I have a secret to share… even though I have read and studied Tarot for 15 years, I really haven’t ventured past the one Tarot deck. I know there are Tarot readers out there who have well over 100 different Tarot decks and are able to switch easily from one deck to another without a second thought. But not me.
I am a loyal Rider-Waite fan. I have been working with the Rider-Waite deck ever since I began to learn Tarot and I am now so comfortable with the Tarot card meanings that I just can’t imagine trying anything else.
That was until I recently came across the 72 Names Cards, by Orna Ben-Shoshan. The 72 Names Cards are based on the Kabbalah and are said to “help you connect with the source of your internal wisdom and retrieve the relevant knowledge for each challenging situation in your life.”
At first, I was hesitant. What insight would these cards give me that the Rider-Waite couldn’t? And would I be able to use the cards like an expert, given that I knew nothing about them?
But, in the spirit of trying something new, I decided to give the new cards a go. And, here’s what happened…
Exploring the 72 Names Cards
The 72 Names Cards arrived beautifully presented in a vibrant orange box. Nestled inside are the Little White Book (LWB) and the 72 cards themselves. As I lifted the lid on the box, I had this strange feeling that I was accessing ancient knowledge and deep wisdom. When I read the start of the LWB, my gut feeling was confirmed.
Orna is what is known as a ‘metaphysical artist’. She channels spiritual messages through into her artwork and she ‘sees’ the card imagery before she even paints it. You can see it in the cards themselves – the images are like voices of the subconscious that don’t necessarily make sense at first, but after further reflection, a deeper story emerges.
Take, for example, card 46. A man holds a huge needle threaded with pears. He stands upon a series of steps that look more like those mind puzzles than actual steps. He wears almost psychedelic pants, and his ‘feet’ are not really feet but spiral cones. It is one of those images that doesn’t make logical sense but is clearly from a different place to where many of us spend our lives.
To understand what this card actually meant, I look at the LWB. Orna has developed concise and relevant meanings for the cards – identifying perspective over the situation, spiritual guidance and the “bottom line” (i.e. the foreseen outcome). Card 46 – “Hard labour and stressful conditions at work are driving you to the edge of your capabilities… Keep up your faith despite all limitations…”
While I’m not sure how this relates to pears and stairs, I can tell you that these messages are indeed highly relevant. Let me explain why… I’m sitting here with a 7 week old baby who is incredibly ‘wakeful’ and active, not wanting to sleep. At the same time, I am itching to write this blog post and have been trying to do so for several weeks! And here comes Card 46 with its messages of stressful conditions and keeping faith. Very insightful.
Here’s another example of how relevant the cards’ messages are. A couple of weeks after our baby was born, we were tired, exhausted and wondering whether things will ever get better! I asked the 72 Names Cards, “How do we pull it together and get through this?” Card 39. Again the images are strange and fanciful – one woman upright, smelling the roses, and another woman upside-down writing a note. But the message is helpful – “You are in the midst of a spiritual crisis, feeling defeated, pessimistic and disoriented.” Uh-huh! “You torture yourself in vain, since time is not ripe yet. Wait until these days are over and you shall have joy and fulfilment.” Wow, such wise advice. What do you expect with a 2 week old baby?! This card was a reminder to just ride it out and it will get better. Don’t judge the situation now but just go with it.
The 72 Names Cards are ideal for those burning questions that require just one piece of advice or insight. Orna recommends drawing only one card for one question, thus complicated spreads are not required. If further insight or clarification is needed, draw just one more card. And don’t ask the cards more than 2 questions in the one sitting, or the same question for at least another 2 weeks.
The Lowdown on the 72 Names Cards
I was really amazed at how relevant the cards’ messages were for my specific situations. (I had pulled cards for a number of other scenarios, and found similar insight.) This, to me, offers value in itself and I would be more than happy to work with the cards for this reason alone.
I also really like the size of the cards. They fit perfectly into your hands (approx. 7 x 12cm), making them easy to shuffle. And of course, the packaging is beautiful and so appropriate.
I suppose what I struggle with is wanting to know more. I want to know more about how the images relate to the meanings. I want to know more about what the text on each card says (it is in Hebrew). I want to know more about the Kabbalah and how these cards link to the Kabbalah.
I want to know more so that I can go beyond just what the LWB says and start to understand the depth of these cards. I feel like there is so much more to know about the cards, but I don’t know where to begin.
I am also so intrigued by the fact that Orna channelled spiritual messages as she designed the 72 Names Cards. I want to know more about what messages she was receiving and how she interpreted them. Yet, there are no ‘further reading’ resources listed as part of the LWB. So, perhaps a little more research is required on my part if I really do want to delve deeper into what lies behind the 72 Names Cards.
Nonetheless, I would recommend the 72 Names Cards to those who are seeking quick insight into a specific issue or concern. Simply draw a card and look up the meaning and you’ll have all the insight you need.
For professional card readers, the 72 Names Cards can offer helpful advice and insight to close off a reading. Perhaps after a comprehensive consultation session, you may want to finish with the client drawing a final card from the 72 Names Cards and receiving a final piece of advice or insight.
To find out more about the 72 Names Cards visit http://kabbalahinsights.com/products/the-72-names-cards.
PSST... Do you want to create a personal and intuitive connection with each and every Tarot card and ultimately become a better Tarot reader? In January, 2015, I'll be opening the doors to my signature program, TF1: Master the Tarot Card Meanings, and you're invited!