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The Original Rider Waite Tarot Pack Cards – May 23, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 392 customer reviews

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  • The Original Rider Waite Tarot Pack
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Editorial Reviews

Review

In 1909, Arthur Edward Waite encouraged Pamela Colman Smith to produce a tarot deck with appeal to the world of art that would have significance behind the symbols, and thus make the deck more important than tarot packs previously used for centuries. The result was the unique Rider-Waite Tarot deck which has endured as the world's most popular 78-card tarot deck. The innovative cards, including the 56 Minor Arcana, depict full scenes with figures and symbols. This featured, combined with Pamela Smith's ability to capture the subtleties of emotion and experience, has made the Rider-Waite Tarot the basis for the designs of many 20th Century packs. The Original Rider Waite Tarot Pack is a facsimile edition originally printed from palates that were destroyed during the bombing of London during World War II. The deck and book set comes complete and in full-color with original Tudor Rose back design, Celtic Cross divinatory chart, and The Key to the Tarot by Arthur Waite. --Midwest Book Review
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Product Details

  • Cards: 160 pages
  • Publisher: United States Games Systems (May 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0880796863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0880796866
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 5.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (392 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Cards Verified Purchase
I bought this deck for my husband, who is learning Tarot. I am very disappointed in the quality of it. It appears to be a reproduction of a reproduction. The lines are not as neat and detailed. Some cards have details that appear to be missing (the 5 of Pentacles - the first mans arms are missing or obscured by the poor quality). Almost every card appears pixilated. I could go on with the list of problems but I think I will stop there. The only pros to this deck are the heavy card stock and the mini book that comes with it.

I will be uploading pictures of these cards (via Photo bucket since Amazon doesn't allow uploads on this item) compared side by side with my Waite/Smith deck so you can see what I am talking about.
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Format: Cards
I think that anyone who's interested in modern, intuitive tarot (as opposed to traditional, historical tarot buffs who follow the Marseilles path) MUST own a copy of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, as it's the wellspring from which all the other modern decks have come.
This is my preferred version of the deck, too. The soft, subtle colouring appeals to me much more than some of the almost-flourescent newer versions. The colours in particular remind me that this was, graphically at least, a product of it's time - the Art Nouveau period.
It's taken a long time for Pamela Colman Smith to get the recognition she deserves. She might not have been the most skilled draftsperson there ever was, and this deck was made in a very brief period of time - but in my opinion, her power was in her subtlety. Slight nuances of expression, muted tones and patterns in the fabrics and fills. In this version of the RWS deck, I can almost feel the lightness of her touch as she painted these images.
I agree with others that if you're a beginner, Waite's original booklet isn't a great deal of use - get yourself a good, thorough book like Rachel Pollack's '78 Degrees of Wisdom' in addition.
I own a couple of RWS versions and I think that in this case it's true that "the Original is still the best". I'm so glad this 'Original' reproduction set is available again.
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Format: Cards
Having used a French deck for the last twenty-six years, I thought I would try the Rider Waite deck. When I got them, imagine my surprise and disgust when "© US GAMES" is printed on the front of each card! Though in small print, it is quite legible and very much unwelcomed. Additionally, the reproduction herein is not accurate nor is it very well done. There is an English Rider version of this deck that is *so* much better.
Pass on this version and get the English version instead.
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Format: Cards Verified Purchase
I have read Tarot cards professionaly since 1968 and have tried many decks of cards and The Original Waite Tarot pack is the best . Pictorally each card is very distinctly portrayed and immediately identifiable. I bought this deck for my grandaughter who is beginning to study the Tarot. She was stumped by the deck she had bought whiuch was only symbols other than the higher arcana.

I can remember, in my early days reading, writing the meanings on the cards and how time consuming that was. I was so happy when I found the Rider Waite deck.

I am 73 years old.

Barbara Hilal
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Format: Cards
A bit of background on this deck: The RWS deck first came out in late 1909 early 1910, and while little is able to be said concretely about which edition came first because all the records (as well as the original paintings) are lost to time. What we CAN do is construct a time line of sorts for the different editions of the deck. This is laid out very well on several sites online as well as in the book The Story of the Waite Smith Tarot. So the abridged version is that there are four known variations of the artwork for the RWS deck. They are called Pam A- Pam D. The conclusions as to which deck came when, is also well thought out on the sites and book before mentioned. When the now famed Rose and Lilly deck first came up on Ebay several years ago it caused a huge stir in the Tarot world and went for several thousand dollars. Then when it was announced that this set was coming out we all thought that we were going to finally get a reproduction of the famed Pam A artwork just as it first was scene almost a century ago. What we got is STILL debated in circles and on boards till this day. The backs are indeed the original first backs made to be put on the RWS deck but the card images are from what is commonly called to as the Pam C artwork. This artwork was made from a re-drawing of the printing plates and looks WAY more muddled and murky then any other presentation of PCS's art. While interesting from a collector standpoint if you are looking to get into serious study of the deck, it's use of color and the fine details and things hidden this is not the deck for you. If you are a collector of different editions of the RWS deck pick it up because it's fascinating to see the differences in the drawings to the original.Read more ›
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Format: Cards
This is my favorite of the Rider Waite Smith decks. The lines and detail are very clear and crisp. That makes a difference. Look at the Knight of Swords. In other RWS decks, the corner of the horse's mouth is going down and it looks like the horse is looking backwards. The horse looks apprehensive. In this deck, the lines for the horse's mouth and eyes are cleaner. The horse looks like he is grinning and happy to be charging ahead.
I like the colors used, but they may not appeal to everybody. The colors are beige, light green, red and yellow. No blue. The green makes the reds pop. I also like the thick lines and the bold, flat shapes. The backs are a pretty light blue and white design with roses.
I know this deck might not appeal to everyone. This is why there are so many versions of the RWS deck out there. For me, the original is the best.
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