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Hi if the colours of the RWS is what is putting you off then please do try have a look at the Centennial Waite Smith. Its awesome. The colours are much more pleasant to the eye and the card stock is much better than the standard Llewellyn type of cardstock. You will not be disappointed.
Top   #31
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The Rider Waite Smith deck is the most important deck ever made. I think it deserves to be appreciated. Imagine looking at this deck in the year 1910. You can change, draw, gussy up, CGI, recreate, whatever. The fact is, it carry's a simplistic look and a magical charm. You as a reader may not notice it but to a querent who is not familiar with tarot cards finds it very intriguing. It does not come with bells and whistles. It's simple and complex at the same time. I have a great appreciation for this deck because in 1973 this was the only deck. If it wasn't for this deck, there would be no Aeclectic forum. If you want to talk ugly, there is plenty out there.
Top   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katyanne View Post
I don't own a Rider-Waite deck and don't want to. Is that a bad thing? Someone told me everyone should own one of those but I really don't like them at all. I thought the cards were supposed to speak to you in some way.
Hello Katyanne,

I guess my answer to your question is : No you dont HAVE to have a RWS, but if you did you would probably gain a lot from it.

You don't HAVE to own a RWS deck, there is no law against not owning one and it is not a "bad thing" to not want one of course ! You are very welcome to do what you want and build the type of reading technique you want, with whatever deck you wish !
And you can probably do very well as a tarot reader without owning a RWS, I guess, as long as you have a deck that you like and that sparks your intuition.

BUT.

That said, I personally think that it is very important to have notions of the basics of tarot, and for that, I consider that studying the tarot decks that have marked the history of tarot, is invaluable. The RWS is one such deck (not the only one, but a big great one nonetheless).
For that reason, I believe that it can only deepens your understanding of the cards if you take some time to study the RWS cards.
Even if you dont like the art, I am pretty sure it will enrich the way you read with your favourite decks.

Studying the same cards from different decks has done a lot to deepen my understanding of the cards, by comparing and compiling different interpretations that different deck creator have had.
My favourite decks are not the RWS but many are derived from it, and even if I love some of those decks, I cannot not notice that the RWS is usually richer in pictural symbols than most of the later decks that derive from it. I agree with Cynthea on that point !

There are many versions of the RWS, maybe you can find one that you will "dislike less" ? Or, if you dont want to spend money on a deck that does not appeal to you (very understandable), after all it is not necessary to own a copy to study the deck. Feel free to study the cards from the reproductions that are in most tarot books, and there is always good old Google image and Pinterest.
But however you do it, you would probably not loose your time if you give the RWS images a minimum of your study time.

My first decks were french tarot decks that I never found especially goodlooking.
Later my first love deck was the Bohemian Gothic ; a RWS inspired deck, but certainly not a clone.

I am glad that someone at that time, persuaded me that I should get a RWS to really learn tarot in depth.

Unfortunately at the time I got the "very yellow" RWS, wich had me believe for a long time that I did not like the RWS. For that reason I only used that deck for study and never used it as a proper reading deck. But eventhough I found it unatractive, it has enriched my knowledge considerably.

Later I discovered other editions of the decks, and now I enjoy the Centennial edition, and the Albano-Waite, these are my two favourite RWS and I do read with them occasionnaly, because I do like these versions. I have come to appreciate Pixie's work, with these other editions.

For the same reasons, I acquired a long time ago a Marseille deck, the Jodorowsky Camoin one. It has its merits but I do not really like it, I find it austere and visually not very attractive. And despite all that has been said about it by its authors, I am not at all sure that it is "the most accurate", "the closest to original" of Marseilles (I explain my vision in the next paragraph) so I am planning on getting another one that I like more, one of these days when I can afford it (probably the Dodal, we'll see)

But the Marseille is different from the RWS in that there is not "one and only" true Marseille with a specific date of birth, and then all the other are clones. On the contrary, all versions are "true", the Marseille has evolved from printer to printer, from country to country and from century to century, sometimes adding, sometimes lessening, the esoteric symbols. In that sense, all versions are interesting to study I guess, but as I am not attracted by Marseille in the first place (for now, at least), I wil be content when I will own a version that I like, and in the mean time I only refer to other versions from book reprodutions.

