Reading Reversed Cards

reading reversed cards

My retreat holiday has been such a wonderful experience, but it’s also good to be back, and I’m diving straight into Tarot with a question my students keep asking me:

Do we need to pay attention to reversed cards in readings?

Some readers do, others don’t, and to be honest it is down to personal preference.

Here’s what I do:

In a reading, I usually make a mental note of any reversed cards and then turn them around. I cannot leave them upside down for visual reason; topsy-turvy images block my reading abilities.

It depends how many cards are reversed in a reading. I once had all ten cards in a Celtic Cross spread for a client reversed!

Immediately I thought there was a blockage somewhere in the client’s life, perhaps an inability to move forward with something, which was confirmed when I quickly mentioned it at the beginning of the reading.

Needless to say I turned all the cards around and proceeded with the reading and took the message of the reversed cards into account.

I don’t like the term “ill-dignified”, which is also used to describe reversed cards. Not every reversed card has a negative meaning. For example, the Hanged Man reversed could indicate movement after a time of stagnation, or the Ten of Wands shedding of a burden rather than carrying it. It also depends very much on surrounding cards in the reading.

I often feel that just one reversed card in a 5 – 10 card reading can be more significant than many reversed cards. Again, this also depends on surrounding cards and what your intuition is telling you.

Sometimes, a reversed card can stick out like a sore thumb, and it can carry a more meaningful message than if you ignored it.

When reading reversed cards, consider the following:

  • Do they enhance the overall message of the reading?
  • Do they weaken or oppose their upright meanings?
  • Do they strengthen the meaning of other cards in the spread?
  • Do they indicate a blockage, restriction, suppressed energies or indeed out of control energies?

Here are some examples for reversed card meanings:

Five of Wands: getting over a dispute, an argument getting nasty, not playing by the rules, quick temper

Emperor: loosing control/authority, being over-bearing, dictatorial

Tower: a disaster avoided, or something is brewing underneath the surface

Sun: burn-out, restricted creative potential, over-indulgence, hedonism

Ten of Swords (image above): on the way to recovery, releasing fears/pain/ resentment/regrets; starting over, inability to see that something has ended

Four of Pentacles: spending beyond your means, risky investment, becoming more generous with money after a time of frugality

Queen of Cups: over-emotional, drama queen, moody, insensitive, highly strung, easily stressed

When reversed cards come up, ask an empowering question such as:

  • What is the card asking you to avoid?
  • Every cloud has a silver lining. What is the silver lining of the reversed card?

As mentioned before, it is not vital to read reversed cards; you can consider both positive and negative aspects of the cards in a reading regardless which way they come up.

But once you get the hang of reading reversals and paying attention to them, you may well get some additional, valuable insight you wouldn’t have considered before.

Warmest wishes,



Transform your life this year: 

Tarot Readings – Insightful guidance when you need it 
Learn Tarot – A magickal, inspirational tool for life
Tarot eBooks – Great value, innovative Tarot study material

Make sure you subscribe to my feed to receive the latest news and Tarot articles straight into your inbox when published.

You can also connect with me on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.


Enjoyed this article? Make me happy by leaving a comment or just click the “Like” button:


Strength in the Tarot of Quotes

Strength Tarot of QuotesThe lion on the image is guarding the entrance to a pub in a little village close to Hadrian’s Wall.

His posture is composed, dignified, serious and dutiful. In typical Leo fashion (Strength is linked to the zodiac sign Leo), his presence is making quite an impact in that position. He’s the first “thing” you notice when you approach the pub.

The lion symbolises the essence of Strength; despite his powerful physical strength, his self-discipline and control is taming the wild beast (desires) within. This lion isn’t pouncing at you any time soon!

The flowers in the tub next to the lion symbolise feminine energies as a balancing influence:

  • assertiveness (rather than aggression)
  • gentle persuasion (rather than oppressive dogma)
  • patience (rather than agitation)
  • compassion (rather than cruelty)

In a reading, Strength can indicate the need to control impulses and desires – not by force but with conviction and determination. It can also advise to draw upon your inner calm and persistence in difficult situations, facing fears and adversity with the courage and confidence to overcome them.

Other keywords: stamina, endurance, perseverance, kindness despite tension or conflict (with yourself and others), self-mastery, willpower

Negative meanings include: weakness, self-doubt, low self-esteem, over-emotional, lack of self-discipline

Astrologically, Leo is ruled by the Sun, which symbolises the Self and the Ego. Therefore, Strength may also ask you to explore how you can practice more self-care or, on the other hand, how you can become less selfish or self-absorbed.

I welcome your views and opinions on my cards. Please feel free to leave your comments below.

You can view all images of my Tarot deck created so far in the Gallery

Warmest wishes,



If you’d like to learn more about Strength and all the other cards in the Tarot, please check out my ebook Empowering Messages from the Tarot.

