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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Fanu View Post
However, I honestly think that if you reject the Rider Waite Smith - and I shall cool-y overlook the use of words such as "hype" and "boring" - be aware that your tarot knowledge will be missing something.
I find this perspective interesting, since many, many popular decks are pretty darn reflective of the RWS - practically re-illustrations of the same picture. So what, in particular, makes working with the specific RWS deck so special for you? As I see it, a lot of popular decks are sort of the DiCaprio movie Romeo+Juliet vs reading the the play, and to get the most out of reading the play, one often requires copious footnotes, which are visually presented in the movie. This is a weird metaphor, but what I'm saying is that I've studied the RWS meanings and use them in reading other decks. I just find the traditional deck stiff and unyielding in meaning (possibly because of their Shakespearian weight), where I can use the RWS meanings as part of my collective knowledge while reading other decks.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barefootlife View Post
I find this perspective interesting, since many, many popular decks are pretty darn reflective of the RWS - practically re-illustrations of the same picture. So what, in particular, makes working with the specific RWS deck so special for you?
It's simply a question of going right back to the root. You see it written again and again, the RWS-based decks or clones or whatever one calls them, lack the symbolism of the original. I honestly never consider them to be "practically reillustrations". I honestly don't think they're that at all.

I also think there's an element of "why should liking even come into it? I mean, god forbid, with facebook and instagram in our lives, the world is reduced to "like" and "don't like" but I think there's space for just considering something relevant and being familiar with it and allowing it to widen your ( not YOU, I mean in general!) perspectives. You can deepen your knowledge of something regardless of like/ don't like.

I'm honestly not sure whether I "like" the RWS or not. It's not a question I really ask myself. It's just always been there and significant.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Fanu View Post
It's simply a question of going right back to the root. You see it written again and again, the RWS-based decks or clones or whatever one calls them, lack the symbolism of the original. I honestly never consider them to be "practically reillustrations". I honestly don't think they're that at all.

I also think there's an element of "why should liking even come into it? I mean, god forbid, with facebook and instagram in our lives, the world is reduced to "like" and "don't like" but I think there's space for just considering something relevant and being familiar with it and allowing it to widen your ( not YOU, I mean in general!) perspectives. You can deepen your knowledge of something regardless of like/ don't like.

I'm honestly not sure whether I "like" the RWS or not. It's not a question I really ask myself. It's just always been there and significant.
Okay, I think I see where you're coming from. I appreciate the significance of the RWS in much the same way I appreciate the significance of Shakespeare - as something I've studied and understand the resonance and reflections of elsewhere. Knowing the traditional adds depth to the modern. In the end, I generally prefer the modern, but that doesn't mean I don't reach back to the original for insight.

All that said, I think that when it comes to actually reading a deck, liking and not liking do play into it. It's important to understand the RWS, but that doesn't mean I find it reads particularly well for me. I come up against the same problem reading Shakespeare, although I very much enjoy watching the plays performed and many of the works derived from them.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barefootlife View Post
I appreciate the significance of the RWS in much the same way I appreciate the significance of Shakespeare - as something I've studied and understand the resonance and reflections of elsewhere. Knowing the traditional adds depth to the modern. In the end, I generally prefer the modern, but that doesn't mean I don't reach back to the original for insight.
But you've come to that place from having familiarized yourself.

Of course liking or not liking a deck as a reading deck matters - I agree - but I was talking of the RWS as something we should consider, think about, look closely at, analyze on whatever terms, not as a spontaneous, intuitive reading deck.

I find myself defending something I don't even know if I feel a huge affinity with - that wasn't my intention. I just find the RWS interesting in the way that once you start looking at something, once you start analyzing something, once you start knowing what's behind something, it does tend to become interesting by default if there's enough to gauge your attention and stuff to chew on.
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I only use The Morgan Greer deck. i know it's more or less a RWS clone but not all the symbolism is the same. Does it mean I'm missing out on something? I understand it's importance but I don't like the images.
I've never read Shakespeare either and I thought I really enjoyed literarure
Maybe I need to take a year out and study old Will and the RWS
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I think it is totally fine to not like RWS decks. I think learning with this deck is probably the easiest but there is so many variations. It's whatever touches you and draws out the information from you.

I actually love the Rider Waite deck but I prefer the re-colored softened versions. I like them because it's so immediately identifiable in media, artwork and in other decks. With that said I have Rider Waite inspired decks that give me totally different in depth readings. It just comes down to what speaks to you.
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I'm ambivalent about the RWS deck. I didn't own one until 2011 when I joined AT (I started reading with the Thoth in 1972), and only bought one because I needed to understand it to interact effectively here on the forum. Since my reading style is largely story-telling using metaphor and analogy, I find that the RWS lends itself well to inspired insights based on the images. But I don't buy in wholesale to the folklore that's grown up around those images, because not all of them serve Waite's veiled esoteric intent that well. I sometimes think he and Smith weren't on the same page when developing some of the cards in the deck. So I read the RWS with a decided Thoth slant and often let the standard RWS meanings go. (After all, both Crowley and Waite drew from the same Golden Dawn well, Crowley was just less evasive about it.)

Full disclosure, though: when I was learning I had the Book of Thoth as my primary source, but I also used Eden Grey's RWS-based The Tarot Revealed for less exalted interpretation. Odd that it never inspired me to buy the deck, but it didn't; the Thoth alone is a lifetime study.
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My first deck was a mini RWS, my first books like Rachel Pollackīs "78 Degrees of Wisdom" were illustrated with a Rider-Waite; why is it "in" to look down on our first modern Tarot deck except Thoth? I always look how much symbolism is saved in a clone, and am rather happy if the High Priestess has a scroll that reads TORA, and if the Hierophant is traditional R-W. There is so much to be learnt from the symbolism of the R-W Lovers. I honestly feel that we need the knowledge of R-W not to be dumbing down Tarot.

We get the meanings of the cards from The Golden Dawn. What is so wrong with their illustrations, that try to illustrate those meanings?
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Sorry, Barleywine, didnīt read your post before I answered, as I was answering some of the earlier posts. Didnīt know what you wrote. Interesting.
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Though I don't read for myself or for others with the Rider-Waite, I do own one for study purposes, just like I own a Thoth deck and in the near future, a Marseille one. One of the things I enjoy about tarot the most is the possibility of digging into its history and symbolism, and I fully believe that in order to break the rules, one must be familiar with them in the first place. There are things I reject about RWS teachings, such as the reliance and acceptance of gender tropes and roles, but I needed to know their approach first in order to develop my own intuition and insight. And there is much that I've come to appreciate about this system as well. Also, sitting with my RWS and journaling with it has helped me a ton to work with and understand the decks I love and actually read with.
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