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The Pocket Rider Waite Tarot Deck Paperback – 8 Aug 1991

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Product details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Rider & Co (8 Aug. 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712651780
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712651783
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 3 x 9.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,726,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Wigwagwiggy on 19 May 2001
Format: Paperback
Anyone who wants to carry a pack of tarot with them easily will find this one useful. It is smaller than the original but is just as good in every respect. Handy travelling pack. For those who havent used a rider waite pack before. They are fairly easy to understand from the pictures on the cards and there are lots of books to help you if you need to learn more. I prefer the big cards for normal use but these are certainly fine to carry with you for a quick impromptu reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N1ce Dreams on 12 Sept. 2011
Format: Cards
This Rider Tarot deck is another A.E Waite/P. Coleman deck only it was the first version released by US Games, its close to the originals detail but colour wise the The Original Rider Waite Tarot Deck would be closer but some might argue that. The colours in this version do stand out more, you could say was goin in the same direction as the 'Universal Waite Tarot Deck' & 'Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot Deck' decks but not as bright and updated. All in all another great deck for the collection.
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By rik on 19 Feb. 2015
Format: Cards Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 355 reviews
304 of 315 people found the following review helpful
One of the 5 best decks in the world. 18 Jun. 2000
By Uri Raz - Published on
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.
91 of 92 people found the following review helpful
The standard...and for good reason 29 Mar. 2002
By Lisa - Published on
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.
191 of 200 people found the following review helpful
the Alpha and the Omega 21 Mar. 2001
By Amazon Customer - Published on
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. It's not flashy or zippy, but yet it's imagery is everywhere if we choose to look for it (didn't Led Zepplin even put the tarot of The Hermit on one of their album covers??)
While there's certainly nothing wrong with exploring other decks, the Rider-Waite is the perfect place for the beginner, ESPECIALLY because any good book on the tarot will use this very deck to explain the symbolism of the cards. Learn on the Rider, become proficient at it, then, if you like, branch out into something different like Egyptian tarot or the Halloween tarot (my other favorite for it's playful holiday symbolism). Beginning with a different deck and working with it right away will not be as satisfying or as easy to understand as the Rider. Like great art, it's timeless because it resonates with us in deep and profound ways. It may not have been the first, but in many ways, it may well be the BEST.
127 of 143 people found the following review helpful
Poor reproduction 26 Jan. 2010
By Igor - Published on
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.
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Pamela Colman Smith 20 Jan. 2002
By S. Gustafson - Published on
Format: Cards
A. E. Waite always gets top billing for this. Too little attention, I think, is paid to the achievement of Pamela Colman Smith, the artist who drew the designs that are now 'standard' and the place of beginning for Tarot card readers.
Smith was born in England to American parents, and grew up in Jamaica. She toured with the theatre company of Ellen Terry and Henry Irving in the late 1890's, where she joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and met Waite. She also did a great deal of illustration work for William Butler Yeats and his brother Jack, but apart from this deck, her art found little commercial success.
Which is a shame, because its blend of Art Deco and Symbolism made her a fine fantasy illustrator, as well as the perfect artist for this project. She died in 1951, and the chief fame and distribution of the Waite deck unfortunately came after this. No one knows where she is buried. Her deck lives on, not only in the minds of Tarot believers, but in those who like lovely things.
This is, of course, one of the first mass produced Tarot decks to illustrate every card. Most of its successors take their lead from her images.
The flaws in the deck seem to be Waite's. If I could find fault in this project, it is in the fact that the images tend to force interpretations onto the cards that might be read differently. The ten of swords, for instance, could mean the achievement of an intellectual goal, as well as what is suggested by the drastic image seen here. There is still room for a traditional deck with the simple pictures of the suit cards as well as the trumps.
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