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Traditional Tarot - Rider Waite

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I've never connected to the typical RWS. I've always found the flat colours quite garish and harsh when paired with Pam's drawing style. The deck's predominant colour is a bright, flat yellow that I don't enjoy, especially since the second is a contrasting cyan. I find the traditional tarotee backs eye watering.

RWS was the first Tarot deck I ever bought, but about a month later, I discovered that there were variants of it, and I bought a Universal Waite that was my main deck for quite a number of years. I found the softer colours, the sense of dimension, and the starry back much more conducive to meditation and study.
Top   #11
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By sheerest accident, the Weiser edition of the Thoth was the first deck I encountered in my long love-affair with tarot, and it became my "gold standard." But I was still formally studying art at the time, and my discovery of the RWS sometime later struck a chord in me. The way the scenes are posed reminded me a little of Toulouse-Lautrec's poster art (although he wasn't an acknowledged influence) as well as the Symbolist compositions of Aubrey Beardsley (who WAS acknowledged), and some of the Art Nouveau posters. I didn't read with it for many years, but when I started I immediately gained admiration and respect for its evocative imagery. For me, its best feature is not the Golden Dawn underpinnings (I have the Thoth for that) but the way the illustrated minors can nudge the reading down unexpected paths when intuition falters. I usually hold that approach in reserve, and start with broader elemental, numerological and qabalistic associations to create a conceptual framework, then move into the illustrated scenes to zero in on specifics.
Top   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etherealtarot View Post
I've never picked up a Rider Waite deck in my life and to be honest I probably won't ever buy it. I just don't feel connected to it.
I'm illitarot. I don't really read tarot; it reads me, in the sense of stimulating the incorporation of unconscious contents into consciousness. My role in the tarot experience seems to be mostly passive.

Quote:
However, I'd like to know every one else's opinion on the deck and how it reads for you. I know every deck is different but how would you describe the personality of the RW in general?
For me, the Rider-Waite is enveloped with an ambience which suggests Arthurian lore, particularly the Grail legends. My life is the Grail quest: the quest itself, not its legendary object, which has no more claim to concrete reality than the rainbow's end. The RW has been very compatible with this disposition for the past 45 years of my life, and it continues to be.
Top   #13
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The RWS has never been my favorite, even before beginning my love affair with the Thoth. However, due to my esoteric studies I found new appreciation for it as a singular and astounding achievement. I think it is truly unique, far outshining any of its clones. It has a depth to it that simply isn't found in other pictorial decks. Deceptively simple, and often belittled next to its "big sister" the Thoth, it is just as complex.

But it will never be my main deck of study. (:
Top   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizabella View Post
I don't like the art very well and can't tell you how many decks I tried before breaking down and getting the Universal Waite because I liked the recoloring Mary Hanson Roberts did. Take my advice and don't sell the deck short. It's an awesome deck just full of symbolism that isn't apparent at first. There's nothing like it for reading with once you learn it. The longer I read Tarot, the more my respect for it grows.
I do sell the deck short and part of it is because of the imagery. I just looked up the Universal Waite.. I'm definitely liking the recoloring Thank you for recommending. I think I will give this one a try. I'd like to further my knowledge of the tarot and I'm sure I can benefit from expanding my horizons and not judging by the looks of something
Top   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemia View Post
So for many years, I was not attracted to the RWS at all and couldn't understand why everybody (at least in the world of the Internet) seemed to see it as the ultimate deck. For me, the ultimate tradition would be the TdM and Thoth and others before RWS. I couldn't see at all what the buzz was all about. I saw clumsy line drawings in artificial poses.

But thanks to the great commemorative set, I have learnt to appreciate the RWS both for Smith's artistic merit and for Waite's more veiled approach to the complexities behind the scenes. I see it indeed today more as a stage where scenes are enacted - and if you could pull them up, you would see what the artist herself maybe did not fully know.

This makes the deck more interesting to me than it was before. I still don't get why it's so much more influential than other older decks like the Sola Busca or Minchiate or Oswald Wirth. But it has inspired very good books (like Pollack's) and many interesting new decks. I recognize its place in the tarot pantheon although I would have arranged this pantheon differently. But who wouldn't?
I feel the same way.. I didn't know why so many people seemed to like it. My first deck was actually the Thoth one. It was a gift but unfortunately, I've misplaced it. I think I am going to buy the Rider Waite deck though... especially from your experience. You seem to appreciate it better now that you've taken the time to understand it.
Top   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwcarter View Post
To paraphrase Little Richard, "I am the innovator! I am the originator! I am the emancipator! I am the architect! I am tarot! Now I am not saying that to be vain or conceited. But, when I came, I never heard of no Marseilles. All I heard was Golden Dawn."

I agree with Grizabella. While I find the yellow box Rider Waite to be fugly on a good day, in my 23 year tarot journey, I've come to respect the deck. I often find myself using an older printing mini RWS deck for doing readings for friends. There are levels of detail buried in the deck that could take one a tarot lifetime to decipher and fully absorb. Very few modern decks can say that now, in 10 years from now or in 100 years from now.

Rodney
Haha! I really like how you described the personality I've never heard of Golden Dawn so I googled it.. and on my way there I found the Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn. I don't think that's the one you're talking about but I'm pretty sure I just fell in love

After everyone's input, I have decided to give the Rider Waite deck a try. I probably will not buy the RWS one.. but I will get the Universal.
Top   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nisaba View Post
Neither do I, but I use it if clients prefer, and it works well.

Well, for a start I don't see it as all that traditional. My grandfather was well and truly alive when it was first designed. There are decks that have been around 200, 300, even over 500 years. Now, THEY are traditional! It's just the one that canny marketers and spin-doctors publicised. I see it as a pushy youngster <grin>.
Pushy youngster.. I like that and see it the same way I haven't really looked into old decks.. Do you know of any you can recommend?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nisaba View Post
All decks work, and work well. Even decks I've actively disliked can throw good readings.
I agree with you.. When I first got my Mythic deck, I didn't like it at all but the readings are impeccable. It took me a few months to really appreciate it. I've began using it again over my Universal Fantasy deck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nisaba View Post
And there is no doubt that you will lose a small percentage of clients if they perceive that the decks you're working with are "not proper Tarot", whatever that means.
I haven't met anyone yet! But that is something important to keep in mind. Thank you.
Top   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etherealtarot View Post
Haha! I really like how you described the personality I've never heard of Golden Dawn so I googled it.. and on my way there I found the Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn. I don't think that's the one you're talking about but I'm pretty sure I just fell in love
The Golden Dawn was a society from which sprang both the Rider Waite and Thoth decks. Waite and Crowley were both members of the society.
Top   #19
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I'm so fickle. I'm just a deck hussy, I swear! But for my Native American spread exchange I've decided to use my pocket Universal Waite. And I think I might make it my goal to just use that deck and no other ones for awhile. Also I've decided to spend some time in this sub-forum for awhile, too. It's time I spent more time learning about this deck.

For me, I've always thought the TdM was the oldest deck, kind of like the King James Bible. You know---some people think it's THE one just because it's the oldest available? But I still can't quite get into Thoth----cloraspexa beat me about the head and shoulders when I went to that sub-forum and dared blaspheme Crowley by mentioning I was going to use Angeles Arriens book to learn it. (S'okay, cloraspexa, I still love ya.) Someday----maybe----I do have a pocket edition so maybe I'll live long enough to spend time with it.

The Universal Waite pocket deck and the pocket RWS are still with me after the big catastrophe so I do have the 3 basics.
Top   #20




 


 


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