I am also planning on getting a Thoth eventhough I am not extremely attracted by it (so far). I do not have one yet (there are always other decks that I prefer spending my money on, so my getting a Thoth is never the most urgent tarot shopping) but untill I get one for myself, I do refer to reproductions of the Thoth cards on books and/or internet for studying and comparing purposes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cynthea View Post

EVERYTHING on the RWS cards have a meaning and reason/purpose for being on each card; every object, colors, background/no background etc. The color/objects are not there just for looks As I learn about all the symbolic meanings including flowers/birds etc it helps me understand and Remember the card meanings. If you use decks with the RWS style, you will discover how much is often left out by other card creators, as if all they need is to put people in the same situation! There is so much more that is often left out that I feel is important ie 6 of Swords- the water proximal (close up- usually on right) is choppy w/ waves and on left and in distance is smooth water. It bugs the hell out of me- pet peeve-rant, when there is no difference. This is just one example, where everyone includes the boat & people (main image), but miss the details and do not substitute with other symbols (I find substitutions creative & delightful).
I agree ! Oh, yes, I find this to be so true ! The ripples in the 6 of sords, the salamanders in the knight and king of wands, etc !
Even the closest RWS clones like the Sharman Burke deck, do not have the entirety of these symbolic details and I have always wondered why. Let alone the Morgan Greer, wich is one of my favourite "clone" nevertheless.
This is why I am so glad to know the classic RWS imagery ; it helps me a lot with putting depth in my readings even when I read with other decks (wihch is most often the case since my favourite decks are not the RWS.)
Studying the RWS imagery and symbols has made my understanding of the tarot so much more solid and rich.

But, on the other hand, reading with more modern decks also add layers to my understanding of the RWS cards. It is a virtuous cycle as far as I am concerned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by magicjack View Post
The Rider Waite Smith deck is the most important deck ever made.
Well, I would not say that. I agree wholeheartedly that the RWS is a VERY important deck, but to say that it is the most important ever made ? I do not agree.... what about the decks from the previous 5 or 6 centuries before the RWS was born ? They were pretty important, still are, and led to the birth of the RWS imho.

It is interesting to see that the RWS is preponderant in the english-speaking world, but not AT ALL in all countries.
In France where I am, most (if not almost all !) french professional tarot readers will use a Marseille deck.
Do a simple reasearch on Google.fr with the keywords "tirage tarot" (tarot reading) and you will get offerings for Marseille readings. Probably because that is what many french readers learned on, and also because that is what is expected by french clients, I suppose.

When you mention "tarot deck" to a french person, chances are that this person envisions one of two things : the tarot playing card deck, and the Marseille deck. An extremely small ratio will also envision the RWS imagery.
If you mention "esoteric tarot", french people will always think of a Marseille deck first. Only people that are knowledgeable in reading tarot, will know that the RWS exist, and those people are a minority.
In general, tarot as an esoteric tool is not very popular in France, nor wellknown, not many people are interested in it, if you compare with the english speaking world.
But amongst the general french population, everybody can identify a Marseille deck at first sight ; though very few know that the RWS or Thoth even exist ! (exept people versed in esoteric tarot, as I mentioned - but that does not represent a large part of the population)

I get my decks online, because for one there is nos a single tarot shops in my area (I live in a medium-to-small sized french city), and also because none of the classic bookshops sell decks, not one.
The only shop in my area that sells a few decks is a very small, "babacool" like shop selling incense and candles, with a tiny shelf of books and even tinier shelf of decks, offering between 5 and 10 different oracle decks and usually no tarot deck at all. In the 8 years I have visited that shop, I never saw a RWS deck on this shelf, and only once or twice saw a Marseille tarot offered for sale (that is where I got my Jodorowsky, it was the only one). When I asked for a Rider Waite deck to the vendor, they had no idea what I was talking about (they had me spell the name, and then told me they really did not know what that was). And that is the most esoteric shop in my area. I am a little bit frustrated.....
Top   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carojulie View Post
Hello Katyanne,

I guess my answer to your question is : No you dont HAVE to have a RWS, but if you did you would probably gain a lot from it.

You don't HAVE to own a RWS deck, there is no law against not owning one and it is not a "bad thing" to not want one of course ! You are very welcome to do what you want and build the type of reading technique you want, with whatever deck you wish !
And you can probably do very well as a tarot reader without owning a RWS, I guess, as long as you have a deck that you like and that sparks your intuition.

BUT.

That said, I personally think that it is very important to have notions of the basics of tarot, and for that, I consider that studying the tarot decks that have marked the history of tarot, is invaluable. The RWS is one such deck (not the only one, but a big great one nonetheless).
For that reason, I believe that it can only deepens your understanding of the cards if you take some time to study the RWS cards.
Even if you dont like the art, I am pretty sure it will enrich the way you read with your favourite decks.

