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The Original Rider-Waite Tarot Set Cards – May 23, 2012
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Frequently bought together
- Item Weight : 12 ounces
- Cards : 160 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0880796863
- ISBN-13 : 978-0880796866
- Product Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.25 x 6.25 inches
- Publisher : U S Games Systems, Inc.; Reprint Edition (May 23, 2012)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #21,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I eventually sought out another deck (illuminated) and, found the emblems and detail much more legible.
Overall, I would say this deck is good for beginners. But, even in that, I would dissemble as the emblems are SO important to integrating each card's deeper implications.
U.S. Games offers several "Rider-Waite" decks. The "Rider" deck is not quite as brightly colored, has a thinner card stock, and a "tarotee" back design (diagonally crossed black lines). The "Original Rider Waite Tarot Pack" listed here is a beautiful version of the original with bright colors and a blue "Tudor Rose" design on the back. The "Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set" includes the Centennial edition (along with a lovely book and extra material about the artist) which appears to be a copy of a well-scanned original deck, on excellent card stock, with a new back design that includes the rose and Pamela Colman Smith's initials as they appear on the cards. The "Smith-Waite Centennial Edition" is the deck only from the Commemorative set (sans book and extras). As an aside, U.S. Games also offers the Albano-Waite deck. Initially published in 1968, this groovy edition is a trippy, garishly colored version of Smith's original images. And this list is certainly not exhaustive; there are other "Rider" (publisher) or "Waite" (author/supervisor) or "Smith" (artist) decks out there from every publisher imaginable. In addition to the images themselves, many (if not most) modern decks use this deck as a basis for their own designs.
O.K., so this wasn't much of a "review" of this product specifically, but if someone intends to read tarot, he or she should own a version of the Waite deck. It is one of the cornerstones of esoteric tarot in general and a foundation for the proliferation in tarot publishing today. And if that isn't enough to sell one, it is also a pleasant example of early twentieth-century English popular illustration. Enjoy.
Some of the faces vary a bit and as a result one might benefit from having both decks. Meaning, when asking a question or identifying with the figure in a card, one version might be more appealing than the other.
Four stars for the PACKAGING. And I would have given that a 2 star rating if it didn't take away from the cards. The booklet is teeny tiny and hard to read. The packaging is not designed to be reusable. The cards just slide around in a box that is twice as big. I envisioned a box and book fitting neatly into box sleeve of some kind.
Top reviews from other countries
I have added images of three of the cards (it would be too much to add all the deck). These images show the bad quality of the cards on the right compared to my original deck. Colour and little details are very important in the reading and symbology of the Tarot and the colours are wrong and the images lack detail. The second image of Justice is so bad that you cannot see the wonderful detail of her robes, and the element symbol on her crown. The High Priestess wears blue to symbolise reflection and using ones intuition, however this card looks like a minty green, so your study, intuition or readings of these cards will not be correct.
Anyone giving these cards more than one star, has clearly missed out on the perfection and illustrative genius of the original deck, and that is a huge shame. :(
Despite my low expectations, I must say I was SHOCKED by the poor quality of these cards, which are marketed as "the original and only authorised edition..." They don't actually look like properly-printed cards at all, but dodgy scans run off on glossy photo paper using a cheap printer. Everything is tinted bright yellow and the figures look as though they have been spray-tanned by a ham-fisted schoolgirl on her first day on work placement at a cut-price beauty salon. The Magician has such rosy red cheeks it looks as though he is wearing war-paint and the Empress has a severely sunburnt neck.
Not only are the colours abominable, but the lines have lost all subtlety and definition and details are lost from the images. The scans are so pixellated, it is obvious even to my failing eyesight. I am not a fan of the high gloss, which makes the cards look cheesy. Added to which, each card is blemished by a copyright notice.
Sasha Graham's "Complete Book of the Rider-Waite Smith Tarot" (which incidentally features high quality colour reproductions of five cards on the cover) praises Stuart Kaplan, the founder of U.S. Games Systems, alongside Pamela "Pixie" Colman Smith and A.E. Waite as one of three people responsible for the Rider-Waite deck's phenomenal success. For Mr. Kaplan, we are told, "everything begins and ends with Pamela's art". That's as maybe, but one can't help wondering whether U.S. Games' travesty of the deck really is a fitting tribute to Pixie's beautiful and meaning-packed illustrations.
I would advise anyone who truly wishes to appreciate the Rider-Waite tarot to do some careful research before opting for the "authorised edition".
When I started learning tarot, I found out that these cards are supposed to be the best
Expected to be very well printed and the depictions are supposed to be well explained.
While of many cards that I read about and saw, these are still markedly better
Printing, however, is not perfect. Still better than the rest.
The booklet with it provides most of the explanations and can be easily used as reference.
The good part is that major Arcana cards are printed very well and therefore the beginning of learning is smooth and easy.
So net net, you won't get any cards better than these in India. Good to learn and use.
What fascinates me is the fact nobody has said that ‘original’ fortune telling cards had 52 cards and ’Tarot’ was actually a very complex card game that used the 78 cards [hence their numbering of the Major Arcana] to score points. In reality, the fortune telling came in because they looked prettier and had more cards so seemed more mystical, especially if you know the mythos that goes with cartomancy.
The pack has a very small 30 page instruction manual that gives a brief description on the ’meaning’ of each card and an example on how they should be used. This pack is great for those who want to dabble, or are new to it as it’s all very simple with inoffensive interpretations and quite ‘tame’ cards as Waite had it all toned down for Edwardian sensibilities [unlike my Grand Ettellia which has four really ’bad’ cards other than death!! -which by the way simply means the ending of something] and wanted something ‘arty’.
The problem with this set is that the cards ARE badly reproduced [the printing is fine] having lost much of their colour to a muddy blandness due to overuse of cyan in the printing process, but it is cheap. If it’s a first set you want this is a good starter choice or checkout the Tarot of Marseilles which is more wood-carving in style. Seasoned uses may prefer something more weighty [forgive the pun] but it’s all down to how you interpret your pack and how they draw you in –you don’t know until you’ve used them and if you’re ‘in tune’ with your pack you’ll soon develop your own interpretations rather than the bland supplied ones or drivel found in most books, but I found this pack easy to gain control of [again experienced uses should understand the comment], just make sure they don’t control you!