Bohemian Gothic Tarot - the catch 22


OK, I really should not be writing this nor should I be thinking this since I really am on an IDS with another deck. But once a thought get stuck...Well you know how its like. ^^ SIGH

I recieved the BG as a late birthday gift from my mother and just had a brief lookthrough of deck and cards. And as I suspected : I love it! I hoe I will love to read with it too eventually. What I love most about the book is that it adresses a ligher/"normal" version of meaning as well as a darker mor shadow verion of meanings. In short, upright and reversed cards. And if any deck would benefit from using reversals I think it would be this one. But here comes my problem:
I would love to use reversals for the shadow meanings, due to the very fine connections to the deck as a whole. But I feel that if you turn these cards upside down much of its power of dark scenery is lost. So it is really a catch 22 - whatever I choose I loose something. Either I have to skip using reversals althogether or break the flow of the imagery.... Anyone else having any creative ideas on how to solve this so I can get some peace of mind and get back to my beloved IDS ? :-D



Bloudwedd said:
So it is really a catch 22 - whatever I choose I loose something. Either I have to skip using reversals althogether or break the flow of the imagery....
A great many people don't use reversals at all, but that doesn't mean that they forgo the Shadow Meanings of the cards. They rely on their instincts and card positions to tell them when the cards are indicating Shadow Meaning. For example, when I do a spread, a card in the hopes/fears position could well indicate the Shadow Meaning of fears.

I believe your talents are good enough that if you use the cards upright, you'll still know when they're expressing the Shadow Meanings instead, especially if you've really taken to heart those meanings that you feel ring true from the book.

Putting it another way, if all my cards are upright then it's up to me to remember that the Sun isn't always "Sunny." And I do. I don't put the cards all upright in the hopes of getting only happy readings; I do so because certain decks just look wrong to me upside down and, as you say, interrupt my flow.

If you feel you need stronger cues as to which cards to read Shadow, however, then you could easily augment or create spreads for this particular deck that have card positions that are "reversed" even if you lay them upright. Any card in this spot or that is the Shadow Meaning. Tarot is beloved because of its flexibility; if you create a spread with "Shadow" spots the cards will make use of such spots. The deck will give you the right cards to read for those spots--just as it would give you reversed cards for spots in some other spread if you were using those.

Thus, you can have your cake and eat it too.


Why don't you just decide to "go with the flow" and read reversals if the mood suits you in a particular reading and don't if they don't?

My philosophy of reading is that having rules restricts you from sensing the vibe in the room and between you and your querant. I think you should be flexible and open to whatever suits the story of the spread in front of you.

I certainly have a ritual that includes how I mix the cards and draw them. But I don't have any rules about how the cards should be interpreted because I think that closes you off to the synchronicity of the thoughts that fly into your head in a given moment or where your eyes wander to in a particular illustration. I think the more you box yourself in to "this is how it has to be every time", the more of a disservice you do to yourself and your querant.

Just my two cents.


What Thirteen says!! :laugh:

I rarely use reversals but I always take into account the shadow side of cards. When doing a reading is just flows naturally for me when it should be the shadow side or the upright.

There are a few decks I use reversals for but not many.


Thanks for the replies!

Yes of course the best would be to go with the flow and trust my intuition as you all says! If it only would be that easy, huh! I guess I am not as intuition-liberated as I thought I was! But practice makes perfect! So I keep at it! :)



I'm so visual... reversed cards hurt my brain, LOL! So, if I'm reading with reversals, I sometimes keep some little "gems" or something to help me remember if a card was reversed when I first put it down - then I promptly turn it upright. ;)

But I like Thirteen's point. If we tell the cards that certain positions will be inherently reversed, then what we need will show there, just like anything else! That seems like the simplest solution.