Hello and welcome to TaoCraft Short Sip: Tarot for your day in the time it take to sip from your coffee.
Today’s card is Strength from the major arcana, inverted.
This is another good chance to give my standard issue speech about inverted or reversed cards. Reversed cards are ones that turn over upside down relative to the person doing the reading.
The relative to the person doing the reading part is, to my thinking, much more important than the upside-down, reversed or inverted part. The card is perfectly fine as it lies. I don’t mean to go all Obi-wan on you, but the reversal is specific to a certain point of view. To the person across the table, the card is right side up. The card is the card, the only difference is how you look at it.
The tradition is to change the meaning of a card to its opposite when it turns up reversed. Usually that so-called opposite is really the darker, less socially popular, or negative side of the card.
As I see it, that flip flop in the meaning runs the risk of letting a certain toxic positivity leak into our readings. Right side up cards are a bit easier to read from a pure physiologic, visual standpoint. I don’t know about you, but I have an innate bias toward right side up cards, just as a matter of identifying what the heck you are looking at.
Depending on where you stand in the room, all cards are always right side up or upside down. All the cards are always everything and that is part of Tarot’s inherent value. Tarot has value in the way it opens our mind and our thinking to all the possibilities, even the hard to look at upside down ones.
All the cards are everything all of the time.
My favorite quote from the original 90s version of the movie The Craft is from the scene where the bookstore owner explains the nature of magic and spells to the protagonist Sarah “True magic is neither black or nor white – it is both because nature is both. Loving and cruel all at the same time … the only good or bad is in the heart of the witch. Life keeps a balance on its own.”
Connect that to the yin-yang symbol and Taoist philosophy and you know why I named this website and podcast what it is.
So if reversed cards don’t represent a thing and it’s opposite or some sort of positive vs negative duality, what do reversed cards tell us?
I read reversed cards as meaning that there is something up with how the card’s meaning is being used or manifested in life. There is something blocked or turbulent or glitchy with the energy flow that the card and its position within a layout represents.
Author Scott Cunningham is known for saying “The feeling is the power” If you are feeling strong today great! Have at it!
If not, that’s fine. No one has the capacity to be perfect every moment, and we certainly don’t feel that way every moment.
The Strength card always has an element of trusting yourself. If you are feeling strong, then you have to trust it to use it. If you are not feeling strong, then you still have to trust yourself. It is a matter of trust that your inner strength is still there, still fully functioning.
Do the thing. You don’t have to like it. You don’t have to enjoy it. You don’t have to act happy about it when you aren’t. You can, however still do what needs done because your strength is more than it feels.
Thank you for reading and listening!
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Thanks again and I’ll see you at the next sip!