Reading for Yourself: Tips from the World Reversed

People often say it’s difficult or impossible reading for themselves, and I understand why. When invested emotionally, it’s hard to stay clear enough to let information freely flow. We’re looking for confirmation of what we want, or reassurance fears won’t materialize. If we don’t get it, maybe the deck is broken!  Except we worry the deck’s not broken and “the cards have spoken” and maybe by doing that reading when we were so wound we’ve inadvertently created the energy that will manifest….Agghh! (Or maybe you’re not so neurotic? )

Yes, the cards themselves carry meaning via symbolism and archetypal imagery, echoed throughout the collective unconscious over centuries of mystical practice. But they don’t in and of themselves hold the real magic of a Tarot reading.

To help explain, we’ve got the World, coming in inverted. Number XXI of the Major Arcana, we’re at the end of the Fool’s Journey. This card is (perhaps surprisingly) associated with Saturn. The World card points to a totality, everything coming together in a large, complete, and all-encompassing way. It’s a Hero’s Journey where the seeker returns with knowledge earned through trials, ready to use hard-won growth for the greater good. Implied is mastery of both worlds—journeyed land and homeland, material world and spiritual world. The World can also represent letting go of a firmly held worldview in favor of a more expansive vision. Reversed, you’d be close to mastery. You have to make sure you stay out of your own way.

When I first started reading for myself, like everybody I’d pull cards on matters I cared a lot about. But when I didn’t like or immediately understand the results, I’d quickly reshuffle and try again. You do this a few times, you’ll get the same cards repeatedly. You do this half a dozen times, you’ll start getting total nonsense. The problem isn’t with the cards. It’s a trick of not accepting the answers. Think of it like asking a guru the same question ten times. The first three or four times, you may variations of get the same, valid answer. You ask another six times, it’s clear you are choosing not to accept the answer given. The guru may stop speaking entirely, or attempt to snap you to attention by spouting gibberish. It’s your choice, of course, what you are willing to hear. But why ask otherwise?

You can hear the answers clearer in large part by letting go. To understand on a deeper level, you have to be willing to let go of the worldview you’ve become attached to. You may have to rewrite some of your currently held perspective to accommodate a larger vision. To get good results reading for yourself, you have to be open to whatever mail shows up in the box, not just the letter you wanted to get. You can’t expect spiritual messages to come through freely if your demanding editorial control of the content.

The cards themselves carry no judgment inherently. What’s “good” or “bad” to us is merely a part of the bigger picture, a bigger worldview of how the energy is playing out. Free will is part of every step of the reading process. The Tarot answers questions, very specifically (and rather literally). Be sure you’re asking the questions you actually want answered, clearly.  Be open to hearing whatever you get, even if it’s not what you expected or hoped for. If you don’t understand what you get in a self reading, let it sit until you do. The answer will still be there for you when you’re ready.

The World inverted suggests letting go of assumptions and angst to let yourself accept a larger reality. Don’t worry that it may take time or work to assimilate. It’s okay to be “working on it.” Here, you earn (Saturn) clarity by seeking and accepting higher knowledge. Allow the time (Saturn) it takes for truth to sink in. Float out the intention and the answers come back as you’re ready to hear them.

What are your experiences doing Tarot readings for yourself?


  1. Thank you for this post! I do a lot of self readings for myself (Mainly with Oracle decks.)And they have all been accurate.There are moments when I get confused and I’m not clear as to what the particular card is trying to tell me, but I realize that you really can’t make any mistakes. I usually meditate on the card as well. It really helps.

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