Genealogist and Tarot master Nancy Hendrickson takes us on a fascinating journey, not only to learn more about our ancestors of blood, but our ancestors of place and time as well. All the seeker needs is a journal, a pen, and a deck of Tarot cards that holds deep meaning.
I personally used the Relative Tarot when I played with this book. The deck and book pair together so well, it's almost as if both authors collaborated on their projects. I suspect they did not, but it's a happy coincidence, because they work so well together. However, any deck will do, especially if it is attuned to your culture or ethnicity.
You don't have to be a gifted genealogist to play with the journal prompts, sigils and spreads that Ms. Hendrickson provides. Nor do you necessarily have to know exactly who your birth parents are, if you've been adopted. By following the instructions and working the spreads, your ancestors will find you.
Genealogy is often an intimidating subject. There are so many different names, dates, places and various forms of bureaucratic flotsam you have to go through to find out who your ancestors were. However, Ms. Hendrickson makes the genealogical aspect of the book easy to understand and simple to follow. Working with the cards gives you a better understanding of who the people were in your family tree, as well as the ability to--if not heal family rifts--at least come to terms with them.
The Ancestors of Blood instructs us how to identify ancestral traits we want to emulate and pass on, and traits that we do not. A poignant but simple two card spread on the topic of grief helped me better understand my brother's passing. The cards I pulled were the Queen of Pentacles and the Ace of Cups. The questions were: Are okay? And will I see you again? The Queen suggests he's comfortable wherever he is, and the Ace of Cups suggests that we will indeed meet again.
Ancestors of time is a fascinating and somewhat complicated concept of genealogy via rebirth. Through the various spreads and exercises, you can find out your past incarnations, as well as the past incarnations of your ancestors. Ancestors of place is exactly how it sounds: the origins of your ancestors. My ancestors, for example, originated in Switzerland, migrated to France, and was kicked out by the king. They finally settled in Rapides Parish, Louisiana. I am fortunate to know where my ancestral home is. Others may not be that fortunate, but that's okay. There are journal prompts and exercises to help with that.
There is just so much more to this book, and the seeker can spend many happy hours delving into their roots. I absolutely love this book, and I think you will, too. I can't recommend it highly enough.
~review by Patricia Snodgrass
Author: Nancy Hendrickson
Weiser Books, 2021
p. $16.95 pp. 202