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The Original Rider Waite Tarot Pack Cards

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Box containing 78 card Tarot deck plus book "A Key to the Tarot" by A.E. Waite plus a Divinatory chart.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 314 reviews
243 of 257 people found the following review helpful
The modern classic, in it's original subtle beauty 25 Mar 2004
By Katrina Black - Published on Amazon.com
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.
302 of 333 people found the following review helpful
So-so reproduction, bad trademarking 4 Feb 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
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.
57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Instant identification 11 Aug 2005
By Barbara Hilal - Published on Amazon.com
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
63 of 69 people found the following review helpful
Not the deck you think you are getting. . . . 14 May 2009
By Edmund Zebrowski - Published on Amazon.com
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. For those that are looking for a great place to start THE set you want to get is the new Smith Centennial deck that just came out. Even though it's only in a boxed set right now it is well worth the price and will give you a solid foundation in the western style of reading with illustrated minor cards. While yes there are prettier deck out there or decks with more `pagan' themes to them 90% of them owe their images inspirations to this deck. It is really the beginning ABCs of modern tarot, and as we all know the beginning is a very good place to start.
63 of 70 people found the following review helpful
My favorite Rider Waite Smith Tarot deck 22 Nov 2003
By janomalee - Published on Amazon.com
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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