My philosophy on Tarot Reversals :
Perhaps because of my Virgo moon, I feel that things need to be straight and in order. So, I dislike the cards which come up upside down. And I do not give much importance to it. Also, I feel that the entire Tarot is made up of very well thought out archetypal images which have stood the test of time. This journey is explained through the 78 cards. So, I do not think it necessary to analyze the upside down versions as well as there is enough imagery present in the cards themselves. The rich symbols and archetypes have different connotations whenever we see them in different situations. So having 156 meanings doesn't seem to make sense.
Zach Wong's Revelations Tarot:
Recently, I heard about a wonderful Tarot deck called 'Revelations Tarot' by Zach Wong. I have been meaning to buy this deck primarily because it is unique and a perfect one to practice reversals. Each card has two pictures, positive and negative. So, you only read the part of the card which comes upright in front of you. This is truly a Revelation! Please check out the wonderful pictures on the website. I am tempted to use reversals just so that I can work with this deck!
The following example has been taken from Zach Wong's website:
She oozes with hope and balance inward and outwards. She embodies the giver of hope in our lives.
She turns her back on the world for she has lost all hope. She cannot give what she does not have within herself.
The concept of the Aquarian water bearer being the giver of life plays a symbolic role in the card. The sign of Aquarius also is one of air, and not water, dealing with matters of the mind and thought. The card plays towards the hope one can have in their mind and not necessarily in their heart.
The stars illuminate around her and serve a metaphor for dreams and hope which we look towards to. They number 8 - the sister to the card of Strength.
The doves in flight around her represent the freedom we feel inside when we are released from the troubles of life. She is also not dressed in any robes but is bare, only with her own hair to comfort her. She is not trapped by any material possessions or wants to.
There is only a dramatic swell of red around her representing an inner loss of hope. The loss frustrates her to a point of anger but she can only show grief. The showing of the back is a symbolic one of turning away or shutting out the world outside. Her posture lends towards her sorrow as she burdens the weight of her misery.
The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals:
1. Using them as blocked or resisted energies
2. Projecting denial on a situation
3. Delayed, difficult or unavailability
4. Inner or the unconscious energy
5. According to the Moon Phases (round decks)
6. Changing direction or refusing
7. Lacking or no, non or not
9. Misused or misdirected
10. Re words: Retried, Retracted, Reviewed, Reconsidered
12. Unconventional, Shamanic, Magical, Dream interpretation
It is a very well researched book and gives a very different point of view about reversals, which makes you think and consider using them. If I will ever use Reversals in my readings, I don't know but it has definitely got me thinking in that direction. I took her advice in the book in preparing my 78 card-pair combinations for the Tarot Project X, and I am very satisfied with the results. Tarot is all about learning, and the learning never stops. Knowledge is never-ending and you can never know everything. So, do not keep your doors closed. Keep your options open and open your eyes to a world of possibilities. Sometimes consider looking at the same things upside down!