The Original Rider-Waite Smith Tarot

Rider Waite Smith

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.

Rider Waite Smith Tarot

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.

Rider Waite Smith

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.

The Mesquite Tarot


Last March I saw an Instagram post by the Mesquite Tarot that it was on its final print run. They were giving out discounts to sell off their remaining stock.

Now this deck wasn’t really at the top of my wishlist, but I suddenly felt a mild panic about the idea that I won’t be able to find it anywhere anymore in the future. I mulled it over for about a couple of days, even pulling a card or two to help me decide. I’m pretty sure the cards said something about “need vs want” and “maybe now’s not the time to be impulsive” and all that, but clearly I had decided that I needed this deck. So I bought one and told myself it was a birthday gift. Haha.

I used a delivery service so I didn’t have to worry about my package getting lost (our postal system kinda sucks) and decided to get a couple other things from somewhere else to maximize the shipping. Yeah, it was a little pricey but I don’t regret it one bit. :)

A quick look at the Mesquite Tarot deck

The Mesquite Tarot deck arrived in my hands in mid-April. It came with a cute canvas pouch with a simple ourobouros design, a sticker and a softcover guidebook.

When I finally held it in my hands, the first thing I noticed was its size. I don’t know for the life of me why I didn’t realize that this was a small deck. My dudes, it’s TINY. I actually chuckled to myself, wondering how I could have missed this little detail.

The card quality is pretty good though. It’s also pretty sleek and kinda slippery so you really have to be careful when shuffling or handling the cards. They will fall right off your hands. I eventually got the hang of it (kinda) and learned to appreciate how easy it was to shuffle.

I’m still a total noob to all this so I can’t say much about the meaning of the cards or how they relate to the traditional meanings of tarot, but the art on this deck is beautiful. It’s simple and uncomplicated, with soft muted colors. Every review I’ve read describe this deck as soft and gentle but packed with meaning and that’s exactly how it feels when I look at this deck. I may not know the meanings outright but the cards do look like they have a lot to say if you really look.


The deck does away with a few traditional things: it uses arrows instead of swords and Leader, Knower, Student and Novice instead of King, Queen, Knight and Page – a bit gender neutral, which is cool. And the guidebook is not your typical guidebook. It’s a work of art by itself. The description of each card is poetic and has a gentle way about it. The book was a great help to me the newbie when I used the deck for the whole month of May.

Overall, this deck is a lot of fun to play with it. I’m using a different deck this month, but I’m looking forward to getting to know this deck more.

The Mesquite Tarot is no longer in print but, as of this post, I think it’s still available in limited stocks in some shops around the world.

The Practical Magic Starter Deck

Practical Magic tarot deck

I know next to nothing about tarot, but I’ve been interested in it for a while now. I have a few ebooks (that I haven’t read), I’m subscribed to a few blogs and I follow some pretty cool folks on Instagram. I like the practical approach that most of these tarot readers and practitioners take and I also like the whole creative aspect of it all. I mean, have you seen the art on some of these tarot and oracle decks? So beautiful they make me truly pause in awe.

So, I’m very interested in tarot, but I haven’t really taken the time to learn more about it – which isn’t a surprise because I haven’t been taking the time to do anything about my interests these days (yeah, that’s another story). I mean, I bought a deck once, the classic Rider-Waite Smith because I heard every newbie should know it and I tried to study the cards but just couldn’t connect with it. I stopped trying and left that deck alone. I wasn’t sure when I was going to pick it up again and actually try to learn tarot.

Then one of my favorite sources of anything tarot-relatedPractical Magic, came out with her collage starter deck. I’m kind of a big fan and tend to *heart* all her IG posts (stalker alert), so I really considered purchasing the deck. I took a long time deciding though because at first I wasn’t really called by it, which is funny cos I’ve always considered myself a “collage girl” (translation: I can’t draw or sketch to save my life so collages were the closest I came to creating ahhhrt). Anyway, so I finally decided, what the heck Imma get this deck. And, you know what? I’m so glad I did because so far it’s been surprising me a lot in a really cool way.

I ordered the deck about two weeks ago, on a Tuesday, and it arrived the next day. I guess it helped that we live in the same city. Hah. Anyway, it came nicely packaged in a brown envelope tied with string. It also came with a cute canvas pouch, which I want to replicate for my other deck one of these days (but probably won’t cos I’m lazy), a postcard with a lovely message and a mini zine (a mini guide of sorts).

I didn’t play with it that day because I had stuff to do, but the next day I decided to give it a quick look-see and try my hand at a mini reading for myself. Well, I wanted to do a card for the day sort of thing. I took out the deck and looked at each card briefly. Each card is unique and colorful, contains interesting modern imagery, and is pretty cool in that collage-y waywhich I like. As I mentioned at the start, I don’t know much about tarot, so I couldn’t tell you how the images relate to the traditional meanings, but they supposedly do. Each card also includes catchphrases, which are pretty helpful for clueless noobs like me.

After I went through all the cards, I shuffled them carefully – they are easy to shuffle, by the way, because they have a nice glossy feel and are adequately sized – and I made my very first pull from my new PM deck.

Holy magical powers, Batman.

My very first pull? Incidentally the very first serious one I’ve ever done in my life, and by serious I mean heart-into-it, focused-my-mind serious. It was really on point. The card I pulled was the 8 of Pentacles, which had the tagline “Learn More. Practice More.”

Practical Magic 8 of Pentacles

I thought it was on point because, for this pull, I was thinking about writing and how I haven’t been writing for myself for a long time and I was thinking about what I should do to get back into it. I was also thinking about my many obsessions (like tarot) and that I haven’t really been doing much to learn more about them. This card pretty much just told me what I already know deep down. That I need to work on these things. Learn more, practice more. You can’t get any clearer than that, right? I love that this was the card that turned up for me because it was just the simple truth that I needed to acknowledge at that time.

A few days later I decided to do another pull and the card that turned up was also something I could relate to what I was thinking about at that moment. The whole thing was just really really cool. I think the straightforward mini guide and the taglines on each card helped a lot and made it easy for me to “interpret” the card for myself.

After these initial experiences with the PM deck, I’m feeling pretty good about things. About just giving in to letting the simple magic of recognizing the simple truth help me. Does that make sense? I don’t know if I’ll be able to explore and use this deck as often as I want to, but, hey, it got me writing on this blog again, so who knows? Maybe it’s just what I need to help me get out of my writing and reading rut. Maybe I’ll start learning more about tarot or maybe I won’t. I really don’t know, but I’m glad I bought this deck.

Interested in the Practical Magic starter deck? Order it here.