The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals by Mary K. Greer
Review by James Wells

If you want to purchase The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals, click here.

Attention all Tarot people! No more panic about reversed cards! Mary K. Greer comes to our rescue in her latest work, The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals, the first in a new Special Topics in Tarot series from Llewellyn.

Tired of negative and simplistic ways of reading reversed cards, Greer demonstrates that reversals can fling wide the gates to a card's full spectrum of possibility, provide more specificity, and call our attention to more complex points of view. Without eschewing tradition completely, the author helps us to approach this topic as modern people who can think and explore for ourselves.

Tarot Reversals offers 12 principle ways in which a reversal can modify a Tarot card. Particularly fine are Rectification: Disease into Remedy, shamanic & magical perspectives, and moon phases for round decks. Then, card by card (ca. two pages each), Greer offers both upright and reversed possibilities of meaning for the entire deck. She stresses that they are intended as springboards only, that the reader is invited to enrich her/his Tarot vocabulary through studying different decks and incorporating personal associations and intuitions. Meanings are keyed primarily to Rider-Waite-Smith images with occasional reference to other decks. For extra help, one can turn to two pages of Reversed Keywords to perform a sort of bibliomancy.

The spreads - three-card, yes/no, life inventory, problem-solving, hanged man, and hidden influences - designed or chosen for this book are outstanding. In concert with a mix of upright and reversed cards, these layouts offer potential for helpful transformation. There is also a chapter devoted to a Celtic Cross reading with an actual client which demonstrates the fluid and empowering "midwife of the soul" style of reading for which Greer is famous.

Another important feature of Tarot Reversals is the Heroine's Journey, a retelling of the Hero's Journey from a feminine perspective, based on the reversed Major Arcana.

There are a few editorial glitches in this book. In all fairness, this is not the author's doing - she apparently did not receive a proof copy from the publishers. Some endnotes are missing or misnumbered. Joan Bunning is named as Ellen Bunning in the bibliography. The Knight of Wands is illustrated with the King of Cups. These, however, are not too distracting.

I highly recommend Mary K. Greer's The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals. It is an important work on a highly-charged topic in the Tarot community. Get it, use it, and turn your world upside-down.

If you want to purchase The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals, click here.

The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals by Mary K. Greer
Publisher: Llewellyn
ISBN #: 1567182852

James Wells is a Toronto-based Tarot Consultant, Reiki master, weaver of rituals, and workshop facilitator. Visit his website.