Hand holding three cards from the Smith Waite tarot deck, two of cups, the chariot

The Smith Waite Tarot - Centennial Edition

Regular price $22.00 Sale

The True Tarot is Symbolism

This faithful reproduction of the original Rider-Waite Tarot deck -- illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith in 1909 -- features the traditional Rider-Waite artwork in the original colors chosen by Smith.

Includes: tin case, 78 cards and guidebook

About the Creators:

Pamela Colman Smith (16 February 1878 – 18 September 1951), nicknamed "Pixie", was a British artist, illustrator, writer, publisher, and occultist. She is best-known for illustrating the Rider–Waite tarot deck (also called the Rider–Waite–Smith or Waite–Smith deck) for Arthur Edward Waite. This tarot deck became the standard among tarot card readers and remains the most widely used today.

Arthur Edward Waite (2 October 1857 – 19 May 1942) was a British poet and scholarly mystic who wrote extensively on occult and esoteric matters and was the co-creator of the Rider–Waite tarot deck (also called the Rider–Waite–Smith or Waite–Smith deck). In The Key to the Tarot, he writes: “The true Tarot is symbolism; it speaks no other language and offers no other signs.” 

Smith and Waite drew on a number of sources as inspirations for the deck's designs. In particular, it appears that Waite took his inspiration for the trumps mainly from the French Tarot of Marseilles (although the oldest date from the 16th century, his model was possibly a Marseilles deck from the 18th century). It is not unlikely that other Marseilles-type Italian tarot decks from the 18th or 19th century were used as additional models. For the pips, it appears that Smith drew mainly on the 15th century Italian Sola Busca tarot; the 3 of Swords, for example, clearly shows the congruity between the two decks. In addition, there is evidence that some figures in the deck are portraits of Smith's friends, notably actresses Ellen Terry (the Queen of Wands) and Florence Farr (the World).