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Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot Cards – October 1, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 219 customer reviews

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  • Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot
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Product Details

  • Cards
  • Publisher: U.S. Games Systems Inc.; Cards edition (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572814136
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572814134
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (219 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Keen on June 26, 2004
Format: Cards
I just received my copy of this deck, and so far I really enjoy it. I've been reading tarot for nearly 8 years now, beginning with the Rider-Waite deck. I've always appreciated the symbolism of "the old standby" deck, and the drawings were nicely done, but the flat coloring was a little hard on the eyes. It was fine on symbolic levels, but the harsh colors left something to be desired.
I'm very happy with this rendition. From what I can tell, every bit of the standard symbolism is in place, and the new coloring job is wonderful. While not photo-realistic by any stretch (nor should it be, in my opinion), the images now have shading, depth, and subtlety to the palette. This makes reading the cards a more enjoyable experience overall.
Also, the back of the cards is nice in an understated sort of way: small yellow stars on a navy background. This is much better than my original Waite deck, with a rather horrible blue and black pinstripe-plaid motif against a white background. It looked rather akin to a really bad tablecloth at an Italian restaurant. The new star field, if a bit new-age-trendy, is much easier on the eyes. Its subtlety insures that the face-down deck won't distract from the spread you're reading.
From a readability standpoint, it's roughly the same as standard Waite, since all of the symbolism is identical. For experienced readers, you'll feel right at home. Newcomers will pick it up in no time, though I'd advise getting a second book to teach you the standard meanings until you get on your feet. The accompanying book isn't bad, but is a quick-and-dirty version and hardly exhaustive.
The 5-star review is basing this deck on what it's supposed to be: a rendition of a classic. As such, it serves its purpose admirably.
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Format: Cards
I have always loved the Rider Waite Tarot; it was my first tarot deck that I have ever owned. But the colors of the original where always so boring. Then Came the Universal Waite that had nice colors, but they just seemed so soft to me. Then finally the Radiant Rider Waite comes along, with the classic images that we all know and love, and finally you see things in a whole new way. Much Brighter, and yes you can say a little more Radiant. This deck will be around for a long time.
I love it and use it frequently. The deck is standard Tarot size, same size as the Universal and regular Rider Waite. The Back of the cards is a very nice Night Sky Blue filled with yellow stars. The colors of the images are not really radiant, in the harsh sense of the word, but more vibrant. If you look close, you can tell that the original images have been retouched, as many facial features have a slight difference. The deck shuffles well, a little slippery, and the corners are smooth. The card stock is flexible, but made to last; this deck will last many usages.
There is one minor setback. The smell of the cards, at times is to over whelming. I have tried everything to get that factory smell out of them. I have spoken to a few others who own the deck and they have the same problem. Hopefully after many usages this weird aroma will leave.
But beside that the deck is really good, it is defiantly my favorite of all the Rider Waite Clones. I recommend it to all beginners and advanced tarot readers or collectors. Nice deck for those who are just starting out. The images on this deck are familiar and comforting. Plus almost all books dealing with learning Tarot use Pamela Smith's images. So this deck would make a great gift for yourself or for your loved ones.
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Format: Cards Verified Purchase
I ordered this deck because of the immensely positive reviews. One of the few negative commnents was by Wren: "I was terribly disappointed in this deck. Yes, the colors are vibrant. Yes, the symbolism is identical to the classic Rider-Waite. But the images themselves possess none of the artistry of the original. They are poorly executed copies. The faces of the people and archetypes in particular are dull, expressionless, lifeless. Consequently I couldn't connect with the cards at all."

I know the original Rider-Waite images quite well because the "original Waite cards" by US Games Systems (1971) was one of my very first tarot decks and I've been using it for more than 30 years. Having received the Radiant deck and looked through it card by card, I find myself agreeing with Wren's opinion. The cards are very well made and easy to handle. The colors are vibrant. The problem is the faces. They look plastic and non-human, kind of like creepy faces of manikins or the creatures that took over human bodies in the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Just look at the Page of Swords who looks like he's wearing a nylon stocking over his head the way band robbers do in some B-rated movies.

In addition, the eyes are oddly drawn so that some figures look like they have a paranoid stare, and the devil looks cross-eyed. The subtlety and detail of Colman-Smith's original drawings has been sacrificed for vivid color. The nude figures, for example, have had their genitals obliterated. The 5 of Pentacles is particularly distorted. With the new coloring, the destitute individuals look like they are wearing gaily colored designer clothes and the scene of desolation outside the church looks like a cheerful setting in which to freeze and starve to death.
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