What does a sideways tarot card mean?

Introduction: Understanding Tarot Card Directions

For centuries, Tarot cards have been a reflective and insightful tool for individuals seeking answers to life’s complexities. The significant essence of these cards lies not only in the rich symbolism and imagery they carry but also in their position or orientation during a reading. One intriguing aspect of this spiritual journey is the understanding of what a sideways tarot card might imply in a reader’s spread.

What does a sideways tarot card mean?Image by Kayla Maurais. Source: Unsplash.

Broadly speaking, tarot cards can be read in three primary positions – upright, reversed, or sideways. Tarot readers believe that each card’s positioning significantly alters its meaning, thereby adding an incredible depth of narrative and understanding to the reading. Sideways tarot cards are less common but carry startling implications for the seeker.

Decoding the Meaning of a Sideways Tarot Card

Delving into the realm of sideways or horizontal tarot cards brings forth fresh perspectives and layers into a reading. Such orientational deviations from the standard upright or reversed positions underscore unresolved situations or ambiguous opportunities that deserve extra attention.

The visual language of sideways tarot cards can be tricky to decipher, but it is believed to combine elements from both the upright positive attributes and the reversed negative associations. They symbolize a transitional phase where clarity is foggy, decisions are dithering, or energies are merging.

Unfortunately, there exist misapprehensions about sideways-positioned tarot cards being ominous or ill-fated. Rest assured, this is merely a myth! Sideways placements merely suggest implied agency or flexibility, urging seekers to adopt a more conscious approach to their situations.

Notable Examples of Sideways Tarot Card Interpretations

Taking ‘The Fool’ card in a sideways position, for instance, signifies an individual caught amidst indecisiveness, unsure whether to embark on a new journey (as denoted by an upright Fool) or retreat for fear of being imprudent (as insinuated by a reversed Fool).

Another example is when ‘The Lovers’ card appears sideways. This circumstance could hint at a romantic relationship inching towards a crossroads – the passionate equilibrium symbolized by the upright Lovers is being subdued by the reversed position’s emotional conflict.

How to Incorporate Sideways-Tarot Reading into Traditional Practices

Incorporating sideways tarot interpretations into conventional readings warrants flexibility in understanding standard spreads. It also requires intuition and personal experience to discern the current energies depicted by sideways cards.

Developing your own personalized interpretations over time, backed by repeated patterns and insights, can considerably enhance the reader’s ability to shed light on the hazy landscape of sideways tarot dynamics.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Many seekers question, "What happens if I draw multiple sideways tarots in one reading?" This occurrence could imply that the seeker is going through a phase of significant confusion or transition. Another common query is, "Does the positioning affect the negative/positive aspects of a card?" Absolutely! The position of a tarot card greatly influences its perceived narrative and energy during a reading.


To conclude, as cryptic and elusive as they might seem, sideways tarot cards are powerful reminders of life’s transitional phases. They implores us to pause, reflect, and harness our inner wisdom to make empowered decisions. Understanding their meaning requires intuition, patience, and experience, thereby enriching the reader’s journey with the profound mysteries that tarot has to offer.

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