On today’s Biddy Tarot podcast, I am speaking with Ben and Noa Knafo, who are behind the Visionary Card deck, and really, this is just a small, small sample of their amazing intuitive artwork that they create.
Now, Noa is the artist, and Ben is the maker and the doer, getting it out into the world. Noa’s art focuses on spirituality and on how the world is right now, but in ways that we cannot necessarily see. Her paintings contain certain energies which allow viewers to experience these realities in similar ways, each in their own personal ways.
Her Visionary Cards are extremely unique. Each card comes with its own description that links to a knowledge hub, where you are invited to not only read further into each meaning, but also to become part of the meaning by adding your own insights.
I’m super excited to talk to Noa today about the process of creating this deck, and her beautiful artwork. Now, let’s get into it!
You’re listening to the Biddy Tarot Podcast, and this is Episode 89: Visionary Cards with Noa and Ben Knafo.
Welcome to the Biddy Tarot Podcast, where you’ll learn how to connect more deeply with your intuition and live an empowered and enlightened life with the Tarot cards as your guide.
Listen as Brigit and her guests share their very best tips and strategies to help you read Tarot with confidence. Now, here is your host, Brigit Esselmont.
BRIGIT: Hello, and welcome back to the Biddy Tarot Podcast. Today, I am speaking with Ben and Noa Knafo, who are behind the Visionary Card deck, and really, this is just a small, small sample of their amazing intuitive artwork that they create.
Now, Noa is the artist, and Ben is, as he said, the maker or the doer, getting it out into the world. Noa is an artist who focuses on spirituality and how the world is right now but in ways that we cannot necessarily see. Her paintings contain certain energies which allow viewers to experience these realities in similar ways, each in their own personal way.
Noa’s Visionary Cards are extremely unique. They’re not really Tarot cards. They’re more like an Oracle deck, but they’re not even quite an Oracle deck in itself. As you look at each card, you cannot help but feel this huge amount of energy coming off the card, and it’s almost as if that energy is just what you need. You don’t need to apply words to it or have meaning for it; it’s simply the energy that you need to experience, and that’s certainly her intention with these cards.
Each card does come with its own description that links to a knowledge hub, where you’re invited to not only read further into each meaning but also become part of the meaning by adding your own insights. You can find that in the little book that comes along with the Visionary Cards. You get the meaning, and you get space to add in your own insights from the cards.
So, I am super excited to talk with Ben and Noa today because I’ve just been digging into these cards and just getting so much out of them. In this interview, we’re going to be talking about their inspirations and the process of creating this intuitive artwork and converting it into a card deck. So, let’s get straight into it.
VISIONARY CARDS WITH NOA AND BEN KNAFO
BRIGIT: All right, welcome, Noa and Ben. It’s so, so lovely to have you here on the Biddy Tarot Podcast. How are you doing today?
NOA: Amazing! We feel very good, and I’m very happy to be here.
BEN: Yeah, I’m very happy to be here, too.
BRIGIT: Wonderful. And I know it’s sort of earlyish in the morning for you, and you were up late last night. What were you doing?
NOA: Last night, we had a live video session on Facebook, which I paint live—that’s it.
NOA: It was amazing.
BRIGIT: Yeah, I was having a look before, and it just looked fabulous, and I love that you share it through video as well, and you’re doing it on Facebook Live, because it gives such an appreciation for your process and how things evolve. So, Noa, tell me a little bit about yourself and your artistic journey. What’s led you to where you are now?
NOA: So, my artistic journey is very connected to our spiritual life, me and my husband, Ben, and I call it “visionary art.” I receive visions through my mind and then paint them. The main idea is to share this content of energy with other people and make a new thinking, a new insight, a way of discovering the world.
BRIGIT: Yeah, beautiful. Even just looking at some of your artwork now, what draws me in so much is it’s so rich in its symbolism and so rich in the knowledge that you’re expressing through your artwork. So, how do you connect with that deeper knowledge that is then coming through your artwork?
