Review: Inspirational Visions

Author: Judy Mastrangelo

Artist: Judy Mastrangelo

Red Feather


“Inspirational Visions” is a 50 card, full-color oracle deck that comes with a 120-page companion book. Deck and book come in a sturdy keepsake box beautifully shaped like a book, with a magnet closure. The presentation is so beautiful that you want to just sit and look at it – meditate on the colors and images if you will.

The cards are 3 ½” by 5”, with no borders. The card edges are done in a lovely blue foil. The card backs are a light blue/green, with light white snowflake type imagery on them. They are reversible. The card imagery is done in rich, intense pastels that are an absolute delight. The cards are not numbered but show the card name in a little colored cloud at the bottom of the card, with a short message about the card’s energy in black lettering across a white strip under the card name. The imagery within the cards includes bunnies, cherubs, faeries, unicorns, wizards, and more! There is a whimsical world of fantasy and wonder that can be accessed through these cards. The cards are presented in alphabetical order.

The guidebook devotes two pages to each card – the left-hand page is a full-color representation of the card, while the right-hand page gives the card name, the energy of the card, and a bit of advice about how to work with the card.

In her introduction, Mastrangelo notes the “Imagination is the stuff that Dreams are made of.” Her intent with this deck is that it works to enhance the skill of imagination. In other words, we can use the cards to open-up our imagination, and our world. She talks about a specific technique called “Mind Painting”, where we create an image in our mind of what we would like our ideal self to be. Through the use of this deck, we can develop our own intuitive abilities, and overcome our fear of trying something new.

There are some solid suggestions on how to use the cards, including working with the special message on each card. Mastrangelo encourages relaxing before beginning to work with the cards, and she provides a meditative process that anyone can use to do so.

In her section on “Mind Painting” Mastrangelo makes that point that everyone is born with talents that they can develop using their own intuition. One way in which this deck enhances working with intuition is that it has no borders, which makes it so much easier to “enter” (in my humble opinion). By “entering” a card, I mean that you go into a meditative state and consciously enter into the scene, see the colors, feel the energy, and talk to the characters. Listen, and they will respond. I cannot wait to work with “Alice and the White Rabbit”. I want to talk to the Rabbit!

There is a wonderful process presented for creating a “Mind Painting”. Basically, you find a quiet, safe place to do the work in. Create a vision in your mind of what you want to do. Hold the image in your mind. There is more, but these are the basics. And the reader is encouraged to develop their own way of doing this.

I found within these 50 cards both a system and a whole new world. Anyone, from any background, of any age can work safely with this deck. It can be used with children to help them express themselves, with adults to help them understand themselves and their issues, and with aging adults, or developmentally challenged individuals to help express themselves, and find their “safe-place”.   

You can pull a card each morning to see how your day is going to go, you can choose to carry a card with you each day to bring that energy into your day, you can ask specific questions about people or issues in your life, or you can create unique spreads to give you guidance. The colors and imagery in this deck are gentle, yet profound. A deep thanks to the artist for sharing her vision!

© February 2021 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

Review: The Parallax Oracle

The Parallax Oracle –

Archetypal Kabbalah, Tarot, and The Tree of Life

Author: Heather Mendel

Artist: Heather Mendel

A Word of Art


ISBN# 978-0-9710976-9-8

I had the honor to meet Heather Mendel in person – her work personifies the very gracious individual that she is. (Her previous work includes “The Oracle Speaks”, “The Magic Moon Lenormand”,  “The Sacred Mandala Tarot: Mystery, Mindfulness and Manifestation”, “The Sacred Mandala Lenormand Oracle”, and “The Syzygy Oracle: Transformative Tarot and the Tree of Life”.) The focus of her work is the Sacred Feminine, as expressed through the Kabbalah, Tarot, women’s spirituality, sacred geometry, and mythology. You can find her work on her site:

I knew that I wanted to work with this deck/book as soon as I heard about it. (Facebook is good for something!) It will appeal to readers that are interested in the Tarot, in the Sacred Feminine, and in working with the Kabbalah and the Tree of Life. I was very impressed with the presentation of the deck and accompanying book: the book cover and the box that the cards come in are black. Some might call this minimalist – I call it a reflection of the mysteries that they contain. The image on the covers for the book and deck is that of the four worlds.

