Opposing tarot cards
One way I totally recommend studying the Tarot is learning by opposites. I had a major breakthrough in my own Tarot learning when I started studying the reversed meaning of the tarot. For example the Death card always came across to me as a bit grim. The reversed meaning of the Death card changed my opinion of the Death card entirely. Non-death or non-change are much worse. Think of being in a state of in-between, trapped between two worlds, not living fully in either of them. I have seen people in that state, and I believe death would be far better. The Death tarot card of course often shows up as a non-physical death transition in our lives. We transform throughout our entire lives, some more than others. Another card the reversed meaning helped me understand is Eight of cups. I always looked upon it with disappointment. Now I am looking forward to see the Eight of cups card. The reversed meaning of Eight of cups denotes avoiding pursuing a dream and instead stays in a job/place/relationship where they are not happy. Leaving it all behind and choosing to follow ones heart is so much better. Eight of cups; you have got my thumbs up.
Opposing tarot cards seen in the major arcana
I would like to take the whole learning by opposite to a whole new level. Starting with the Major Arcana cards I am looking through them and pairing them up as best I can according to their differences. Some cards have no opposing cards, however a few do. Here is my list and why:
Rather than starting at the beginning with the Fool, I am starting in the middle with the Wheel of Fortune. Think of the Wheel of Fortune as exhaling or the Universe exploding and expanding. The opposing tarot to Wheel of Fortune is the Hanged Man. Think of the Hanged Man as inhaling or as the Universe Imploding. When the Wheel of Fortune turns up in a reading everything is moving forward. People and places will come into your life as if magic. When the Hanged Man shows up in a reading everything is slowing down. You might even have to take a step back to get a better look at things. It is a time for reflection.
The next two opposing tarot cards are Temperance and the Devil. Think of Temperance as heaven. Think of the Devil as hell. When Temperance is showing up in your reading you are creating your own heaven on earth. Heaven is a place very real. When the Devil is showing up in your life there are fears and addictions creating a hell-like existence for you. Hell can also be very real. It is not a permanent place and you can escape it by changing your thoughts and beliefs.
The third example of opposing tarot cards might come as a surprise. It is the Fool and Strength. The Fool is full of excitement and possibilities, however there is sometimes little substance and hardly any real confidence. If you need a job done you won’t call upon the Fool. The Fool will create more work rather than sorting anything out. You would call on Strength. Strength has substance and buckets full of healthy self-esteem. Strength can lead and Strength always gets the job done. When everyone else has given up Strength is still at it. Strength never gives up. The Fool gives up after creating chaos. Unaware of this the Fool goes on to believing he did an amazing job.
The next two opposing tarot cards might also surprise you. It is the High Priestess and Justice. The High Priestess is a card for following your intuition and your emotions. Your emotions rule your thoughts. The High Priestess feels and then she interprets her feelings using her thoughts. In the Justice card it is the other way around. Thoughts rule emotions. Justice thinks first and feels second.
The next example of two opposing cards are the Magician and the Hierophant. Think of the Magician as someone who is paving the way for others to follow. The Magician walks first, then others follow. The Hierophant is following the words of someone who went before him. The Hierophant doesn’t come up with something new, he only interprets what he reads and hears. The Magician is the person who other people are interpreting.
By now you probably have got the gist of opposing cards and you might even be making your own list. Let me share with you my final Major Arcana opposing cards combination. It is the Hermit and the Moon. Think of the Moon as being drawn into a web of mystery and illusions. Now think of the Hermit being the light that guides you out of the web. The Moon represents being in the dark while the Hermit represents being in the light. The Hermit has his own light that he takes with him everywhere, therefore he lights up every place and situation. The creatures in the Moon card is dependent on an external light source that can get clouded over, not to mention the many faces of the moon. It is always changing, making you see different things, confusing you more and more. The Hermit card offer a way out of the dark by following a light that remains the same. The light is carried by the Hermit. It can not get clouded over. The Hermit has control, while the Moon offers little assurance.
What about the Minor Arcana?
The Minor Arcana is full of opposing tarot cards as well, and they don’t have to be paired up within the same suit. Go through the 56 minor arcana cards and see which ones you think can be paired up with an opposing card.