This deck DOES NOT come with a printed guide.However, FREE instruction is readily available.Search GOOGLE or YOUTUBE and you will find a treasure trove of information.Or click the link we provided above, and read the ORIGINAL guide published by Arthur Edward Waite himself in 1910.Waite's guide is available to read online FREE, courtesy of the Internet Archive.Public domain books like this one are made available by the Internet Archive (Archive.org), and you can use their handy online viewer to flip through the book, page by page.
Perhaps the best known, easiest to read, most recognizable and best-selling tarot deck of all time!
Tarot decks have been in popular use since at least 1440, originating in Italy as a variation on traditional playing cards. Cards were not only used for gaming, but also for "fortune telling", as they were familiar items to most people.
Traditionally, the 56 Minor Arcana cards looked very much like the card decks we use today, with pips and number values.Only the 22 Major Arcana cards were illustrated.Learning to "read" the tarot deck required a lot of study and memorization, as the reader had to remember the "meaning of a Four of Wands versus an Eight of Swords, for example.In 1909, artist Pamela Coleman Smith, under the direction of scholar and occultist Arthur Edward Waite, created the first fully illustrated tarot deck, maning that ALL the cards, both the Major and the Minor Arcana, were fully illustrated with all different, and meaningful, artwork.The pictorial images on all the cards allow interpretations without the need to repeatedly consult an explanatory guide.The reader can just look at the pictures!
The story of the creators of this deck, Pamela Coleman Smith and Arthur Edward Waite, is fascinating as well.Recently, Pamela Colemen Smith was recognized for her contributions to the world of art during a museum show in New York.READ ABOUT PAMELA COLEMAN SMITH AND THE SHOW HERE
Pamela Colman Smith
Born February 16, 1878, in Middlesex, England to American parents, Smith's childhood years were spent between London, New York, and Kingston, Jamaica. During her teens, she traveled throughout England with the theatre company of Ellen Terry and Henry Irving. Thereafter, she began formal art training at Pratt Institute of Brooklyn, graduating in 1897. Smith returned to England, where she became a theatrical designer for miniature theatre, and an illustrator -- mainly of books, pamphlets and posters. Around 1903, she joined the Order of the Golden Dawn. In 1909, under the guidance of Arthur Edward Waite, she undertook a series of seventy-eight allegorical paintings described by Waite as a rectified tarot pack. The designs, published in the same year by William Rider and Son, exemplify the mysticism, ritual, imagination, fantasy, and deep emotions of the artist.
Arthur Edward Waite
Also born in America, in 1857, Waite was raised and educated as a Catholic in England. Beginning at the age of 21, Waite pursued research and writing on psychical and esoteric matters. Soon after joining the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, he became the Grand Master, and redirected the focus of the order from magic to mysticism. The Golden Order, whose structural hierarchy was based on the Kabbalah, is considered the single greatest 20th century influence on the occult. Waite was a prolific author of occult texts, works on the Holy Grail, and the body of mystical knowledge, which comprises the basis of modern Tarot. He is best known as the co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck and author of its companion volume The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, first published in 1910.
Cards come in the box you see in the product photo.Cards are the standard size for tarot cards- approximately 2.75" x 4.75".Printed on heavyweight semigloss stock.