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Online Reference For Body, Mind & Spirit

Term: Pamela Colman Smith

DEFINITION:

(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 Colman'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.

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