What does it mean when a tarot card is sideways?

Introduction: The Intriguing World of Tarot

Delving into the fascinating realm of tarot, one may stumble upon a curious question–what does it mean when a tarot card is sideways? Tarot readings have been viewed as a mystical key to unlocking and understanding the enigmatic aspects of our lives. This mystical form of divination encompasses a broad range of contexts, from the visible to the obscure, and it’s not uncommon for readers and tarot enthusiasts to encounter complexities tied to this practice.

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

Understanding the Basics of Tarot Reading

Tarot Reading is a form of divination that involves using a deck of 78 cards, each bearing a unique image and symbolism. These cards are split into two groups: The Major Arcana, depicting significant life events, and the Minor Arcana, representing daily life occurrences. A traditional tarot reading involves a reader who interprets the cards for an individual (often referred to as the querent), providing insight to a range of life aspects including love, career, health, and spirituality.

Meaning and Interpretations in Different Positions

In a tarot layout or spread, the position of the card holds deep significance—it greatly influences its interpretation. Typically, cards can be read in their upright or reversed positions. Upright positions generally convey positive meanings while reversed positions tend to reflect negative implications or blocks. However, interpretation may vary depending on the context of the question and the situation at hand.

Importance of Card Orientation in Tarot

Orientation plays an integral role in tarot reading: upright, reversed, and yes – sideways. The way cards face hugely imparts to their individual meanings. While many choose to skip reading sideways tarots due to its complexity, many tarot scholars consider it uniquely illuminating that can provide a deeper layer of interpretation.

Unveiling Sideways Tarots: A Unique Perspective

The Concept of Sideways Tarot Cards

The idea of sideways tarot cards emerges from the practice of some tarot readers considering a card laid sideways as having a separate interpretation distinct from its upright or reversed position. Sideways cards stem the concept of a ‘middle ground’, somewhere between the benefits and challenges that other positions represent.

How Different is a Sideways Reading from Upright or Reversed?

A sideways reading is unique, providing a nuanced perspective that’s not wholly positive or negative but somewhere in between – a realm of potentiality and flux. It indicates uncertainty, indecisiveness, and transitional phases that are poised to tip in either direction based on decisions made or actions taken.

Common Misconceptions About Sideways Readings

While a substantial amount of debate surrounds sideways tarot readings, it’s essential to clear up common misconceptions. Some may view it as an unnecessary complication, while others claim it’s indifferently dropped cards. The reader should embrace what feels right and resonates with their understanding.

Deciphering the Meaning Behind Sideways Cards

Interpreting Major Arcana Cards When Positioned Sideways

Major Arcana cards represent significant life-changing events, when they appear sideways during a reading, it suggests the need for deep introspection. The message, or lesson isn’t yet clear-cut—it might be under process or negotiating a turning point.

Interpreting Minor Arcana Cards When Positioned Sideways

Minor Arcana cards mirror day-to-day life scenarios. In sideways position, they emphasize daily operations being in flux—pointing towards decisions and actions that could unearth potential outcomes.

Case Study: Popular Sideways Cards and their Significance

A side-lying Death card might suggest undergoing a slow, yet inevitable change. A sideways Fool could indicate hesitation on embarking in an adventure or the lack to commit to forgoing old habits. Each sideways card interpretation will differ based on the particular card and the querent’s situation.

Putting It into Practice: Strategies for Accurate Readings

Tips for Accurate Interpretations with Sideways Cards

Sideways cards demand flexibility in interpretation. It’s crucial to consider their situational context, associated cards, and the querent’s unique circumstance. Paying attention to intuitive feels can also help unveil unique insights.

Use Cases and Examples of Real-Life Readings

Often, in real-life scenarios, a reader might encounter cards that fall sideways in a spread. While daunting initially, practice and understanding the comprehensive card meanings can offer very insightful readings.

Role of a Reader’s Intuition in Interpreting Sideways Laid cards

Intuition is the cornerstone of any tarot reading, but it plays a heightened role when interpreting a sideways card: it encourages readers to go beyond literal meanings, diving deep into the realm of possibility and potentiality.


Q: What does it mean when a tarot card is sideways?
A: It indicates an intermediary or transitional phase, decisions in limbo, potential shifts or delays in the matters at hand.

Q: Should I read sideways tarot cards differently than upright cards?
A: Yes. Sideways cards introduce nuanced perspective signifying potentiality or being on the edge of change.

Q: How to interpret Major Arcana cards when they’re positioned sideways?
A: Sideways Major Arcana suggests significant life aspects being ambiguous or influx. Deep contemplation and introspection on the querent’s part are advised.

Q: What is the significance of the popular sideway tarots, say, The Fool or Death?
A: The Fool in sideways could indicate uncertainty about taking risks or hesitation in new initiatives. A side-lying Death card might suggest slow, evolving changes.

Conclusion: Wrapping up – Mastering the Art of Reading sidewards Tarot Card

Mastering the art of reading sideway tarot cards signifies the expansion of one’s tarot knowledge beyond conventional wisdom, opening up an enriching dimension to personal understanding and growth. Like all tarot practices, it requires patience, experience and most importantly, an open heart. May your journey with sideways tarots be insightful and rewarding.

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