In addition to working on a partnership project with Itzak Mizrahi, the King Solomon Oracle Cards (U S Games Systems), Israeli artist Orna Ben-Shoshan recently produced her own deck, the 72 Names Cards. This is another deck based on a unique aspect of the practical Kabbalah, the Shem-ha-Memphorash, or the 72 Names of God. The Names are associated with angelic energies and are also assigned to the 72 dwads (five-degree segments) of the zodiac.
The 72 numbered cards feature Ben-Shoshan’s otherworldly, surrealistic artwork. The mind-twisting, humorous images compel the eyes to perform careful scans of each card to absorb details. The laws of physics don’t operate in Ben-Shoshan’s channeled images. For example, card #26 features a trumpeter floating above a spiraled labyrinth bursting with flowers. Another figure appears to be leaping from one segment of the maze to another.
All of the cards have one of the Names printed in Hebrew at the top of the card. The cards are explained in the accompanying booklet. Delineations for the cards are written in three sections: Perspective, Direction and Bottom Line. (For those interested in more information, the Shem-ha-Memphorash is outlined in Bill Whitcomb’s book, The Magician’s Companion. Whitcomb supplies a traditional range of correspondences – colors, animals, angelic choir, etc., and the translation of the Hebrew name into English.) The cards are very easy to use – meditate on your current condition or on a pressing question. Shuffle the deck and select one (or more) cards to receive an answer.
Working with this deck requires no knowledge of the Kabbalah or the 72 Names. The booklet tells you what you need to know. The deck size is comparable to a tarot deck (2.75” x 4.25”) and is printed on good quality card stock. It’s packaged in a clever lift-top box with a tab closure that neatly holds the deck and booklet.
Orna Ben-Shoshan is a prolific artist. She created a Wheel of Wisdom oracle, supplied the artwork for the King Solomon cards, and is currently developing another product. People interested in working with the Kabbalah as an oracular medium should consider experimenting with these tools. Ben-Shoshan has boosted the Kaballah out of the dusty old magic books and given it a fresh and accessible spin.
~review by Elizabeth Hazel
Author: Orna Ben Shoshan
68 page booklet and 72 cards in box, $39
Available at http://www.kabbalahinsights.com
Originally published in the American Tarot Association Quarterly Journal, Summer 2011 issue.
Please see our other review of this item, here.