Reading Wild Unknown VS Reading Rider-Waite Decks


The imagery put me off for a long time I have to admit and I don't like dark decks because I have dark times in life with ill health and it puts me off having it in a deck. In the end I bought the WU in a sale at an online shop that someone spotted on AT was happening. So it was the kickstart I needed to get the deck that it was a reduced price. I thought it would be too dark or unreadable for me though but I wanted to give it a try!

I think you have to really have the deck in your hands to appreciate it, it's really not dark or nightmarish. Yes there is some dark cards like the 5, 9 and 10 of Swords which shows something a little horrible. Compared to RWS there is scenes of violence to animals and I know some people on AT are affected by that but you know they are not nice cards in any deck really. But there is also life affirming cards like The Star (I think it's my favourite Star card in any deck and one day I hope to have a print of it to frame!). There is lovely rainbow and bright colours and cards which are so positive. So I would say please don't cancel your order and give it a chance! I gave it a chance and the deck surprised me by really speaking to me. It's very readable and for me I don't get any dark spin in my readings, it's not classed as a "dark deck" overall, it's just symbolically very different to RWS or other decks. But it's very very readable and don't set off my anxiety, so I love it :)

I can't say how you will react to the art on a personal basis but tarot decks are just cards made of cardboard ultimately, with the artists vision on. They can't attack you psychically. Give them a go! I was a converted person with them :) :thumbsup:


I know I've mentioned this somewhere before, but as one who simply cannot escape the RW deck, the WU put me somewhat off. The best thing I've found is that I get a different kind of reading from the WU.... what I've done a LOT of recently (especially with 3 card readings), is to use my trusty RW for readings about what is going on - and tandemly do a reading with the WU for what's happening on the inside. I think the two decks work beautifully in conjunction with each other.......


That's an interesting way to use the deck, Calcifer! :thumbsup:

Myself I have been working with the app for about a year now, and I feel like I am using an oracle deck, not really a tarot deck.

I suppose I shall order the paper deck at some point. Because despite my feelings about it while I was learning it (uncertain at best!) I have grown quite fond of it!


I absolutely love the WU.... it forcibly yanks me out of my structured RWS


I absolutely love the WU.... it forcibly yanks me out of my structured RWS

I can totally relate! I am also quite lodged in the RWS structure. I've used oracles in the past, in order to loosen my mind-set, but the WU operates quite nicely as both tarot and oracle! I will try your technique of working it with the RW.


For me it feels easier to connect with a deck that is on the abstract side because it opens up the possibilities even more.

I simply go with my intuitive feel first, for example, when seeing this card, do I feel positivity or negativity? Is it scary or comforting? Etc.

Then if I want to actually study some of the cards, to see everything I can get from it, I analyze all components.
The colors or absence of it, the animals, the shapes...Sometimes through the abstract drawing I would suddenly see an object, like in the 9 of wands, where the wands would look like stairs going up.
I would gather all the possible symbolism I can identify and study it with my knowledge or search about it. Phases of the moon and what they can mean, animal symbolism, comparisons between the elements of cards that are opposite/complementary (Emperor and Empress for example).

That's basically how I deal with this deck (and many others)


The cards tell their own story

One of the things I primarily love about this deck is that it doesn't contain any human images. I have always found that rather distracting, since there are no decks that have human images that I can relate to on every card. There are always a few (and sometimes many) cards with human figures that simply don't resonate with me on any level.

With animals and images of things found in nature, I can feel the meaning on a more visceral, intuitive level without having to cut through the cultural, social, or stereotypical layers that imbue most other decks. While there are similarities between TWU and RW, I feel this deck enters a new realm with Tarot reading, so I try not compare the two and just let this deck stand on its own.

I agree. I feel that it you look at the card, the places that are colored, the places that are not, etc, the imagery itself will tell you the story of the card. As an example, go pull the six of wands of the four of cups. What do you see? Now whip out the guidebook or the white sheet and viola, you have likely hit the nail on the head. This is a very talkative deck



I really admire your response and observations. The difficulty I have right now is likely trying to compare the two decks, but as you have said, the TWU deck stands on its own very well. Thank you



Hi jerrissica, there used to be a Wild Unknown app on Android but the artist asked for the app to be discontinued and is no longer available to buy :(

The app had some info about each card on a tab which I found so useful. The info had keywords and a bit about it. The info was largely from the Wild Unknown book that you can buy. I would personally only recommend the book if you are really struggling with the deck, you don't get that much insight into each card and it's expensive for a smallish book. However there is now a massmarket pack with the deck and the book if you want to get it that way.

The study group here has a thread for every card, index here. Different people give their take on each card and I honestly would say it's the best study resource for it.


Decks Side by Side

In all honesty, when I have the time, I like to start with TWU deck and then pull out the corresponding cards from the Rider Waite deck and just take a look at the spread with the cards side by side.

What I do like about TWU deck is that the images are so evocative and certain cards just cement a feeling, emotion, or meaning to a particular card more so than with the Rider Waite deck (for me).

But what's really nice is that when you have the corresponding cards side by side, making the connection between the two cards and their respective images really helps to clarify the meanings of the cards for me.