If you have a tarot reading in the United States, or if you buy a set of tarot cards, the chances are good that the cards will be Rider Tarot Cards. This deck is officially called the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck, and it is the most popular and most widely used deck in English speaking countries. This particular deck may also be referred to as the Waite-Smith deck, the Waite-Colman Smith deck, or the Rider-Waite-Smith deck.
The History of Rider Tarot Cards
The Rider Deck was first published in 1909, and the illustrations were done by Pamela Colman Smith. The design ideas, however, came from A.E Waite, who was considered to be a mystic. The name Rider comes from the company that actually published the cards. Each of the illustrations has a certain symbolism attached to them, and these symbolisms are closely related to the symbolism attached to cards from earlier tarot cards decks.
A.E. Waite made sure that each card that had a religious connotation to it in the illustrations was changed. Originally, the Rider Tarot Card known today as the Hierophant was the Pope card. Today’s High Priestess card was originally the Papess card. Today, there is much dispute as to whether the cards are in the public domain, or if the copyright is owned by U.S. Games.
The Use of Rider Tarot Cards
Rider Tarot Cards are used extensively in the United States for fun, but also for profit. Many people claim to have the necessary mystical knowledge to properly interpret the cards, and many people believe that only certain people can handle the cards to get an accurate reading. Each deck comes with basic interpretation instructions, as well as instructions for throwing or laying out the cards for divination purposes.
Just as palm reading was popular in the sixties, seventies, and eighties, tarot card readings have become popular today. You may see many businesses around your town that exist for the sole purpose of having your tarot read. Unfortunately, because this is not a regulated science, you will have no way of knowing just how skilled or talented the person reading your tarot really is.
The Suits of Rider Tarot Cards
There are seventy eight cards that make up the Rider Tarot Cards Deck. These cards are divided into Major Arcane cards and Minor Arcane Cards. There is only one suit for the Major Arcane, but the Minor Arcane is divided into four suits. These four suits are the Wands, the Pentacles, the Cups, and the Swords.