The Weiser Tarot


The Weiser Tarot is a twist on the traditional Rider-Waite deck released as part of Weiser’s initiative to represent a broader diversity of authors and practitioners in their products. While there are other inclusive decks on the market, what sets the Weiser Tarot apart is its commitment to keeping Pixie Smith’s line drawings exactly intact. To that end, the skin tones of the figures included have been recolored with a wide range of natural skin colors—but without reworking hair or body types. The alterations to the original images are in the coloration only with no other elements added or removed. The labels of the Major Arcana include Hebrew and astrological correspondences, a useful addition for the reader interested in the qabalistic associations of the cards and the various ways that the Golden Dawn understood them to connect to other occult systems.

In addition to updating the skin tones to better reflect the diversity of modern occultists, all the colors in the deck have been deepened from the garish originals and the background tones have the soft variations of a watercolor painting. This contrasts with more typical attempts to soften the Rider-Waite colors by lightening them. The effect in the Weiser Tarot gives the entire deck a feeling of greater gravity. The images are printed on heavy cardstock with a lovely satin finish and the backsides feature a central five-petaled rose—perhaps a subtle nod to the Golden Dawn’s Rosicrucian origins—surrounded by ankhs on a sky-blue watercolor field.

This deck might strike just the right balance for the reader looking to engage with the unaltered Golden Dawn symbolism of the original drawings but also wanting a deck that represents more skin tones than those of the closed world of early 20th-century London occult circles. It is also lovely and would be a good addition for anyone looking for a traditional deck with subtler, deeper coloration.

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