Tuesdays are MAGICAL, a day for the celebration of all things TACO, TEQUILA, and TAROT. Each week, we're going to celebrate #TarotTuesday by taking a deep dive into one of the cards. We've started with the Major Arcana, and last Tuesday we took some time to look at The Fool when it presents as upright in a spread. Today, we're taking a look at The Fool Reversed (Rx).
I know, I know. It's Wednesday. #TarotTuesday got away from me before I had a chance to post. It happens 🤷🏻 So without further ado, let's dive right in.
There are two different ways to tackle reversals in the tarot, both of which I'll be covering in Interior Creature Courses this summer. In the meantime, here's the lowdown on reversals:
- The traditional way of reading a reversal in tarot is akin to taking the definition of the card and inverting it. So, for example, take the Ace of Wands: when it appears upright in a spread, it's all about potential and inspiration and creativity. A traditional Rx reading of the Ace of Wands is all about stagnation, ambiguity and creative blocks. It's like the meaning of the card was flipped upside down. A card with an overall positive connotation presents more as a warning, and a card that traditionally presents as a warning presents as an opportunity.
- nother way of reading a tarot reversal has to do with the flow of the energy of the card. In this framework, a reversed card indicates an increase or decrease of the energy of the card, depending on its position in the spread. Using the example of the Ace of Wands, an Rx'd card at the beginning of the spread, might indicate that the energy of creativity/opportunity/inspiration is building but has yet to come to fruition. If the Rx'd card presented at the end of a spread, say in a future position, it could indicate that the energy around creativity/opportunity/inspiration is dying down. Joan Bunning goes into this framework in depth in her book Learning Tarot Reversals.
For the sake of these blog posts, we're going to focus on the traditional inversions of the cards. With that out of the way, on to The Fool (Rx).
A quick review: All cards in the tarot present as either models or warnings. The Fool, when upright, is all about possibility and potential, of stepping off the cliff and taking a literal/figurative leap of faith.
When The Fool presents as reversed, the air of uncertainty that surrounds this card is AMPLIFIED and almost begs us to proceed with caution ⚠️ If you're pondering quitting a job or entering into a new relationship, spontaneity is absolutely not advised. The Fool Rx is also all about vanity, materialism, and superficiality and asks us to take a step back and really examine what we value. Yet another layer to The Fool Rx is all about hustle: the things we want aren't going to just magically appear if we aren't willing to work for them. If The Fool Rx appears, we might want to get real with ourselves: are we actually working for what we want, or do we believe we're entitled to it, without positive action on our part? If we're behaving in a way that's selfish, lazy or entitled, that creative energy and potential that the upright Fool brings to the table can't manifest.
The TL;DR version: tone down the YOLO energy 🧘🏻 Check yourself before you wreck yourself. 🧘🏻
Depending on where The Fool Rx appears in a spread, like in a "past" position, he could indicate that we might have been acting recklessly, with willful ignorance and without proper regard for the consequences. In that case, he's showing us how we got in our own way and how the decisions we made could come back to haunt us. Conversely, instead of acting recklessly or arrogantly, our behavior could have been foolish or naive...even though our motivation might have been more pure, we still have the potential to encounter challenge or even failure as a result of our ill-considered actions.
If The Fool Rx appears in a "present" position, we've arrived at a fork in the road: up to this point, we haven't exercised nearly enough caution or judgement, and if we want to course-correct down a path toward success, we need to start behaving with maturity and wise consideration. And, no, we can't just "wing it." We need to do our research and really check our ego as we move forward. In this case, he appears to warn us to SLOW👏🏻OUR👏🏻ROLL👏🏻 and really look before we leap. If we continue to disregard our own personal karma and act with complete disregard for the implications that come with our behavior, we're pretty screwed.
Remember: tarot isn't prophecy. We have agency in the situation. The Fool Rx is like a giant bucket of ice cold water being poured on us so that we come to our senses and start behaving in alignment with our highest selves. Or else 😞
Want to learn more about The Fool and the other cards of the Major Arcana? Are you new to tarot and not quite sure where to start? The first Interior Creature Course, "The Tarot of Transformation: Using Tarot as a Tool for Decision-Making and Personal Spiritual Growth," is LIVE and we can't wait for you to join the class! It is chock full of videos and tutorials, downloadable cheat sheets, exercises and journal pages, and is designed to jump-start your journey toward giving yourself super powerful insightful tarot readings! The course is totally self-paced and priced less than the cost of a deck of tarot cards! Follow this link and enter the promo code TAROT101 at checkout to receive 22% off 💕💕💕
Bunning, Joan. Learning Tarot Reversals. Weiser, 2003.
Skinner, Megan. Essence of the Tarot: Modern Reflections on Ancient Wisdom. Green Frog Publishing, 2016.
Wen, Benebell. Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth. North Atlantic Books, 2015.