The cards come in a lift-top box, with a lovely lavender mesh bag to store the cards in. There is a silver elastic tie that holds the box together. (I have feline “helpers”. A flick of a paw would have cards all over the place if the box were not contained!) The card backs are red, with a black and white yin/yang circle of the side view of a head, with a red apple (complete with a green leaf) in the center.

The card faces show the card, and where it sits on the Tree of Life. The suits are defined by color: Wands are yellow, Cups are red, Swords are blue, and Pentacles are green. The card faces show a black background, with a diagram of the Tree of Life in the suit color in the center. The numbered cards show the number where they sit on the Tree of Life. The Court Cards (Page, Knight, Queen, and King show their respective crowns where they sit on the Tree of Life).

There are two additional “mystery” cards with purple arrows – one pointing up, one pointing down. They are meant to suggest that the focus for the reader is either the journey down the Tree of Life, or the journey up.

The Parallax Oracle, as noted on the box that the cards come in, is a Minor Arcana deck that can be used alone, or in conjunction with The Syzygy Oracle as a full Tarot deck.

The 179 page companion book is absolutely amazing! Part One addresses the esoteric basis of this work, covering intuition and the Hero’s Journey, the sefirot on the Tree of Life, the sefirot and the minor arcana, and using the Parallax Oracle in a spiritual practice. Part Two addresses each card through a black and white image, an affirmation, keywords, meaning, sefirot, suit, numeric significance, summary, questions, and notes.  

In her preface, Mendel talks about the possibilities for connecting with the intuitive, and that it is really a continuation of work that was done with her Syzygy Oracle, which focused on engaging intuition through the archetypes. She sees the Tarot and the Kabbalah (with its four worlds and three levels of soul vibration) as a lens through which we view our daily activities.

I love the questions that are posed with each of the cards. For example, one of the questions for the Two of Swords is: “Do you have a regular practice to enter the silence?” For the Queen of Cups one of the questions is: “Do you believe romance lasts?” For the Nine of Coins one of the questions is: “How do you share your successes?” For the Six of Wands, one of the questions is: “Are you comfortable in the spotlight?” As you can see, the questions take the reader on an internal journey.

At the end of the book there is an appendix that includes a summary of the journey from 1-10, and a summary of the journey of the four suits and the four worlds.

“The kabbalistic teaching of the 10 “cosmic chakras” (sefirot) become a practical tool for spiritual practice. The Four Worlds become familiar as readers understand the interconnection of the four Suits; three levels of soul development— nefesh, ruach, and neshama— become evident in the understanding on the Court cards and their application to finding meaning and balance in our lives.” Heather Mendel

Experienced Tarot readers will find that working with the Kabbalah and the Tree of Life adds another layer of understanding to their readings – specifically in the areas of spirituality and esoteric teaching. For someone with a more Kabbalistic mindset the study of the ten sefirot brings the gift of a practical tool to their spiritual practice.   

I want to add a small word of thanks here to Wald Amberstone, co-founder/director of The Tarot School. It was through him that I began to understand the connection between the Tarot and the Kabbalah, and to add that layer of wisdom to my readings.

© October 2020 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written consent of the author.

Review: Everyday Enlightenment Cards

Everyday Enlightenment Cards

Author: Becky Lundin
Privately Published
ISBN #978-1-7342615-0-9

“Everyday Enlightenment” is a deck of 48 cards based on “Today I Am” statements that are meant to set a focus for your day. It comes with a downloadable PDF on breathing, and the benefits of breath work. Their creator, Becky Lundin, is a Licensed Massage Therapist, a Reiki Master, and a student of many different forms of healing. There are two extra cards that come with the deck – a card that lists Becky’s credentials and her intent for the deck, and a card that explains how to use the deck.

The cards are approximately 3” by 5” – very easy to hold and shuffle. The front contains the words “Today I Am”, followed by a word to focus on, such as Blessed, Flexible, Joyful, Prosperous, or Successful. The back of the card carries suggestions on how to put the energy to use in your life, and questions to ask yourself.

