First issued in 1910, each card is rich in symbolism and striking in its design. The deck is accompanied by an invaluable instructional book, The Key to the Tarot explaining the history and usage of the tarot cards, of which there are 78 divided into the Major and Minor Arcanas.
The book can be used in conjunction with any set of tarot cards, but it was written in particular to accompany the 78-card Rider Waite tarot deck which was designed by Pamela Colman Smith in accordance with A. E. Waite's instructions.
The Key to the Tarot explains the history and symbolism of the cards and gives instructions on how to use them for purposes of divination. This edition includes a specially commissioned foreword by Liz Greene.
About the Author
Arthur Edward Waite was the designer and co-creator of the now famous Rider Waite Tarot deck. An American-born British poet and scholarly mystic, his strong interest in all esoteric matters - divination, magic, Kabbalism, alchemy and Freemasony - led to him penning a number of books. These include the Key to the Tarot, The Book of Ceremonial Magic and A New Encyclopedia of Freemasony.
About the Illustrator
Pamela Colman Smith was born in England to American parents. Her childhood years were spent between London, New York and Kingston, Jamaica. She became a theatrical designer, even collaborating with the notable W.B. Yeats on stage designs. She was an illustrator mainly of books, pamphlets and posters too. Under the guidance of A. E. 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.