Reviving a Forgotten Artist of the Occult...
The classic! With rich imagery, stunning colors, and an iconic place in the realm of divination, the Rider-Waite Tarot is perhaps the best known deck in the world.
Pamela “Pixie” Colman Smith’s beloved tarot artwork, created in 1909 under the direction of Arthur E. Waite, is now presented in a borderless format for a more immersive reading experience. This 84-card deck includes four extra cards with reproduction samples of Smith’s non-tarot artwork.
Pamela Colman Smith (Pixie) was a Renaissance woman, ahead of her time in many ways in varied roles of artist, occultist, poet, designer, suffragist, folklorist, editor, publisher, and miniature-theatre maker. Her mother was Jamaican, her father a white American. She was a folklorist who recited tales in a Jamaican dialect. As an artist, Pamela specialized in the art of synesthetic paintings that were based upon the visual images she saw in classical music. Throughout her life, Pamela was interested in mysticism and the occult. Her deep involvement with the Order of the Golden Dawn culminated in a commission from Arthur E. Waite to illustrate a tarot deck.
She completed all 78 illustrations in just a few months for a flat fee, a sum sadly in keeping with her historically unacknowledged contribution to the deck. Whilst Waite focused on the symbolism of the tarot’s Major Arcana, he left the illustration of the Minor Arcana to Pamela’s uninhibited imagination.
It's noteworthy that the figures in Pamela’s tarot are often gender-ambiguous, reflecting the trend for short hair and masculine clothing common amongst her female friends at the time. The androgynous figures of her tarot add a dose of heft to suggestions of Pamela’s queerness―she never married, had no children, and latterly spent 30 years with her female companion Nora Lake. More than this, and regardless of her sexual orientation, the representation of gender neutrality points towards Pamela’s future involvement with the pre-war suffragist movement, for which she designed propaganda posters as part of the artists’ collective Suffrage Atelier. Her work for the movement is both astute and deeply witty
The Smith-Waite Centennial Tarot Deck is a faithful reproduction of the original deck created in 1909 . This classic tarot deck features full pictorial scenes in the muted colors chosen by “Pixie” herself.
78 cards, measuring 2.75˝ x 4.75˝
The deck comes with an instruction booklet in a custom linen bag with gold stamp.