Arthur Edward Waite
|Arthur Edward Waite|
|Born||October 2, 1857|
|Died||May 19, 1942 (age 84) |
|Resting place||Bishopsbourne Village, in the county of Kent, England|
|Known for||Rider-Waite Tarot deck|
Arthur Edward Waite (1857-1942) was a scholarly mystic who wrote extensively on occult and esoteric matters, and was the co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck.
Waite is best known as the co-creator of the popular and widely used Rider-Waite Tarot deck and author of its companion volume, the Key to the Tarot, republished in expanded form the following year, 1911, as the Pictorial Key to the Tarot, a guide to Tarot reading.
The Rider-Waite-Smith tarot was notable for being one of the first tarot decks to illustrate all 78 cards fully, in addition to the 22 major arcana cards. Golden Dawn member Pamela Colman Smith illustrated the cards for Waite, and the deck was first published in 1909.
As his biographer, R.A. Gilbert wrote, "Waite's name has survived because he was the first to attempt a systematic study of the history of western occultism — viewed as a spiritual tradition rather than as aspects of proto-science or as the pathology of religion."