December 15, 2011

Using Tarot Reversals

Recently I was a part of a secret Tarot Project which involved a number of Tarot readers from around the world. This Project was about Tarot Reversals. We were all given a single reversed Tarot card, and had to make interpretations along side the remaining 77 other cards also reversed or upright. So, in total, there were 78 x 78 x 2 combinations of Reversed cards. My card was The Emperor Reversed and I had so much fun doing this Project, mainly because I never used reversals earlier in my readings and I got to learn so much from this exercise. I can't write down my interpretations of the card down here as it is copyrighted material now, but I can tell you the process I went through to complete this project.  I took the help of a wonderful book by Mary K. Greer called 'The Complete book of Tarot Reversals'. This book is THE book for understanding reversals and I highly recommend it. The reversals Tarot project will be published in early 2012 in the form of a book called Tarot Turn and it will also be available on Amazon! So yay, I will be a published writer soon. This is highly encouraging for me, as I plan to write a book on Tarot sometime later in my life.

My philosophy on Tarot Reversals :

Perhaps because of my Virgo moon, I feel that things need to be straight and in order. So, I dislike the cards which come up upside down. And I do not give much importance to it. Also, I feel that the entire Tarot is made up of very well thought out archetypal images which have stood the test of time. This journey is explained through the 78 cards. So, I do not think it necessary to analyze the upside down versions as well as  there is enough imagery present in the cards themselves. The rich symbols and archetypes have different connotations whenever we see them in different situations. So having 156 meanings doesn't seem to make sense.

Zach Wong's Revelations Tarot:

Recently, I heard about a wonderful Tarot deck called 'Revelations Tarot' by Zach Wong. I have been meaning to buy this deck primarily because it is unique and a perfect one to practice reversals. Each card has two pictures, positive and negative. So, you only read the part of the card which comes upright in front of you. This is truly a Revelation! Please check out the wonderful pictures on the website. I am tempted to use reversals just so that I can work with this deck!

The following example has been taken from Zach Wong's website:

The Star 

[intepretation]
She oozes with hope and balance inward and outwards. She embodies the giver of hope in our lives. 

[reversed]
She turns her back on the world for she has lost all hope. She cannot give what she does not have within herself. 

[symbols+images]
The concept of the Aquarian water bearer being the giver of life plays a symbolic role in the card. The sign of Aquarius also is one of air, and not water, dealing with matters of the mind and thought. The card plays towards the hope one can have in their mind and not necessarily in their heart.
The stars illuminate around her and serve a metaphor for dreams and hope which we look towards to. They number 8 - the sister to the card of Strength.
The doves in flight around her represent the freedom we feel inside when we are released from the troubles of life. She is also not dressed in any robes but is bare, only with her own hair to comfort her. She is not trapped by any material possessions or wants to.

There is only a dramatic swell of red around her representing an inner loss of hope. The loss frustrates her to a point of anger but she can only show grief. The showing of the back is a symbolic one of turning away or shutting out the world outside. Her posture lends towards her sorrow as she burdens the weight of her misery.


The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals:

The best book I have come across so far on Tarot reversals has to be Mary K. Greer's book 'The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals'. I love her book cover, which shows a Hanged man. He is the quintessential reversed card of the Tarot. He is reversed, even when he is upright! Mary K. Greer, in her book says that Reversals can be read in a number of ways. She clears out all the ambiguity and doubt that we may have about it. She suggests twelve ways to read reversed cards:

1. Using them as blocked or resisted energies
2. Projecting denial on a situation
3. Delayed, difficult or unavailability
4. Inner or the unconscious energy
5. According to the Moon Phases (round decks)
6. Changing direction or refusing
7. Lacking or no, non or not
8. Excessive
9. Misused or misdirected
10. Re words: Retried, Retracted, Reviewed, Reconsidered
11. Rectification
12. Unconventional, Shamanic, Magical, Dream interpretation

It is a very well researched book and gives a very different point of view about reversals, which makes you think and consider using them. If I will ever use Reversals in my readings, I don't know but it has definitely got me thinking in that direction. I took her advice in the book in preparing my 78 card-pair combinations for the Tarot Project X, and I am very satisfied with the results. Tarot is all about learning, and the learning never stops. Knowledge is never-ending and you can never know everything. So, do not keep your doors closed. Keep your options open and open your eyes to a world of possibilities. Sometimes consider looking at the same things upside down! 

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