Smith, Waite, and the RWS Minor Arcana

January 11th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

The Rider-Waite Smith deck is probably the most popular Tarot deck in the world. Though painted by Pamela Colman Smith, Arthur E. Waite is credited with most of the deck’s design. But is that fair?

In Mary K. Greer’s upcoming webinar, she’ll be investigating whether or not Waite should be given as much credit for the deck as he actually gets.

Though the famed occultist clearly had a specific plan for the Major Arcana, what about the images in the Minor cards? They were some of the first Tarot Minors to be illustrated with actual scenes in them rather than simply suit symbols.

How did they come about and whose idea were they? Pamela Colman Smith’s?

These are some of the questions Greer will be exploring in Secrets and Sources of the Rider-Waite Smith Minor Arcana.

The two-part class will be offered through Global Spiritual Studies and will be live January 24th and 31st at 9:00 pm ET (6:00 pm PT). It will be available afterwards on download and DVD.

Check out Greer’s blog, or go directly to the Global Spiritual Studies site to learn more.

Hope to see you there!

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The Rider Waite Smith Tarot

November 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Below is a short video describing the history of the Rider Waite Smith Tarot.

It’s kind of interesting, and certainly makes clear how important illustrating the Tarot pips was to the development of Tarot reading.

With practice, everyone can learn to read the symbols found in earlier decks like the Visconti-Sforza and the Tarot of Marseille.

But Arthur Waite’s decision to use descriptive pictures throughout the minor arcana made it easy for even first time users to do a reading. And to begin to understand the philosophy buried within the cards.

The RWS deck, accompanied by Waite’s Pictorial Key to the Tarot, opened Tarot up to everyone, not just those who were members of secret magical societies.

I think Waite was interested in much more than just ‘peering into the future’ as this piece seems to suggest, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

Through their deck, Arthur Waite and artist Pamela Colman Smith made an enormous contribution to Tarot. They really changed everything.

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Some Animated Tarot

January 15th, 2011 § 2 comments § permalink

Check out this sweet video.

Nisamohi put together an animated Tarot tale with images from the Rider Waite Smith deck and the song Break the Spell by Ellis.

I like it.

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Susan and the Mermaid

December 8th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Here’s a holiday gift for every Tarot lover’s list!

Susan and the Mermaid is the rediscovered tale of a magic ring, an underwater kingdom, and a wise old woman who knew how to make her granddaughter’s dreams come true. And if that’s not enough to entice you …. it was written and illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith!

Of course Tarot readers around the world know Smith as the illustrator of the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot, perhaps the most widely used deck in the world. But did you know she was a writer? In fact, by the time she was twenty, Smith had already published three critically acclaimed books.

Susan and the Mermaid was first published in 1912, three years after the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. It appeared in the Christmas edition of The Delineator, a woman’s magazine meant for mothers and their children.

This new edition reproduces the original text and images. It also provides a close-up look at dozens of full-colour illustrations Smith created to accompany the story. It looks great.

Thank you Corrine Kenner for posting this video. I can’t wait to get a copy of the book!

listen hear to Corrine Kenner on Beyond Worlds

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