NOA: In our life, we live in… We’re both from a lot of cultures. I’m half-Moroccan and half-Mexican. Ben’s father is from Syria, and his mother is from Romania. In Israel, you get stuff from many cultures, and you have lots of sight in yourself. I really like to connect all the knowledge from many kinds of cultures and then take from this wisdom and influence from it.
BRIGIT: Yes, wonderful. And Ben, what’s your role with the artwork as well? Are you contributing to the artwork? Do you just stick with support? How do you influence it?
BEN: Actually, I believe you can paint, play and say kind of the same thing, so when Noa is creating a painting, it’s something that we have experienced. It’s like a symbol for a certain energy that lives in this time.
BEN: So, it doesn’t matter how you express. If you express it, you experience it.
BRIGIT: Yes, yes. Do you go through and experience first through a visualisation or whatever it might be—an intuitive process—and then you create the artwork? Or is it a collection of different experiences you’ve had?
NOA: The artwork, actually, is me; it’s my life; it’s all around me. It’s way of… I can say future showing some ideas and some insight that crosses into myself and with my environment, which the strongest is my husband because we are all the time together, and we build some spiritual journey together, so it just goes on the canvas, and I try to express it in the most beautiful way and in the way that people can connect with it, you know?
BEN: You know a molecule, like in chemistry?
BRIGIT: Ah, yes!
BEN: So, the molecule is… The symbol of the molecule has certain shapes that they’re coming to express something that we cannot see with our eyes, but we can understand with our mind, so the shape of the molecule will tell you what kind of molecule this is. So, I see the paintings as kind of similar. They are like a molecule for certain energy, so it’s a symbol. Once you see that symbol, through symbolism that is not necessarily connected, you get certain energy.
BRIGIT: Yes, I love that analogy. Yeah, it’s fascinating. I was just thinking that sometimes I’ll go through my own visualisation process, and I can feel and experience and see certain energy, but unfortunately, I’m not an artist like you are, Noa, and I can’t express it visually, so it’s so enriching to see you can take what you have experienced in a visualisation, and you can put it onto… visually express it in this way. And as you say, Ben, it’s a way of then taking something that’s intangible energy and then creating it into something we can see and feel and handle.
BEN: You know, there is a nice way of thinking about the painting, about a window that’s made of many small glasses with colours.
BEN: So, once the light goes through this window, it will take the shape of the colourful window and will reflect them. So, this light is energy that’s going through some template. It’s the same with the paintings. They are a template, and the energy, once it goes through the painting, is wearing the form of the painting. In this way, the energy is shaping.
BRIGIT: Yes, yes. It’s incredibly powerful. I love it. I know that you’re creating these artworks, and I’ve seen all sorts of things that you’re putting the artwork onto. I saw it just before—some sneakers! But one of the ways that you’ve chosen to express or put out your artwork is through these Visionary Cards. What was the inspiration to create the Visionary Cards with your artwork?
NOA: First of all, we really wanted that the painting would be served to people who sometimes cannot connect it in other ways. Here you have the painting in the deck, and people can reach it and take this information that we talk about and connect to our consciousness through this. And every painting has a meaning and content of energy that can pass through others. For us, it’s kind of a mission or another way to connect with the world and with the people and send them some good vibes and good energy and some new insight, new consciousness.
BRIGIT: Yes. It’s so interesting with Tarot cards because I think a lot of people start thinking, “OK, I want to create a Tarot deck,” and then they find an artist and make the deck. But then there’s a group of people like yourselves who are more artists who say, “OK, I’ve got this collection of artwork, and I know that it could be transferred to a deck of cards as a format.” I think you’ve done a great job in terms of putting that into your cards also. You have clothing with your prints on them. You have wall prints. You’ve really found different ways to get your artwork out into the public in many different ways. I think it’s really smart.
Particularly for the cards, what I love is that I always see Tarot cards as little pictures with energy captured in them, and there’s just energy flying off every card because there’s so much in there. And obviously, you’ve had so much intention when you’re creating this artwork as well. It’s quite beautiful.
How do you decide, for example, what the cards mean? Actually, that’s probably a silly question because it probably just comes to you.
