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History

The deck was criticised in those days because, compared to the order and numbering of the Major Arcana in the traditional form influenced by the Tarot de Marseille, the trumps VIII (Justice) and XI (Power) were swapped. This change, however, did not originate with Waite, but had been established 20 years earlier by Samuel Liddell Mathers in the teachings of the Golden Dawn. Furthermore, the arrangement of the Tarot de Marseille was originally one among several.

A fundamental innovation of the Waite deck is the illustration of the minor arcana with symbolic-allegorical scenes. If one seriously studies the cards, one soon realises how profound their symbolism is. This illustration of the 56 minor arcana made divinatory use much easier for many, which was probably the reason for the tremendous success of the deck, which today is the most widely used and most frequently used deck for illustrating Tarot books. Another factor in its success are the illustrations, which were strongly influenced by Art Nouveau and were executed by Pamela Colman Smith in a pleasing manner and in rather cheerful colours.

Nevertheless, in their search for Tarot cards, people are often disappointed by the simplicity of these “naive” images and look for something more mystical, more magical, more mysterious. Most of them then sooner or later come across the Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley, whose images do indeed have a tremendous wealth of symbolism in addition to their magical fascination. But this is exactly where the problem lies, because of course one must first understand this symbolism in order to grasp the interpretation of the cards. The complexity of the Crowley cards overwhelms not only newcomers, and since in the Crowley Thoth Tarot all the cards of the minor arcana have a name, it is tempting to simply interpret the name instead of the symbolism of the picture. Unfortunately, this often does not get to the heart of the matter.

Source: Wikipedia & Hajo Banzhaf “Das Tarotbuch”

Major Arcana – The Empress – Rider Waite Tarot

Minor Arcana – 7 Swords
Tarot de Marseille

Minor Arcana – 7 Swords
Rider Waite Tarot

Minor Arcana – 7 Swords
Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot