Do You Read Reversals for Oracle Decks?

Just as with tarot decks, reading reversals when reading from oracle cards is completely based on your preference. You maybe want to read reversals only with certain decks or when you feel the cards are trying to speak to you.

What Are Reversals?

A reversal is when a card is pulled upside down in a reading. These are most commonly recognized in tarot deck readings and, as with many things in the metaphysical world, can be read normally or as reversals depending upon personal preference. Reversals generally mean the exact opposite of what the card would normally represent.

When Would You Read Reversals?

Reading reversals in a deck you’ve been working with for a while can open up entirely new meanings and translations. This can give you more detailed insight into your situation by highlighting issues such as underlying issues or imbalances that may otherwise go unnoticed.

Reversals also give an opportunity for those who want to work with ‘yes or no’ oracle readings. In this case, upright is ‘yes’ and reversed is ‘no’. But remember, when practicing ‘yes or no’ readings, never take the cards at face value or make any life-changing decisions based on an upright or reversed oracle card. Instead, use this style of reading to further investigate a situation you’ve been pondering.

Tip: If only one card (or two in a larger spread) are reversals you may want to pay close attention. Your deck is placing greater importance on these cards and trying to focus your energy on their meanings. Listen closely.

When Should You Avoid Reading Reversals?

Most commonly reversals will produce a more negative reading as oracle decks tend to be positive in nature. If you aren’t the type to find the positive in the seemingly negative, it may be best to avoid reading reversals.

Some claim that reading reversals can actually cause you to avoid being quite as intuitive with your readings. Personally, I don’t see this as much of an issue. If someone memorizes the cards and doesn’t consider them further in any regard then it doesn’t matter if it’s read as a reversal or not—the reading will simply not be as thorough and introspective.

Tip: If you find every card in the spread is reversed, you may have just gotten your deck flipped around! In this case, we recommend you disregard the reversals and read the deck as you would if all cards were upright.

How to Read Reversals with Oracle Decks

What Do Reversals Mean?

Reversals can be interpreted in different ways and each person will likely lean toward interpreting using one method over another. It’s best to keep your mind open when you’ve pulled a reversal to determine what the cards are trying to tell you—it won’t be the same for every reading.

The common meanings of reversed oracle cards are:

  • Negative or exact opposite of the card’s normal meaning.
  • Focal point or emphasis on that card in the spread.
  • The suggestion to look inward instead of outward in regards to the card’s meaning.
  • Blockage or barrier to overcome before accomplishing the upright interpretation of the card.

Decks Where Reversal Meanings Are Included

Some oracle deck creators have included in their guidebooks the meanings of the reversal. If you intend to read reversals it may be wise to invest in a deck meant to be read in this fashion.

Some of the more popular oracle decks where reversals are meant to be read include:

Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals

This deck is complete with 107 cards all focused on recognizing and interpreting animal signs in our daily lives. Originally published in 1988, the Medicine Cards deck has since sold over a million copies. (It’s definitely not a hidden gem but rather a well-known and well-appreciated one.) It’s guidebook is extensive, coming in at around 200 pages. You can find this available as a hardbound book.

Wisdom of the Oracle Divination Cards

This 52-card deck relies on imagery of animals and elements of nature to help you open up a dialogue about your life. It has a blend of I-Ching, Norse runes, and tarot. The Wisdom of the Oracle deck was authored by Colette Baron-Reid.

Does Opulent Charms Read Reversals With Oracle Decks?

Okay, so now that I have given you an unbiased look at reversals, I’ll share a bit of my own practice.

Reversals for me are something I only generally recognize when reading tarot. This is mostly because tarot decks so easily lend themselves to reading reversals. With oracle decks, this isn’t always the case.

The oracle decks I currently work with don’t lend themselves to being decks good for reading reversals. However, I’m completely open to reading reversals from oracle decks I use in the future. In fact, I’ve found all instances where I decided to read the reversal have ended in better and more clear insight into the query I asked of the cards.

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