The reason why beginners should use the Rider Waite Tarot card deck is because in the Tarot world it is widely accepted that the Rider Waite Tarot deck is the main classic deck to use. There are historical accounts of Tarot decks that were designed before this deck, but the Rider Waite has become the most popular deck in use today. Here are some reasons why I think it is a great deck for a beginner to get started with.

  1. It is rich in symbolism which gives the reader something to hook into when they are doing a reading for themselves or someone else. Remembering the basic meanings of cards is easier when there are symbolic references to look at.
  2. Many of the books and courses created on learning how to read Tarot cards use the Rider Waite deck as an example throughout its content, therefore the beginner has a wider range of choice when it comes to selecting which source to learn the basics.
  3. I liken this classic deck to classical music or classical ballet. If you want to be a highly skilled musician or dancer, then the strict discipline of learning the classical forms of music or dance before you go and learn pop music or jazz dance gives you more technical skill to try any other style later on. Coincidentally, Arthur Edward Waite was born just after the Classical era when these music and dance art forms had peaked. Often things that stand the test of time are the things that move us the most deeply and end up being well known. The Rider Waite is one of those things in relation to the Tarot world.
  4. Given that there is rich symbolism in each of the cards, it offers the beginner a chance to learn about history and the significance of these symbols. Having some knowledge of the past in relation to the universal language of symbols helps the aspiring reader understand the common traits of the human psyche therefore giving more weight to their readings. Once the beginner has a basic grasp of the Rider Waite deck, it will be much easier to read other styles of Tarot decks due to the technical knowledge they have developed.

Common symbols that show up in the Rider Waite Tarot deck.

The Wheel of Fortune

Benches, stars, brick walls, angels, wands, pentagrams, clouds, cups, swords and approximately 70 other symbols are consistently displayed throughout the various Rider Waite cards-all of which give the reader a clue about the energy of the card. However, I do feel it is important for the new tarot reader to go through each of the cards and write down their own notes on what they feel each card is about before they try and intellectualize the meaning of the card, because this really helps to activate the intuition of the individual and their own life experience. Once they have gone through all 78 cards and written their own notes about each card and practiced their own Tarot readings for a while, then it would be worth discovering some of the more traditional meanings of the cards. Balancing the intellect with intuition is really important given that the main outcome of reading cards and being read to should be about learning to trust one’s self more.