90% of the time when the Death card comes up in a reading it normally speaks about a metaphorical death or some other ending, transition or change in your life. However there is 10% of the time when it actually means Death. Now regarding this 10% it will not tell you that you will die or someone will die, it will often be referring to how a death has impacted you.
So how will you know?
The other night I was doing readings for people, doing the celtic cross for a man the center cards of the spread were Death crossed by the Queen of Swords. My first reaction was to say ’did a woman die?”. The reason I said this was Death paired with court cards can be indicating the death of a person. There was a woman whom this man worked with that passed away. I began to use descriptive words about this woman using qualities of the Queen of Swords to verify it was her and the man validated that these qualities represented the woman who passed.
There are other ways to interpret this combination of cards however my gut reacted before my brain could say something and pin pointed the death of woman, instead of going into “spiritual mode” where you abstract the cards from more mundane events.
The lesson here? Death can mean death sometimes, often when paired with a court card (people cards) and go with your gut reaction. You will know when it represents death and when it does not.
There is a great little tip/trick in tarot that can come in handy when you want to explore an issue through a different view point. It is using two (or more) decks in a spread. Pulling one card from each deck for each of the positions in a spread. Or using one deck for one side of the spread and another deck for another view on a second section of the spread. It is up to you, I don’t use this technique often but when the opportunity comes its way I will whip out another deck along with my Rider Waite to really spice things up.
Recently I had a client come to me with a few questions, one of the question had to do with their spiritual path. With my client’s permission I am going to share with you the question, reading and response. This will allow you to see my process, the technique in work and the response/feedback from the client. The client’s name has been changed to “Joe” for anonymity.
Their question was “Where am I going regarding my spirituality?”
For this question I will be using two decks to explore this issue. I will be using the Osho Zen Tarot which is the deck I use for matters such as this in combination with a traditional Rider Waite Smith deck. There will be four positions in this spread, which was made custom for this question and you got some very interesting cards showing up here!
1- Where am I spiritually at the moment?
2- Where should I be heading, spiritually?
3- What lesson am I here to learn?
4- How will I achieve this?
1- Where am I spiritually at the moment?
Osho Zen – Success & Rider Waite Smith – The High Priestess
The card “success” depicts a image where a person rides a lion in great joy and victory. There is a parade. All is well and happy. The lesson in this card is about enjoying the high (the peak of life or any moment) but understanding that a low comes after it and that we should also welcome the low periods as well. We cannot live always in a intense level of energy all the time. We need to have the balance of the low to relax us. The High Priestess shows us that you are listening or trying to listen to your inner voice. Be it through meditation or trying to recall and understand your dreams. This card is a psychic card and deals with everything of the unconscious. Together these two cards paint an image where I feel that spiritually you are focusing on your inner self while at the same time it is difficult because you also have your attention on other things in life (the “success” card). But it is a good start you are trying to find your inner guide and trying to silence and still yourself which is a good start. I just feel you should try and put more effort into things that could help you get in touch more with yourself.
Client Response -
I found it to be quite accurate. I am in a place of listening to myself and trying to find a “niche” as it were. You are correct that I have allowed other parts of my life to supersede my spiritual growth.
2- Where should I be heading, spiritually?
Osho Zen – Understanding & Rider Waite Smith – The Tower
I just love this combination! Wow, ok so we have here “understanding” and The Tower which is basically saying that you need to shift the very fundamental and foundations of what you believe in and how you understanding spirituality and the path you live or want to live. The card “understanding” shows us doves flying free away from a cage or some jail which is actually illusionary. It signals a new beginning of understandings and freedom. Think of the jail or cage as your current situation or framework of understanding life, god, ect and the bird as your soul. It is leaving the cage, becoming free from the confinements its been stuck in for a long time. Likewise The Tower is resonating a similar theme, The Tower shakes us to our core, it rids us of false beliefs, or strongly held ideas which we built our lives on. The Tower says you will need to rid these tightly held beliefs and this process won’t be easy it will be hard and you will feel like everything is lost. When we question everything we thought to be true it can cause a panic and a period where everything feels like it’s falling a part but what good spiritual growth is not painful? Real spiritual growth is hard and painful and through this destruction of the old it leave room for new beliefs to be developed. Overall these two cards speak about new understanding and liberation/freedom from things which hinder you.
