Hermetic Tarot vs Rider Waite | Best Review

As a Hermetic Tarot practitioner and Rider-Waite enthusiast, I’ve always been curious about the differences between the two cards and how they compare. My desire to better understand the differences led me to research the Hermetic Tarot, a deck created by a practicing Hermetic Qabalist. I’m sharing this intro paragraph to help anyone interested in Hermeticism and Tarot, or the difference between a Hermetic Qabalist and a Rider-Waite practitioner, gain some insight.

If you are already familiar with the RWS and want to compare it to the Hermetic system, you’ll be able to do so with ease. If you’re just getting started and want to learn the Tarot system, this deck is a great place to start. It is also a great deck to use when you don’t have your normal tarot deck available.

Hermetic Tarot

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The Hermetic Tarot
2,328 Reviews
The Hermetic Tarot
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Godfrey Dowson (Author)

Last update on 2022-07-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This Hermetic tarot was published by the authors Godfrey Dowson.

This Hermetic tarot is issued for the recognition of historical and artistic importance. Each of the 78 cards provides details and symbols of the esoteric workings of the Secret Order of the Golden Dawn.

This deck of the cards is designed with black and white drawings highlighting the Golden Dawn’s astrological attributes, including sephirot, angelic, geomantic, numerical, and kabbalistic components.

It provided an instructional guidebook that explains all the card meanings and directions for the traditional ten-card Celtic cross layout and a chart of elemental and astrological symbols and a schematic of the 10 spheres and 22 Hebrew letters of the Tree of Life’s 22 paths.

This product was published by the US. Games systems. It was first available on January 01, 1979. It appears in the English language and has 78 pages of cards. It weighs 8.4 ounces and has a dimension of 3*1.25*4.75 inches.

Pros: Cons:
  • The deck contains alchemy, astrology, and occult symbolism.
  • A great deck full of meaning beautifully macabre.
  • It is simple to interpret with an experienced eye.
  • The deck is not suitable for beginners.

Last update on 2022-07-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Rider Waite

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The Rider Tarot Deck
20,846 Reviews
The Rider Tarot Deck
  • 78 Cards
  • Rider Waite Tarot has set the standard for hundreds of other tarot...

Last update on 2022-07-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Colman Smith are the Rider Waite tarot deck creators.

This is a conventional tarot deck that contains all of the archetypal pictures established by Pamela Colman Smith in 1909 under the supervision of Arthur Edward Waite. All the titles and designs are drawn by Smith’s hand. Its unique feature is that all of the scenes contain characters and symbols identified clearly. Its visuals enable understanding without the need for further words.

U.S. Games Systems Inc published this product.  It first came out on January 1, 1971, and is available in English. It comes with 56 pages of cards. This deck weighs 8.4 ounces and has a dimension of 49×2.9×1.2 inches.

Pros: Cons:
  • It is imbued with original artwork.
  • The deck is depicted with figures and symbols.
  • The book provided all the detailed instructions.
  • The cards are sturdy and comfortable to shuffle.
  • Its color may flake off when used regularly.

Last update on 2022-07-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Review of the differences between Hermetic Tarot and Rider Waite

  • The Hermetic tarot contains artwork with black and white design, whereas Rider Waite has an illustrated artwork with a yellow background.
  • Hermetic tarot describes the historical and artistic importance, whereas rider Waite describes the 78 major and minor arcana cards.
  • Hermetic is designed with elemental and astrological symbols, whereas Rider Waite is designed with figures and symbols.
  • Hermetic is designed by order of Golden dawn, whereas Rider Waite is designed by smith’s original hand.
  • Hermetic tarot containing cards is not clear, whereas Rider Waite is clear and bright.
  • Hermetic tarot is not for beginners, whereas Rider Waite is perfect for beginners.

My opinion of the differences:

It’s the age-old debate. Do you use the Rider Waite Tarot or the Hermetic Tarot? This article will focus on the differences and similarities between these two decks. With the Hermetic Tarot, you will discover:

a) The order of the Major Arcana. b) The understanding of the different phases of the Major Arcana. c) How several card meanings are interchangeable. d) The methodology of how to read the cards and how to obtain a deeper reading.

With the Rider Waite, you will discover:

a) The order of the Minor Arcana. b) The understanding of the different phases of the Minor Arcana. c) How several card meanings are interchangeable. d) The methodology of how to use cards.

Conclusion:

In summary, the Rider-Waite Tarot remains the most popular tarot deck globally for a good reason. The deck is accessible and familiar. The images are from the Golden Dawn tradition, primarily from the Thoth, but the symbolism and meanings are more universal than the more specifically Golden Dawn meanings. The imagery is also more human-centric and less divine-centric, which is where many Hermeticists might take issue with the imagery.

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