About The Rider Waite Colman Smith Deck (Pamela Colman Smith – 1909)
The Rider-Waite tarot deck is the most popular deck used in the English-speaking world, coming second in popularity world-wide only to the classic Marseille deck. The cards were illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith from the instructions of mystic and academic A. E. Waite, and they were published by the Rider Company in 1909.
The Rider-Waite deck is unusual in that it has Strength and Justice swapped from their more usual positions of Strength XI to VIII, and Justice from VIII to XI. All of the minor cards apart from the aces depict character scenes, rather than simply being numbered pips.
The Rider-Waite deck as a simple, brightly coloured design with faint echoes of an Art Nouveau style in the simple, early 20th century illustration. The deck borrows some of its imagery from the oldest complete tarot deck, the Sola Busca.