicted over what to do with this new-found information. Should I email the Querant with my findings or leave it be? The Reading was over and the Querant had not drawn these cards, so why should I be so interested in these three Reversed ones and not all the remaining Upright too? I sometimes email clients with additional afterthoughts I may have about their Readings, so it would not be an unusual thing for me to do. I decided to email my Client, but instead of actually mentioning the Reversed Cards, I reflected on the part of the reading that had stubbornly blocked us and raised thoughts for the client to ponder or meditate on. I based these ponderous thoughts on the information revealed by the Reversed Cards.
And so it was sorted, and I felt I had done my job in this case. Since then, I began applying this process to my own readings, the cards I draw for myself everyday. Mostly I ask the cards what it is I need to know for the day or week ahead, but sometimes I have a very specific question. I always start with an Upright deck and Reverse some during shuffling. I draw my cards straight from the top and work with the cards that are presented to me. I spend a short time figuring out what they might be telling me. I leave the Spread in place for the day as I like to glance at it occasionally as I go by. I tend to find new perspectives and associations by doing this. The Reading grows on me throughout the day. Now here is what I have been doing differently. Before I decide to completely finish with my reading, I go through the deck and pull out the Reversed Cards that avoided selection. Sometimes there are none, but on the occasions there are, I have found time and time again they hold very definite associations with the Reading in question I am working on. I feel they belong in the Reading. They would have contributed such honest and truthful information if they had been given a chance to step forth. Because they were my own cards, I was able to reflect on the messages they contained. There was no escaping their implications, no whitewashing of the facts and no pretending it meant nothing. They knew it and deep down I knew it too. Damn them, I really didn’t want to hear what they had to say, for they implied things I was reluctant to face or deal with. It would take too much energy and effort on my part. I preferred to keep them where they were, and still are at present, on the long finger etc. So, was I blocking these cards from appearing, silencing them before they exposed me? Did I not want this decisive evidence getting out and reaching the ears of the jury presiding over my case? Interesting!
To find the hidden Reversed Cards, I take the remaining deck and draw the cards from the top, one after another. The Reversed Cards that are closest to the top are the ones that nearly made it into the open. To me this is energy that is close to the surface or nearby, and will be recognised for what it is, even if it is being avoided. This means it can be worked on, altered or changed. The Reversed Cards that are buried deep within the remaining deck might be more suppressed or hidden. It could reflect automatic subconscious urges we are not consciously aware of. They could also suggest resistance or denial. The messages from these cards might be harder to grasp or identify with. This will make overcoming any blocks they represent more challenging.
In recent days, I have introduced this method when Reading for others and it has been quite enlightening. In a way I feel I have been throwing the baby out with the bathwater by ignoring the precious gems of information these hidden Reversed Cards can hold. The next time you set your deck to the side after drawing your cards for a Spread, glance at it every now and then. If you listen closely to it, you might just be able to hear tiny far away voices calling to you. Something may be trying to get your attention. If your Reading becomes blocked at some point, and refuses to offer you anything sane to work with, perhaps try searching the remaining deck for rogue Reversed Cards flying below the radar. They could be withholding vital information from the Reading.
You can read more about Reversed Cards Here