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Why the Waite-Smith Tarot Was the Almost Perfect Tarot

By Marcus Katz

The world’s most popular tarot deck, the Waite-Smith Tarot (sometimes called the Rider-Waite Tarot) is about to be totally revised in our book, Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot. Everything that people have guessed about for a century, in hundreds of books and thousands of websites, is about to be overturned with facts. But one question remains open: why did this deck become the model for virtually every other deck in the last century?

The answer is as simple as it is unique. The deck was created quickly, in less than six months, by a Bohemian Catholic artist who had likely never used tarot, at the behest of a Catholic Mystic who had no interest in the use of the cards for fortune-telling. As a result, the two drew on the simplest of resources: their own experience and the world’s greatest story-teller, William Shakespeare.

As our book reveals for the first time in 115 years, over half the deck is based on Pamela’s real life environment during the late summer of 1909, and her background in the theatre, particularly Shakespeare. Her ability to intuit music into images and her speed of production allowed the deck to be created in a fraction of the time of even the most contemporary decks.

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