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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 Mystic Spiral
Summary: Use the Tarot of the Mystic Spiral to seek the underlying patterns of your life and of the universe. As you gain knowledge and control over your life, expand your understanding of the world and how it works. In-Depth Review: This is a ...
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Review of the Tarot of the Elves
Summary: The Tarot of the Elves creates a new and different world. And yet, we humans still relate to the inhabitants of this fantasy realm. This innovative deck explores and conveys the archetypal meanings of the cards through story. McElroy spins ...
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Review of the Celtic Oracle
Summary: The twenty-two oversized cards of the Celtic Oracle provide both an excellent divination tool as well as an introduction to Celtic studies. It elegantly combines Celtic astrology with the Ogham (or Celtic alphabet) and tree symbolism ...
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Review of The Blue Angel Oracle
Summary The Blue Angel Oracle blends science and spirituality, angels and fantasy. The deck of 45 cards presents a diverse and complex world, a fitting tool for exploring the depths of our own truths and the twists and turns of our lives. The text ...
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Review of Bach Flower Inspirational Cards
Summary: The gentle and wise guidance of the flowers, as Bach unveiled them, are here to help us find balance and enhance well-being. This charming and beautiful deck can be used as an inspiring oracle deck to find answers to troubling questions or ...
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Review of Legend: The Arthurian Tarot
Summary: If you are a collector, either of fine artwork or of Tarot decks, this is an excellent addition. If you are fascinated by the Arthurian myths but don’t know too much about them, this deck, combined with the book included in the set, ...
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Review of Dark Angels Tarot
Summary: The angels who serve the creator are sent to earth to comfort the remaining humans. As they explore a dying world, they discover love and pain, strength and weakness. Through their experiences, we explore our hidden selves and find ...
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Review of Elemental Tarot
Summary: This eclectic, unique deck explores the world through the four basic energies of earth, fire, water, and air. The art creates a pleasantly chaotic feeling as it shows how these energies interact, creating our reality. Using this deck is a ...
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Review of 2012: Tarot of Ascension
Summary: This deck is created to examine the next step in human spiritual evolution that many expect to occur in 2012. The card meanings are extremely positive but balanced by a dark color palette, challenging symbolic compositions, and a ...
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The Golden Dawn Enochian Skrying Tarot Review
Summary: Although the book that comes with the deck clearly illustrates how to do divinations, this deck is clearly pretty distant from most Tarot decks. However, it will be of extreme interest to ceremonial magicians, especial aficionados of the ...
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Review of The Book of Shadows Tarot, volume 1: As Above
Summary The Book of Shadows Tarot is the first deck in a two deck set. Each deck is designed to work on its own as well as in tandem with its partner deck. This volume, As Above, is a unique deck using the structure of Tarot to explore the beliefs ...
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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
Chakras Around the World: Are There Really Seven Chakras?
How to Successfully Navigate a Mercury Retrograde
Psychic Vision: 3 Easy Ways
An Accessible Guide to the Thoth Tarot
How Strengthening My Spirituality Helped Me With My Cancer Diagnosis

Most recent posts:
How Many Chakras Do You Have?
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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