The mechanical and electrical properties of the two-phase 4/2 switched reluctance machine make it suitable for high-speed operation. Its adoption in such applications has been hindered by a perceived starting problem especially if starting in both directions is required. A starting technique is proposed which exploits the natural magnetic asymmetry in the symmetrical machine geometry and provides for bidirectional torque production at start-up. The approach utilizes mutual coupling in the machine, an effect not previously identified for starting. The technique requires no modifications to either stator or rotor poles, and is suitable for fan applications which require only low starting torques. The starting technique is described and tested with nonoriented silicon steel and GOSS rotors, and starting torque from machine experimentally determined.