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The Radiant Rider Waite Tarot

Recoloured from the original by Virginijus Poshkus.

See pictures of this deck.

Ace of Wands

The Rider Waite deck is probably the single most recognisable tarot deck ever. It has formed the cornerstone for modern tarot for many years now, and a large number of decks owe much of their symbolism to the inspiration of the original design by Pamela Colman Smith under the direction of Arthur Edward Waite. Whilst the first design remains perennial, as tarot itself moved on the first Rider Waite began to look a little dated. It was inevitable that somebody would eventually use up-to-date methods to bring the deck into the 21st century.

The Radiant Rider Waite deck is one such attempt. Remaining completely faithful to the original drawings, this deck has been recoloured by an artist called Virginijus Poshkus, whose artwork has been employed in other card collections such as “Endangered Species of the World.”

The deck is slightly larger than the original, and feels slightly less flimsy when shuffled. All those harsh yellow tones are gone, being replace by warmer, blended tones. The hard black outlines have gone as well, giving the images a more 3-D feel.

The MoonThe Moon, for example, now has an indigo sky, and a luminous moodiness about it, which better invokes the echoing quality of the card’s interpretation. The Hermit is another card that benefits from the use of dark skies in the imagery.

The original Ace of Wands was always a design that feel short in my opinion, but the Radiant version is dramatic and forceful. The cloud from which the hand appears now seems to be churning, and the hand itself vibrates with power. That’s a bit more like an evocative Ace in my opinion.

The deck remains a really good beginner’s Tarot. All pip cards are illustrated with images which reach deep within the psyche, stimulating the subconscious. All of the arcane and magickal symbolism of the very first Rider Wait is here, presented in a fashion that is attractive and easy on the eye.

Four of WandsThe instruction booklet enclosed with the cards is surprisingly extensive, giving a detailed history of the development of tarot, and the Rider Waite in particular, though it is non-specific to the Radiant Rider Waite and appears to be the same booklet distributed with the family of variants on this deck. Divinatory meanings are also more thorough than with some decks, and are, of course backed up by the illuminating works of Rachel Pollack, who has written several books based around this deck. The best ‘starter’ is probably “Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom” which not only discusses the cards in depth but also interprets the symbolism clearly.

Review by Jan

Purchase the Radiant Rider Waite Deck.

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"The Works" Spread

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