Client Response -
The funny thing about this is that I don’t think I have been holding onto religious beliefs but rather telling myself that what I want to believe is “tacky” and will be judged by others – in other words, I believe that what my heart truly desires is “wrong”. This is where the story starts… I practiced wicca more than ten years ago. I dabbled, wasn’t too serious about it. Since then I have studied every religion except for wicca again, but my heart never left it. I’ve just avoided it and tried to be a fantasy writer so I could tap into that side of what I always wanted.
3- What lesson am I here to learn?
Osho Zen – Laziness & Rider Waite Smith The Emperor
The card “laziness” implies that just when you think you made it, that you have arrived and nothing more can be done that now it is time to sit back and relax there is in fact more to be done! lol There is always more to be done, your never “finished” when it comes to the spiritual. When you become lazy and say to yourself you have no more energy to do anything you really do have it. The lesson you are to learn here is not to be complacent with life, always do more. The Emperor comes in really as the issue or problem that we see in the “laziness” card, The Emperor is not lazy but what these two cards have in common is a desire to create something that is fixed or unmovable. The Emperor is fixed in one place and has an established way of living and does not want to flex, bend or change. Change is something The Emperor does not welcome and much like in the “laziness” card it also does not want to change, because it thinks well, why change? I have arrived, all is well! Again with The Emperor a lesson to learn is that that nothing is permanent. If you look at both cards they are similar, both figures are siting on on a throne of their creation. Granted the “laziness” card is much more comical but they both say, your lesson is to not become fixed in on spot, do not get complacent and to do more.
Client Response -
Correct, I don’t want to change because it means I have to question my entire belief system around what I have created for myself. I have reached my throne. (or so I thought)… I did begin studying all religion very aggressively this last year; however, open to whatever may come but thinking more “academically” rather than “practicing”. As you say, I would have to challenge my entire way of living if I listened to my heart and followed what I believe to be my true spiritual path.
4- How will I achieve this?
‘Beyond Illusion” is a heavy duty card in this deck and really goes sums everything up for your reading. This card is about going beyond the illusions of the material world and coming into contact with consciousness. Do not look outside for truth and reality, you need to look inside for these. If you loom without, you become caught up in judgments, of what is right or wrong, good, bad and between wants and desires. This leads us right into “The Lovers” which is a card which represented desires, this card does represent sexual temptation and desire among other things like choices and decisions. However it is the desires and sexual nature of this card which I feel is really being expressed here because the “Beyond Illusions” card speaks about removing the outer world and its judgments, The Lovers when looked at it’s sexual/desire expression represents this outer world of desire and judgments quite perfectly. Another astonishing connection between these two cards is doubt. Traditionally, The Lovers also symbolized doubt (between choices) and Beyond Illusion says that doubt is a gift, it allows us to doubt the illusions of the material world. So to tie this in two card two, the tower and understanding…. Once you doubt what you believe in, then you will enter in the time of spirtual awakening and upheaval that leads to better understanding.
Client Response -
What will stick with me is “removing the outer world and it’s judgements” and yes “doubt”, “sexual desire” (also something I connect with spiritually and as I have ignored my spiritual growth my sexual life has been unrewarding because I don’t feel a spiritual connection with previous partners). You said “once you doubt what you believe in, then you will enter in the time of spiritual awakening and upheaval”. This is exactly it, I need to doubt my beliefs around pagans.
Client Overall Response
Since this reading I have decided to be open to my roots in paganism. I am a lover of the earth and in my heart I know I am a pagan. I can’t deny it any longer, during this; however, I also realized that paganism is not likely the only path for me so I am going to mix in pieces of other practices that truly call to me. I feel like it’s the dawning of a new spiritual chapter in my life. I am going to change the image of wiccan from “woo-woo” so that it can work in the business professionals life. I have set up an alter and ordered some books and supplies. I’m truly ready to honour myself… I will not be a stereotype but truly challenge the “image” of wicca/paganism.
As we have seen, the technique of adding a second deck to the reading was able to reveal additional information while at the same time both decks were reflecting each other in meanings and stitching together a fuller picture of what was going on.
So how do you answer a question that seeks a Yes or No? This is a touchy subject because some readers think you should not answer questions directly as a yes or no…. Remember my post on the Oracle of Delphi, she never answered things as Yes or No. If you pushed her for one, then bad things happened lol
Well if you want to answer a yes / no question with tarot there are methods of doing this. This method comes from “Tarot: Prediction and Divination” by Susyn Blair-Hunt
I was lucky enough to be a part of a great collaborative work called Tarot Turn started by Marcus Katz (Tarot Professionals & Tarot-Town.com). Tarot Turn is a comprehensive book on tarot reversals. Those who are a part of the project were given a tarot card which you need to pair with the remaining 77 cards of the deck and form an interoperation. I was given the 2 of Cups Reversed (and someone else was given the 2 of Cups upright) paired with all reversed cards. The project was amazing to do and a good exercise in reversals. With reversals on my mind I wanted to write this blog on reversed cards and share the popular views and my three main ways to read a reversed card.