Studying the same cards from different decks has done a lot to deepen my understanding of the cards, by comparing and compiling different interpretations that different deck creator have had.
My favourite decks are not the RWS but many are derived from it, and even if I love some of those decks, I cannot not notice that the RWS is usually richer in pictural symbols than most of the later decks that derive from it. I agree with Cynthea on that point !

There are many versions of the RWS, maybe you can find one that you will "dislike less" ? Or, if you dont want to spend money on a deck that does not appeal to you (very understandable), after all it is not necessary to own a copy to study the deck. Feel free to study the cards from the reproductions that are in most tarot books, and there is always good old Google image and Pinterest.
But however you do it, you would probably not loose your time if you give the RWS images a minimum of your study time.

My first decks were french tarot decks that I never found especially goodlooking.
Later my first love deck was the Bohemian Gothic ; a RWS inspired deck, but certainly not a clone.

I am glad that someone at that time, persuaded me that I should get a RWS to really learn tarot in depth.

Unfortunately at the time I got the "very yellow" RWS, wich had me believe for a long time that I did not like the RWS. For that reason I only used that deck for study and never used it as a proper reading deck. But eventhough I found it unatractive, it has enriched my knowledge considerably.

Later I discovered other editions of the decks, and now I enjoy the Centennial edition, and the Albano-Waite, these are my two favourite RWS and I do read with them occasionnaly, because I do like these versions. I have come to appreciate Pixie's work, with these other editions.

For the same reasons, I acquired a long time ago a Marseille deck, the Jodorowsky Camoin one. It has its merits but I do not really like it, I find it austere and visually not very attractive. And despite all that has been said about it by its authors, I am not at all sure that it is "the most accurate", "the closest to original" of Marseilles (I explain my vision in the next paragraph) so I am planning on getting another one that I like more, one of these days when I can afford it (probably the Dodal, we'll see)

But the Marseille is different from the RWS in that there is not "one and only" true Marseille with a specific date of birth, and then all the other are clones. On the contrary, all versions are "true", the Marseille has evolved from printer to printer, from country to country and from century to century, sometimes adding, sometimes lessening, the esoteric symbols. In that sense, all versions are interesting to study I guess, but as I am not attracted by Marseille in the first place (for now, at least), I wil be content when I will own a version that I like, and in the mean time I only refer to other versions from book reprodutions.

I am also planning on getting a Thoth eventhough I am not extremely attracted by it (so far). I do not have one yet (there are always other decks that I prefer spending my money on, so my getting a Thoth is never the most urgent tarot shopping) but untill I get one for myself, I do refer to reproductions of the Thoth cards on books and/or internet for studying and comparing purposes.



I agree ! Oh, yes, I find this to be so true ! The ripples in the 6 of sords, the salamanders in the knight and king of wands, etc !
Even the closest RWS clones like the Sharman Burke deck, do not have the entirety of these symbolic details and I have always wondered why. Let alone the Morgan Greer, wich is one of my favourite "clone" nevertheless.
This is why I am so glad to know the classic RWS imagery ; it helps me a lot with putting depth in my readings even when I read with other decks (wihch is most often the case since my favourite decks are not the RWS.)
Studying the RWS imagery and symbols has made my understanding of the tarot so much more solid and rich.

But, on the other hand, reading with more modern decks also add layers to my understanding of the RWS cards. It is a virtuous cycle as far as I am concerned.



Well, I would not say that. I agree wholeheartedly that the RWS is a VERY important deck, but to say that it is the most important ever made ? I do not agree.... what about the decks from the previous 5 or 6 centuries before the RWS was born ? They were pretty important, still are, and led to the birth of the RWS imho.

It is interesting to see that the RWS is preponderant in the english-speaking world, but not AT ALL in all countries.
In France where I am, most (if not almost all !) french professional tarot readers will use a Marseille deck.
Do a simple reasearch on Google.fr with the keywords "tirage tarot" (tarot reading) and you will get offerings for Marseille readings. Probably because that is what many french readers learned on, and also because that is what is expected by french clients, I suppose.