Make sure you subscribe to my feed to receive the latest news and Tarot articles straight into your inbox when published.

You can also connect with me on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.


Enjoyed this article? Make me happy by leaving a comment or just click the “Like” button:


Reading Negative Cards in Positive Positions

Ten of Swords,
All images in this post:
Aquatic Tarot

Sometimes the messages received from the Tarot can be confusing.

For example, you want to know what your strengths are in a certain situation, or what you can do to save your relationship, and the answer you get is the Ten of Swords.

How irritating!

You were hoping for something encouraging and inspirational, but all you got was that pesky card of someone lying back-stabbed on the floor suggesting ruin and painful endings.

But let’s not panic, Astrology to the rescue!

Once you know the astrological attributions linked to the cards, you can see more than just the image.

For the Ten of Swords it’s Sun in Gemini.

What does Sun in Gemini tell us about the Ten of Swords?

Positive aspects of the sun: vitality, clarity and confidence.

Positive aspects of Gemini: versatile, curious, social.

So, when exploring your strengths or asking which qualities you need to develop in order to resolve an issue successfully, you now have a few options to choose from.

Zodiac and planetary attributes can also offer more specific interpretations of the cards.

Here are some suggestions for the Ten of Swords:

an ending leads to clarity; curiosity will attract new opportunities; social interaction will increase confidence after a blow; an ending is a blessing (sun) in disguise; you have the energy to lift yourself up and recover; resilience…

Let’s take a look at other negative cards:

The Tower, www.aquatictarot.deThe Tower is linked to Mars, which in turn is also the ruling planet of Aries (The Emperor).

Positive traits: courage, decisiveness, challenging, energetic, pro-active, competitive

Positive card meanings influenced by Mars:

taking drastic action to achieve a goal; having the courage to face danger (extreme sports, a fire fighter etc.); confronting an adversary; implementing a radical overhaul or self-improvement program, e.g. diet, exercise etc., ability to see new possibilities beyond the destruction…

Death, www.aquatictarot.deDeath is linked to Scorpio, which is commonly connected to “sex, death and taxes”.

Positive traits: compassionate, intense, independent and determined. Its ruling planet Pluto suggests the ability to regenerate and overcome the unsettling process of change.

Positive card meanings influenced by Scorpio:

clearing the old to bring in the new; spiritual growth through acknowledging and tackling emotional issues; searching for deeper meaning and purpose; making sweeping changes to rejuvenate a relationship; sex therapy or an intense sexual experience…

Five of Pentacles, www.aquatictarot.deThe Five of Pentacles is linked to Mercury in Taurus

Positive aspects of Mercury: communicative, expressive, intelligent, thoughtful

Positive aspects of Taurus: disciplined, organised, reliable, steadfast, methodical, affectionate

Positive card meanings influenced by Mercury in Taurus:

being pragmatic at times of adversity; self-reliant; a thorough, hands-on approach to overcoming obstacles; willingness to work hard to achieve success; eager to create stability…

Devil, www.aquatictarot.deThe Devil is linked to Capricorn and also to Uriel, the light bearer, one of the four arch angels.

Positive traits: down-to-earth, ambitious, hard-working, rational, resourceful and loyal. Its ruling planet Saturn also suggests responsibility, patience and an ability to strive despite adverse circumstances.

Positive card meanings influenced by Capricorn:

being disciplined at times of hardship; plodding through and not giving up; taking matters seriously; in relationships loyal and care-giving even when going through a rough patch; realistic expectations…

Three of Swords, www.aquatictarot.deThe Three of Swords is linked to Saturn in Libra.

Positive aspects of Saturn: disciplined, responsible, reliable, endurance

Positive aspects of Libra: fair-minded, cooperative, sincere, striving for harmony

Positive card meanings influenced by Saturn in Libra:

determination to restore harmony out of discord; alleviating anguish with an objective mind; mourning with dignity and self-composure; ability to cut your losses and move on…

At first glance it can be difficult to see the positive aspects in negative cards, especially when they are placed in positions relating to possible strengths, skills, talents, helpful qualities and inspirational guidance.

Remember that there are two sides to each card – positive and negative – and with the help of their astrological attributions you can discover them.

Why don’t you give it a try with the following cards, and let me know how you get on:

The Hanged Man – Neptune

Seven of Swords – Moon in Aquarius

Eight of Swords – Jupiter in Gemini

Nine of Swords – Mars in Gemini

Ten of Wands – Saturn in Sagittarius

Five of Cups – Mars in Scorpio

You can access basic information on the zodiac signs and planets in my Introduction to Tarot Astrology.

And if you are intrigued by applying astrology to your Tarot readings, then check out my Tarot Astrology course.

