Why I Usually Work With The Rider Waite

Most of the time, I use a Rider Waite Tarot deck (yes it should be called the Smith deck, but that’s another post). Partly because it is the most common deck and the deck that has had more artists base their interpretations on than any other. This allows for a very important level of congruence. In other words if you work with a Rider deck its easier to understand a variety of other decks.

Is the Rider deck “best”? I know of a great many readers who find it flimsy, stale or not their cup of tea. Its like (very much like) comparing apples to oranges or better yet a Mac to a PC. PCs are probably not the better system – BUT they went into greater use. Same as Beta to VHS.

I use a Rider because it is fluent to the needs of what I have to work with, it illustrates well. I believe the artist, Pamela Coleman Smith, was a gifted illustrator. Although the Rider is not as artistically pleasing as say the Arthurian Tarot, doing a reading for Jane Q. Public with the Arthurian Tarot would be like (again this is JUST me) reading the weather in Arthurian English;
“thy skies will be cloudy, but verily there is a wilde storm front…zounds!”

I generally recommend the Rider, not because it is “the best”, but because it is an operating system that will allow a person to move into other decks or operating systems most congruently. I wouldn’t recommend learning English for international use from someone who spoke largely in Cockney slang.


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