Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ask Rowan: Reappearing Cards, Shuffling, and Reversals

I’m excited to get to present our first couple of questions for the “Ask Rowan Your Tarot Questions” segment.  These questions come from Joanna and they are some really good ones…let’s take a look!

Hey Rowan...Just lately almost every card has been reversed when I try to read for myself...Either..I am crap at shuffling or my life is about to really suck!..What gives ..? Its been happening a lot the last few months to where I don't want to bother...I know some people don't do reversals..but that seems kind of..not cheating know.. What do you think on non-reversals..?Thanks for the chance to ask even though I went with 2 !!!! Love and Light

Let’s break this down into two different issues.  We’ll look at shuffling and what to do when you seem to keep getting the same cards over and over and then we’ll look at the issue of reversals, because that can be a bit of a controversial one among readers.  

I’m a big fan of just spending time shuffling my decks.  Whatever deck I’m currently working with I’ll just sit with it and shuffle.  Something I might even do it in a completely mindless way as just something in the background as I watch TV.  When I do this it serves a twofold purpose.  First, it’s helping to meld my personal energy into the cards.  The only intention I have when I’m doing this is to just connect my energy to the cards and for the cards to mix together well.  As you do this you should get a good blend with the cards.  But don’t feel you have to do this; do what you feel is best for you and your deck.  You might pick it up one day to just shuffle for the sake of it and find that you just aren’t feeling into it.  I find that when this happens the deck just doesn’t need any more shuffling.  

Now it’s time for a reading, and you pick up the cards and start shuffling with intention.  You pull your cards, lay them out, do your reading and then a few days later you do another reading and get similar or same cards.  Then you do this again a week later and again you’ve got the same cards coming up.  I tend to be of the mind that two times is a coincidence but three times is a message.  

If you’re pulling the same cards over and over, and you are shuffling the deck well, then the chances are you’re getting these cards for a reason and there is something that you’re not really paying attention to that is causing the same cards to keep popping up. It can be really frustrating, I know.  It has happened to me in the past and it’s even more frustrating when it happens when I’ve been doing readings for a client and they keep getting the same cards.  But you have to stop and wonder just how coincidental that really is. 
When you’re seeing the same cards over and over, pull them out and leave them out for a few days.  Meditate with them, journal with them; keep them on your altar or in your sacred space so you can reflect on them.  Ask them what it is that they are trying to tell you.  There’s something there that you’re not seeing at first glance but time will make it clearer.

Now, as for reversals, I don’t work with them most of the time.  I don’t feel that just because a card is pulled upside down that they have the opposite meaning of the upright meaning.  I feel that when a card comes up as a reversal that it represents a blocked energy.  For example if you pulled three cards in a career meaning and you pulled The Fool, Three of Pentacles reversed, and then 10 of Cups, this could show that you might be a little naive about how good your work performance has been and that you might not be working to your full potential.  You have the potential to have a very successful and fulfilling career but you need to be more realistic with where you are with your work right now.  So you might be trying to get a promotion that is far above your current level of achievement and this could be showing you that you’re just not there yet but you could be. If you can “turn the card right side up”, unblocking the energy by working harder, you could open the door for this in the future.

Another reason I don’t work with reversals is because the cards have a level of balance within the deck and the cards next to and around another card can chance the dignity of it.  So while the 4 of Wands might indicate a happy marriage when you surround it with the Three of Swords and The Devil that’s obviously going to change things a bit.  The 4 of Wands doesn’t have to be upside down to have a “reversed” meaning, so to speak.

So that’s my take on those things.  One thing I always like to remind people is that there are no hard and fast rules with tarot and every reader needs to find the methods and technologies that work for them and make sense for them.