Warmest wishes,



Transform your life this year: 

Tarot Readings – Insightful guidance when you need it 
Learn Tarot – A magickal, inspirational tool for life
Tarot eBooks – Great value, innovative Tarot study material

Make sure you subscribe to my feed to receive the latest news and Tarot articles straight into your inbox when published.

join cosmic spirit wellness free facebook community


Enjoyed this article? Make me happy by leaving a comment or just click the “Like” button:

Justice in the Tarot of Quotes

Justice Tarot of QuotesOn the 22 June 1990, leading politicians from the US, UK, Soviet Union, France and Germany gathered in Berlin to celebrate the end of the Cold War between East and West.

On the image you can see the removal of the Checkpoint Charlie hut (precariously balancing above people’s heads!) and the permanent opening of the border (view the original photo at the end of this post below).

After so many years of division, communist oppression and isolation, Justice has finally prevailed and balance restored.

We all have different ideas about what Justice means; some favour the emotional notion “an eye for an eye”, others prefer fairness based on detached but careful consideration and cooperation, as expressed in the quote by the 34th US President Eisenhower.

Justice in the Tarot isn’t suggesting an eye for an eye. Linked to the zodiac sign Libra, it stands for objectivity, fairness, honesty and balance.

In a reading, Justice can also indicate legal matters, the need to be emotionally detached to make fair decisions, considering all sides of an argument with an open mind and personal integrity.

Sometimes Justice can also indicate that life isn’t always fair, and it can take a long time for Justice to prevail – patience is required.

There may also be a need to be true to yourself, do what you think is right, even if you stand alone and face intimidating opposition.

Questions to ask, when Justice is drawn:

How can you create balance in your life? Do you need to detach yourself from emotions in order to resolve current issues? What decisions do you need to make, and how do you weigh up their pros and cons? 

All images of my Tarot deck created so far can be found in the Gallery.

Warmest wishes,



For more insight on Justice and all other Tarot cards, please check out my ebook Empowering Messages from the Tarot.

Make sure you subscribe to my feed to receive the latest news and Tarot articles straight into your inbox when published.

You can also connect with me on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Checkpoint Charlie 1990

My Year Of The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man2012 is coming to a close, and here we are on the day of the Winter Solstice and the end of the Mayan calendar cycle.

There has been lots of global anticipation and speculation about the significance of today’s date, an those people, who expected the world to end today, may realise with relief (or disappointment?) that the world is still spinning as usual.

We’ve come to a point, when a lot of us are reflecting on the year that has passed with a view on how we will progress next year (check out my Tarot Moon Journal, which contains useful journalling sheets for this).

On a personal note, 2012 has been my year of the Hanged Man. Combined with the global year card of the Hierophant, it has taught me some lessons about reconsidering the structures and traditions that I have been accustomed to for so many years and finding a new perspective.

Keywords for the Hanged Man: stagnation, suspension, stasis, being stuck, putting your life on hold, self-sabotage, inaction, avoid making decisions, putting your head in the sand, letting things happen, relinquishing control, letting go, sacrifice, release, new perspective.

The keywords listed in the order above tell a story; nobody can stay in the Hanged Man position for ever. Sooner or later changes will take place, which will lead to transformation. No wonder that in the Major Arcana sequence the Hanged Man is followed by Death, which will be my year card next year.

The image I have chosen above for my Tarot of Quotes shows the perspective of the Hanged Man; he is looking up the tree while he is hanging from it upside down. His view is turned around. The Hanged Man is looking up towards the light for mental and spiritual illumination.

When he finally lets go of something familiar, secure or even treasured, he is making a sacrifice to clear the path for new experiences and growth. But “sacrifice” is his point of view; it is an emotional word stirring up feelings of self-pity, sadness, regret and fear. New emotions are released rather than suppressed. What is once regarded as a sacrifice, will make perfect sense later during the transitional process.

Questions to ask when the Hanged Man comes up in a reading: Where in your life do you feel stuck right now? What are you holding on to that you need to release? Where do you need to relinquish control and be more open, receptive and trusting? How can you deal with certain issues in different ways? What are you avoiding or trying to escape from?

More images of my Tarot deck can be found in the Gallery.

Wishing you a peaceful and happy Winter Solstice!



For more insight on the Hanged Man and all other Tarot cards, please check out my ebook Empowering Messages from the Tarot.

Make sure you subscribe to my feed to receive the latest news and Tarot articles straight into your inbox when published.

You can also connect with me on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.


The Witchy Tarot Review

Witchy Tarot
Recently I was so lucky: I normally don’t win competitions, but when I saw the Witchy Tarot images on Chloë’s blog, I just had to enter this lovely giveaway competition – and I won!

