Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
LLEWELLYN JOURNAL
Article Topics
List of Articles
RSS Data Feeds
Mission Statement
Use of Our Articles
Writers' Guidelines

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

May/June 2015 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Journal
Print this Article Print this Article

Tarot Reversals

This article was written by Mary K. Greer
posted under Tarot

Reversed Tarot cards offer a way to see through to the "Other Side." They allow us to go beyond the limits of the known. In offering possibilities and insights that are not immediately apparent, they take us into the realm of potentials and underlying causes where everything is connected and Magic happens. We are invited to look beyond the obvious to places of richer meaning. Sometimes they even "remedy" the difficulties of an upright interpretation.

Reversed Does Not Equal Bad
I began The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals with the intention of rectifying the idea that reversed cards represent an opposite, mostly negative aspect of the upright meaning of a card. While confronting and dealing with problems is essential, in my Tarot readings I emphasize clarifying goals and the conscious creation of what you want. Problems, then, represent energy that is constrained and can be liberated. In doing so, we access their hidden wisdom and potentials.

As with everyone who has written a Tarot book, taught or studied a card-a-week, or created a deck, I found uncanny synchronicities between my life and the cards I was working on at the time. Frieda Harris painted the Thoth deck during World War II. While working on the card named "Victory" (Six of Wands), there was a major Allied victory, and during the painting of "Defeat" (Five of Swords), there was a major Allied defeat. Harris felt a connection between her work with the cards and the events, although commonsense said it was absurd. And so, I too experienced each reversal in my own life.

Before I mention some of the situations I have encountered, I should note that I have been blessed with few prior personal injuries or experiences of illness in my family, and I nearly always meet my deadlines.

My first delays occurred when it took more than a month to get delivery on my new computer. As I started working on the reversed Court Cards, I went through four tenants in four months after keeping the previous tenant for three years. Throughout the Swords, a suit of communication, truth, and the law, I dealt with a crisis in an organization that involved alleged deception. The Ace of Pentacles reversed, a suit of security and the body, corresponded with a badly sprained ankle that occurred four days before a Tarot tour of Italy. With the Ten of Pentacles reversed, a card having to do with hearth and home, the bank lost two checks that were intended to pay my house taxes.

The Cards Echo Life
As I wrote about the High Priestess reversed, I was reading a biography of Christiana Morgan, whose paintings of her inner visions (begun under analysis with Carl Jung) were used in a four-year seminar taught by Jung. The biographer described Morgan in terms that were pure High Priestess reversed

Books I read, classes and workshops I taught and attended, all dealt with subjects corresponding to the current card—again echoing word-for-word the material I was writing; for instance, in a Jungian seminar we discussed "sacrifice" as I worked on the Hanged Man.

My divorce was finalized the day I started Death. The Tower corresponded with a friend's burst appendix. The hottest day all winter fell in January while I worked on the Sun card. As I began editing, I fell and sprained my back so seriously that I was first bedridden and then could not function without a brace. Then came snow storms, electricity outages, email glitches, and, as I madly slashed and cut for the final edit of the manuscript, my eldest daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer and immediately operated on. With the help of my editor at Llewellyn, Barbara Moore, I temporarily put the book aside.

Learning From Adversity
While immensely difficult, these stressful experiences have brought me face to face with material from the psyche, which I must face honestly and with all the clarity I can muster. Reversals have also corresponded with good experiences, including the support of friends at a level I never have known before. Midway through the Los Angeles Tarot Symposium (LATS) Barbara Rapp awarded me Eden Gray's original bronze sculpture of the RWS Hanged Man, the image I felt best expresses reversed card ideas. A magnificent piece, it is Gray's only Tarot sculpture. To begin the symposium, I drew a card as a message for the symposium participants—it was the Hanged Man.

While Tarot interpretations in general have become more psychological and spiritual, emphasizing human growth potential, reversed meanings have remained, all too often, negative and fatalistic. People react to them with fear and apprehension. The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals suggests that by facing these fears and difficulties, we can reclaim stuck energy and access the wisdom of the sacred.

Mary K. GreerMary K. Greer
Mary Greer is an author and teacher specializing in methods of self-exploration and transformation.  A Grandmaster of the American Tarot Association, she is a member of numerous Tarot organizations, and is featured at Tarot conferences and symposia...  Read more

RELATED PRODUCTS

The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals
The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals
Mary K. Greer
$16.95 US,  $19.50 CAN
$11.87 US,  $13.65 CAN On Sale! | Add to Cart
Understanding the Tarot Court
Understanding the Tarot Court
Mary K. Greer, Tom Little
$16.95 US,  $20.95 CAN
$11.87 US,  $14.67 CAN On Sale! | Add to Cart

Please note that the use of Llewellyn Journal articles
is subject to certain Terms and Conditions

When I ask people about their dreams, many times they will recount experiences of crazy landscapes where anything can happen (and probably will). But more often than not, what I hear about is the regularly recurring, repetitive dream that has haunted the dreamer their entire life; I hear over and over again from people that they "always dream of... read this article
5 Ways to Heal with the Wheel of the Year
5 Simple and Instant Creativity Boosts
Reading Tarot Cards: Divining Our Life Path
Ghost-Hunting at the Old Charleston Jail
Visualization for People Who Have Trouble Visualizing

Most recent posts:
The Soul Needs Time
Nancy Antenucci’s book Psychic Tarot is filled with great ways to enhance your connection to the cards and to spirit. It is also filled with...

The Art of Changing
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Tiffany Lazic, author of the new The Great Work: Self-Knowledge and Healing Through the Wheel of the...

Using Imagery for Manifestation
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Melissa Harris, author of the new 99 Keys to a Creative Life. I hope this writing finds you in a...





Where You End Where You End
By: Anna Pellicioli
Price: $9.99 US,  $11.50 CAN
The Natural Psychic The Natural Psychic
Ellen Dugan's Personal Guide to the Psychic Realm

By: Ellen Dugan
Price: $16.99 US,  $19.50 CAN
Easy Tarot Easy Tarot
Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All!

By: Josephine Ellershaw, Ciro Marchetti
Price: $19.95 US,  $21.95 CAN
Avalon Rising Avalon Rising
By: Kathryn Rose
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
Wicca Wicca
A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

By: Scott Cunningham
Price: $14.95 US,  $16.95 CAN