Oh reversed tarot cards! This is one subject that can get tarot readers all fired up. Should we use reversals? Whats the point of them? Are they useful? If I don’t use them am I less of a reader as someone who does use them? There are two schools of thought when it comes to reversed cards.
This camp believes reversed cards are useful and should be used or that it would be good for readers to use them. The normal idea is that reversed cards add another layer of meaning and another level of experience with the cards. Reversed cards can indicate something that needs special attention. Something that should jump up and go “HEY LOOK! I AM REVERSED, SOMETHING IS UP. GO FIGURE IT OUT!!” As Mary K Greer explains in her book “Tarot Reversals” a reversed tarot card is a “red flag”. This side of the argument would say the reversed cards are act as the missing pieces to the puzzle. Reversed cards give more info and details to the reading that an upright card might not be able to express or represent in the same way. Ok this seems all good, what about the other side?
This camp believes that reversed card are not necessary. All possible meanings positive or negative can be expressed by an combination of upright cards. It is also believed that reversed cards just add more meanings to remember. Let’s say you can remember 3 things about each card. With 78 cards in the deck that would be 234 meanings for upright cards only. Adding reversals gives a total of 468 meanings. This argument concludes that adding reversals only adds more to remember and is an overload of information to remember. Readers who read with upright cards only have there own system of indicating trouble spots that a reversed card does. Instead of reversed cards, a card when near a card that is elementally incompatible will make the card ill-dignified. I currently do not look at the elements (at least no consciously lol) when determining when a card is ill-dignified. I look at the image of the card. For example, The Sun will override all negative cards. So The Sun next to the 9 of Swords would signal that the “Light will shine through the sorrow and grief”.
Does it make you a better reader?
Personally I do not think using reversals makes you a “better reader”. What makes a good reader is not in the position of a card but how the reader uses what is laid out to the fullist extent. This can be done with or without reversals. It comes down to personal preference and what you feel is right for you. If you are going to use reversals you are going to need to determine how you will read a reversed card.
How to read a reversal
There as many ways to read a reversals as you have fingers on your hand. In my book “Tarot: Unlocking The Arcana” I list 8 ways to look at a reversed card which I feel are useful. However in this blog I will share with you the 3 ways that I personally connect with and use in my understanding of reversals (if and when I use them) and for ill-dignified cards. I use all three of these methods as possible expressions and I need to figure out which is being expressed when I see a card is ill-dignified or reversed.
THREE WAYS TO READ A REVERSAL
1) Opposite – This would be opposite of the upright meaning. This would make “negative” cards lean towards a “positive” meaning and the same vice versa. Example: 9 of Swords. Would go from worry and grief into healing.
2) Extreme – This would take the energy of the card and show it’s most extreme level. Example: 4 of Pentacles. Would go from material protection and saving into hording and greed.
3) Blocked/Weak – This would take the energy of the card and make it blocked/hard to obtain. The normal upright meaning still applies but at a lower influence. Example: 8 of Pentacles. You work hard but are having trouble focusing and details are overlooked.
Where do you stand?
Now that all the information and opinions have been provided where do you stand? Which do you choose? Reversed or Upright? The answer is not the simple and you can always bounce around between using and not using reversals. I have bounced back and forth between using reversals and not using them. Currently I have not been using reversals (for a long time now). However I can always use them if I wanted to. I like to keep thing simple and use only upright cards. I recommend that you play around with reversals, see if you like using them. Figure out which method of expression fits you best and go with it. If you don’t want to use them that totally fine.
100% accuracy guaranteed!
Sorry but no reading/reader is 100% accurate. Stay away from anyone who claims they are 100% accurate. It is very rare for a reader to give a reading or prediction that is 100% on spot with every detail. Most people have a romanticized idea that psychics and tarot readers are these beings that can’t be wrong. We must always be right. If this was true we would not be human. Since we are human we will make errors and be wrong however a skilled reader will have a higher percentage of accuracy in the reader.
