Top positive review
57 people found this helpful
Brilliant insights into an often overlooked aspect of Tarot
on March 24, 2002
With "Tarot Reversals", Mary K. Greer (author of, "Essence of Magic", "Tarot Mirrors", "Tarot For Yourself") has created possibly one of the best Tarot resources for the serious student of Tarot divination. I don't want to repeat much of what other reviewers have said thus far, as they have covered the material well. Instead, I will try to add to their insights.
Many Tarot professionals don't use reversed interpretations. This is all well and good. But the numerous books out there that do deal with the concept of interpreting Tarot cards reversed, usually fall short in interpreting reversals. This could leave one to draw the conclusion that reversals are of minor importance in a spread, which is absolutely not true.
Greer corrects this inequity with a book that, not only focuses on the concept of reversals, but equally weights the upright and reversed interpretations of the cards. So you not only get the flip-side interpretation of the Tarot, you get an indepth analysis of the cards in both upright and reversed positions, making this a highly valuable resource for professional and novice alike. Along with this indepth analysis, Greer also offers a very brief, "traditional" interpretation of the cards, both upright and reversed.
The interpretations are the meat of the text. The introduction and the first two chapters set the stage, discussing the book's concept, providing specialized terms used in the text, viewing Tarot from a different perspective (reversals are more than just negative interpretations) and how to go about using reversals.
There are a number of wonderful spreads provided at the back of the book, some of which require you to use all reversed cards, an incredibly innovative concept. The Hanged Man spread is visionary, having you read the cards in each positions as both upright and reversed; upright indicating an outer perspective on the issue, and, reversed being the inner perspective of the issue.
Thankfully, Greer doesn't waste a lot of space on sample readings. Instead, she provides one in significant detail, and even gives readers exercises they can do in conjunction with that sample reading, for further learning adventures.
For greater historical background and Tarot overview, novices may wish to supplement this text with one other well-rounded introduction to the Tarot, such as, Joan Bunning's, "Learning the Tarot" (included in Greer's bibliography), or, Cassandra Eason's, "Complete Guide to the Tarot". But this is, by far, one of the best indepth book of Tarot interpretations out there today. There's a wealth of information here for the advanced practitioner as well.
Llewellyn should be commended for the nice layout and design of this book and for exploring these less-covered aspects of working with the Tarot. I hope this first book in the "Special Topics in Tarot Series", is indicative of the quality of books yet to come. I see that one of Greer's forthcoming titles is one entitled, "Tarot Court", which I hope will be covering yet another often misunderstood element of the Tarot, the Minor Arcana Court cards. Let's hope we can look forward to more quality publications like these on the Tarot.