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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Pamela Coleman Smith


Pamela Coleman Smith: (1878-1951) British artist best known as the woman who created that Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot. “Pixie” Smith was a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. It was that that she probably met A.E. Waite, who eventually commissioned her to draw a Tarot deck. It is likely that he gave her written instructions, and perhaps the meanings of the cards. However he was not an artist and was her original designs, drawn in pen and ink and colored with water color, created in a brief six month period, that became one of the world’s most popular Tarot decks. Over the years the deck became referred to as the “Rider-Waite” deck, ignoring Coleman’s value and input to the deck. Although some people still use that description, Tarot authorities are now leaning toward the more accurate “Rider-Waite-Smith” name, giving her the co-equal credit many believe she deserves.


Review of the Tarot of the Silicon Dawn
Summary:  The Tarot of the Silicon Dawn stretches the very bounds of Tarot by swapping elemental associations, adding entire suits (but of only a few cards), mixing Roman and Arabic numerals with the Majors, adding strangely named new Major ...
Relevance:  7 % 7%

Review of the Dark Grimoire Tarot
Summary: As dark and mysterious as the mythic world created by H. P. Lovecraft, The Dark Grimoire Tarot is strongly recommended for those mature enough and brave enough to examine their darker sides, and by coming to know and control those aspects ...
Relevance:  7 % 7%

Review of the Tarot of the Magical Forest
Summary: The Tarot of the Magical Forest is a quirky and slightly bizarre version of a Rider-Waite-Smith deck. As such, it can be used easily by anyone familiar with that tradition. For beginners who learned on a more traditional RWS deck and are ...
Relevance:  5 % 5%

Review of the Michelangelo Tarot Deck
Summary The Michelangelo Tarot makes spectacular use of Michelangelo's techniques and body of work to create a stunning deck faithful to the Rider-Waite-Smith model. It is a beautiful and readable deck for anyone who loves the works of this ...
Relevance:  5 % 5%

Review of the Anne Stokes Gothic Tarot
Summary The stylish art of Anne Stokes brings this deck to life…or death, if you go by the number of undead and other fantastical creatures! This attractive, Marseilles-style deck gives traditional Tarot a gothic twist by associating the ...
Relevance:  5 % 5%

Review of the Tarot of the Angels
Summary: Based on the Rider-Waite-Smith, this deck provides an interesting addition to the familiar images. Angels, representing guidance from the Divine or your own higher self, show up in the cards. Discover how you can better interact with or ...
Relevance:  5 % 5%

Review of the Egyptian Tarot
Summary: A unique and beautiful simulation of ancient Egyptian art combining traditional Tarot concepts and the mysticism of Egypt as described by Jean Baptiste Pitois ("Paul Christian") in his fantastic and romanticized book, The History and ...
Relevance:  5 % 5%

Review of the Tarot of Marseille Grand Trumps
Summary: This large-sized edition of the Marseille Grand Trumps is a perfect for insightful Majors-only readings, professional readers, and collectors.  In-depth Review: The family of decks from the Marseille tradition pre-date the more ...
Relevance:  3 % 3%

Review of Tarot Lenormand
Summary: Tarot Lenormand is a creative blend of traditional Lenormand cards, The Book of Thoth Tarot by Eteilla, and a touch of RWS [Rider-Waite-Smith]. As such, it is presents unusual and delightful challenges to those familiar with RWS decks that ...
Relevance:  3 % 3%

Review of the Universal Transparent Tarot
Summary:  This unique deck allows you to create new “cards” that are also readings. The method of working with this deck also allows you to not only read your future but also to change your future.   In-Depth Review: One of ...
Relevance:  3 % 3%

Review of the Minchiate Tarot Deck
Summary Minchiate decks are an important part of the history of cartomancy. Similar to a Tarot but with the addition of a few more cards, a Minchiate deck can give a very nuanced reading. In addition, whether used for study or divination it brings ...
Relevance:  3 % 3%

Sitting here in the dark, watching the moon shine over the autumn landscape (my favorite time of year) I find myself reflecting on the question that is most frequently asked of me: "How do I know if my house is haunted?" The question seems so simple, so endearing and direct, but it is as complex as the human mind or the spiritual realm and it... read this article
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Most recent posts:
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Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Cyndi Dale, author of a number of books, including The Complete Book of Chakra Healing and the new...

The Paranormal Epiphany
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Sarah Soderlund, author of the new Haunted by the Abyss. I have the honor of talking, lecturing, and...

A Fresh View of Judgement
In my opinion, the Judgement card needs a rename as much as the Hierophant. It is such an important card and so many people seem to misunderstand it....

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