There are however times when readings are freaky accurate and predictions come true exactly was the reading says. One of my early experiences with tarot reading was like this. I started reading tarot at 13 and when I was in the 10th grade I tested the cards. I wanted to see what they were capable of. I wanted to see if they could predict a test grade for my math class. I found a website that associated a number with each card. It was weird number associations I never heard of and I don’t have the website anymore but any way I created a formula where I picked out a few cards, added up the values associated with them and divided by the number of cards. The number that resulted from this was 84. That sounded good to me. I took the test and when I got the grade back it was 84! I was shocked and amazed, the tarot was correct! This in my eyes was proof that tarot was for real.
Another experience I had with tarot when I was young and still learning was on the more negative side. I was reading the cards for a friend at school, she asked about her relationship with her boyfriend. She wanted to know how things would be like in 6 months. I pulled The Tower. I said, that in 6 months something dramatic and bad would happen. 6 months later her boyfriend was hit buy a car and killed. Not one of my predictions I am proud of but a accurate one non the less. This reading was all a good example that Death does not have to come up to show an actual death. The Tower was a more suitable card because the event was sudden and traumatic. The Death card is slower and more peaceful in contrast.
How do you get most accurate reading possible?
Don’t doubt your inner voice! If you have something to say that may seem out of the blue you should say it. These out of the blue thoughts are actually psychic! They may provide valuable information. So just say it.
Be open to the cards and the message coming through. Do not come to the cards with any preferred outcome or bias towards an outcome that you desire. It will taint your reading. Let your heart and guy guide you in the reading.
Tarot works in its own mysterious way and if a message is strong enough and clear enough it will be known to you. These readings will be “clear as day” and will make perfect sense.
Practice and practice. The more you work with your cards the more in tune you become with them and the easier you can make better predictions.
The first time I heard about deck trimming (cutting off the borders) I was horrified! How could you take a blade to your tarot deck? It seemed to me at the time the closest thing to heresy. However when I saw how a deck looked without the borders I was amazed. My opinion changed in a second. The images become more clear, powerful and bold (depending on the deck of course).
After seeing my fellow tarot readers starting to trim their decks and posting photos online it made me want to give it another go. The first time I trimmed a deck (Universal Waite) it failed. I had to replace the deck. I recently tried again and the deck came out too small, another ruined deck! So now I am on my third Universal Waite deck. My main problem was the cutting the corners. The corner rounded I used was too large and thus too much of the corner was cut,
I took Donnaleigh de LaRose’s advice and used the same tool she uses to cut her corners. I began work on my Druidcraft Tarot and it came out amazing. Here are some photos.
The Druidcraft Tarot is a very large deck and many readers have trouble holding and shuffling the deck. Removing the borders makes the deck smaller and easier to shuffle.
They look down right amazing now,
To see the difference here is the deck with the borders. Images courtesy to Donnaleigh de LaRose
Why would you want to cut the borders off your deck? Size could be the issue, like the Druidcraft Tarot. But normal size decks can use a trimming to. If you are like me and you read the cards together as a one image story (I.S.I.S Method) than a trimmed deck will allow the images to flow and connect with each other better, without the separation of the borders.
So are you ready to cut your deck?
First you need a paper cutter.
I use this X-ACTO paper cutter
You will also want a corner rounder, you don’t want pointy decks, Ouch!! This rounder is really good, Donnaleigh and I use it.
This is the process. From bordered to de-borded.
I also want to send you to Donnaleigh’s blog post of cutting decks as well and she has videos on cutting the deck which you should watch.
The wacky world of Tarot reversals is a controversial subject among Tarot readers. The views and opinions on how to read them differ. Some readers do not use them at all. First let’s look at why we would or would not want to use reversals. Then I will discuss some ways to read reversed cards.
The Missing Piece
One side of the argument is that reading reversals provides a way to get more information out of the cards. By not using them we may only be getting half the story. Like a puzzle, reversed cards help fill in missing parts to reveal a complete picture. A reversed card adds new meanings for a new level of awareness. This is just one side of the story and there are two sides to all stories, Tarot included.
Reversals are Redundant
For those readers who don’t use reversed cards the reasons come down some of the following. One such reason for not using reversed cards is that you have to remember more meanings about each card. Tarot decks have 78 cards and let’s say you can remember 3 things about each card. That would be 234 meanings for upright cards only. Adding reversals gives a total of 468 meanings. This argument concludes that adding reversals only adds more to remember and is an overload of information to remember.
Another view that some readers hold is that upright cards hold all there is to know about the cards. Good and bad, reversed card are not needed. Reversals can be confusing as some readers argue. Is the tower reversed a sign or relief or a massive disaster? How are we to know what the reversed card is supposed to mean?
