So, another round of fun tarot blog prompts, and this one deals with one of my favorite decks… Maybe even THE favorite deck? Don’t forget to visit Julia who takes the time to put it together for us every Thursday. And I’m a bit late because it’s Sunday hehe but hey, better late than never…
1. How do you feel about the Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS)?
I love it! I always have. For a very long time I could only get a hold of RWS decks with the computerized fonts, and it pissed me off! I always really liked how Pamela’s handwriting looked and really wanted one of those decks myself. While looking for it I enjoyed decks that closely followed the RWS. When someone gifted me the RWS with handwritten titles I was head over heels for it! To me the RWS just screams out “TAROT”. It’s simply THE tarot deck.
People ask me why I don’t have back-ups, and I have a few reasons… 1. I’m not made of money, hello! 2. I’m super careful with my decks and I’m overall a quite Virgo’ish person who doesn’t lose things or damage things easily. 3. If they would all fall into the ocean or burn or whatever – I’d simply go out and buy myself a good ol’ RWS and I’d be good for a while!
2. What was your beginning deck?
The Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr. It quite closely follows the RWS I’d say. I found it to be a really nice first deck. About a year later I started to work with the Robin Wood and the Universal Waite.
3. Do all beginners need to start with the RWS (or clone), in your opinion? Why/why not?
No. People who love historical art and tradition might prefer a Tarot de Marseille. People who love the look of the Thoth and adding a bunch of different “esoteric” meanings, astrological associations, and Tree of Life philosophy might prefer the Thoth. And if someone falls DEEPLY in love with a very unique deck (Mary-El, Wild Unknown, Ceccoli Tarot etc) and does not at all like the look of the RWS should really go with their strong feelings instead.
I think anyone who truly doesn’t appreciate the RWS look at all should not force themselves to use it. But if someone does not mind the artwork, and is serious about learning tarot, yes then I do think it’s a very good idea to get a good ol’ RWS and work with it. Also someone who plans on working with a lot of different decks, because it makes life easier to have gotten to know the RWS beforehand. So that’s my view, but overall I truly believe no one else can tell anyone else what is the only “right” thing to do – it must be a personal decision.