The most popular Tarot deck, in the English speaking world, is the Rider-Waite deck. It is also the deck that I recommend all my Tarot students start off with. I will tell you why, but first a bit of history.
In the early 1900s, mystic A.E. Waite commissioned artist Pamela Coleman Smith to illustrate his Tarot deck. Up until this point, Tarot decks were heavily Christian based and the symbols were difficult to interpret. Together with Coleman, Waite changed that and brought Tarot interpretation to the masses with the deck’s publication in 1909.
The illustrations on the Rider-Waite deck are deceptively simple, yet they are chock full of archetypal symbolism. As well, Coleman was the first to illustrate the meaning of each Minor Arcana card, making it easy for the querent (the person asking the question) to interpret the reading.
Archetypes are universally understood symbols. It doesn’t matter what your cultural background is, or your language, you understand the symbol. For example, an image of a bridge indicates crossing from one side to another. A boat indicates a journey. Everyone associates the moon with phases, and most associate it with lunacy.
If you are new to Tarot, I highly recommend starting with the Rider-Waite deck. Once you become proficient with interpreting this deck, you can easily move onto other Tarot and Oracle decks.
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The Rider-Waite deck is available through Amazon: The Original Rider Waite Tarot Pack
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