Review by Bonnie Cehovet
"72 Names" is a kabbalistic oracle based on the 72 names of God, and the metaphysical artwork of Orna Ben-Shoshan. The Kabbalistic 72 names of God act as the basis for this deck, which is meant to be used for both divination and personal guidance. Any question that the Seeker may have can be addressed through this deck. The Interpretation booklet (companion book) that comes with the deck presents each of the 72 sacred cards in three levels, or steps: (1) perspective over the situation, (2) spiritual guidance, and (3) the foreseeable outcome.
Only the Hebrew letters for the name of God are placed on each card. The reason for this is that the name of God is sacred - it is never spoken. A direct connection to spirit is activated through each card, bringing the Seeker wisdom, but also protecting them from danger and negative energies. Ben-Shoshan also states that this connection to spirit helps remove any barriers that exist between the Seeker and their complete fulfillment of happiness. By utilizing the sacred letter combinations in their daily life the Seeker opens the door to spiritual transformation. Ben-Shoshan emphasizes that each of us already have all of the answers that we need within us.
In consulting the cards, Ben-Shoshan asks the Seeker to remember to approach the cards with respect - these are the sacred names for God that are being worked with. She also advises that only one card be drawn for each question, and that the responding card gives the Seeker the knowledge that they need for that moment, whether it seems to apply or not. As they phrase their question, the Seeker is asked to say the verse; "Let the eternal wisdom guide me." If the answer received is vague, or more wisdom is needed, the Seeker is advised to rephrase their question and draw one more card. Ben-Shoshan does not recommend asking more than two questions per session, or to repeat the same question within 14 days (or until circumstances change).
Ben-Shoshan sees this deck as being the Secret Carrier of Benediction, in that it works as a "mega-generator" for good fortune in all areas of life. In part, simply having the cards around them will attract positive energies to the Seeker, and fill their spirit with joy. Over time, they will act as an essential catalyst for spiritual growth for the Seeker.
From the Interpretation booklet:
Perspective: You doubt your good luck, fear disappointment and worry that you will never find love, or that you are going to lose an existing relationship. You do not understand why you deserve the harsh fate, and feel unable to choose your own path. If you are asking about business matters - you find it difficult to decide if you should force a solution or let things resolve themselves.
Direction: This is a test of your faith in the natural rhythm and order of the universe. You will have to make changes and adapt to new conditions before you can go on. Don't be afraid to take chances, because basically, you are a fortunate person.
Bottom line: The past is on its way out, and new elements are going to enter your life and stir everything up. Success will come, but for the time being, you will have to be content with what you have.
The cards themselves are 2 5/8" by 4 1/4" - of good quality, glossy card stock. The box that the cards and Interpretation booklet come in opens from the top, with an inset for the cards and booklet. The inside of the top flap shows a chart of the 72 Names of God in Hebrew letters. The backs show a spiral pattern in peach, with a light peach circle int he center. Across the top of the circle is printed "the Seventy Two Names Cards in English, with the same across the bottom in Hebrew letters. Across the middle of the card we see the Hebrew letters for "Names", then the number "72", followed by "Names" in English. The cards are not reversible.
The card faces show a solid background, different for each card, with no apparent pattern. The top of the card is given over to the Hebrew letters for the name of God, with the scene for the card below that. There is a gold border 1/4" in from the cards outer edge. The card number in is in the lower right and left hand corners.
The imagery is quite interesting - channeled as complete images before being transferred onto canvas. The style is whimsical/fantasy, and the coloring primary and soft/subdued. Figures fly through the air in some scenes, with their arm outstretched. We see flowers, vases, and sometimes ghost-like apparitions. I also noted the use of light-bulbs in various forms, and windows/window treatments.
While serious in nature, and definitely living up to its promise, the imagery is presented in great style with an whimsical sense of humor. This deck would work for anyone, from any background.
© Bonnie Cehovet
Bonnie Cehovet is Certified Tarot Grand Master, a professional Tarot reader with over ten years experience, a Reiki Master/Teacher and a writer. Bonnie has served in various capacities with the American Tarot Association, is co-founder of the World Tarot Network, and Vice President (as well as Director of Certification) for the American Board For Tarot Certification. She has had articles appear in the 2004 and 2005 Llewellyn Tarot Reader.