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The Rider Tarot Deck Cards – January 1, 1971
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Top Customer Reviews
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 :
 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.
 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.
 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.
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.
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.Read more ›
My guess is that rather than reproducing this deck in the time-tested manner of the last few decades -- using a traditional camera and photographic film to make the printing plates -- someone thought it would be easier/cheaper to use a flatbed scanner, and these are the result.
Personally, I found the pixelation unacceptable and returned the deck (printed in Italy for U.S. Games Systems Inc.). If you want the Rider tarot, I'd suggest looking for an older deck on the used market, one from the days when publishers and printers took pride in the quality of their work and wouldn't have let a product that looks this bad out the door.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great cards, just as advertised. as a few others have mentioned, the box was a little messed up and appeared as if it had been opened, but the cards were fine and completely... Read morePublished 5 days ago by euroFranc
Great product and service. On time as promised. Would buy againPublished 6 days ago by Michael R. Coultrap
Better than I expected. Beautiful, colorful and strong cards. They feel almost laminated and shiny. Very easy to shuffle and perfect size for my small hands. thanks!Published 10 days ago by Leo73
The colouring of the cards was very poor. I had to buy another version of it.Published 13 days ago by NSam