Rider Waite Tarot

Rider Waite Tarot Cards: The Rider Waite Tarot Deck Review

The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck is the most popular tarot deck used today and is often seen as the best. It was the first to have scenes and people on all 56 minor arcana cards.

Before the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck, the Minor Arcana cards were just pictures of the card’s suit and number. Only the Major Arcana cards had pictures of people on them. This deck is also known as the Rider Deck or the Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) deck.
The Rider Waite Tarot Cards Review

Rider Waite Tarot Deck

The most well-known Tarot deck is the Rider-Waite Tarot. Arthur Edward Waite told Pamela Colman Smith to draw colorful cards in 1909, which show full scenes with people and symbols.

The Rider-Waite Tarot is considered to be the benchmark by which all other tarot cards are measured. These decks all adhere to the archetypal pictures that were designed in 1909 by Pamela Colman Smith under the leadership of Arthur Edward Waite. This version has Smith’s hand-drawn titles from earlier publications.

A distinctive characteristic of the Rider-Waite deck, and one of the primary reasons for its enduring popularity, is that all of the cards, including the Minor Arcana, depict full scenes complete with figures and symbols. This is one of the primary reasons why the Rider-Waite deck has endured for so long.

Before the Rider-Waite Tarot was created, the pip cards of virtually all tarot decks were simply inscribed with the arrangement of the suit signs, which consisted of swords, wands, cups, and coins or pentacles. The Rider-Waite Tarot was the first deck to include additional symbols on the pip cards.

What are the Pip Cards in Tarot?

The pip cards are the last 10 cards in each suit. In other words, the pictures on the first ten cards of each minor suit are as simple as those seen in a standard deck of playing cards. Like the  Page or  Jack the Queen, and King are the royal cards in both standard playing cards and in the Tarot decks.

Arthur Edward Waite’s books the Holy Kabbalah and The Key to the Tarot.

Arthur Edward Waite, who lived from 1857 to 1942, was a real expert on occultism. His books, The Holy Kabbalah and The Key to the Tarot, were first published in England in 1910. Waite used symbols to figure out what each card meant.

In The Key to the Tarot, he says,  The true Tarot is symbolism; it speaks no other language and gives no other signs. What are these Tarot cards that Waite writes about so well? What does each card say, and when and where did these interesting cardboard symbols come from for the first time?

It’s still not clear where Tarot cards came from in ancient times. In 1781, Court de Gebelin wrote in Le Monde Primitif that he thought Tarot cards came from The Book of Thoth, an ancient Egyptian book.

Thoth was the Egyptian Mercury. He was thought to have been one of the first kings and the person who came up with the hieroglyphic system. Gebelin says that the Egyptians and Gypsies are the ones who spread Tarot cards all over Europe.

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Rider Waite Tarot Card Flip Through Video

 

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What is included in the Rider Waite Tarot Cards Deck?

Soft Box to store and protect your cards
Tarot guidebook with a list of all the tarot cards and the meanings of each
78 Tarot Cards
22 Major Arcana cards
56 Minor Arcana cards

What is the Rider Waite Tarot Card Meanings?

You are provided with not only the interpretations of the tarot cards but also reversals, guidance, and affirmations for each card. Each of these playing cards depicts a different facet of the everyday life of a human being. The major cards are unique because they trigger more involved and profound responses from the players. Because they blend a system of mystical symbols with known pictures and events, the images on the Rider-Waite deck are able to elicit associations in the viewer.

The 56 cards that make up the Minor Arcana take the concepts presented in the Major Arcana and apply them to real-world scenarios in order to illustrate how these concepts function in day-to-day life.

The Minor Arcana are the situations, actions, and emotional states that are connected to one another and that produce conditions in our everyday life.

Because each card’s meaning is explained in the table that follows, you will have a profound and comprehensive comprehension of all 78 Tarot cards, which will make it much simpler for you to decipher their meanings.

In addition to this, you will have a fundamental understanding of how to arrange the cards in a Tarot spread, which will make your interpretations more accurate and consistent.

Pamela Colman-Smith the illustrator of the Rider Waite Tarot Cards

Pamela Colman Smith received a contract from Arthur Edward Waite in 1909 to construct a 78-card tarot deck as a result of her engagement with the Order of the Golden Dawn.

Originally known as the Rider deck, it was the first to include full pictorial scenes for the Minor Arcana pips. The deck is replete with evidence of Pamela’s wide range of spiritual influences in many forms.

