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The Rider Tarot Deck Cards – January 1, 1971

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 and up
  • Cards
  • Publisher: United States Games Systems (January 1, 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 091386613X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0913866139
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 3.2 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (513 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

372 of 386 people found the following review helpful By Uri Raz on June 18, 2000
Format: Cards Verified Purchase
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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119 of 121 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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206 of 217 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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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By catteeth on September 25, 2013
Format: Cards Verified Purchase
The Rider-Waite deck is phenomenal, don't get me wrong. But this particular version is awful. Super glossy cardstock, weird cross hatching of the reds everywhere, orange faces, ugh. I just don't feel like I can take these cards seriously in a reading. Maybe there are better versions out there, but it's hard to tell which ones you connect with without seeing the individual cards.
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167 of 186 people found the following review helpful By Igor on January 25, 2010
Format: Cards
Upon receiving this deck, I noticed pixelation/jaggies in the illustration on the box (that being The Magician). Upon taking the deck out (without removing it from its shrinkwrap), I noticed the pixelation on the one card that was visible through the shrinkwrap (also The Magician) was even worse than on the box. In addition to that, the lines on the card were thinner and some of the colors slightly different. The pixelation was especially easy to see when looking at the black lines under good lighting.

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.
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