Archive for the ‘Jewish Tarot’ Category

Choose your card for the week of 11/1/09

October 31, 2009

KIng Solomon Oracle Cards, 28 King Solomon Oracle Cards, 3 King Solomon Oracle Cards, 31

King Solomon Oracle Cards, 33 King Solomon Oracle Cards, 35 King Solomon Oracle Cards, 7

Choose your card for the week from the King Solomon Oracle Cards by Orna Ben-Shoshan and Itzhak Mizrahi. When making your selection, don’t worry about what the cards mean. Base your choice on the pictures—the stories they tell and how they make you feel.

Let us know which card you choose—post a comment!  (Put your cursor over each card to see its title.)

For those of you who have been waiting for a uniquely Jewish deck, here it is! Not exactly tarot, but close enough!

I have become a big fan of Orna Ben-Shoshan’s artwork—it’s magical! I’ve spent hours on her site.

Finally, a Jewish deck!

October 18, 2008

I received an email advertising the new King Solomon Cards—the first deck based on Jewish symbolism. This deck is created by Israeli metaphysical and kabalistic counselor, Itzhak Mizrahi, and Israeli artist, Orna Ben-Shoshan. To go to the King Solomon site in the original Hebrew, click here.

I have not found large-sized images of the cards online, but what a treat it has been to get lost in Orna Ben-Shoshan’s personal website, which includes images of her paintings, prints, and masks. Her work is wonderfully surreal, enchanting, and playful. How fun to adopt another favorite artist!

I have just written to find out whether or not the cards ship to the USA from the King Solomon Cards online store. I sure hope so. I’d love to have this deck. Today I was obsessively looking for places online where I can purchase a print or two as well! I came up with the Yessy art gallery.

A Jewish Hierophant

June 11, 2008

Aeclectic Tarot is featuring the Corto Maltese Tarot as the Tarot of the Week. This deck is based on Italian illustrator, Hugo Pratt’s comic book character, Corto Maltese.

I wasn’t familiar with the character Corto Maltese and found it interesting that The Hierophant card, shown on Aeclectic, depicted a Jewish scene. I googled Hugo Pratt and found an interesting article on Corto Maltese by Ivan Pintor. Here’s an excerpt that sheds light on the Jewish-themed Hierophant:

The story begins when a sailor from Cornwall disembarks in Gibraltar and meets a beautiful gypsy girl from Seville. And continues in the cove of Valeta. A house with an arcaded courtyard and wrought-iron grilles between St John Street and Kingsway, is the setting for the birth of their son on the morning of 10 July 1887. His father is said to have disappeared off the coast of Chile near Iquique, to have turned up in Adelaide after a shady brawl, or even to have been murdered on the Pearl River. His mother, however, took a house in the Juderia in Cordoba to bring up the little boy. He played on the banks of the Guadalquivir and was taught by Rabbi Ezra Toledano. One day, near the Mezquita, a friend of his mother’s walked up to him -by then he was in his early teens- to read his palm. Imagine his surprise when he found out that he had no fate line. The boy must have run to his house to look for the cut-throat razor that had belonged to his father. With it, he drew a line on the palm of his right hand. Shortly afterwards, Toledano took him to the Jewish school in Valeta. Corto Maltese -as he was known- surfaced five years later, in 1904, at the height of the Russo-Japanese War in Manchuria, accompanied by a young reporter called Jack London; at 26 he was rescued in the Pacific after being tied to a plank and thrown into the sea by a mutinous crew. After that, for the first quarter of this century, he wandered through more ports than any other adventurer.

Questions about Tarot?

June 6, 2007

If you have any questions about tarot, or if there are any topics that you would like to see covered in this blog, please let me know. You can post them right here.



Would love to hear from you!

May 19, 2007

It’s a bit lonely out here at Tarot Table Talk. So far I’m the one that’s doing all the talking! I would love to hear your thoughts and insights on the cards, and I’m hoping I can encourage you to post some comments.


