Designed by Arthur Edward Waite, executed by Pamela Colman Smith


Ideologies: Golden Dawn (minus pip cards), pips replaced by scenes, alchemical partnership, readings using reversals, switching the traditional key8 with key11

Released in 1909 by Rider, this deck became popularly known as the Rider-Waite, despite the fact the cards were actually created by Pamela Colman-Smith. Back in the day, it was not commonplace for a commissioned artist to be credited for their work. Modern readers commonly refer to this deck as the RWS (Rider-Waite-Smith) today, in honour of the deck’s artist.

The RWS Tarot is unquestionably the most popular and influential deck in history. In fact, most people consider this one not to be merely a tarot, but the tarot. The vast majority of readers begin by learning this deck. Waite decided to revolutionize the Tarot by removing the pip cards in favour of picture cards showing scenes, kind of like how comic strips tell a story.





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