Guest Author - Christin Sander
The 72 Names cards were created by author and visionary artist Orna Ben-Shoshan. I was given a copy of this deck by the creator and encouraged to share my thoughts on it with fellow Tarot enthusiasts. Although this isn't a Tarot deck in the traditional sense, it is still a great tool for both divination and personal reflection.
Orna was a Tarot enthusiast herself for many years as well as a spiritual seeker with a background studying Eastern philosophies and later Kabbalah. Her studies helped her to better understand and develop her own artwork as she gained deeper spiritual insight. Over the years, many people suggested to her that her art would make a great Tarot deck. She chose the “72 names of God” for her inspiration because of the special spiritual qualities they represent.
According to the author, “The 72 Names of God are a direct connection to the eternal spiritual abundance that nourishes the soul”. The letter combinations serve as a connection to the source providing protection from negative energies and removing barriers that separate the individual from finding complete fulfillment. The author believes that using the sacred letters daily helps open the door to spiritual transformation, providing the tools necessary to participate in the fulfillment of the cosmic plan.
I was very pleased with the quality of this deck. The card stock is heavyweight, durable and nicely laminated. These cards are smaller so they fit well in the hands and feel nice while shuffling. I can tell they are very sturdy and will last a long time. I won't have to worry about chipped edges or fraying corners. Many decks produced lately do not have the durability they should, but that is not the case with this deck.
The box it is packaged in opens from the top, allowing the cards and booklet to lay nicely back in the box for storage. On the under side of the lid are all the letter symbols from the cards – a nice touch and attention to detail.
There is a certain randomness to these cards that I enjoy. Each one is placed on a different colored solid background, however the colors are all beautiful and it is all pulled together by the placement of a thin gold border on each card face that unites the design elements, making them cohesive without overshadowing the art and symbolism.
Using the Cards
These cards are different from traditional Tarot. There is no Major Arcana or Minor Arcana. All the cards hold equal importance and unlike Tarot, this deck is meant to be read one card at a time rather than laid out into a spread.
According to the author, these cards should only be consulted when you have crucial, pressing questions where you are seeking clarity and wisdom. Only one card should be drawn per question and that card should then be considered and meditated upon for awhile. After some time passes, if the answer hasn't revealed itself or there is still uncertainty, a second card should be drawn. There is no need for complicated spreads or multiple cards to receive your answers with this tool.
The booklet that accompanies the deck has detailed interpretations, divided into 3 areas of guidance.
I have had the pleasure of working with these cards for a few weeks now and I have found them useful for both divination and personal guidance. I particularly enjoy that this deck is designed more to provoke thought and highlight important lessons being presented on ones path.
The advice is practical, but also deeply reflective. I found this deck challenged me, but did so in such a way that I would be more receptive to the lessons and willing to act on them. The advice given is practical, very matter of fact, but not “preachy”. The author has dedicated many years of her life to spiritual studies and you can feel her sincere desire to help others help themselves in the messages of her cards.
Another feature I enjoy is the individual card interpretations, which are divided into three areas of guidance: perspective, direction, and bottom line. This adds dimension to the card interpretations that surpasses many Tarot decks, which often provide only keyword lists or very vague, overly generalized statements.
I found the artwork to be lighthearted, sometimes humorous, and with beautiful use of color. The different background colors complemented the artwork nicely. The art itself has a somewhat whimsical appeal that is refreshing and fun, but doesn't take away from the teachings and wisdom presented. With some decks, the art becomes distracting to the message or overall feel, that wasn't an issue here.
The only minor drawbacks I could find with these cards are that the numbers are in a very small font in both bottom corners of each card. It's not really a problem and I can understand why the creator would do that, so that nothing takes away from the upper symbol which is meant to be dominant. I do wonder however, if it would be better to place the number once in the bottom center of the card instead.
The second is that the art, while very impressive, did not always in my mind correspond in an apparent way with the cards interpretation. In many cases it did, but in others it kind of left me guessing a bit after reading the interpretation. There is benefit in that however, because it encourages more thought and a second look.
Overall, I have truly enjoyed working with this divination deck. I have received valuable guidance from it and due to its high quality and unique nature would definitely recommend it to others who are looking for something that provides strong practical guidance in addition to deeper spiritual wisdom.
You can view the 72 Names cards and learn more about them and their creator Orna Ben-Shoshan at the Kabbalah Insights website. http://kabbalahinsights.com