Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot Review


The Radiant Rider Waite isn’t the first deck that I owned, however it was the first Rider Waite Smith deck that I owned.

I’ve since purchased a more “original” looking Waite Smith deck, but still enjoy the bright imagery of the Radiant Rider Waite.

There’s always at least one card in every deck that’s reviewed or thought about purchasing that makes you say:

” I need that deck.”

For myself, that was the bright, vibrant image of The Fool which is also shown on the box for this deck.

The brightness and yellow vibrancy of The Fool drew me towards wanting to purchase this deck from the very beginning. I wasn’t disappointed by the vitality and cheerfulness that all the cards emit, that even the “darker” cards seem to have a electric feel to them.

No need to fear any of the so-called “dark” cards here.

The Devil, Eight of Swords, Three of Swords, just as an example, are also so vibrantly coloured that there’s no way to feel even depressed looking at them!


Colours and Vibrancy

The bright yellows, blues, greens and reds light up the deck and make it pleasant to look at. The cards are made of a firmer card stock than some other cards that I have owned, and are quite slick and glossy making it easy to shuffle.

However, if you have “butter fingers” the cards can easily slip out of your hands (it happens to me sometimes)! Yet, this problem seems to not be much of an issue the longer the cards are used. (At least for myself.)

The blue starry back of the cards are nicely designed and the cards are easy to wipe clean (good for getting any annoying fingerprints off them). I don’t like seeing the finger prints on the cards, but with this deck, I noticed that finger prints would show up more often on the back of the deck compared to other decks where it’s not as noticeable.

The cards also seem as if they can endure the normal wear and tear from frequent usage and have even survived unscathed from a surprise pounce from one of the Tarot Pugs (though not recommended to try at home)!

Where to Buy

I’ve read reviews of this deck on Amazon that the deck had a “chemical smell” when opened, but I didn’t find that the deck had any unpleasant odour. The packaging was find and nothing out of the ordinary.

I purchased my deck from Amazon.com  which arrived within a week from ordering it, and there’s also the option for next day delivery available.

U.S. Games is offering a beautiful collector’s tin featuring The Fool set on the vibrant yellow background, on the front of the tin, that comes with a Radiant Rider-Waite deck which also available at the Amazon.com. I’d love to get the collector’s tin to store these cards and it wouldn’t be at all bad to have an extra set of this deck.

My Spell Work Tarot Deck

As much as this was my first RWS deck, I no longer use this deck for readings and instead use it for spell work since I use a standard Rider Waite Tarot for my client readings and for myself.

I find the imagery bright enough to focus my attention on my intended spell work and like to leave selected cards on my altar as a focal point afterwards.

It’s ideal to have a deck for readings (maybe one for clients and one for personal use if you feel inclined), but certainly a separate deck intended only for magick and spell work.

Since I use my ordinary Rider Waite Tarot for readings, I prefer to use my first RWS deck (The Radiant Rider Waite) for spell work.


A Polished Version

As much as the images are vibrant and colourful, I’ve noticed that the certain “imperfections” that are known in the original Rider Waite Smith aren’t seen in the Radiant Rider Waite.

For example, the extra 22nd line in the picture of the sun on The Sun card is not seen in the Radiant Rider Waite card.

Some tarot enthusiasts believe this 22nd line or “ray” symbolises the 22nd card – The Fool – while other historians and readers believe it to be a misprint or error.


Secrets such as these and more related to the Rider Waite can also be found in the book, Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot: The True Story of the World’s Most Popular Tarot by Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin that explores the history behind this famous and popular deck and its creators, Edward Arthur Waite and Pamela Colman Smith.

If you’re looking for a more “cheerful” version of the Rider Waite Smith, something to brighten up a cloudy, rainy day, this version of the RWS will certainly do that.

If I could find these images exactly as they are as prints to hang on the wall, I’d certainly hang up the image of The Fool with all his optimism and possibilities before him. That’d be a sight to see.

Stacey & the Tarot Pugs

Card images from Radiant Rider Waite Tarot by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
Designed in Canva.

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