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.

Tokens of Light

Tokens of Light –
66 Paths for insight and prediction
according to the Hebrew Alphabet

Author: Orma Ben-Shoshan
Artist: Orma Ben-Shoshan
Independently Published

“The “Tokens of Light” is a powerful tool
that will help you attain insights about the course of your life,
for consultation and prediction according to the cosmic DNA.“
from the book

Orma Ben-Shoshan is the creator of several metaphysical products, including the “King Solomon” oracle cards, the “Wheel of Wisdom”, the “72 Names” divination cards, as well as amulets for love, health, success and protection. Her latest work, the “Tokens of Light”, is based on the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, which are seen as the principle forces that compose the universe. Used as a tool of divination, the letters represent the directions and attributes that are currently affecting the Seeker’s life.

The set comes in a beautiful lift top box, containing 68 cards (66 reading coins and two extra amulet coins, for blessing and protection), a cloth bag to keep the reading coins in, and an 86 page interpretation booklet. The two amulet coins are meant to be kept with the Seeker, and not included in the readings. The Blessing amulet contains the priestly blessing for protection and fulfillment of your wishes. The Protection amulet contains letter combinations taken from the “72 Names of God” that will help bring balance and success to all areas of life.

The Reading Coins are two-sided – on the front side is the coin number, with the a Hebrew letter underneath it, along with a serial code to which the Seeker’s answer relates. On the back side is an illustration, done in a circular format to match the card, that acts to reinforce the card’s message.

The Interpretation Booklet describes the 22 Hebrew letters as channels through which divine abundance flows into the universe. In essence, the power of the creator is being realized in the material world. The letters carry their own unique spiritual and energetic attributes, and vibrational energy. Ben-Shoshan does a very good job of describing the 22 Hebrew letter, and how they comprise the kabbalistic “Tree of Life”. She also goes into the Book of Creation, the 32 Paths of Wisdom, and how they relate to our everyday reality.

In developing the “Tokens of Light”, Ben-Shoshan chose three different aspects of each of the Hebrew letters to compose a system of 66 definitions. The Seeker will be able to see the relevant directional forces in their life, and also will be able to determine the actions that need to be taken to resolve them. The premise here is to preserve the flow of cosmic energy through life, and not to resist it.

There are six different questions that the companion book lists as questions to ask the tokens (coins). I would personally take these as a place to start, rather than having them place boundaries on what I could ask. They are as follows:

1.Why is … (this or that) happening tome, and what do I do in order to improve the situation?
2.In what direction will my affairs develop, and what should I do in order to get the best out of the circumstances?
3.What should I do in order to solve a particular problem?
4.What is the nature of the person/affairs that influence my life at this moment?
5.What is the result that I should expect? Will … (this or that) happen?
6.When will … (this or that) happen? Is it a long or short process?

The LWB presents each of the 66 coins/tokens as text only. The significance of the letter, and the quality carried into the Seeker’s life is discussed. It is advised not to ask the same question twice in the same reading session. If clarity is needed, another coin/token is to be drawn. It is also advised not to ask “undefined” questions, just to test the system. Vague or irrelevant responses may be due to lack of focus on the part of the Seeker, or the Seeker is not meant to have the answer at this time.

Ben-Shoshan discusses the use of one through four coin spreads, working with dates and timing, Yes/No answers, reading for other people, and refreshing (clearing) the coins/tokens.

An example of how the coins/tokens are presented would be coin/token 48 – Ayin III (Enslavement To Matter). In relation to the letter, Ben-Shoshan writes: “With the letter Peh, the 17th letter, God created planet Venus and Wednesday of the week, its gematric value is 80. Peh is associated with the earth element, and connects between Sefirat Gvurah (strength) and Sefirat Hod (splendor). In Tarot it is attributed to Tower card.” In discussing the coin/token, Ben-Shoshan notes that it refers to enslavement, power and exploitation. The Seeker is working with something that is beyond their powers, and is frustrating.

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I really enjoyed working with all of the coins/tokens. Several them stood out for me: 17 (Vav II) – bridging, meditation and arbitration, with its really cool image of an individual kneeling on a walkway suspended in the air, and card 50 (Peh II) – fertility, openings and blossom,, with its image of a lovely flower, with a face almost hidden in the lower right hand side of the card, caught my attention. Then there was card 62 – Shin II (involvement and pertinence), with its image of what appears to be an intruder binding a sleeping couple with ribbon. Coin/token 52 – Tsadi I (to take a stand) shows an individual with his head appearing to be wrapped in bandages.

Coin/token 43 – Samech I (completion and closing) shows the imagery of an individual being carried (seated) on a stretcher of some type, releasing small boxes into the air. Coin/token 21 – Zayin III (Making a living with spiritual knowledge) shows the image of an individual on what appears to be a rooftop, reaching out to an image to his right.

The images are done in a fantasy fashion, with depth of muted color, blending in to a colored border that surrounds the image. The imagery is comfortable to look at and read with.

I loved working with this oracle – it can be read on its own, or in conjunction with another oracle or Tarot deck. No previous knowledge of this system is necessary to get good readings.