BEN: It was so natural because the paintings were actually cards before we created the Visionary Cards. Each one had its story, and we knew all these stories, and these paintings are reminders for steps and passes in the spiritual journey. So, they were already cards for us. When you think about something, then say, “OK, maybe I try to think about this painting and see how I deal with the energy of this painting.”
BEN: And then it was just so natural to transfer it into cards because we had all the knowledge; we had all the paintings. It was just to go to print.
NOA: Yeah, usually, when paintings are born, it’s born with a name, like a child, you know?
NOA: The name expresses the idea in some way, in two worlds or one worlds, you know? So, it was there already.
BRIGIT: Yes. And do you use Tarot or Oracle cards in your daily life at all, or was this just a new format?
BEN: My mother is a very good card reader in medicine cards, like the Native American animal cards—I don’t know if you know them. They’re called medicine cards.
BRIGIT: OK, yep, beautiful.
BEN: So, I kind of got it naturally since I was a child. I know about these kinds of things.
BRIGIT: Yeah. And for the people who are using this particular deck of cards, do you know what kinds of readings it’s useful for? How are people using the Visionary Cards?
NOA: I think it’s very alternative, and it’s very personal. We leave it open. In some, I think, modern way, we let the people do whatever they want to..
BEN: It doesn’t matter what happened, what is the story, and what people are going through or doing with the cards. Once they look in the card, and they think about the meaning, or they read the meaning, they get the energy. The words are nothing. The colour is nothing. They get the energy, and then it doesn’t matter what you do with this. You pick cards; you get the energy of the cards—that’s the end of the story.
BRIGIT: Yes. Yeah, what was coming to mind as you were talking was it’s almost like an energy transfer.
BRIGIT: Just the act of looking at the card fills you with the energy of that card, and your conscious mind doesn’t need to do any of the work. It’s like medicine because it’s happening at a much more subconscious energetic level. I think that’s incredibly powerful, and this doesn’t happen with every single Tarot deck. I can see other Tarot decks, and I don’t get that instant energy hit off of it. But for these cards, I certainly do, so kudos! Just beautiful.
I’m curious: What’s coming up next for you? Do you see yourself creating more paintings or putting the existing paintings out in different ways? What’s on the horizon?
NOA: I keep creating all the time. It’s my life!
BEN: So, Noa is more painting and painting and painting, and I am the one who manages stuff in the “real world.”
NOA: He’s like the genius behind the painting.
BEN: We have a software development company that I own, and we kind of manage all the digital of paintings by Noa Knafo currently. I think the plan is to come with a second edition of the cards that has all the… I guess we’ll do it each year, and it’s actually… It’s not the end because it’s a journey, and as the journey keeps on, more and more cards will appear. So, that is actually in the creating mode still. It’s still growing. It keeps growing and growing and growing with the years, and more insights will come, and then it’s like a map to our spiritual journey.
BRIGIT: It’s like a living deck, definitely. And I’m curious: Would you ever go and take the Tarot deck (the 78 cards) and express those cards through your painting, Noa? Or do you want to be more intuitively guided around whatever needs to be expressed at that time and not getting into a structure as you do with, say, the Tarot deck?
NOA: I didn’t understand, I’m sorry.
BEN: All right. So, you talk about the openings, right?
BRIGIT: Would you ever do, say, a full Tarot deck and try to recreate each of those Tarot cards in your own unique way? Or do you just want to be intuitively led to express whatever concept is coming through to you at that time?
NOA: We already have a lot of paintings that are not in the cards yet, but we will put them in later.
BEN: So, Noa, if there is something that it is not possible for her to do, it’s paint something that does not really come from her soul.
BEN: So, when people ask, “Paint me this; paint me that,” or when sometimes she’ll do some copy for some family or something because they ask… So, do you see what the difference is when you just technically painting and when you are visioning or something, when you do it real, from your intuition?
BRIGIT: Yes, yes. Yeah. I can imagine probably trying to translate the Tarot cards into a new deck would be limiting for you, but I think what you’re doing is you’re tapping into different concepts or different organisation of those concepts and then expressing that through your artwork, which is really beautiful.
NOA: Thank you.
