Elder (Germanic/Viking) Futhark
The Runes are an alphabet originating in Scandinavia. Their distinctive sharp lines are because the symbols were originally carved into objects rather than painted. Over the course of time the alphabet has evolved, so that nowadays there are distinct versions of it. This is the Elder Futhark, the oldest version known, which consists of 24 runes.
Also known as the “Rider- Waite-Smith” Deck
The story of the artist of this most familiar of Tarot decks is seldom known. Pamela Colman Smith was an active member of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn- a founding movement of modern Western esotericism. She brought with her a background in Swedenborgian mysticism, Jamaican folklore and theatrical design. It is generally believed that she proposed the unusual idea to fully illustrate each ‘pip’ card, and that she strongly influenced how each scene was depicted.
This concept set a standard for every deck published since.