The Devil and “A Passion for Clothes”

April 15, 2007

Inspired by The Fairytale Tarot, which illustrates 78 different fairytales from around the world, I revisited my anthologies of Jewish folktales. I found the story, “A Passion for Clothes” by Y.L. Peretz to perfectly reflect the theme of The Devil Card.

The Devil card can symbolize playfulness and fun, the appreciation of material and sensual pleasures. But The Devil card also warns that overindulgence in this realm can distract us from the truth, with the resulting ignorance leading to oppression. There is an additional lesson to be learned from the man and woman in the card who seem to have accepted or become accustomed to their enslavement and are unwilling or unaware of their ability to remove the loose chains from around their necks.

The Devil

Below is my retelling of “A Passion for Clothes.” A full version can be found in Great Tales of the Jewish Occult and Fantasy, compiled, and translated by Joachim Neugroschel.

Once upon a time there was a Jewish woman named Bashe Gitel who enraged Satan because she was so virtuous. He made it his mission to turn her into a compulsive shopper.

He came to her in the guise of the Good Spirit and suggested that she would do God a great honor by buying a new dress for the Passover holiday. Besides, he said, giving the tailor a chance to earn a little money before the holiday would be a good deed. So Bashe Gitel scrimped a little on her holiday donation to the poor and prepared a less extravagant holiday meal than usual so she could buy a new dress.

Then Shavuoth came along, the holiday commemorating the day that God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mt. Sinai, and Satan reminded Bashe Gitel that this was an even more important holiday and suggested a new necklace. With each holiday that passed, Bashe Gitel added to her wardrobe and accessories, and when Satan pointed out that Bashe Gitel was neglecting the Sabbath, her purchases became weekly.

It was easy for Satan to convince Bashe Gitel that she should have more gems. Rubies would help her in childbirth, an emerald would turn cloudy if she had a sinful thought and therefore keep her honest and pious, and sapphires would give her the wisdom she needed to help her figure out her finances, which was becoming an increasing problem.

Soon, no amount of money could appease Bashe Gitel’s insatiable desire for jewels and clothing. She stopped giving money to charities, and even sent her sons to less expensive teachers. She also fired her maid and tricked an orphan into working for her for free.

One day she discovered that there were food stains and rips and tears on her finest silk. She accused the orphan of borrowing her clothes and wearing them out at night. She humiliated her in front of the whole community and ran her out of town.

As it turned out, it was demons who had soiled her clothes. For when a woman has too many dresses and neglects her duty to clothe the poor with the old ones, demons will take them at night and wear them to their feasts.

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Exercises for reflection:

  • Is there a little devil in you who talks you into overindulging? Go through your deck and choose a card that illustrates the devil in you. Find another that represents the part of you that knows when you need to treat yourself or live it up a little and when you are being too extreme or getting out of control.
  • Find a card that represents the chain about your neck and another that shows you how to remove it.

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llustrations from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Copyright 1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited. The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

The Four of Wands: The Chuppah and the Sukkah

April 13, 2007

I have been unable to find reference to a Jewish themed tarot deck except for an unpublished deck, which I found online years ago. For his degree in Design and Illustration from Tel Aviv University, Leon Jacobowitz Efron created a deck which he describes as drawing “its symbolism and correlations from Jewish traditions and Kabbalah rather than from Golden Dawn, Hermetic or Christian Qabbala, as is the standard nowadays.” He included the major arcana cards along with extensive interpretations on his website, which is now under reconstruction:

The one card in the Rider-Waite deck that always reminds me of my Jewish roots is the Four of Wands.

Four of Wands

It evokes the chuppah, the Jewish wedding canopy, which symbolizes the home the couple will build. It also evokes the sukkah, the canopy of loosely woven branches with hanging fruits and vegetables, which is a part of Sukkot, the Jewish holiday in celebration of the harvest.

The Four of Wands does, in part, symbolize celebration and rejoicing in the fruits of one’s labors. It can also symbolize the completion and success of a project or a home life that breaks from tradition and cultivates creativity.

There are some great folktales from the Jewish occult that go nicely with some of the cards, and I plan to share a few here, so stay tuned!

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llustrations from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Copyright 1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited. The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.