One of my early memories is of sitting with my grandmother in her house. I must be about four or five years old. She’s teaching me to read Hebrew.

Hebrew prayers are part of my childhood and for me, the Hebrew letters make that wonderful, magical connection to the purest, most open part of my mind.

Fast forward about thirty years and I became interested in the Tarot. I was completely stunned to see Hebrew letters on the Tarot Majors!

This led me to look again into the mystical side of the Jewish religion and, gradually, I began to put together my own notes about each of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet (the Aleph-Beis) their numerical equivalent, their astrological correspondences and the possible Tarot connections. After all, there are 22 letters in the Aleph-Beis and 22 cards in the Major Arcana.

Gradually, I realised that I was creating a deck of my own but with the Hebrew Letters as the starting point, not the Tarot deck. I eventually distilled my ideas down to three basic components on each card.

The easiest way to describe the end result is by using an example of a card from “The Deck of the Hebrew Letters” devised by me and illustrated by James Douglas (creator of the Darkwater Tarot deck):

The form of the letter is in the centre of the card. James and I worked on finding colours and styles of finish on each letter that we found to be appropriate. There’s lots for you to discover in the way that we’ve used colour and finish in the card designs.

According to the Sefer Yetzirah, a book whose origins are so obscure that some people say it was written by Abraham, three of the Hebrew letters correspond to elements, seven of them correspond to planets and the remaining 12 correspond to the signs of the Zodiac.

Inside the circle at the top of each card is an astrological symbol. This is either an elemental, planetary or zodiacal glyph.

Aleph corresponds to the element of Air. The symbol for Air is an upward pointing triangle with a horizontal line through it. You can see this symbol in yellow inside the circle above the Aleph. Notice how the symbol is contained within the six-pointed Star of David.

Inside the circle at the bottom of each card is the numerical value of the letter. Aleph has the numerical value of 1.

The fact that each letter of the Aleph-Beis has a numerical correspondence means that any Hebrew word has a total numerical value. This area of study is known as Gematria and it can be truly fascinating, not to say mind-blowing. Using the Deck of the Hebrew Letters to spell out Hebrew words makes it fairly straightforward to see the numerical value of the individual letters and then total them up.

And it’s the same for each of the 22 cards in the deck: the form of the letter in the centre with a carefully chosen colour, an astrological glyph above the letter and its numerical equivalent below.

Notice that’s there’s no reference to the Tarot majors in this deck. However… I highly recommend anyone who’s interested to “triangulate” the astrological correspondences into other decks and see what surprises it brings.

I’m currently writing a workbook to accompany the deck. Here’s the kind of thing I plan to include about the Aleph card.

“Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

It makes no sound of its own. When Hebrew words are written in full, there are vowels beneath or above the letters. The Aleph itself is silent but it enables words to start with a vowel sound. For example, Aleph is the first letter in the word ahavah meaning Love and echod which means one:

Love           אהבה

One           אחד

You read Hebrew from right to left, so the Aleph is the first letter of both words.

Inside the circle at the bottom of each card is the numerical value of the letter. Aleph has the numerical value of 1.

Aleph is at the beginning of the Hebrew alphabet. The first Hebrew letter corresponds to the first countable number.

Get to know the shape of the letter Aleph. There’s a diagonal line from top left to bottom right. This is joined to a pair of smaller lines, one above the diagonal to the right the other below the diagonal to the left.

Here’s the letter Aleph in two different fonts:

א א

Think of Aleph and its numerical equivalent 1. All other positive numbers follow on from 1. Starting from 1, anything is possible.

Aleph has no sound but, for example, it allows Hebrew words to start with a vowel sound. Similarly, the element of Air isn’t visible but it’s essential for human life.

The Aleph card asks you to be cool-headed. Think clearly and use your intellect.  This applies especially to the start of a project of some sort. Pay attention to the step before the first step.

Think about the beauty of 1, indivisible and self-contained: 1 x 1 = 1

But 1 is also the start of all the numbers that follow, an infinite series starting with 1.

Imagine the air all around you, sustaining you with each breath. Feel the power of the element of Air.

But beware of waiting and waiting for the moment when you feel 100% sure that you’ve done all your thinking and planning and that the time is absolutely perfect. There’s a danger that you could wait forever.

Once you’ve done enough thinking, put your ideas into practice. Aleph is just the start and all the potential is there for you.”

Please contact me to order the Deck of the Hebrew Letters or if you have any questions at all.

Thanks,

Mick Frankel

frankelmick@hotmail.com
#deckoftheHebrewLetters

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