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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the Alpha and the Omega
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...
Published on March 21 2001 by Amazon Customer

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2.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunate shipping experience.
I ordered this item shortly before Christmas, and the delivery date said no later than Friday, December 20th. I was going to a party that same night, and this was part of the gift I was giving. I knew it was last minute, but I had never had problems with shipping from Amazon before so I went for it. Item didn't arrive until December 27th. It didn't even make it for...
Published 6 months ago by Carissa


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the Alpha and the Omega, March 21 2001
This review is from: The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck (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. 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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pamela Colman Smith, Jan. 20 2002
By 
S. Gustafson "Holy Roman Emperor" (New Albany, IN USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck (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
4.0 out of 5 stars The standard...and for good reason, March 29 2002
This review is from: The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck (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
5.0 out of 5 stars A classical Tarot-card deck, Nov. 25 2007
By 
Denis Boulet "Marcus Valerius Dionysius" (New-Brunswick, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck (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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5.0 out of 5 stars Steeped in Mystery...An Enduring Classic..., Feb. 9 2001
This review is from: The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck (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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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the 5 best decks in the world., June 18 2000
By 
Uri Raz (Israel) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck (Cards)
This was my first tarot deck, and even though I have over 25 decks today it's still my favourite.
Waite's deck is good for both beginners and seasoned readers - it's easy enough to start with, but deep and complex enough for those who dig deep to find more and more meanings in it.
I'll give examples to explain what I mean :
[1] The Tarot de Marseilles is another excellent and popular deck, but has the drawback of having geometrical pips, which make it hard to read for beginners - unless the reader has a very good memory, she'll have a hard time handling about half the deck.
[2] Aleister Crowley's Thoth deck is as popular and good a deck as Waite's, and would certainly reward those who learn all the appropriate associations (e.g. astrology), but for someone who knows that material there's only a small extra penalty in remembering the associations for the Waite deck on account of the missing symbols.
[3] The Conolly deck is based on Waite's and is friendly to both the new reader and the readee, but is 'dumbed down' and doesnt have the symbolical depth of the Rider, so an experienced reader would most probably leave the Conolly deck in favour of the Rider-Waite or Thoth decks.
The Rider-Waite deck is very christian in it's symbology, with some Judaistic symbols (e.g. Cabbala) in it [as is the Thoth deck] so people who want a deck with a symbology coming from a different culture might want to opt for some other deck (e.g. the Haindl tarot, the Osho Zen tarot, etc).
Some of the deck's advantages are not directly related to it's images - it's popularity means there are many books about it to learn from, it's cheap and widely available (if you lost your copy and want to buy a new one or want to buy someone a deck as a present), etc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What you see is what you get, June 10 2014
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This review is from: The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck (Cards)
Great practice deck, standard size with well rounded corners and sturdy lamination is it a big thumbs-up for me. Don't particularly like the plaid design on the top side of the card. Think it was a strange choice.
I give it four out of five stars because I do find the colors extraordinarily brash 8nd hyper saturated. But then again many people like that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The classic Rider-Waite deck in a comfortable size, May 16 2000
By 
Uri Raz (Israel) - See all my reviews
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I'm using the Rider-Waite deck for over a year now, and have met two problems with the standard size during that time.
First, the deck in a box (and, at least in Israel, it's a bit hard to find a reasonable sized tarot box) is not easy to carry - it's a bit too big.
Second, many people find the cards a bit too big to be easily shuffle, especially women - there's a reason for regular playing cards being smaller than regular tarot cards.
And yes, I know there's a tradeoff between card size and details, which is why I prefer to use the regular size deck at home, but when I take the deck with me the combination wins.
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4.0 out of 5 stars excellent starter set, March 7 2002
By 
Tammy R. Roten "scoobiedo2" (Huntington, WV USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck (Cards)
I have had a passing interest in Tarot for awhile, but had not really considered actually purchasing a deck until I received an Amazon.com gc. I decided to go ahead and purchase this set as it was so basic. The pictures are nice and the deck is easy to manipulate. I was a little disappointed with the back of the cards though, blue plaid..what were they thinking? To put together blue plaid with the beauty of the cards faces..bad choice. Of course it doesn't affect the cards functionality :) I just would have chosen a different set had I known... Either way I love to practice tarot and these cards were a good choice.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love this deck!, March 27 2006
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*)
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The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck
The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck by Arthur Edward Waite (Cards - Feb. 5 2009)
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