Welcome back to The Fool’s Journey! In this video, we discuss The High Priestess, card number two in the Major Arcana of the Ryder-Waite-Smith Tarot!
A Note on the Ryder-Waite-Smith Deck
Someone posted a comment on the last video, asking if it’s absolutely necessary to use the the exact same deck while following along with this course. That may sound like a silly question, but its actually a very good one! What you’ll find about Tarot decks is that there are hundreds of them designed by different artists, but a vast majority of them will be based on the Ryder-Waite-Smith system. Ryder was the original publishing company of this deck, Waite was the writer who came up with the concepts for the cards and the system, and Smith was the artist who designed the images. The deck I’m using is called the “Universal Waite” which uses the exact imagery and color scheme of the original Ryder deck, but this artist used colored pencils and made the pictures look more vibrant.
To answer that viewer’s question, it depends. Look at the card images below from the original Ryder deck. Does your deck look very similar, or at least follow the same chronological order with most of the same content in each image? If you can easily answer ‘yes,’ to that question, than chances are you’ll be able to follow along with this course using your version of the Tarot. If its hard to make a clear connection between your deck and the below images, and/or if your cards go in a totally different order with totally different symbolism, you may have a deck that follows a different system.
When I first started learning about Tarot, before even purchasing a deck, I read the book Tarot for Beginners by Barbara Moore. She teaches using the Ryder deck, but she also paired up with the Shadowscapes Tarot, a very whimsical deck with images that are somewhat loosely based on the Ryder deck. She points out the ways that the symbolism points to a similar meaning.
As beautiful as that deck is, I knew I wanted to begin my journey into the Tarot with one of the traditional decks, not only because most standard lessons on the Tarot will match up to it, but also because I believe that there is an old and magickal energy to the original imagery. As discussed in our Tarot History video, it is believed that the images on the Ryder deck were passed down from ancient knowledge, and each and every symbol has meaning within it that resonates with us on the level of the subconscious as well as the human collective consciousness. That’s something I really wanted to be a part of!
Whether you use the original Ryder deck, or follow along with a deck that follows the Ryder system, I’m sure you can stretch your imagination to follow along with this course, as well as get some insight into what the artist of your deck might have been thinking when they designed their version of the images!
Now, without further adieu, The High Priestess!
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Happy journaling! Until next time, Brightest Blessings!