Author: Nancy Hendrickson
“Work with the ancestors, and the person
you will find is you.” (Nancy Hendrickson)
“Ancestral Tarot – Uncover Your Past and Chart Your Future” is a 202 page book whose intention is to act as a guide to using the Tarot to connect with our ancestors. In doing so we are gifted with their wisdom, their insights, their ability to heal, and their power. They are there to help us understand ourselves, to heal, and to find our own power.
In her foreword, Theresa Reed talks about perceptions that we may have about the family that we know, and how we can expand those perceptions by looking into our ancestry. Tarot can be used to address the past, as well as the future. Having always felt that I was the “black sheep” in my family, that I didn’t really belong, this was great news! I use the Tarot and dreamwork to connect with family that I knew that have passed on, but now there is a way to connect with ancestors that I did not know. Reed notes that tending to the roots of our past assures that the future of our families will flourish.
In her introduction Hendrickson notes that she knew at a very young age that her ancestors were part of the special tribe that she belonged to. As she grew older, she knew without a doubt that there was a world beyond the world that we know. She also notes that ancestral work is multi-faceted, and that while some of our ancestors are willing to work with us, some are not. Ancestral work can trigger memories – hurtful ones, as well as loving ones. She reminds us that our ancestors were real people with real dreams. She also reminds us that ancestral work is sacred work.
Tarot spreads are included throughout the book, but the most important spread may just be the one that she asks the reader to do before moving into the book. It is a seven-card spread called The Journey Spread. She strongly suggests that the spread be kept in a journal for reference after the reader has completed reading this book. It is a powerful spread and sets the tone for the work ahead.
One of the first things that the reader finds out is that there are three major types of ancestors: Ancestors of Blood, Ancestors of Place, and Ancestors of Time. It is up to the reader which ancestor they want to work with at any given time. Instructions are given on meeting and working with your Spirit Guide, as well as creating a team of spirit helpers. Each chapter includes a Tarot spread relevant to that chapter, as well as journal prompts.
To work with this book you will need one or more Tarot decks, a journal to write in, and a pen or pencil to write with. I make my notes in an e-file, because my handwriting is not easy for even me to read. Come to this work with an open mind, and the exercises in this book will give you a deep knowing of yourself and your ancestors. A bonus to this work is that Hendrickson shows the reader how to develop their own Tarot spreads, which is very empowering. She also addresses Sigils, Runes, working with a Pendulum, Oracle decks, and sacred tools (such as Petitions, A Personal Devotion, Gratitude, and Prayer.
At the end of the book there are resources: Appendix A: Tarot 101, Appendix B: Tarot Practice Resources, and Appendix C: Genealogy Resources.
I found this to be a very profound book, and the Ancestral journey to be a very sacred one. This journey can bring up memories – both good and bad. If you hit a bad spot, put the work down for a short time. Work through it at your own speed. This is all internal work, and you will be a changed person if you choose to take this journey.
© March 2021 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.