The Rider-Waite tarot deck was originally published in 1910 and is still one of the most popular tarot decks in use for divination today. While the images are possibly perceived as simple, the details and backgrounds feature abundant symbolism. Some imagery remains similar to that found in earlier decks, but overall the Waite-Smith card designs represent a substantial departure from their predecessors. The now-iconic artwork of this deck is the illustrative work of Pamela Coleman Smith, as instructed by Mystic A.E. Waite, and is said to have been influenced by the 19th-century magician and occultist Eliphas Levi.
This is an absolute must-have deck for anyone interested in Tarot. We very often recommend starting with this Rider Waite deck for anyone just starting out. It will help you build a foundation to translate to all other Tarot Decks. A good starter complimentary book for this deck is the Ultimate Guide to the Rider Waite Tarot.
Staff Pick: "Now anyone can start learning to read tarot with whatever deck they choose and it is important to choose one that most resonates with you. However, there is just something about this particular deck that I personally view it as THE deck to learn tarot with. Pamela Colman Smith's artwork comes from an emotional, empathic place where I'm able to find endless new nuggets of wisdom whenever I use these cards. Just when you think you've learned all there is, you'll pull a card and some little detail that you never noticed before jumps out at you and reveals yet another layer she worked into these images. And that's my kind of witchcraft, a never-ending study that I never want to end." - Keisha