One of the most common questions I get from other tarot readers is, “Do you read reversals?”
It comes up whenever I teach a class, whether it’s to a group of beginners or advanced readers.
(And for anyone not familiar with reversals, it’s when a card is upside down in a reading.)
I don’t read reversals – but I used to. I picked up the technique when I was studying tarot, and used it regularly by the time I started reading tarot professionally.
But I gradually stopped reading reversals.
Why? It’s not because they don’t work – they do (if you’re clear and consistent in how you’re using them).
The reason reversals dropped out of my tarot practice is that I just didn’t need them anymore. I had started to develop new styles of card reading and the way I was working with tarot didn’t require reversals anymore.
I started to see that the way I was looking at a reversed card – whether it was a challenge, blocked energy, or something not yet manifested – could also be seen in upright cards. It all depended on the position, question, or card combination for me.
It’s normal for your tarot reading skills to change and grow over time. Especially if you’re like me and you’re always trying new things with tarot and using it on a regular basis.
And the more time you spend honing your craft as a tarot reader, the deeper your relationship gets with it.
And like any relationship, things shift as time goes on. In a long-term relationship, the moment you start to think you’ve got your partner all figured out, you learn something new about them. Maybe it’s because you’ve been thrown into a new challenge together, or they’ve grown or changed in some way.
Tarot reveals itself in much the same. The more confident we get with it, the more complex and unexpected our readings can become. We can take on new and different questions as our skills get stronger.
Tarot is not fixed. It is fluid.
The techniques you might learn and use in the early stages of your tarot journey will work for where you’re at then.
The way I read tarot when I was first learning and practicing was much different than how I was reading a few years later, when I had developed some skill and enough confidence to read for friends at parties, just for fun.
And then my skills grew further out of that. I started to realize some of the tarot spreads I’d learned early on, like the Celtic Cross, weren’t that great for all purposes.
And so I allowed my tarot style to expand and adapt.
By the time I was reading professionally, I was creating custom tarot spreads for clients, using reversals in my readings, and focusing on big-picture conversations. And that suited the people I was working with at the time.
As my client base grew, their expectations changed. People wanted less “big picture” readings and more specific questions answered: They were coming with detailed questions, goals, and problems and they wanted to get straight to the point.
They also needed advice: They wanted to what steps to take, how to change, or what to focus on in order to feel better or take charge of a situation.
And so my reading style grew to respond to my clients’ needs.
I started using my cards to give people specific actions and rituals to do as homework – something I teach now in my advanced tarot course – and I started to let go of some of my old ideas about how I though a tarot reading “should” be done.
That can be a scary thing to let go of. Sometimes to evolve, we need to unlearn some of the techniques that got us to where we’re at now.
But as your tarot style changes, you’re not losing old knowledge or skills: You’re just refining your process. Sometimes, I talk to tarot readers who feel afraid of making a change – as though it means they were doing tarot “wrong” before.
Which is not true at all. There are so many ways to do tarot. But the techniques you use may go through some changes as time goes on so that you can level up as a tarot reader and do even deeper work than you did before.
Think of it this way:
Tarot techniques are tools.
The more techniques you learn, the more you have in your toolbox. You might not need every tool for every reading, but you keep them all handy. Your skills aren’t going anywhere just because you focus or refine your reading style.
The more we grow, the more tarot grows with us. That’s why it’s such an amazing guide: It adapts to where we’re at as readers. When we’re ready to go deeper, then it opens itself up accordingly.
If you are feeling called to deepen your tarot practice this year, I invite you to join me in Tarot for Self-Recovery and Reclamation. This advanced tarot course gives you tools that you can use right now to evolve your tarot skills as you guide others towards spiritual healing, transformation, and more. Register here.
Until next time,