Rider Waite Tarot Deck
Being one of the classic tarot foundation decks, many decks are based on the Rider Waite Tarot Deck. It was the first deck made available to the general public when tarot broke out of the closet so many years ago. It’s a full deck of 78 cards. There is no shortage of spreads for the Rider deck and they’ve been adapted to any question you want answered. All of this together makes this one of the most versatile tarot decks available today.
The Rider deck isn’t always known as the most mild deck that you’ll find today, but then, life isn’t always just sunshine either.
The Rider deck uses uprights and full reversals for all the cards. Some people aren’t very fond of reversals, but the thing to remember is, not all reversals are negative in the Rider deck. You should also realize that not all uprights are positive. The Five of Cups, in the book I use, is a good example – upright meaning – disappointment, sorrow, vain regret (pretty grim actually). The reversal though – Return of enjoyment, an old friend. Hopeful expectations. (much better!
There is a great deal of symbolism included in the images of the cards, which is true for most tarot decks. Not all the symbols will be prominent in a reading, some may stand out from others depending on the question. Sometimes a symbol brings a surprising element to a reading.
Rider Waite was the first deck I owned when I started with tarot a lot of years ago. There have been a few changes over the years. For me, one of the most important is the different card meanings from one book to another. You can find several books on the Rider deck and there are differences between them. In some books the differences are slight, and in others you’ll find the differences are much greater.
I use “A Complete Guide to the Tarot” by Eden Gray when I do readings using the Rider Deck. There isn’t any right or wrong with the guides that are used, a reader will use a guide they connect with. We all put in some of our personality, and attitudes with any readings we do.
Within the 78 cards you have 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana.
22 Major Arcana
The Major Arcana begins with 0 – The Fool – and moves through to 21 – The World. The Major Arcana represent stronger influences around you, sometimes on a cosmic level. They relate to your life journey and can be connected to events that will mark milestones for you.
56 Minor Arcana
Minor Arcana deal with everyday circumstances, and can be influenced by choices you make. Being ‘minor’ doesn’t mean they are less important or can’t have a great impact on your life. They are numbered 1 though 10 and have Ace, Page, Knight, Queen and King.
There are four suits in the Minor Arcana
Wands – animation, energy and growth. Associated with ideas and creation. The element is fire.
Cups – love, happiness. The subconscious mind and instincts. The element is water.
Swords – boldness, courage, conflict, strife, aggression. It can also represent hatred, battle, and enemies. The element is air.
Pentacles – money, acquisition, fortune, profession. The element is earth.
The Rider Waite Tarot Deck is a trusted deck for doing all kinds of readings. If you really don’t know what deck to pick for your reading the Rider Deck is one of the classics.