One of the greatest innovations of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck was the creation of scenic Minors. Instead of, say, four Cups or six Wands emblazoned on a plain white background (as in early Tarot “pip” cards), you now had Minors that were every bit as populated and detailed as the Majors, with actual characters and fleshed-out scenarios.
So the tip here is that if you’re working with a deck that features scenic Minors…use those added details! For instance, the RWS 7 of Swords corresponds to a playing card deck’s 7 of Spades…but look at all the additional info in the RWS card! There’s a theft going on, for one thing, which is certainly not a given in that 7 of Spades, so the reading may involve something being stolen. And it’s a bold theft, going down in broad daylight right next to a little tent city, so there may be some element of brashness or recklessness. It’s not a 100% clean sweep of a theft, though — two of the seven available Swords have been left behind. Why might the thief have chosen to forego some of the potential haul? All of these details can inform your readings in ways that likely wouldn’t have come up if you’d been reading with playing cards or pre-RWS Tarot decks.
Some people prefer the starker pip cards — they feel that terrific input comes swimming out at them from the blank spaces. If you like the scenic Minors, though, it can pay huge dividends to really spend time with the various scenes, and see how many details you can pick up, and how many different interpretations you can uncover based on those details.
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