So you want to learn tarot and have no idea where to begin? Below is an in-depth review of the original Rider Waite deck, suitable for the beginner Tarot reader and a staple for the Tarot enthusiast.
History and Imagery of Rider Waite Tarot Deck
The Rider Waite Tarot is arguably the most popular deck on the market. Created in 1909 by Pamela Colman-Smith, this classic deck is ideal for beginners as the colorful illustrations depict full scenes with figures and symbols that make it a great segue into mastering Tarot and developing intuition. The characters featured on the cards are expressive, especially those of the court. The deck shows deference and distinctions in energy between Pages, Knights, Queens and Kings. This is evident in their dress and posture, which also vary between the suits. The four elements of earth, air, fire and water are portrayed clearly throughout the suits of pentacles, swords, wands and cups. Between the characters portrayed in the suits, it is also easy to pick up the sense of movement in the cards, bringing them to life as real people facing trials and tribulations. This allows readers to interpret the cards with ease; they do not need to constantly refer to an explanatory text. However, bearing this in mind, the deck also comes with a small pamphlet offering a summary of each card. If you require additional resources, The Ultimate Guide to the Rider Waite Tarot available on Amazon is an insightful accompaniment.
The Major Arcana of The Rider Waite Tarot Deck
The major arcana depict a clear spiritual journey of human experience from the Fool (0) to the World (XXI). The deck has recurring symbols throughout allowing the reader to draw links between the cards to extract meaning. For the astrologer, it is evident in both the pip cards and major arcana how the cards relate to specific star signs. Using both the pamphlet and Rider Waite guide, new readers can fast-track their learning and develop their intuition conceivably.
Size and Feel of the Cards
The cards are also only slightly larger than playing cards and come coated in a smooth veneer. This makes them easy to shuffle. Due to the Rider Waite’s popularity, there are also miniature versions of the deck (as small as a keychain) and larger versions to cater to the different needs on the market.
For a tarot enthusiast, this is a must-have for your collection and for a new reader, this is an excellent place to start – familiarize yourself with these cards and you will find other decks immediately easier to read.
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