Tarot Reversals: The Art of Reversing Adversity - Mary K. Greer Workshop
Report by Diane Wilkes

I am not at my intellectual peak at nine in the morning, which was the scheduled time for this workshop. But it was a workshop with Mary Greer, so I had to be present in body, if not in mind.

Mary spoke about her personal "reversals" as she wrote her book on tarot reversals and then provided several handouts: an itemization of 12 Ways to Read Reversals, an extensive list of keywords for reversals, and The Hanged Man Spread, which is subtitled "The Art and Ecstasy of Reversing Adversity." The card of the Hanged Man visually and meaningfully echoes the concept of reversals in the tarot.

Mary spent the majority of the workshop illustrating those 12 ways of reading reversals by selecting cards at random and encouraging participants to offer interpretive examples of how the specific kind of reversal could manifest itself.  She also gave numerous ways to use the various reversals--one was to spin the paper list of keywords and allow a pencil (or a pendulum) to select the specific reversal keyword that would apply to a particular card or reading.

Mary read some quotations from other authors that introduced some fascinating related concepts to the Hanged One archetype, such as Marie-Louise von Franz' words: "When inner growth is the enemy of the conscious personality [which appears in the form of adversity], then the self-will of the conscious personality has to surrender to the process of inner growth or die. When an inner psychological concept gets too bad, life gets suspended, you can't go on."

Unfortunately, there was no time to work with Mary's Hanged Man spread. This is definitely one workshop that I would have liked to be at least an hour and a half in length, so that there would have also been time for the interactive, experiential component Greer pioneered and moderates to perfection.

Photograph of Mary Greer 2002 Valerie Sim-Behi
Report and page Diane Wilkes 2002