How to read a reversed card?
Historically reversed cards have been seen as either a negative turn of the cards from of the normal meanings, or the opposite of its normal. For modern views on reversals let’s see what some of the prominent readers and authors have to say on the topic.
Mary K. Greer, in her book, The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals explains that a reversed card is a “red flag”. Something is not right and needs attention. Taking this from Ms. Greer, I want you to see a red flag to pop over the card and you should hear an alarm go off in your mind. Ms. Greer goes on in her book to show her 12 ways to read reversals. I won’t list them all and won’t go deep into the details them, buy the book for that it’s worth it.
1. Blocked or Resisted – The normal energy is blocked, repressed, rejected etc.
2. Projected – projecting denied material onto others.
3. Delayed, Difficult, Unavailable
4. No or Not (the upright meaning): Lacking – You can reface a standard upright meanings with “no” or “not”. This is a common view on seeing reversed cards as a direct opposite.
Joan Bunning, in her book, Learning Tarot Reversals explains that reversed cards can be seen in three phases. Picture a roller coaster as it is going up, reaches the top and rolls down. Ms. Bunning does not agree with the “no” or “not” view on reversed cards as mentioned above. She says that a reversed card keeps “its essential nature” and does not become opposite. The three phases talked about in Ms. Bunning’s book are
Absent – Energy of the card is absent.
Early phase – It has not been developed. It is weak, but is gaining influence.
Late phase – Energy is on the decline. It is losing power.
Janina Renee talks about reversals in her book, Tarot for a New Generation. She views reversed cards as “having pretty much the same meanings and potential as an upright card, but they are interpreted as being more questionable, more uncertain as having some difficulty in fully expressing their energies…their expression is milder, more low-key”.
One of my favorite and most interesting ways to read reversed cards comes from Thirteen’s introduction to reversals, here on Aeclectic Tarot. Thirteen describes three common ways a reversed card is seen. Two of which we already know about: opposite and blocked. The third way to read reversed cards is “upside down image” which is described as “where you re-interpret the image given that it is upside-down.” Examples are given, “upright cups are now spilled, and that man in the Ten of Swords – he’s actually worse off than when he was upright. Upright, the swords are all in his back – the nightmare had ended, it is over and done with. Reversed, he’s on top of them sinking down to their hilts – it’s a lingering end, drawn out and torturous. Reading Thirteen’s reverse meanings can bring new interpretations into Tarot reversals.
These are just some ways to read reversed cards. It’s your job as the reader to choose whether or not you wish to use reversed cards and how you want to read them. If you are new my advice is to stick to the upright cards to keep things simple. When I started out using Tarot I bounced back and forth from using them to not using them. Now for the majority of the time I use reversals. Sometimes however I get into a mood where I don’t want to read them, because I find them somewhat bothersome. As I always say there are no laws to Tarot reading, just ideas and suggestions. If you do not want to use them you may want to shuffle the deck in a way so they don’t come up, or when they do come up reversed just turn them upright!
Mirrors have always caught my attention as something special. They hold to them a profound mystery and magic. They never lie; they show the truth in their reflections. We may try to cover up what we wish but there is no fooling a mirror. After watching the movie “Mirrors” among making me poop my pants got me wanting to do some research.
Mirrors can be used as a magical tool for spells and a form of divination called “scrying”. You may know scrying as gazing, such as with a crystal ball the most popular method. Another popular method is mirror scrying. Scrying can be described as “an auto-deepening trance process that progresses in stages using tools such as a crystal ball, or other medium. Initially, the medium serves as a focus for the attention, removing unwanted thoughts from the mind in the same way as a mantra. Once this is achieved, the scryer begins a free association with the perceived images suggested, for instance in a crystal ball, by the tiny inclusions, web-like faults and/or the cloudy glow within the ball under low light (i.e. candlelight)”.
Mirrors superstitions and lore are vast. We all know about 7 years bad luck for breaking a mirror. The root of this superstation comes from the belief that mirrors reflect the soul and by breaking a mirror with your reflection on it breaks a part of the soul. It would take seven years for the soul to be whole again. It was the Romans who attributed the seven years bad luck to their belief that life renewed itself every seven years.
