Rider Waite Tarot
Illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith. England, 1911.
4.9 x 2.9 inches
When the Rider Tarot Deck® was created, it was the only one of its kind. Still, at this point, opening a RWS deck in its distinctive yellow box, I don't expect to see many surprises. Someone once told me, "If you think you NEED a tarot deck, then you NEED a Rider Waite deck." I'm not sure I'd go quite that far but certainly no collection would be complete without this one. If you have the uncanny feeling, when looking at this deck, that you've seen its shapes and symbols before -- you're not imagining it. This deck is so influential that many if not most New Age decks are based, at least in part, on its symbolism. It was the first modern deck to include figures for each of its pip cards, so any modern deck with this feature is calling back to the Rider Tarot Deck®, even if they do not realize it. The pigments are extremely vivid in my printing; I like it on most cards but a few seem too bright. Included is a small booklet with Waite's divinatory meanings, as well as a card describing the life of Pamela Colman Smith, the artist who designed the deck.