Dear Auntie Sophia,

I use reversals in my tarot readings. My boyfriend doesn’t. I worry that this lack of depth to his readings is going to negatively impact our relationship. How can a person ever have an adequate range of meanings if his card vocabulary is limited to a mere 78 concepts?

My tarot friends urge me to dump him before we have communication problems. They tell me he’s going to be stuck in the junior high of the tarot world, while I graduate to high school and beyond, with my increased tarot grammar. But I love him, and want things to work out.

What should I do?


Reversed Reader in the Rock City

Auntie Sophia replies:

Dear Reversed Reader,

Well! I’ve heard this one before, and I suspect you’re succumbing to peer pressure. High school, you say? Even Auntie experienced peer pressure there. I wanted to impress the popular girls so I tried to be just like them. Wear the right clothes, date the right boys, laugh at anyone else… then Cynthia Beasles moved next door.

Cynthia was a student with thick-lens eyeglasses who always seemed to wear a baggy sweater, no matter the time of year. Young Auntie Sophia was secretly bothered by this newcomer who seemed to have no regard for fashion or the unofficial “girl code.” How could she survive independently? She was the opposite of the popular clique. They dressed in bright colors; Cynthia was drab. They would laugh and giggle and simper at anything; Cynthia always appeared solemn and serious. You get the idea.

Then one day the most popular girl, Wendy Salsworth, wanted to look good in front of her friends. At Cynthia’s expense. Wendy jeered at Cynthia, called her “four eyes” and “bag lady” and asked how she expected to find a boyfriend.

Cynthia stood calm and stared back. Her silent strength was the opposite of the popular girl’s loud posturing, and it was obviously making Wendy uncomfortable. Cynthia said something very quietly to Wendy, who turned pale and slunk off. Wendy’s popularity fell a bit that day, whereas Cynthia won respect and some new friends. Including Auntie Sophia, who learned from Cynthia how to be oneself.

Well, Reversed Reader, I’m sure you’ve spotted the lesson tucked inside these memories of mine. There are different approaches to life, and just because one is popular among peers doesn’t mean it’s the best or the only way to do things.

As it turned out, Cynthia and a more mature Wendy later developed a truce that grew into friendship. While they were opposites in many ways, each had her own strengths and weaknesses, and each brought something useful to the table. This blending of opposites is a lesson of Temperance:

Similarly, reversals aren’t good or bad. They just are. They are a tool like any other, and some readers will find them helpful while others do not. Auntie tends not to use them, but occasionally she does. It depends on her mood.

By now, you realize I believe that you and your boyfriend can continue to approach the cards differently. Reversals work for you, while he doesn’t need them — and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’ll have a faulty relationship. Perhaps you can each learn something useful from the other, and together create something stronger and more beautiful.

Oh, you’re bringing a tear to Auntie’s romantic eye. I think a sip of sherry is called for.


Auntie Sophia