 One of my favorite cards is “Today I Am Blessed”. The back of the card reads: “Breathe in the energy of being blessed, hold that feeling while you declare out loud “I am blessed.” The second paragraph reads: “We are all blessed with so much in our lives. What are the top five blessings, big or little, that come to you today? Write them in a gratitude journal every morning or evening to remind yourself how blessed you are.

I find this deck easy to use, a wonderful way to place focus into my day, and a valuable tool of empowerment. And … this is the first deck in a proposed series of decks that we can use to empower ourselves!

The cards can be purchased here:

© January 2020 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Review: Mystic Sisters Oracle Deck

Mystic Sisters Oracle Deck

Author: Emily Balivet
Artist: Emily Balivet
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
ISBN #978-1-57281-788-3

The “Mystic Sisters Oracle Deck” consists of 48 cards and a 40 page companion book. Deck and book come in a sturdy cardboard box with a lift off top. The theme for the deck is based on feminine wisdom as expressed through goddesses and mythological archetypes, and was created out of Balivet’s own inner spiritual journey.

As a reader myself, I found it interesting that Balivet encourages the reader to respond to the card images, rather than becoming too dependent on the companion book.

In her introduction Balivet speaks of the deck being created from her own intuition, for clarifying the inner voice. The cards in this deck represent years of her own personal journey.

The cards are presented with the card name, keywords, and a description of what the energy of the image entails. For example, Amunet carries the keywords Hidden Meanings and Deceit. She is described as a goddess of mystery whose name means “the hidden one”.  She represents the subconscious mind, or the shadow self.

Several spreads are presented at the end of the book. A single card reading can be used as a meditation. A two card reading is presented with four different ways to us it. A three card reading is presented as a Past/Present/Future spread. A five card called The Cross is presented as a means to look at a specific situation.

The cards themselves are 3.9 inches by 5.7 inches, of sturdy card stock with reversible backs. There is ¼ inch border around each card, with the color matching the overall color of the card. The card name is presented in white lettering at the bottom of the card. The artwork is very detailed, with beautiful imagery.

© October 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.


Review: Raven’s Wand Oracle

Raven’s Wand Oracle

Author: Steven Hutton
Artist: Steven Hutton
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
ISBN #987-1572819511


The “Raven’s Wand Oracle” is a 44 card deck with a 59 page companion book. The box that the cards and companion book come in has a magnetic closure on the side. Based on Hutton’s “Dark Raven Chronicles Trilogy”, featuring a black wand, the witch Valonia (keeper of the wand), the people that populate her world of witchcraft. (It is not necessary to have read the books to be able to read with this oracle.)

In his introduction, Hutton talks about the Wildwood-coven (from the “Dark Raven Chronicles Trilogy”), the witches that call it home, and the energy that they carry. It is noted that while each card carries both upright and reversed meanings, the reversed meaning is not necessarily the opposite of the upright meaning, nor is it necessarily a negative interpretation. Reversed meaning are meant to add an extra dimension to the card, and to encourage the creative nature of the reader.

The cards are presented, in alphabetical order, by name, followed by both upright and reversed meanings. At the end of the book is a one card spread entitled “Way-Beware”, a seven card spread entitled “Earth and Thunder”, and a three card spread entitled “Dark Raven”.

The cards are 3.9 inches by 5.9 inches, of quality cardstock with reversible backs. The card faces are borderless, with the artwork continuing to the edge of the card. The card name appears at the bottom of the card, in white against a black background. The artwork is done in a fantasy style, with wonderful imagery throughout, creating … magic!

Throughout the cards we see many different symbols to encourage our creative imagination – a black cat, ax, and a figure with a cat’s head and a human body in “Independence”, a lovely lady in purple petting a dragon in “Ebb and Flow”, a lovely lady in white, seated, looking into a mirror with rabbits at her side in “Commemoration”, a beautiful child in a white dress with a mother duck and her babies in “Taking To Heart”, and a magical looking young girl, dressed in purple and holding what appears to be an egg, facing a frog with a flying creature in front of her.

These cards are both fun to read and informative, whether read as a card a day, or in a defined spread.

