Tarot Thursday Three: February 16, 2017

Well, I was pretty bummed to have missed posting this week’s #tarotthursdaythree on Thursday.  I had a funky work schedule this week — worked three midnight shifts then had to switch back to the day time on Friday.  Ugh.  Needless to say my sleep patterns were a little off, which found me very sleepy on Thursday during the day and not very productive….

Anyway, here are my answers for this week’s installment of #tarotthursdaythree, hosted by Julia, and questions from me!

1.  How do you feel about the Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS)?

Basically my answer to this question inspired this set of questions.  The RWS was my first deck, but not the first one that really inspired me to learn.  (I feel like I’ve told this story a million times but now YOU GET IT AGAIN!).  I had my tarot read with a RWS deck at a Fasching/Karnival/Mardi Gras party (similar to Vanessa’s story).  My reading was done only with Majors, and I don’t even really remember what she said, but I think I got the Devil, the Hanged Man and the Tower…?  Yikes!  I was intrigued by the mysticism of tarot — I had watched this woman read strangers’ tarot all night, and everyone was impressed.  Like a good little tarot beginner, I purchased a RWS deck but ultimately put it aside for years before purchasing The Wild Unknown, which is the deck that really started my journey.

Lately, however, I’ve been connecting really well with my RWS.  Originally, I just did not connect with the RWS images.  They seemed aloof and disconnected from the daily life that I experience.  As I learned more of the card meanings, I developed a connection with the traditional symbolism of the cards.  This idea/practice is discussed also over at Julia’s and Jill’s posts.  I find that the more decks I work with, the more other decks’ images come to mind as I’m reading, particularly with the RWS, which I don’t think is bad.  This helps to remind of of the different dimensions of a particular card.  My favorite rendition is the Smith-Waite Centennial Tarot, which is just dreamy in my opinion.

Anyway, so umm yeah, lovin’ the RWS lately.

2.  What was your beginning deck?

Well, I guess I answered that above — oops!  First purchased deck was the Rider Waite Tarot Pack, but The Wild Unknown is what got me really excited to learn tarot.

3.  Do all beginners need to start with the RWS (or clone), in your opinion? Why/why not?

I am woefully under-qualified to give tarot beginners any tips….but, I would mainly recommend a beginner to look at the Rider-Waite-Smith and clones to see if they connect with any of the decks’ images.  As I know, if you’re not inspired by the art, you’re not going to be inspired to continue to learn.  If you don’t like the RWS, pick a deck that speaks to your intuition and has gorgeous art.

That being said, I feel that there are so many RWS clones that it should be easy these days to find one that a new reader can appreciate.  Furthermore, if the reader intends to make a life-long study out of tarot, starting with a RWS would be most beneficial.  So basically…..any rules here are meant to be broken *shrug*.

Well, that’s it 🙂 … I think I already linked to everyone who has done this round so far (Julia and Jill).  Let me know if you make a post and I’ll check it out!

What do you think of the RWS?  What is the ideal beginner deck in your opinion?  Let me know in the comments.

exploringly yours,
Alaina x

Author: Alaina

writer + explorer

13 thoughts on “Tarot Thursday Three: February 16, 2017”

  1. In my case, my first deck was the Mucha Tarot, a beautiful RWS based deck (but not a copy) inspired in the art of Alphonse Mucha. When I learnt how to read and make spreads I checked other decks on the internet. There were a lot that were amazing… but they didn’t have enough symbolism or they weren’t based on the RWS. I realised that I wanted a RWS, that no one was going to be more faithful than the original. We connected instantly with the first reading.

    I don’t think the RWS is necessary to start learning tarot, but it’s good to try a deck based on it that speaks to you.

    1. Wow!! That’s so cool to read how you connected so immediately with the RWS — not a story that you hear very often. I’m connecting with it, finally, years later haha!

      1. Well, I do love symbolism and arquetypes, and I felt that all the other decks just modified the message of the RWS. I’ll get other decks in the future, don’t get me wrong. But the RWS will always have a special meaning: it’s the first one of its kind.

  2. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that story so I’m glad you shared it…Again lol

    Also, I often to that too with projecting one decks image into another. For example, the Linestrider. It’s beautiful but visually too muted and it doesn’t pop enough to connect with my intuition. So I just imagine RWS and boom I’m good lol.

    1. Haha, alright cool. I just feel like I’ve typed it up quite a bit haha.

      Perfect example! I tend to bring the Fountain Tarot to mind, since I guess I know that deck pretty well, and it’s like a crosslink between all the other decks. Works out pretty ok haha.

  3. Total Centennial convert, here! But yeah, starting out, some RWS cards seemed “flat” and hard to connect with for sure (Pages – so not inspiring).

    I think it’s great to have one cards image/meaning come to mind while reading a completely different deck. Flexibility is key! Although I’ve been told never to “cross” interpretations between decks – that’s just way too rigid for me.

    1. Ugh haha YES! The Centennial is amazing.

      You’ve been told never to cross interpret (I LOVE that term!). Yikes! Who knew. Here, I thought I was doing the smart thing, ha ha. xx

  4. I am behind in my post, I also like the RWS, it was my first deck and I’m kind of glad to have started with it. The Centennial version is lovely, sadly I dont have it, but maybe one day 🙂

  5. Wonderful read. It’s funny as I can really connect with all you’ve said.

    I was brought up around tarot (although it was never explained to me properly) and so o collected decks for years. Most of these were ruined in poor storage during a house move so I kept what I had and into my later teens got occupied with other things. As an adult and in line with my training I came back to tarot. I still had my medicine woman deck but that’s a brand on its own. I never connected with the rws so I bought twu and spirit animals too. This deck had me in love and now I’m finally learning tarot. I’ve come to realise a rws would be helpful still and saw the centennial and now I’m tempted. I’ll be honest I still don’t gel with the pictures with their religious tones etc however the centennial and smiths artwork is stunning. I’m guessing I should give in and buy the deck lol. It seems many of you feel it could be beneficial.

    Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

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