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September/October 2015 Issue

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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 Pictorial Key Tarot
Summary: More than just another RWS copy, The Pictorial Key Tarot takes the original RWS concepts and brings them into the 21st century. It uses the same basic symbolism as the RWS, but enhances it in places to make Waite’s original ideas clearer ...
Relevance:  80 % 80%

Review of the Golden Dawn Magical Tarot
Summary: A brilliant deck that is ideal for practitioners of ceremonial magick and for those following the system of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Will also interest those researching the link between earlier traditional Tarot decks and the ...
Relevance:  43 % 43%

The Lo Scarabeo Tarot Review
Summary:A unique and masterful blending of three of the most important Tarot decks, with beautiful and symbolic art. Highly valuable and usable by new and experienced Tarot workers. Name of deck: Lo Scarabeo Tarot Publisher: Lo Scarabeo ISBN: ...
Relevance:  35 % 35%

Review of the Tarot of Mermaids
Summary: The Tarot of Mermaids is an enchanting Rider-Waite-Smith-style deck that can easily be used out of the box for anyone familiar with that system. It is also much more than that, inviting journeys into the murky depths of the waters of our ...
Relevance:  20 % 20%

Review of The Gilded Tarot
Summary: A spectacularly beautiful Tarot deck using modern digital art that is firmly based on the Rider-Waite-Smith model—making it easy to use for traditionalists and beginners, as well as a compliment for any book—yet significantly original so it ...
Relevance:  17 % 17%

Review of the Universal Fantasy Tarot
Universal Fantasy Tarot Review Summary: Although loosely based on the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Universal Fantasy Tarot also plumbs fantasy writing and art, ranging from the stories of H. P. Lovecraft to the art of Arthur Rackham and Barry ...
Relevance:  17 % 17%

Review of the Tarot of Reflection
Summary: Like a fun house mirror that changes and reflects an image, Tarot of Reflection reveals aspects of the reality in which we live. It is like a shamanic journey that is a bit frightening but also fascinating and certainly life changing. ...
Relevance:  15 % 15%

Review of Gothic Tarot of Vampires
Summary: Although this deck will obviously appeal to those who are interested in vampire culture, Interview with the Vampire, the Twilight series of books and the TV show True Blood, people uninterested in that mythos shouldn’t dismiss this deck ...
Relevance:  10 % 10%

Norse Gods & Goddesses
Partial List of the Norse Gods, Goddesses & Other Supernatural Beings Their Lore, Powers & Influence The Names of the deities are in the old Norse language while the Rune names are in German. (Note: Many of the correspondences given in ...
Relevance:  10 % 10%

Review of The Quest Tarot
Summary: A brilliant, colorful, modern deck with 3D sci-fi imagery that will appeal to futurists and people looking for "something different" while keeping close enough to the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition that Tarot traditionalists will find it ...
Relevance:  10 % 10%

It seems strange, doesn't it? A patron saint of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and all other sexually fluid shades in-between. Popular opinion would have us believe that, by default, a saint would be against such liberal sexuality, but then again, just because an opinion is popular doesn't mean that it's true. In my book La... read this article
The Mutable Grand Cross from the Perspective of Evolutionary Astrology
Realizing the Green Witch Tarot
Three Theories to Explain the Chupacabra
40 Years of Yoga on the Chakra Path
Tracing Lincoln's Ghost

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Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Nick Redfern, author of the new Chupacabra Road Trip. Is the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico home to...

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