© October 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

Review: The Field Guide To Garden Dragons

Field Guide For Garden Dragons

Author: Arwen Lynch
Artist: Stanley Morrison
U.S. Game Systems, Inc.
ISBN #978-1-57281-979-5

The “Field Guide To Garden Dragons” is a 46 card whimsical fantasy deck that comes with a 135 page companion book. The instructions in the beginning of the book take the reader on a fantasy trip to identify garden dragons in their region, as well as others. Garden Dragons are identified as being members of the kingdom Animalia Mythica, phylum Draconia, class Fablia, and order Draco Occultatum.









It is stated that anyone wishing to see garden dragons must look closely, as they are very good at camouflaging themselves. Very tongue in cheek, the reader is also asked to report any significant differences in how the dragon(s) they encounter from the descriptions given in this book to the Royal Dragon Society, accompanied by field notes and illustrations. BTW – Garden Dragons can be found almost anywhere – including your own back yard!

Each dragon is presented with a black and white scan, the common name, the scientific name, a keyword, appearance, habitat, field notes, and mystical meaning. For instance, the Apple Dragon’s scientific name is Draco Malum Delisquious. It is described as having shiny wings, a lustrous sheen to its scales, and having green accents. Its eyes are able to rotate 360 degrees, and it radiates spines from its brow to the base of its tail. It prefers trees as a habitat. The field notes indicate that when this dragon roars, it sounds like the buzzing of bees. It is easily tamed. The mystical meaning is that of thinking about healthy habits. When this dragon appears in a reading, you are reminded to choose healthy, nutritious snacks. You may also want to add movement to your daily activity.

The cards themselves are 3.4 inches by 5 inches, on a glossy, quality cardstock. The backs are reversible. I really, really appreciated that there are no borders on this deck – the imagery goes clear to each side. The imagery is very gentle and whimsical, with nice use of color. At the bottom of the card the common name of the dragon appears, along with a keyword, in dark coloring against a beige background.









I really felt that I wanted to know these little people, to go out into my yard, and sit and talk to them. For me, they brought a sense of peace. No instructions for reading with them are given in the companion book. They could be used as a daily draw, as a “What do I need to know?”, or as an action card following a reading with other types of cards. How the reader chooses to use them is up to the reader, limited only by their imagination!

© October 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.



Review: Old Style Lenormand Fortune Telling Cards

Old Style Lenormand Fortune-Telling Cards

Author: Alexander Ray
Artist: Alexander Ray
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
ISBN #978-1-57281-987-0

What an absolutely lovely deck! Ray’s vintage-looking illustrations bring a sense of peace to those reading with them. The neutral color background creates a “safe place” for the reader and the client (which is not at all surprising, since Ray is a psychologist). This is a traditional 38 card deck, with two versions of the Lady, and two versions of the Gentleman (allowing personalization in readings). It is accompanied by a 92 page companion book.

Ray begins with a short history of the Lenormand deck, followed by commentary on reading with it. He points out the simplicity of its reading style (as compared with other divination practices), and the fact that symbolism is kept to a minimum. The Lenormand system also includes specific cards to be used as signifiers (cards that represent the individual being read for). These are the Man and the Lady.

Ray also gently insists that the reader respect the system – that there are subtle forces behind the cards that should only be used for really important matters. He also goes through the does and don’ts of asking the cards questions.

Each card in presented in the companion book by number, title, keywords, a small black and white scan, the nature of the card, and how it appears in specific readings (in a people spread, in a relationship spread, in spreads concerning work, in questions of well-being, and in questions of finance).

At the end of the book two spreads are presented (the Open Book Spread and the Nine Witnesses Spread).

The cards are 2.6 inches by 3.9 inches. The backs have a neutral color background, with floral images in each of the four corners, with the deck name across the middle, and imagery above and below it.

The cards have the card number in the upper left hand corner, with a scan of the associated playing car in the upper right hand corner. The image is centered in the upper two thirds of the card, with the card name centered across the bottom against a white background.

I love working with Lenormand decks, and I find this one to be gentle, easy to use, and one that clients can relate to well. Two thumbs up!

© October 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.





