For a really, really, really, extra-long time, I refused to acknowledge reversals in the Tarot. Maybe the Tarot itself didn't want to talk to me about reversals, maybe I wasn't ready to think of things this way. I like to think of myself as a reasonably "spiritual" person, even though that's become as nearly an air-headed term as "woke" these days. I thought all positivity and no negativity was the way to go. I liked the idea that there were already enough cards to suggest a negative person or event, that made learning any reversals "unnecessary" Since I'm in an organic meat suit like everyone else, and not a box of gears, I'm exercising my option to change my mind about that.
It's a tricky time in this world of ours. We have insane technological powers, ridiculously convenient conveniences, and the ability to share information so fast that "Rome falls nine times an hour." None of this has solved a lot of problems inherent in being an ape. We still have greed and cruelty, just faster. If the wrong people have so-called god-like technology, it does the so-called devil's work. I won't go into anything political because it doesn't take a lot of extrapolation for someone to guess how I vote, and I *really* don't enjoy arguing politics on the internet (nor have I seen it do any good) - but we all need to do better. Refining the most positive message possible out of a reading isn't going to help *me* help most people figure out the way out of their own personal minefield. What if your smoke detector gently emailed you an article about all of the uses for ashes and remedies for burns instead of waking you up with a shrill beeping noise?
Does this excuse a reader from tact? Of course not.
A reversal doesn't give us permission to start slinging woes at our clients.
Are all reversals negative things? No.
Something like the reversal of the Tower lets us know that, yes, things are a mess, but maybe it's not as bad as a disaster, and may-be we did it to ourselves.
So how can we look at a reversal and stay "positive"?
If we see a court card in the reversed position, we don't have to demonize the individual in question. It's better to think of them as someone in a rough spot. What do we do in rough times? Generally speaking - not our best. Instead of living in a bipolar Star Wars universe, where someone goes from Hero of the Clone Wars to Most Hated Man In The Galaxy, we instead search out what the heck is making that person so tense all of a sudden. Empathy for the individual doesn't mean we drop our guard, it means we make an effort to understand what we're working with. The positivity is in knowing just how involved we should make ourselves in this person's suffering, or what we can do to ease it.
Super-nerdy example aside, I feel like the reversals open up the Tarot to an extended vocabulary of meaning that is more important to decoding our individual situations than a pollyanna oracle of blessing after blessing.
Trungpa's "Passion, Aggression, and Ignorance" plague our evolution, but in Temperance, we find out we need a pinch of each of these in a "Get Shit Done" casserole.
So, yeah, reversals are cool, now. (to me)
These beautiful circles just came to me from the printer. You can get one of these 4"x4" pretties here.