30 Days of Tarot — Day 17: Do you do readings using reversals? Why or why not?
It depends on the deck except for the Universal Waite. No reversals there.
I started out trying to read reversals with my first deck, the Universal Waite, but they seemed capricious, arbitrary, and nonsensical to the flow of the reading and the cards themselves. When I obtained the Thoth, I stopped trying to read reversals altogether and used dignities to neighboring cards and the context of the question to determine if a card read good or ill.
So it went for a good while until I went back and took a closer look at the Legacy of the Divine’s official card meanings. Realizing by then that different decks read differently for the same question, I broke my hands and learned how to shuffle reversals into a deck and started reading the Legacy by the official meanings, both upright and reversed.
What do you know, it does work. But only when I am consistent about the system used.
The Legacy of the Divine remained my only reversal enabled deck until I acquired the Sweeney, which also has explicit meanings for reversed cards. While Waite has reversed meanings in his Pictorial Key to the Tarot, I still do not use reversals with the Universal Waite, nor with any RWS clone. I have learned to use the Universal Waite a certain way, and changing that now would be breaking something that works very well.