Review: Messages From The Light Meditation Deck

Messages From The Light

Meditation Deck

Author: Joyce Huntington
Artist: Joyce Huntington
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
ISBN #978-1572819238

 Messages From The Light cover

“Messages From The Light Meditation Deck” is a 52 card deck, with an accompanying 24 page booklet. The cards and booklet come in a 4.8” by 4.4” by 1.1” hard cardboard box, with a lift off top. The cover shows the image for the card “Choices”, while the bottom of the box shows the images for “Guidance” and “Integrity”, along with information about the deck. There are half-circle cutouts on both sides of the top of the box, to make it easier to take off.

We all need help dealing with the ordinary things in life – this deck is meant to help us see these ordinary things from a fresh perspective. We are invited to look inward as we focus on the (spiritual) images, opening our minds and allowing our subconscious thoughts to surface. The cards serve to help us focus on our lives, to center our being, and to become open to abundance and transformation.

Messages From The Light back

The cards are 4” by 4 3/8”. The backs show a deep gold/brown, with a lighter gold towards the center, and a gold/white diamond shape in the center. The backs alone are quite conducive to meditation. The cards have yellow/gold border, with the card name in large black letters at the bottom. The images are done in pastels, and have a gentle “fantasy” nature to them.

Huntington gives suggestion for using the cards, such as drawing a card at random and using it as a seed for meditation, or holding the card in your mind’s eye throughout the day (you might want to take the card with you for reference). At the end of the book Huntington presents a five card Oracular reading, which is very easy, and can be used by anyone.

In working with the cards, Huntington suggests thinking about what the card title (word) and image mean to the reader. Look at how the card affects spiritual evolution, as well as how it applies to the everyday world. She asks the reader to look at what blessings they may have missed, and how they can approach life differently. Each card is listed with a small black and white scan, the card name, and a short paragraph on the energy represented in the card.

Examples from the deck include:


Centering: The image for “Centering” is two hands being held one within the other, with thumbs touching. Vibrations are coming from the center of the two thumbs.

The message for “Centering” is: “Dhyani Mudra. A point of Light; waves come, waves go. The point remains. Before action, come to center. Remain focused in the eternal.”


Group Work: The image for “Group Work” shows a group of people, dressed in white, sitting in a cave around what appears to be a campfire. There appear to be white birds (doves?) flying around them.

The message for “Group Work” is: “The power of the group is exponentially greater than one. Your goal may best be met with the aid of others. Join together and work for the greater good.”


Mindfulness: The image for “Mindfulness” shows the fingers of two hands arched together, centered around the flame of a candle.

The message for “Mindfulness” is: “Hakini Mudra. Remain focused, but alert to details, alternatives and contingencies. Resolution is at hand.”

This deck can be used by people of all ages and backgrounds. It helps ground and connect the individual with their higher selves, so that their perception of themselves, and their life situations, opens up. Beautiful imagery, and quite easy to work with.

© August 2018 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Review – Angel Reading Cards

Angel Reading Cards

Author: Debbie Malone
Artist: Amalia I. Chitulescu
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
ISBN #978-1-57281-862-0


Angel Reading Cards is a 36 card deck and 92 page guidebook, based on working with the energy of the Angelic realm. The cards and book come in a sturdy box, with the same light colored bubble background as the backs of the cards. The box has a magnetic closure along the right hand side. There is a silver insert for the cards. Very nice presentation! The concept is to work with Angels in specific situations – to understand that you can always call on them.



In her introduction, Malone reminds us that angels are only a thought away – that we are never alone. The cards are meant to remind us of the spiritual beings that we always have around us. We are reminded that we have a personal Guardian Angel that is with us for life, but that throughout our life we have had access to Angelic energy as needed. We simply have to ask for it. Angels are there to help us, but they need to be asked first. Malone also talks about our ancestral angels and spirit guides. The messages in this book are channeled messages, channeled through Malone.






In the section on how to use the cards, Malone talks about dedicating them, dealing with cards that jump out, doing one card daily readings, and presents templates for a three card Angel Guidance Layout, a seven card An Angel For Everyday Layout, a three card Angel Encouragement Layout, a four card Angels of Purpose Layout, and a six card Resolution Layout.



