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The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

Rating: (out of 25 reviews)

List Price: CDN$ 18.80

Price: CDN$ 13.05

5 Responses to The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

  • S. Gustafson says:

    Review by S. Gustafson for The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck
    A. E. Waite always gets top billing for this. Too little attention, I think, is paid to the achievement of Pamela Colman Smith, the artist who drew the designs that are now ‘standard’ and the place of beginning for Tarot card readers.Smith was born in England to American parents, and grew up in Jamaica. She toured with the theatre company of Ellen Terry and Henry Irving in the late 1890’s, where she joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and met Waite. She also did a great deal of illustration work for William Butler Yeats and his brother Jack, but apart from this deck, her art found little commercial success. Which is a shame, because its blend of Art Deco and Symbolism made her a fine fantasy illustrator, as well as the perfect artist for this project. She died in 1951, and the chief fame and distribution of the Waite deck unfortunately came after this. No one knows where she is buried. Her deck lives on, not only in the minds of Tarot believers, but in those who like lovely things.This is, of course, one of the first mass produced Tarot decks to illustrate every card. Most of its successors take their lead from her images. The flaws in the deck seem to be Waite’s. If I could find fault in this project, it is in the fact that the images tend to force interpretations onto the cards that might be read differently. The ten of swords, for instance, could mean the achievement of an intellectual goal, as well as what is suggested by the drastic image seen here. There is still room for a traditional deck with the simple pictures of the suit cards as well as the trumps.

  • Chess Heart says:

    Review by Chess Heart for The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck
    Things that are deeply touch people are the things that survive the test of time and are well known. The Mona Lisa, for example, is considered a pivotal piece of art and is universally recognized, even though there are thousands of portraits that are both more realistic and completely finished. Somehow, this piece resonates with people in some way so that it’s appeal and visceral attraction never fades.The same is true of the Rider Deck. As noted in other reviews, there are quite literally hundreds of decks ranging from everything from baseball to vampires to dragons to unicorns. Many people collect Tarot cards, but most everyone starts here with the Rider Deck. Indeed, of the hundreds of books published on the Tarot, almost every book I’ve seen for the beginner to the advanced uses the Rider deck as an example. Most decks are based in the symbolism of the Rider deck as well and if they don’t work as well, it’s because they’ve glossed over the symbolism so pivotal in the Rider. Why, then has the Rider not only survived but evolved to be an archetype of the tarot itself? I think because it speaks to us and it’s the easiest to understand even at a quick glance. The symbolism is so strong that the beginner can easily remember what any given card represents (no mean feat when there are 72 cards to remember and read!) The symbolism is also so detailed and deep that the advanced caster is always able to find deeper meaning, make more and more connections between cards during a casting.Drawn almost like an illuminated manuscript in solid colors with clear, black outlines before the age of airbrush or computer 3D rendering, there is something timeless about it that connects us to it’s rich and deep history. It’s not flashy or zippy, but yet it’s imagery is everywhere if we choose to look for it (didn’t Led Zepplin even put the tarot of The Hermit on one of their album covers??)While there’s certainly nothing wrong with exploring other decks, the Rider-Waite is the perfect place for the beginner, ESPECIALLY because any good book on the tarot will use this very deck to explain the symbolism of the cards. Learn on the Rider, become proficient at it, then, if you like, branch out into something different like Egyptian tarot or the Halloween tarot (my other favorite for it’s playful holiday symbolism). Beginning with a different deck and working with it right away will not be as satisfying or as easy to understand as the Rider. Like great art, it’s timeless because it resonates with us in deep and profound ways. It may not have been the first, but in many ways, it may well be the BEST.

  • Kim Cadotte says:

    Review by Kim Cadotte for The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck
    Simple and straight forward, small enough to work with easily.
    The best of both worlds!I have many decks, but I like this one for everyday use best of all. The pictures may not ‘really pretty’, but they are clean, and to the point.I highly reccomend this deck for new tarot readers. (Seasoned readers are already familiar with this oldie but goodie *grin*)

  • Denis Boulet says:

    Review by Denis Boulet for The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck
    The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck ranks amongst the most standard and most classical of Tarot card decks available today. For any practitioner of the divinatory art of cartomancy, this deck is doubtlessly the most used. The symbology employed in the imagery of the major and minor arcana is sublimely accurate and perfect concretizes the abstract energies represented to the querent.

    I highly recommend this deck to all my fellow Tarotologists.

  • Anonymous says:

    Review by for The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck
    As for many others, the Rider Waite deck was my first Tarot deck. It’s probably -the- best deck for beginners to cut their teeth on due to its rich symbolism. Even without reading page one of any Tarot book on the market, most any intuitive person can form reasonably accurate interpretations of nearly all these cards. The illustrations are simple, yet powerful, drawing on universal archetypes that guide the reader to the wisdom that already lies in his/her subconscious.It isn’t a perfect deck (though I believe the only “perfect” deck would be one that one designed for oneself), but of all the decks I own, it’s one of the very few that almost always “speaks” to me. And it speaks to me accurately. I highly recommend this deck for both beginners and experienced readers.

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