The Rider-Waite deck, which was once thought to be groundbreaking, has now become the standard for hundreds of other decks and has been the inspiration for a wide variety of alternative variants that are available from U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

Arthur Edward Waite

Arthur Edward Waite, also known as A. E. Waite, was a British poet and scholarly mystic who was born in the United States and passed away in Britain on May 19, 1942.

He was known for his extensive writings on occult and esoteric topics and was a co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. Waite died on October 2, 1857. Waite’s name has survived because he was the first to attempt a systematic study of the history of western occultism, viewed as a spiritual tradition rather than as aspects of proto-science or as the pathology of religion, as his biographer R. A. Gilbert described him.

Waite’s name has survived because he was the first to attempt a systematic study of the history of western occultism.

 

Rider Waite Tarot Cards

The images are straightforward and straightforward to read, making this card the basic, gold standard tarot deck upon which the majority of subsequent tarot decks are based.
Each card has its own narrative and conjures up a powerful emotion.

The colors are often a little gaudy, and the artwork is extremely straightforward. The simplicity with which the images on the cards may be interpreted is the feature of The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck that users praise the most.

You may get a sense of what these Tarot cards could symbolize even if you have no prior experience with the Tarot just by looking at them.

Each card has its own narrative and is packed with both action and emotion. Because they encourage thought and will get your mind working, these cards make it easy to get lost in their intricate designs.

For activities that need creative writing, I recommend using this deck over all others. I am of the opinion that anybody, even someone who suffers from severe cases of writer’s block, is more than capable of simply writing hundreds of pages on a single card.

The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck does an excellent job of reflecting the diverse range of human experiences, archetypes, and phases of life. However, the artwork is designed to be functional rather than pleasing to the eye.

To put it another way, you probably wouldn’t display an enlarged reproduction of a Rider-Waite tarot card in your living room the way you would hang other artists’ interpretations of tarot cards.

If the aesthetic appeal of the cards is a primary consideration for you when selecting a deck of tarot cards, you could be disappointed with the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck.

The colors are a little bit garish, and the artwork is really simple and uninspired overall. However, the purpose of this deck is not to wow you with its aesthetic appeal; rather, it is to serve as a reliable and straightforward instrument for divination.

Because mystic and scholar Arthur E. Waite put a lot of care into the construction of this deck, and because it is packed with symbolism and deeper meanings, it is a really interesting deck to study and think about.

This timeless deck is available in a wide variety of iterations, including the Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot Deck, the Universal Waite Tarot Deck, and even the Giant Rider-Waite Tarot Deck.

Rider Waite Tarot Images

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Rider Waite Tarot Card Details

Deck Type: Tarot Deck
Cards: 78
Major Arcana: 22
Minor Arcana: 56
Card Back: Reversible
Back Design: Thin black & blue lines on a white background.
Included with the deck: A 56-page guidebook for the keywords and meanings of each card

Publisher ‏ : ‎ U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
Publication date: January 1, 1971
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Book ‏ : ‎ 56-page Paperback
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 091386613X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0913866139
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8.4 ounces
Box Dimensions 4.9 x 2.9 x 1.2 inches / 12.4 x 5 x 3 cm
Dimensions of the cards are 2.75 x 4.63 inches / 6.99 x 11.75 cm
Creators & Illustrator: Pamela Colman-Smith & A. E. Waite

 

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Who published The Rider Waite Tarot?

Illustration: Pamela Colman-Smith
Guidebook: A. E. Waite
Publisher ‏ : ‎ U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

When was the Rider Waite Tarot Published?

The Rider Waite Tarot Deck was published on January 1, 1971, by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

The Rider Waite Tarot Review

Reviewing a deck such as this one is very challenging for a number of different reasons. To begin with, the pictures are so well-known that they might nearly be considered wallpaper.

This is, without a doubt, the tarot deck that has been used the most often all over the globe. This is the case to such an extent that its enormous sales have more or less served as the cornerstone upon which its current publisher, U.S. Games Inc., was built.

The visuals go far beyond the awareness of those who are interested in tarot cards. When you mention tarot to a lot of non-specialists, there’s a good possibility that these are the cards that pop into their heads, even if they have no idea where these images originated from.  
 
It is well known that the deck’s inventor, A.E. Waite, provided Pamela Coleman Smith with specific directions on the meanings of each card in the Major Arcana.

However, the Minor Arcana are generally accepted to be Smith’s original work, and it is her one-of-a-kind paintings that are largely responsible for the deck’s continued existence.

