The Original Rider-Waite Smith Tarot is the first deck I ever owned. When I became interested in tarot, I naturally went to the internet for resources and found a lot of lovely blogs by experienced readers and practitioners. Most, if not all, mentioned that every beginner should study the classic Rider-Waite Smith deck from which most decks, books and systems are based on. Seemed like sound advice, so I went and bought myself a deck at the bookstore. That was about three years ago, I think.
I didn’t start playing around with the deck until a few months later because I was basically in the “witchy closet” and unsure and scared about getting caught with a tarot deck. Crazy, right? Anyway, I tried to do a “one card a day” study where I would pull a card and scrutinize that card for a few minutes, but for some reason I would get a headache after. Maybe I was forcing it? I don’t really know, but I stopped after only three cards and the deck went back into hiding. LOL.
It would be a year before I started thinking about tarot again. I picked up the Practical Magic deck, a collage deck by one of my favorite tarot sources. The PM deck is pretty awesome and it opened me up to learning about the cards again and learning how to use them for self-discovery, introspection and reflection. It wasn’t long before I picked up another deck, the Mesquite Tarot, on an impulse. After playing around with those two decks for a couple of months, I suddenly felt ready to take on the Rider-Waite Smith deck.
Deck interview with the Rider-Waite Smith deck
I wanted a fresh start with the deck so I decided to do a tarot deck interview. I used this tarot deck interview spread by Little Red Tarot and it yielded some pretty interesting results.
1 – Tell me about yourself. What is your most important characteristic?
King of Swords – “Cutthroat Communicator”; authoritative, strategic, intellectual, logical; exhaustive research before decisions, wields clarity of thought like a superpower.
This basically tells me the RWS deck is definitely no-nonsense and straightforward. It also tells me I would be really forced or “encouraged” to analyze and think about things to understand the message of the cards. Sounds about right.
2 – What are your strengths as a deck?
Six of Wands – “Victory Dance”; optimistm, victory, self-belief; all about achieving our goals and winning, “encouraging you to keep going”, “we can and will overcome”
I love this. This tells me that this deck believes in me and believes in encouraging me to keep going, to be resilient in my pursuit of tarot and that it will be with me all the way.
3 – What are your limits as a deck?
Page of Cups – “Beautiful Dreamer”; romantic, caring, visionary, sensitive; “spiritual seeker”
I wasn’t so sure about this one. Perhaps, it means the deck is limited to how much the user (me!) is open and willing to understand. That this deck is only as useful and/or powerful as the reader is as caring or willing. Does that make sense?
4 – What are you here to teach me?
The High Priestess – “Intuition”, “perception, guidance, hidden knowledge”; “the answers lie within”, let your intuition flow, connect back to yourself
Oh my gosh, right? This just tells it to me straight. The deck is here to help me connect to my intuition. To find the truth, the answers within. To learn how to go inward. And isn’t that what we use the cards for? I was amazed that this is the card that showed up for this question.
5 – How can I best learn and collaborate with you?
Knight of Wands – “Fire cracker”; spontaneous, charming, adventurous, energetic, pursuit of passion and creativity; take risk, to boldly put yourself out there and go for what you truly want. Also a reminder to engage our brains.
This tells me I can learn and collaborate best by being open and passionate about it, by being unafraid to take risks and go for my truth. Also to rein in all that energy and passion so I won’t burn out.
6 – Potential outcome of our relationship
Nine of Cups – “You can get what you want”; blessings, accomplishment, emotional contentment; happy conclusion and plans coming to fruition.
Oh-kay. This basically tells me I can achieve what I want or I can do what I desire with this deck. That this deck can help me in my study of tarot, and help me connect with my intuition and inner power. That is, if I really want that.
So there you go. The Rider-Waite Smith doesn’t hold back. Maybe I did have reason to fear it a little bit, but doing this interview spread really helped me gain a new appreciation for this deck and has made me look forward to using it more.