When you shuffle the tarot cards, they often end up facing in different directions. This effect and simply turn the upside-down cards around. The meaning of a reversed card sometimes comes from a twist in the usual interpretation. Reversed cards add an extra dimension to a reading that will help you appreciate the play of energy in your own life.
All life is energy - currents of force that mix and blend to form the patterns of our lives. Each tarot card symbolizes a particular energy, and a tarot reading shows the collective energies that make up a situation. When you do a reading, your actions and intentions align the energies of the moment with the cards to form a picture. The cards capture the energy currents in and around you as you shuffle and cut. When a card is upright, its energy is free to manifest. Its qualities are available and active. When a card is reversed, its energy is not fully developed. It may be in its early stages, or losing power. It may be incomplete or unavailable. The qualities of the card are present, at least in potential, but they can't express completely. The Sun's energy is just what you would imagine - expansive and enlightening. An upright Sun shows the energy of vitality is openly available. You feel confident and successful. Now is your chance to shine. A reversed Sun shows this same energy is present, but at a lower level. You want success, but something is holding you back.
The Empress reversed is tempting to view a reversed card as undesirable. Everything depends on what you hope to achieve. The Emperor reversed could show a powerful authority figure toppled from his throne. The Ten of Wands reversed might remind you to get out from under burdensome responsibilities.
The Three of Swords represents the energy of heartbreak and betrayal. If this card is upright, hurtful feelings are a feature of the situation. Reversed, they are also present, but reduced. Perhaps the intensity of a painful episode is fading. The fact that an unpleasant card appears at all means that its energy is present in some way. Sometimes a card is reversed even though you are experiencing a high level of its energy. In this case, the reversal hints that you can improve your situation by making a conscious effort to lower the energy.
It's helpful to look at the proportion of reversed and upright cards in a reading. When many cards are upright, all your energies are expressing freely and powerfully. The overall situation is well developed, and your purpose is clear. When many cards are reversed, your energies are low, and the situation is not clearly defined. You may lack direction or feel blocked, discouraged and restricted.