Actually, I never looked at a RWS when I started.debra wrote:EE, I did not recognize the Christianity in my first deck (Rider Waite, what else?) for um hm 25 or 30 years.
In Venezuela, if you wanted to get a tarot deck the place to go was a ‘botanica’ a shop that sells herbs, potions and ‘baths’, usually linked to a syncretism between Afro-Diaspora religions, the Indian-historical pantheon and spiritism. In there you would find only the Tarot de Marseille, perhaps the Spanish tarot, and Spanish cards (Mostly from Fournier). Nothing more. These shops are quite hardcore, with armadillo tails and rattlesnakes hanging around and, if there is a reader in the house, he or she will start the reading by blowing smoke from a big cigar, spit rum, and get possessed or things like that. You go there to have a problem solved via witchcraft. It is only recently -less than 10 years- that more ‘vanilla’ new age shops are proliferating and selling pyramids, gemstones, contact lenses for the third eye, sponges to wash your chackras, deodorant for your aura and tarot decks like the RWS or anything with cats, dolphins and vampires.