When you mention "tarot deck" to a french person, chances are that this person envisions one of two things : the tarot playing card deck, and the Marseille deck. An extremely small ratio will also envision the RWS imagery.
If you mention "esoteric tarot", french people will always think of a Marseille deck first. Only people that are knowledgeable in reading tarot, will know that the RWS exist, and those people are a minority.
In general, tarot as an esoteric tool is not very popular in France, nor wellknown, not many people are interested in it, if you compare with the english speaking world.
But amongst the general french population, everybody can identify a Marseille deck at first sight ; though very few know that the RWS or Thoth even exist ! (exept people versed in esoteric tarot, as I mentioned - but that does not represent a large part of the population)

I get my decks online, because for one there is nos a single tarot shops in my area (I live in a medium-to-small sized french city), and also because none of the classic bookshops sell decks, not one.
The only shop in my area that sells a few decks is a very small, "babacool" like shop selling incense and candles, with a tiny shelf of books and even tinier shelf of decks, offering between 5 and 10 different oracle decks and usually no tarot deck at all. In the 8 years I have visited that shop, I never saw a RWS deck on this shelf, and only once or twice saw a Marseille tarot offered for sale (that is where I got my Jodorowsky, it was the only one). When I asked for a Rider Waite deck to the vendor, they had no idea what I was talking about (they had me spell the name, and then told me they really did not know what that was). And that is the most esoteric shop in my area. I am a little bit frustrated.....


Is the Marseille deck used in France for divination?
Top   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silvereye View Post
Is the Marseille deck used in France for divination?
Yes it is, mostly.
But not so many people read tarot here.
Professional tarot readers in France are fewer than, say, in the US (proportions kept of course), and they most often use the Marseille deck.
You can have an idea of that when searching for a professional reading through the yellow pages or the web.

Most french people are not knowledgeable in tarot but will instantly know what they are looking at, if shown a Marseille deck.
As far as I know, only people who are interested in such matters know about the RWS.

Personnaly I knew of the Marseille deck since I was a kid, and only discovered the RWS when I started really wanting to learn to read the cards.
It is funny, because I really think the RWS is easier to learn than the Marseille. I also think the RWS imagery is more attractive, less "austere" than the Marseille, but that is personal. I am always a little surprised to see the Marseille getting all the credit here when it comes to cartomancy.

The Marseille deck is "part of common culture" here, eventhough few people know how to read it ; and you could even play the tarot game with a Marseille deck (I do sometimes), though there is another, more modern, easier playing card deck for the tarot game, and that is what everybody uses for the game. I think, if you play in a tournament, you probably can only use this more modern version (I would have to check that, not sure).
This modern playing deck is never used for divination as far as I know, though of course it could if you really wanted to.

I would love to have the insight of another french member ? as to when and how the RWS came into your life ?
Top   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silvereye View Post
Is the Marseille deck used in France for divination?
I have only been using Marseille decks for a relatively short time, before that I used the RWS and its clones - still do. Anyway, part of getting up to speed on the Marseille tradition was looking at YouTube - plenty of French speaking Marseille using Tarot readers on there. Traditionally, only the Majors were/are used in a Marseille reading but you can use the Minors as well.

I do think the RWS is important if you want to get to grips with the Tarot basics if only because so many tarot books refer to the RWS. However, I do also believe the Marseille pattern decks are as important as they are the ancestor of the RWS and do not have the layers of esoteric information/cruft (delete according to preference!) that was added on by French occultists and the Golden Dawn.

If you really want to understand where tarot has come from, get yourself an edition of the RWS you like; a Marseille deck (personal recommendation: either Jean Dodal, Jean Noblet or Pierre Madenie) and the Thoth. Learn from all three traditions THEN go out and get yourself a deck you really like - your tarot inspiration will flow like mead at a Viking banquet!
Top   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheel of Fantastic View Post
I do think the RWS is important if you want to get to grips with the Tarot basics if only because so many tarot books refer to the RWS. However, I do also believe the Marseille pattern decks are as important as they are the ancestor of the RWS and do not have the layers of esoteric information/cruft (delete according to preference!) that was added on by French occultists and the Golden Dawn.

If you really want to understand where tarot has come from, get yourself an edition of the RWS you like; a Marseille deck (personal recommendation: either Jean Dodal, Jean Noblet or Pierre Madenie) and the Thoth. Learn from all three traditions THEN go out and get yourself a deck you really like - your tarot inspiration will flow like mead at a Viking banquet!
I second all that !

It's important to have at least some basic knowledge of the big three : Marseille, RWS, Thoth, it helps a lot when reading other decks.
The fact that I was aquainted with Marseille majors, however slightly, has always colored and enriched my understanding of the RWS majors and was a great help when I started learning RWS at the begining.
I still need to get to grips more with the Thoth though.

To come back to Katyanne's question, RWS is particularly important since most modern decks are derived from it. But RWS itself derives from Marseille... so in the end they all are important.

Wheel of Fantastic is right : get some basic knowedge and your tarot inspiration will flow like mead at a Viking banquet (I love your expression Whell of Fantastic )
Top   #37


 


 


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