© October 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

The Wheel of Wisdom

The Wheel of Wisdom

Author: Orna Ben-Shoshan
Artist: Orna Ben-Shoshan
Kabbalah Insights

“There is something that you need to know  in order to understand your present
situation, something that you need to hear before making a decision or taking the
next step, and the outcome you are curious about.”
from the Interpretation Book

“The Wheel of Wisdom” is an oracle wheel (literally) that combines two wisdom systems – the front side of the wheel is inspired by ancient karma scripts, while the reverse side of the wheel contains 36 different Angels’ Advice. The front side of the wheel is comprised of 96 answers that give clear forecasts in how things are going to evolve in the Seeker’s life. The back side of the wheel is meant to provide an additional viewpoint on the question being asked, and additional guidance.

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Ben-Shoshan places an emphasis on two things: that we all already have all the answers that we will ever need within us, and that as Seekers we need to approach any oracle with the utmost respect. The Wheel of Wisdom is meant to help the Seeker to connect with the Seeker’s source of inner wisdom, and to bring them the answers that they need at any particular time. Basically, we seek wisdom when we are at a crossroads and need answers on how to proceed. Ben-Shoshan tells us that if the answer we receive is in any way positive, that what we are asking about will come true/succeed. She also note that sometimes we will be advised to abandon an issue whose time has not yet come, or that may simply be too problematic.

She advises the Seeker to quiet the chatter in their mind through the use of relaxation techniques before they approach the oracle, so that the question/issue being addressed can be concentrated on. In cases where a vague or seemingly irrelevant is received, two things are advised: to take the essence of the answer and apply it to the area of your life that your question referred to, or to accept that sometimes we are not meant to know the answers to some questions.  There is also a caveat that the “Wheel of Wisdom” was designed primarily for self-reading. If you are reading for someone else, rephrase the question to a third-person format (he/she instead of you), and visualize them as strongly as you can when asking the question.

This oracle can be used in two ways – to address your question to the Sun Mandala (front side), interpret this answer, and then turn the wheel over to see the angelic response, or to address your question directly to the angelic side. Either way works very well. I found the readings that I did to be very insightful, and very “to the point”. I also came upon a situation that is not addressed in the Interpretation book – What do you do when you land between numbers? My solution was to read the advice for both numbers – that seemed to be the right thing to do. Both responses did apply directly to my situation. What I found is that when this happens on one side of the card, it also happens on the other side. As my sister would say “Deal with it!”.

The Interpretation Book gives interpretations for both sides of the wheel, text only (no imagery). From the book:

“Interpretations – front – the Sun Mandala

9 – What is blocking your way is an important vow from the past that you haven’t fulfilled yet, either for yourself or for someone else. You must take care of unfinished business, and when you arrive to a conclusion point, nre horions will open, and a new and joyful cycle in your life will begin.

23 – Rumors about you circulating and causing you to grief. The person who started them seeks to blemish you and does not seek your favor. Beware of him or her and do not volunteer any information. Alternately – If you’ve heard dreadful predictions about something – it’s better to examine the matter thoroughly and not to be drawn into despair.

93 – The time has come! Get out of your impassivity and wake up! You have been given a chance to start something new that will advance you to a better phase. Do not overlook the hints and proposals offered to you – go for it and see great success.

Angels’ Advice

1 – Follow your heart. Your gut feelings are correct / Be open to a loved one’s good advice.

20 – Importand decisions will be made solely through discussion with another person / enter negatiations with an open mind, understand the other side, their motivation and their wishes / don’t show all of your cards to your opponent – keep some information to yourself.

36 – In this situation you aren’t able to progress on your own – turn to an outside source for help / asking and praying / embrace the support that arrives.”

The box that the wheel arrived in was a bit flimsy. However, it was packed so well (including the wheel inside being place between two pieces of strong cardboard, that all was well. I like the little tuck piece on the top flap – it allows the flap to close more securely. The front wheel (9″ diameter) is slightly smaller than the back wheel (9 3/8″ diameter), which makes for easy movement. The back wheel consists of concentric circles of color – fromt he outside in, we see a pale green border, followed by circles of lavender, beige, light brown, blue and peach. Each of the circles, aside from the border, contains imagery. There is a small window cut out to see the number in.

The  front of the wheel, the Sun Mandala, has deeper colors. There is a light blue border, followed by a medium blue circle with gold imagery, then a wider circle with scenes, followed by a light green circle with imagery, then a  dark blue circle with stars and planets on it, followed by a gold circle with Hebrew letters, followed by a dark blue circle with no imagery, then a light blue circle with imagery of the sun. There is a cutout to see the numbers through.

Although the Seeker would need to refer to the text interpretations for the advice, I found this to be worthwhile. The advice given was on target, and worth the effort. As you can see from the interpretations that I shared above, this is an oracle that will make the Seeker think. If you are interested in reading more about the oracle, go to This is Orna Ben-Shoshan’s site, where several different kabbalistic oracle tools are offered, and where they can be purchased.

(c) April 2011 Bonnie Cehovet


I just ran across an article from the San Francisco Bay area talking about Kabbalah, and moving into the studyof Judaism through the gateway of Kabbalah. The article is really quite interesting (just skip past the short mention of Madonna – probably not too much spirituality there!).

Towards the end of the article we see a small mention of a Rabbi by the name of Steven Fisdel who created a deck of Kabbalah Tarot cards. The link to the article is here: Kabbalah, with a link to Rabbi Fisdel’s site here: