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Pamela Colman Smith Magical Pixie Crystal
Here is a delightful magical crystal which has been ritually charged
and blessed in the spirit of Pamela Colman Smith, also known as
Pixie... the world's best and most influential illustrator of Tarot Cards,
and one of Jennifer's personal heroes. You can read more about her
below and on The Internet.
Use this stone when you're doing any sort of card reading or fortune
telling to help you have more insight, intuition and understanding.
Pamela Colman Smith Magical Pixie Crystal Only $18.88 plus Free Shipping!
Sold as curio for entertainment.
Pamela Colman Smith (February 16, 1878 – September 18, 1951), also nicknamed Pixie,
was an English American artist, illustrator, and writer. She is best known for illustrating
the Waite-Smith deck of divinatory tarot cards (also called the Rider-Waite or the Rider-
Waite-Smith deck) for Arthur Edward Waite. She was born in Pimlico, part of central
London. She was the only child of an American merchant from Brooklyn, New York, Charles
Edward Smith, son of Brooklyn Mayor Cyrus Porter Smith, and his wife Corinne Colman,
sister of the painter Samuel Colman. The family was based in Manchester for the first decade
of Pixie's life, but then they moved to Jamaica when Charles Smith took a job in 1889 with
the West India Improvement Company. The Smiths lived in the capital, Kingston, for several
years, travelling to London and New York.
By 1893, Smith had moved to Brooklyn, where, at the age of 15, she enrolled at the Pratt
Institute, which had been founded only six years earlier. There she studied art under Arthur
Wesley Dow, painter, printmaker, photographer, and influential arts educator. Her mature
drawing style shows clear traces of the visionary qualities of fin-de-siècle Symbolism and the
Romanticism of the preceding Arts and Crafts movement. While Smith was in art school, her
mother died in Jamaica, in 1896. Smith herself was ill on and off during these years and in
the end left Pratt in 1897 without a degree. She became an illustrator; some of her first projects
included The Illustrated Verses of William Butler Yeats, a book on the actress Ellen Terry by
Bram Stoker, and two of her own books, Widdicombe Fair and Fair Vanity.
In 1899 her father died, leaving Smith at the age of 21 without either parent. She returned to
England that year, continuing to work as an illustrator, and branching out into theatrical
design for a miniature theatre. In London, she was taken under the wing of the Lyceum
Theatre group led by
actress Ellen Terry who is said to have given her the nickname 'Pixie.'
Pamela Colman Smith wrote and illustrated several books about Jamaican folklore, including
Annancy Stories in 1902. She also continued her illustration work, taking on projects for
William Butler Yeats and his brother, the painter Jack Yeats. She illustrated Bram Stoker's
last novel, The Lair of the White Worm in 1911, and Ellen Terry's book on Diaghilev's Ballets
Russes, The Russian Ballet in 1913. Smith supported the struggle for the right to vote, and
through the Suffrage Atelier, a collective of professional illustrators, she contributed artwork
to further the cause of women's suffrage in Great Britain.
Yeats introduced Smith to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which she joined in 1901
and in the process met Waite. In 1909, Waite commissioned Smith to produce a tarot deck with
appeal to the world of art, and the result was the unique Waite-Smith tarot deck. Published by
William Rider & Son of London, it has endured as the world's most popular 78-card tarot deck.
The innovative cards depict full scenes with figures and symbols on all of the cards including the
pips, and Smith's distinctive drawings have become the basis for the design of many subsequent
When Smith’s tarot was first published by Rider, in England, in December 1909, it was simply
called Tarot Cards and it was accompanied by Arthur Edward Waite’s guide entitled The Key to
the Tarot. The following year Waite added Smith’s black-and-white drawings to the book and
published it as the Pictorial Key to the Tarot. In 1971, U.S. Games bought the right to publish
the deck and published it under the title The Rider Tarot Deck. In later editions they changed
the name to Rider Tarot and then Rider Waite Tarot. Today most scholars, in order to recognize
the importance of Smith’s contribution, refer to the deck as the Waite-Smith Tarot. Tarot writers
often refer to the deck with the simple abbreviation of RWS, for Rider-Waite-Smith.
In the one hundred years since the deck's first printing, there have been dozens of editions put
out by various publishers; for some of these the Smith drawings were redrawn by other artists,
and for others the cards were re-photographed to create new printing plates. Waite is often
cited as the designer of the Waite-Smith Tarot, but it would be more accurate to consider him
as half of a design team, with responsibility for the major concept, the structure of individual
cards, and the overall symbolic system. Because Waite was not an artist himself, he
commissioned the talented and intuitive Smith to create the actual deck.