About Rider-Waite

Believed to have originated in 14th Century Italy, Tarot is an old trick-capturing card game like Spades or Euchre. The Tarot was adapted by occultists in the 19th Century, transitioning into a popular oracle for fortune-tellers in the 20th Century. Some claim the tarot cards have far more ancient roots.

The Rider-Waite deck was conceived by A.E. Waite and executed by artist Pamela Colman-Smith shortly after the turn of the 20th Century. It was published by Rider, hence the name. This deck is sometimes referred to as the Rider-Waite-Smith, or RWS for short, to pay tribute to the deck’s artist.

The RWS is perhaps the best (and certainly the most common) deck for beginners to read with. Read about the cards in Waite’s guidebook to the Tarot: The Pictorial Key to the Tarot.