BRIGIT: Lovely. So, do you have any advice for perhaps our more intuitive artists in our community who might be thinking about doing their own Tarot deck, but doing it from a very intuitive place, as you do with your artwork? What advice would you have?
NOA: First of all, connect to your inner self. Be your natural self, and rebel the society. Have your own insight and thinking. Be original, and believe in yourself, and belief that what you are to pass to others, passion, is necessary to other people, and you can help people. You can open other minds. It’s a wonderful thing. For me, it’s like a mission of life, and I seek it. It’s amazing and very fulfilling.
BRIGIT: Yep, beautiful. And what about for the folks like me? The other day, I had this beautiful little fox in my vision, and then we were asked to draw it, and I thought, “Oh gosh, this is going to be embarrassing.” I tried to draw the fox that I saw—it looked terrible! But what’s your advice to the folks who are not artistic in any way? Is there a way to express what we see and feel as you do? Obviously, not as good as you do it!
NOA: I think every person can find his way to express. My way is painting, and there are many other ways to express yourself and your person and your good energy to others, and you need to find this way that’s the natural way for you to express and to pass it on.
BRIGIT: Yeah, yeah. And Ben, have you tried doing the artwork side of things? Or do you have a different way of expressing your experiences?
BEN: So, I am more in translating energy into story, into metaphor, into words. It’s the same as what you see in the painting: It doesn’t that there is a tiger there; it matters the feeling that this tiger is passing through you.
BEN: So, it is the same with the words. What I’m trying to do is take an energy and create some words that will make you feel this energy and understand this energy. And when we combine these two, we combine the paintings and the story to create a full experience.
BRIGIT: Yep, beautiful. Fabulous! Oh, I’m enjoying having a chat with you. It’s very, very inspiring! So, whereabouts can people find out more about you?
BEN: So, we have a Facebook page that’s called “Paintings by Noa Knafo.” There are 145,000 followers right now. We have an Instagram also, and we have a website, NoaKnafo.com.
BRIGIT: Wonderful. We’ll make sure that we post those links as well on the show notes, which will be at BiddyTarot.com/89. And whereabouts can we get the Visionary Cards? Are they for sale on your website or elsewhere as well?
BEN: There are several shops in the U.S. that sell them, too, but actually, I’m not really sure about the list, but they are available at our website. It’s a flat rate of $36, including shipping worldwide. Shipping is free. I think it’s a fair price, and people can enjoy them.
BRIGIT: Yeah, absolutely. I am very much enjoying having them around my space. There’s always a new one popping up everywhere, so it’s been absolutely lovely to experience this deck and now to talk with you and to hear more about your inspiration. So, thank you so much, Ben and Noa. I truly appreciate your time and your energy today, and I really want to honour your work and your contribution, so thank you.
BEN: Thank you!
NOA: Thank you. Sending good vibes and love, and thank you so much!
BEN: We’re delighted to be here.
BRIGIT: So, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Ben and Noa and that you’re finding out more about these Visionary Cards. I loved the conversation, particularly, as I said, I’m not a highly creative person, so I just get such a buzz when I see how different people are able to take in this infinite knowledge and then convert it into a very full picture of what that knowledge and energy is. If you can get these cards in front of you. Whether it’s just on the internet, and you’re having a look at some imagery on the website, or you can actually get yourself a copy of this deck, just take in the imagery of the cards. As I said on this interview, it really is like an energy transfer. The healing happens when you simply look at the image and really drink it in, and it’s so incredibly powerful. So, remember, if you want to check out more of Noa’s artwork or get yourself a copy of these Visionary Cards, then make sure you go to BiddyTarot.com/89, and you’ll get access to all of the links to Noa’s website and her Facebook page. Her Facebook page also is fascinating because you can see her creating the artwork in real time—really exciting!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this conversation. It’s been fabulous, and I hope you have a really, really good week ahead of you.
Now, in our next episode, I’m going to be talking about how you can use significator cards in your Tarot readings. Even if you’re thinking, “Why is she talking about significators?” don’t worry! Come along, have a listen because we go into the ins and outs of why you might want to use them and how you use them and all of that good stuff. So, for now, have a great week, and I will speak with you very soon.
Bye for now!