To this day, Pamela Coleman Smith’s pictures, which on the surface seem to be rather basic, continue to have a significant amount of influence on people’s creative processes. When looking at many of these scenarios, it is impossible to imagine a finer approach to conveying the meaning of the card itself. 

On a different note, the illustrations have stood the test of time. It is quite simple to forget that they are close to a century old.

They have been there for almost that long. They are a fantastic example of the Arts and Crafts style of illustration, which was quite popular during that time period.

However, they seemed just as at home in the sixties, when Frankie Albano clothed them in psychedelic colors and they graced posters for musicals such as Hair.

There may be current tarot cards with more stunning pictures, but these cryptic, starkly colored line drawings seem just as contemporary in the present day as they were in the sixties or even in the 1900s when they were first made.
 
The popularity of the deck shows no indication of decreasing, which is fairly justifiable given the quality of the product. Because of the high potential for sales, U.S. Games is able to make it accessible in four distinct sizes: miniature, pocket, standard, and enormous.

The small version is about the same size as old-fashioned cigarette cards, while the pocket version is about the same size as European poker cards. 

Despite the fact that I know many people who use it for travel, I prefer the miniature for its aesthetic qualities (they also look great framed in the style of cigarette cards).

Rider Waite Tarot Deck  Package

The deck that fits in your pocket is the one that I take with me when I travel. The graphics have become clearer as a result of the drop in size, but they are still simple to see and are an excellent size for shuffling.

The Giant Rider Waite is without a doubt the best of the bunch. These are almost exactly twice as big as a regular deck. I only use them for the most significant readings; because of their size, the gigantic cards have a truly profound effect, not just on myself but also on others who get a reading from them.
 

Giant Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

Rider Waite Tarot Cards: The Rider Waite Tarot Deck Review Angel number

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Because Rider and Sons of London were the initial publishers of the cards, the name of the deck derives from that fact.

During the Second World War, the printing plates for this periodical were lost in the London Blitz, which led to the publication ceasing altogether.

1971 was the year when US Games first published the deck. They are currently in possession of the copyrights and patents for each and every conceivable variation of the deck’s name.

Thanks to an agreement they made with U.S. Games, they are going to publish their very own version of the game once again.

This is a copy that is almost identical to one of their earlier versions. This particular version, which is referred to on this website by its full name, The Original Rider Waite Tarot Deck, is discussed in a separate section.
 
The most recent version of the U.S. Games is a reconstruction that is quite accurate. Recolored versions of the black-and-white line drawings that were included in the initial edition of the deck have been created from the originals.

The colors are true to life, yet contemporary printing techniques enable much smoother and more nuanced textures (compare these with the original, where blocks of color are comprised of dots, grains, or lines).

Recently, newer versions have substituted a printed typeface for the artist’s original calligraphic titles.

This change occurred quite recently. Although this may not be to the liking of purists like myself, the final product is still incredibly clever in spite of this.

The back design has not been updated and continues to have a pretty boring blue and gray tartan pattern, which is a pity given that an authentic Coleman Smith back design already exists. At the very least, this is how the original copy published by Rider and Son is formatted.
 
The Tarot cards are, without fail and in keeping with the publisher’s customs, of exceptionally high quality. Before, the majority of card game decks sold in the United States were typically produced in Belgium by Carta Mundi.

More recently, manufacturing has moved to Italy, where a company called Modiano is now responsible for making a significant portion of the essential decks.

The quality of these more recent editions is still quite excellent. Nevertheless, they are often printed on material with a very high gloss.

The Giant Rider Waite is already available in this format, and it is likely that the other versions will follow suit in the near future. The first printings of Carta Mundi were done on their stock with the normal silk finish.
 
I am a strong believer that every collection needs to at the absolute least include a copy of this deck plus an edition of the Tarot de Marseille in it. I think that these two decks should be considered bare minimums.

Both have, in their respective eras, made significant contributions to the Tarot tradition.

The Rider is still often considered to be the easiest deck to learn since it is the one that is shown in the vast majority of beginner publications.

Many players will discover, as they progress, that their enjoyment of the deck can only grow as a result of their increased knowledge and experience.

I can only think of the Sharman Caselli as a credible candidate for the beginning among other contemporary decks that are now available. Even this owes the Rider deck the bulk of the symbolism for which it is known.
 
If you are anything like me, you will quickly realize that using this deck will become an essential component of your many reading activities. Pamela Coleman Smith is the reason for the existence of all of my other favorites.

Keep in mind that if it weren’t for this deck, we wouldn’t have the contemporary day Tarot phenomenon. This deck was the first step in the process.

 

rider waite tarot

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