The first Tarot deck I ever laid hands on was the Rider-Waite. That was 20 years ago and I still use that exact same deck today. The cards are old friends, infused with my energy. Sometimes I’ll sleep with a card under my pillow if I need to meditate on the issues it represents.
I’m so-so on the artwork. If you want to talk about a deck whose appearance resonates with me, here it is. But that’s beside the point. My original Rider-Waite still works for me, esthetics aside.
I’ve talked to other Tarot readers who consider the Rider- Waite “shallow”, “juvenile” and “simplistic”. One of the more polite terms that have been applied to it is “neutral”. I can see their point. It’s safe and, therefore, the go-to deck when you’re learning Tarot. It’s not dark and dangerous like the Baphomet. It’s not crazy/hip/sexy like the Lunatic. Every deck has a personality and the Rider-Waite is considered by many to be nice but boring. If you want a reading with depth, don’t use it.
I disagree. In my opinion, use what works. As mentioned, the artwork on this deck does nothing for me. But that’s irrelevant when it comes to the accuracy of my readings. If I feel the need to use a deck that has more emotional weight, I’ll use the Thoth. Sometimes I want a deck that cleans the palate; enter the no-frills Egyptian. The personality of a deck can influence the feeling of a reading. But the accuracy depends on the interaction between the reader, their cards and the querent (the person asking the question).
So if you have no respect for a deck, then sure…your reading will be fluff. I respect my Rider -Waite because it’s taught me (and continues to teach me) about Tarot. And that’s reflected in my readings.