Each card is presented with a full page color image, card title, card purpose, a description of the cards energy, and how to use it, and an affirmation. For example – The Angel of Inner Peace shows the purpose of “Surrender your worries to the Universe. Reconnect today and feel inner peace.” The affirmation is: “I am grateful for the assistance that I receive from my Angel of Inner Peace. Whenever I feel inner turmoil and stress, I allow my Angel of Inner Peace to help me to re-center and find peace within myself.”





The cards are 3 ¾” by 5 ½”. The backs show a light colored bubble pattern, with a pair of white wings centered in the middle of the card. , The back is not reversible. The card faces show a gold outer border, with a thin white inner border. The card title is centered at the bottom of the card, with the card number above it.




The card imagery is a combination of photography and digital painting, superimposing the real world over a dreamy world. It shows a juxtaposition of light and dark which works very well. The choice of Angelic energy, and the modern nature of the imagery, will appeal to many people. It does not to me. Rather than working with known angels, we are working with “concepts”, such as the Angel of Parking, the Angel of Stress, the Angel of Strength, the Chakra Balancing Angel, and an angel for each of the clairs (Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, Clairsentience, and Claircognizance). There is even a Career Angel. I understand that lightening things up will reach more people, but this was a bit too light for me.





The cards are beautifully presented, and their purpose is attained – helping the reader connect to a higher real, and seek the assistance needed to do our best in everyday life.

 © November 2016 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written consent of the author.

Review – The Fairy Tale Lenormand

Fairy Tale Lenormand

Author: Arwen Lynch
Artist: Lisa Hunt
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
ISBN #978-157281797-5


The Fairy Tale Lenormand” is a traditional 36 card deck, with two extra Lady and Gentleman cards (for personalized readings), bringing the deck to 38 cards. It comes in a beautiful metal tin, with a 120 page companion book. The theme for this deck is that of Fairy Tales – stories that we remember from our childhood, stories that entertain, while presenting us with life lessons. The world of fairy tales is a magical world, and there is no better artist than Lisa Hunt to bring this world alive for us.


Donnaleigh de La Rose, in her foreword, talks about peering into our own life fairy tale. We know that we all have our own stories, but how many of us regard them as fairy tales! She talks about seeing mirror images of familiar childhood fairy tales in our own lives. Another point that de La Rose makes is that in creating a Lenormand deck, it was necessary for Hunt to simplify the imagery from her usual detailed style. To the point that de La Rose feels that in the Fairy Tale Lenormand  there is a perfect fusion between theme and functionality.

In her introduction, Lynch talks about fairy tales serving as teaching tales, and how in the Fairy Tale Lenormand these myths are woven into the Lenormand structure to help readers learn to associate the cards in a more meaningful way. Where meanings are more concrete than in the stories themselves. (In the Lenormand, as opposed to other divination systems, the card meaning holds fast – i.e. it is not open to interpretation by the reader).


Each card is presented with the card title, playing card association, the associated fairy tale, and an explanation of how the tale fits into the card meaning. For example, card number 2 Clover carries the keywords luck, creativity, and serendipity, and is associated with the fairy tale “Thumbelina”. Card number 6 Clouds carries the keywords depression, confusion, and sadness, and is associated with the fairy tale “East o’ the Sun, West o’ the Moon”.

 Spreads presented include an explanation of fan-type spreads, the Crossroads Spread, the Tower Spread, and the Happily Ever After Spread.





The cards are 2 ¼” by 3 ½”. The backs are done using a gold background, with a black scrolled border, and a black  central image. The cards are reversible. The card faces show a gold border around a central image. The card number is in the upper let hand corner, with the associated playing card number and suit in the lower right hand corner. The card title is centered on the bottom of the card.

The artwork is done largely in pastels, and has a fantasy, “otherworld” quality to it.






The fairy tales presented are multi-cultural, which brings a certain depth to the deck. The artwork is fascinating – for me it brings back memories of these stories from my childhood. Time spent with this deck is well worthwhile! Each time you read a card, more symbols become evident – there are levels upon levels here!

© November 2016 Bonnie Cehovet
Publication prohibited without written permission from the author.