This edition, distinguished by its subtle, muted color tones, is an indispensable addition to any tarot collection. The bright, primary colors seen in the familiar 1909 version of Rider Waite® Tarot deck published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. have been returned to their original palette exemplified in the Arts and Crafts style of the early 20th century. For example, the pale blue backgrounds seen in The Star and the Wheel of Fortune cards are presented here as minty green. Tarot aficionados will be pleased to see that the card backs have been restored to their original design of Tudor roses and lilies in pale blue.
The Original Rider Waite Tarot Pack includes a Celtic Cross card-spread guide and an updated version of The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, written by Arthur Edward Waite. This new edition includes a thoughtful foreword by Liz Greene, who not only places tarot in a historical context, but also situates it in a broader context. She describes tarot as "a series of pictorial portrayals of the archetypal human life-journey."
In 1909, Arthur Edward Waite encouraged Pamela Colman Smith to produce a tarot deck with appeal to the world of art that would have significance behind the symbols, and thus make the deck more important than tarot packs previously used for centuries. The result was the unique Rider Waite Tarot deck which has endured as the world's most popular 78-card tarot deck. The innovative cards, including the 56 Minor Arcana, depict full scenes with figures and symbols. This featured, combined with Pamela Smith's ability to capture the subtleties of emotion and experience, has made the Rider Waite Tarot the basis for the designs of many 20th Century packs. The Original Rider Waite Tarot Pack is a facsimile edition originally printed from plates that were destroyed during the bombing of London during World War II. The deck and book set comes complete and in full-color with original Tudor Rose back design, Celtic Cross divinatory chart, and The Key to the Tarot by Arthur Waite. --Midwest Book Review