Mirrors and death lore are very common. If a mirror falls it means someone is going to die within a year. A new born baby is not supposed to see it’s reflection for 1 year, or it would die. Souls becoming trapped in a mirror are a main reason for this belief. The covering of mirrors is done for many reasons. You may cover a mirror while you are asleep or ill so that the soul would not get trapped while it is out “traveling”. When someone dies mirrors are covered so their soul would not be trapped. A quite interesting and honestly scary tradition comes from Bulgaria. They cover mirrors in the house of someone who died because they believed that the soul of someone looking into a mirror of the house could be taken by the person who died. The mirrors would stay covered until after burial. (2) An ancient Hebrew tradition with the demon Lilith (the first wife of Adam) says that Lilith possesses woman by entering them by mirrors.
Mirrors are said to be able to keep ghosts away or remove them, so it is said that if a house is haunted placing a mirror in each room behind the door (Mirror facing the door) will cause the ghost to be scared by its own reflection.
The most famous mirror lore would have to be “Bloody Mary”. It is believed that a spirit would appear in the mirror after saying her name three times. In some versions of the story, the summoner must say, “Bloody Mary, I killed your son!” or “I killed your baby.” In these variants, Bloody Mary is often believed to be the spirit of a mother (often a widow) who murdered her children, or a young mother whose baby was stolen from her, which made her go mad in grief and she eventually committed suicide.
Magic mirrors have made their appearances in pop cultural. Such as the fairy tale of Snow White, whose evil step mother would ask her Magic mirror the ever famous line of “mirror mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?” In the 1st Harry Potter movie there features a magic mirror called “The Mirror of Erised”. The mirrors magic would reflect the inner most desires of a person. Erised is desire spelled backwards.
Tarot is often looked at as a mirror to the soul. The deck reflects back to you what the reality is, mirrors don’t lie. They reflect truth. We use tarot to gain insight and wisdom that is truthful. Here is my favorite spread inspried by mirrors. It is great for reflection ;)
1.Holding the Mirror (Foundation – what I’ve brought to this moment in my life)
2. Dark Mirror Image (Dark self – flaws I need to address)
3. Bright Mirror Image (Bright self – potential I need to use)
4. Breaking the Mirror (Obstacle – What do I hang on to that I need to shatter so I can move on?)
5. Looking in the mirror (How I see myself)
6. Looking out of the mirror (How I see others)
7. Mirror, Mirror On The Wall (The final piece of advice)
8. Reflections (How others see me)
9. Missing Piece (What do I overlook about myself?)
It has become a new obsession of mine trying to find vintage tarot decks. There is something about an old deck that is more special to me than a newer version. I spend a good amount of time searching ebay.com for old decks, rare decks, out of print decks. I will try and find anything hard to get or just a vintage deck, so far I have four vintage Rider Waite deck. I also have a rider waite deck from 10 years ago (first deck) and the newer printed version. You can never have too many rider decks in my opinion.
But why do I have four vintage rider waite decks? I am unhappy with the current production of the Rider Waite deck. US Games produces the Rider Waite deck and many or not all of the decks they make now are printed in Italy. Ok Italian you know how to make great food, but you don’t make great tarot cards. The cards are way too glossy, they are also laminated which give them a plastic, cheap feel to them. Interestingly enough the new Rider Waite deck is printed in Switzerland still but is not made by AMG Muller, so they are glossy like the Italian decks. Another thing I do not like is that the new version of the Rider deck (for the last 10 or so years) the titles of the cards are printed with a computer font instead of the original hand written titles that Pamela Colman Smith wrote. That is just wrong!
The older Rider Waite decks have a higher quality of card stock, they have a matte finish, it looks classy and of a higher quality of production. The older decks were made in Switzerland by AGM Muller. In compassion to the new versions the old is far better than the new. Also on older Rider decks they do not have the US Games copyright printed on them, and honestly when I am reading tarot I do not want to read the copyright on the bottom corner, it ruins the mood.
This is why I am collecting old decks. It also seems to be a trend with other readers; people notice the new versions to be inferior to the older versions Ebay has a more decks online being identified as “vintage”, “1971 Copyright”, “Pre US games Copyright” and other terms to identify the deck as old, made in Switzerland and no copyright printed on them. However some people are being deceitful in their ebay postings. Some of the decks are not actually vintage and pre-US Games copyright. It could be an error or not but here are some tips to remember if you are trying to find a real vintage Rider Waite deck.
Please download the PDF here Vintage vs New for full size image comparisons of a vintage Rider Waite deck box and card sample printed in Switzerland with a new version printed in Italy.
Quick Tips – Vintage Rider Waite
- Has no copyright, trademarks on the deck or box.
- Titles on the cards do not look like a computer font, but hand written.
- They have a matte finish, with a texture you can feel. New decks are glossy and smooth.