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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: pamela coleman smith

DEFINITIONS

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.


ARTICLES

The Well Worn Path Review
Summary: A deck that is specifically directed toward Pagans, Witches and Wiccans. Not a Tarot, the forty cards represent foundational Pagan concepts. While not for Rider-Waite-Smith purists, this deck is well-suited to the many tens of thousands of ...
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Review of theLudy Lescot Tarot Deck
Summary Created by a young Tarot reader from the French Quarter in New Orleans, the Ludy Lescot Tarot enters the darkness and pain of the world in order to better understand and know the light. With unique twists on traditional Tarot imagery, this ...
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Pagan Tarot (mini) Review
Summary: A brilliantly drawn deck using images of contemporary Pagans in ritual and everyday situations. Although the meanings are the same as the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the new images may be jarring to those not involved in Paganism. However, for ...
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Kamasutra Tarot Review
Kamasutra Tarot Review Summary: While catching the flavor of 17th and 18th century Indian art, this deck seems to force the explicit sexual images into fitting the Tarot model. Still, a collection of such art is rare and valuable, making this a ...
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Golden Botticelli Tarot Review
Summary: A spectacular deck combining the archetypal Renaissance art of Botticelli with magnificent, metallic-gold filigree. Will be used often by intermediate and advanced Tarot readers, but the LWB may not have enough for beginners. One of the ...
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Circle of Life Tarot Review
Tarot Deck Review Model Summary: The Circle of Life Tarot is nothing less than seventy-eight windows into different worlds. The round cards and fantasy-style art create a sense of being slightly off balance, signaling the mind that something ...
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Review of the Voices of SaintsTarot deck
Summary: A delightful deck with medieval-style illustrations of 78 famous Saints. The Little White Book gives one or two of their major feats along with brief divinatory meanings. For divination you must use the LWB as the images do not have the ...
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Review of the Mayan Tarot
Summary: The Mayan Tarot is a doorway into another world, into a culture, into the past. Just like any lost civilization, this one gives teasing glimpses of what might have been and invites discovery. By losing oneself in the art, by letting ...
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Tarot of White Cats (mini) Review
Summary: If you like white cats, this art deck is a cute collector’s item. Review Lo Scarabeo, the prolific Italian publisher of some of the most beautiful Tarot decks in the world, has made available several of their decks in a "mini" size of 44 ...
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Review of the Samurai Tarot
Summary: A deck that delicately imitates the soft pastels of colored Ukiyo-e art in an attempt to shoehorn a brief look at Samurai concepts into the Western Tarot paradigm. The art must be appreciated as should be the dedication of the designer. ...
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Seeing the Aura
Mark Smith says that anyone can learn to see auras in only 60 seconds. In his book, Auras: See Them in Only 60 Seconds!, he breaks this instruction down into a few easy steps: Stand the subject eighteen inches to two feet in front of a bare white ...
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I talk to people about tarot all the time, and one of the things I hear a lot is, "Oh, I'm not good at tarot," or, "I've tried and it just doesn't work for me," or, "I just don't feel it with the cards." Well, first of all, you might not feel it, and that's okay. I grew up playing cards, from Go Fish through Hearts and Gin Rummy, everyone in my... read this article
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