Thank you, Chloë, for drawing my name out of the hat Laughing

The Witchy Tarot is a seriously funky, slightly naughty deck, depicting saucy witches with big pointy hats, goats, broomsticks and even scateboards!

At first glance, the images are fun, full of symbolism, and each one really tells a story. The style is a mix of traditional and contemporary – surrounded by nature and old-fashioned kitchens and gardens, the witches are dressed in mini skirts, flare trousers, stockings and high heels. This deck certainly has a sense of humour!

The Major Arcana is based on a traditional Tarot deck, but it is also divided into groups of 7 cards relating to tools, plants and animals that are part of a witch’s life. The Devil is the odd one out – he doesn’t belong to any group.

Some of the Major Arcana cards are interpreted differently to my own perception. For example, the Fool‘s keywords are “chaos, haste, breathlessness, loss, rebellion”, whereas the Hermit‘s interpretation is “sluggishness, delay, cold blood”. In comparison to the Hermit, the Hanged Man suggests “temptation, punishment, natural therapy”.

The Minor Arcana has been changed the most; the suits and the court cards have been renamed:


Flames – Wands
Cauldrons – Cups
Broomsticks – Swords
Boulders – Pentacles

Court cards:

Celebration – Page
Moon – Knight
Goddess – Queen
Trial – King

There is method to this madness, but you really have to get used to it.

For example, the “celebrations” relate to the four fire festivals of the Wiccan/Pagan wheel of the year:

Celebration of Flames (Page of Wands) – Beltane
Celebration of Cauldrons (Page of Cups) – Imbolc
Celebration of Broomsticks – (Page of Swords) – Samhain
Celebration of Boulders (Page of Pentacles) – Lammas

The Moon seems an apt connection to the Knight expressing volatility and movement. The four phases of the moon are linked to each Knight:

Moon of Flames (Knight of Wands) – Waxing Moon
Moon of Cauldrons (Knight of Cups) – Full Moon
Moon of Broomsticks (Knight of Swords) – New Moon
Moon of Boulders (Knight of Pentacles) – Waning Moon

The Goddesses (Queens) are:

Flames – Holda (German)
Cauldrons – Bona Dea (Roman)
Broomsticks – Morrigan (Celtic)
Boulders – Hekate (Greek)

The Trials (Kings):

Flames – Flight with whip and broomstick
Cauldrons – Sabbath with dancing
Broomsticks – Initiation and kiss
Boulders – The brand of fire

I really like these correspondences and have listed them here, so you can make use of them with any Tarot deck, if they resonate with you.

The enclosed mini booklet offers a brief overview of the structure of this deck and card interpretations. It also contains a 13-card spread, the Circle of Witches, which is useful as a general reading covering all aspects of life.

Overall, I really enjoy getting to know the Witchy Tarot. It is a deck for 21st century women, who embrace witchcraft as the “Craft of the Wise” and as a tool for empowerment and spiritual growth.

Although this deck may be aimed at the younger generation, it will appeal to the young at heart, regardless of age Laughing

Witchy Tarot 3 of CauldronsFinally, I have drawn a card that expresses the inherent energy of the Witchy Tarot:

3 of Cauldrons

“Witches cuddles, tenderness, assistance, availability, communication, study, love designs with an older man”

Hang on – love designs with an older man?



Good vibes from this deck all around!

Buy it from the Book Depository

(free worldwide delivery)


Witchy Tarot, Laura Tuan & Antonella Platano (Artist)
© 2003 Lo Scarabeo


Do you have any questions about the Witchy Tarot? Do you own and use it? Share your thoughts by leaving a reply in the comment box below – I’d love to hear from you Smile


Temperance in the Tarot of Quotes

Temperance in the TarotTemperance is one of my favourite cards in the Tarot. It’s a card of balance, harmony and healing.

In the RWS deck, the angel shown is Archangel Michael, but in my image it’s the angel of the North, situated near Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the UK.

I took the photo on my recent summer holiday, and I must say that the angel is quite a wonderful and impressive monument when you stand right in front of it.

Astrologically, Temperance is associated with Sagittarius, which symbolises the need to create the perfect mix of opposites to achieve harmonious balance and healing.

By blending opposites such as yin/yang, wants/needs, less/more, work/life, strengths/weaknesses, excess/abstinence, virtues/vices, we can achieve moderation, tolerance and compromises without losing out.

Temperance in the Tarot embodies a harmonious healing balance of mind, body and spirit; it is also a part of the transformational process.

What opposites in your life or within yourself do you need to blend in order to create harmony?

More images of my Tarot deck can be found in the Gallery.

For more ideas and insight on Temperance and all other Tarot cards, please check out my ebook Empowering Messages from the Tarot.

Make sure you subscribe to my feed to receive the latest news and Tarot articles straight into your inbox when published.

You can also connect with me on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.