How do I read reversals with a round tarot deck?


What are tarot inversions, otherwise known as reversals? The technique of reading reversals is a tarot method in which the meaning is inverted or strengthened when a tarot card is positioned in a reversed, ‘upside down’ position in a tarot spread.

How does one interpret the meanings of inverted tarot cards? There are many methods in how one can interpret the inverted tarot card:

  • the card being highlighted by Spirit - requiring additional focus or attention
  • the upright meaning in it’s ‘shadow’
  • the source point and blockage of the flow of energy in a tarot spread 
  • an internal influence vs. the external influence in the upright position
  • subconscious vs. conscious knowledge of the upright position

In my apprenticeship, I was taught to turn any inverted card to its upright position; specifically during the first few years of my studies. The theory is, if the Universe/ Spirit wants to deliver a message that contains an energetic block (ie: inverted card), another card will surface in its place to deliver the divine message. Similar to expressing a message in a verbal or written language, there are multitude of word choices and combinations to convey one’s meaning.

My mentor focused my efforts in embodying the upright meanings with fluidy, for my first five years of study. My training required taking photographs of each tarot spread with notations of what I interpreted; allowing time to unfold to see the manifested outcome - or error in translation of the interpreted tarot reading. The purpose of this method was to see my evolution and mastery of this method prior to layering other techniques (ie: tarot reversals). For those of you who are within your first few years of continuous study, I highly suggest you focus on reading tarot cards in the upright position. Take record of each tarot spread and allow the time to unfold to ascertain if what you interpreted was accurate. If perhaps the message was translated with error, review the record of the tarot spread and re-read the spread and notes. See how or where the message could have been translated with more accuracy. 

If in your tarot practice you used tarot inversions (ie: reversals), I will now explain how you can continue reading tarot in your preferred method when using a round tarot deck. Specifically, reading inverted tarot cards with the Golden Eclipse tarot. 

If one is reading tarot with a rectangle shaped tarot deck, knowing which card to read as inverted is rather straightforward. If the card's image is upside down, the tarot card is inverted. With a round shaped tarot deck, there are degrees of angles a card image can end up positioning; offering an opportunity to read the tarot card as inverted as well as percentages of degrees of energy. However, if one wants to read a round tarot deck with reversals this is how I designed and would read tarot inversions with the Golden Eclipse tarot. 

I am using the Ace of Wands to demonstrate if the card is upright, reversed, as well as degrees of percentages.



Fig. 1


Fig 1. Ace of Wands is upright
This position is what a tarot reader would consider a card being in the upright position.


Fig 2. Ace of Wands Reversed

Fig 2. Ace of Wands Reversed

This what a tarot reader would consider a card pointing in this direction as reversed.


Fig 3. Ace of Wands Reversed

Of course with a round tarot deck, there are various degrees of directions the tarot card can face. You may be curious if the tarot card ends up facing in a degree rather than upright or reversed, how should the card be interpreted?

Personally, I read the Golden Eclipse tarot cards with degrees; and by that I mean - if the card lands in an angle, the meaning and energy of the card is translated as a percentage or degree of probability and strength. Further, I like to see how the tarot card interacts with the surrounding cards, and if it's pointing or facing another card in the tarot spread.  

However, for the purpose of understanding reading upright or reversals with a round tarot deck, I need you to look at the tarot card as though it is a clock:


Figure 4. Ace of Wands Upright

Figure 5. Ace of Wands Upright
If the Ace of Wands is pointing in the direction from X:00 - X:14 it is considered upright.


Figure 6. Ace of Wands Reversed

If the tarot card is pointing between X:16 - X:30 the Ace of Wands is then considered reversed.

 Fig 7. Ace of Wands Reversed


Figure 8. Ace of Wands Reversed

If the Ace of Wands is pointing X:30 - X:44 it is also considered in the reversed position. 


Figure 9. Ace of Wands Upright
If the Ace of Wands is pointing between X:46 - X:00 it is considered upright.


You don't have to physically move the card from the degree position, to a full reversed or upright position - in your mind you can know and note if the card is reversed or upright.


What happens when the tarot card lands in a horizontal position? If you want to use a more advanced technique, if the card lands in a horizontal position it is considered a muted energy.


Fig 10. Ace of Wands is muted upright / positive

If the Ace of Wands lands horizontal facing right, is a muted positive energy. Which one can translate as the traditional meaning for a card in the upright position, however not actively expressed as strong.


Fig 11. Ace of Wands muted inverted / reversed

If the Ace of Wands is facing horizontally left, it is a muted inverted / reversed energy.  Which one can translate as the traditional meaning for a card in the reversed position, however not actively expressed as strong.



Reading Degrees

This is how one would read a round deck as either upright or reversed. Now, with the nature of this being a round card - you can read this with degrees. 



Fig 12.  Ace of Wands is inverted / reversed with a 10% positive energy
For example, if the Ace of Wands is at X:40 - it is reversed, with a 10% improvement in the energy.




Fig 13. Ace of Wands is upright with a 10% block or challenge to the energy
If the Ace of Wands, or another card, is upright at X:50, it is considered upright, with a 10% of blockage or challenge.


I hope this brief guide can assist you in better understanding the possibilities of reading reversals, and percentage of energy in a round tarot deck, like the Golden Eclipse Tarot.