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The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck Cards – Feb 5 2009


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The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck + Learning the Tarot: A Tarot Book for Beginners + The Complete Guide to the Tarot
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Product Details

  • Cards
  • Publisher: United States Games Systems; Gmc Crds edition (Feb. 5 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 091386613X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0913866139
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 8.3 x 12.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 21 2001
Format: Cards
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Gustafson on Jan. 20 2002
Format: Cards
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lisa on March 29 2002
Format: Cards
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Denis Boulet on Nov. 25 2007
Format: Cards
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.
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Format: Cards
What exactly is it about this deck? Today there are literally hundreds of tarot decks to choose from, most of which are artistically superior to this seemingly rudimentary little deck. And yet, those many decks, which use subtle colors, modern printing techniques and even computer imaging, fail to compete with it. Why? The Rider deck truly has a soul, and it's images shoot straight to the heart. People can often "intuitively" read this deck without any previous experience with the tarot. If the point of art is to make you feel your humanity, this deck's art is truly amazing. For all it's coarse lines and flat colors, the deck somehow rises above itself, gracefully conveying all aspects of the human condition. The Rider deck is a perfect first and last deck. Pamela Coleman Smith's unique symbolism ranges from the simple to the truly arcane...It stirs the psyche and livens the soul. If you are in the market for a deck, my advice is to look not only with your eyes, but with your heart. The Rider deck is not as "glittery" as some of it's more modern counterparts, but in the long run it is a wonderful and rewarding tarot without equal.
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