The Original Rider Waite Tarot Pack

The Original Rider Waite deck is probably the most popular and easiest to recognize decks in the world. Arthur Edward Waite conceived and drew this deck to be the original real tarot deck and it is the alpha deck for all tarot readers, beginner or long time reader.

Pamela Coleman Smith was commissioned by Waite to draw the deck in 1909, and while there were other decks around, it fast became the quintessential starter deck for generations of tarot readers. The original templates were destroyed during a bombing raid during World War II. It is also the deck used most often in the movies when a tarot deck is needed in a scene.

The Key to the Rider-Waite deck was written by Waite and includes a detailed description of what each card means and why. It also gives the inverted meaning of each card in the deck, so that if shuffled properly, an inverted card has a distinct and different meaning in a reading. It is important to note, however, that most people do not shuffle tarot decks properly. In order for an inverted card to come up with a different meaning, the cards must all be facing the same way to start with, and the deck must be shuffled sideways. Otherwise you have a 50 percent chance of getting an inverted card, which means nothing and can throw the entire reading off.

The colors used to create the deck are of simple, primary colored cards and easy to understand pictures. At first glance, maybe a little too simple. But that's why the Rider Waite is such a good beginner's deck. A child could learn the meanings of each of the cards in the deck (I was given mine when I was eight) and then by studying more intently the hidden symbols and meanings which along with intuition can change the meaning of the reading. Despite a wealth of variety of decks to choose from, and a new deck created every year on someone's whim, the Original Rider Waite deck is still the best deck out there, period for the Tarot card deck enthusiast.

By L. Robyn O'Hara