Connecting to Your Ancient Ones (with Ancestral Tarot)

Ancestral Tarot (Red Wheel Weiser, 2021) by Nancy Hendrickson, a genealogist and tarot master, is an incredible journey into self-discovery through ancestor work. This Sightsee the Tarot video is a guided meditation and three-card reading from Ancestral Tarot— how to commune with your Ancient Ones. You’ll find this spread in Chapter 5, Ancestors of Blood.

Here’s the Ancient Ones Spread per Hendrickson’s book:

  1. How can I best communicate with the Ancient Ones?
  2. What message do the (collective) Ancient Ones have for me?
  3. How can I best honor those of my blood who lived millennia before me?

I modified the phrasing slightly for the meditative guided reading.

Here’s my own reading using the SKT:

Card 1: How may I best commune with you? Four of Chalices (The Hollow Void)

I interpreted this as meditation, inward or underworld journeying (the scorpion symbolism in the tree), and through invocations of Kuan Yin (the bodhisattva’s name is on the monk’s forearms in Korean).

I also interpreted the pictorial symbolism on this card as revelatory of where my Ancient Ones came from.

Card 2: I seek your guidance. Tell me what it is I need to know. Herald of the Waters (Page of Cups). Message Card: Archangel of Mysteries (King of Pentacles)

Working with the common association of the tarot Pages as messengers, the Heralds in the SKT are spirit messengers that come bearing a message from a higher-form Divinity (hence the scroll in the foreground of each Herald card).

Consider the context of your reading. Here, my intention is to connect with my ancestral line. The Water element is passive, so I interpret a feminine ancestral energy coming through– a female ancestor or an ancestor from my maternal line.

I pull the Message card– Key 16: The Tower. I read this as a warning, but I can still change this outcome, which is why I am being shown the warning. This is a heads up to prepare, to divert course, etc.

Card 3: I am your legacy. Tell me how I may best honor you. Herald of the Flame (Page of Wands). Message Card: The Tower.

Considering the intention is a form of spirit communication here (i.e., connecting with ancestor spirits), a lot of Pages showing up is a sign that I’ve indeed established a strong connection during this reading session. Here, the element of Fire is associated with a masculine ancestral energy. This is a male ancestor or an ancestor from my father’s side.

I pull the Message card– Archangel of Mysteries (King of Pentacles/Disks). To me, this is an omen of prosperity, being self-sustaining, and having the abundance to nourish many, beyond just yourself. Interpreting this card through my own religious framework, I also read this as one of my Ancient Ones having ascended, and who is therefore immortalized in an ascended realm (as opposed to being reincarnated as a human, a mortal again).

From The Lost Tarot by Hans Bauer

And that was just my super-short summary of my own reading for blogging purposes. This reading is conducive for deep-diving into each card and extracting a trove of insights and ancestral spirit communications– dialogue, conversation, conveyed to you through your clairs.

If those ideas venture beyond the range of your own belief systems, consider why so many of us care about our ancestry and genealogy– it’s to validate that we are connected to something much greater than ourselves, that we are a valued legacy.

You can use these three cards as journaling prompts to answer:

  1. “Where do I come from?”
  2. “Why am I here?”
  3. “What is going to happen to me?”

Synchronistically enough, just as the three cards you drew in this Ancient Ones reading answer the three designated prompts in the video, change the filters over the same three cards and you can unearth another layer of meaning.

Card 1 not only conveys how best you can commune with your Ancient Ones, but also answer the question: Where do you come from. Revisit that same card. For me, I would revisit the Four of Chalices. Now using that Card 1 you drew, answer the question: Where do you come from?

Card 2 not only conveys what it is you most need to know, as spoken to you by your ancestral line, but it also answers the question: Why are you here. Revisit that second card in your reading and answer “Why are you here” with that same card. The Tower card is about revolutions, upending oppressive establishments, breaking down barriers of entry, and inspiring reconstruction.

Change the filter over the Card 3 you drew in your reading and it will answer the question: What is going to happen to you. This is a card of prophecy, delivered to you through your ancestral line.

Sightsee the Tarot Videos Playlist

I don’t know what sort of year you had in 2021, but my 2021 felt like 3 years in 1. So much happened. After we sold out of the first print run of SKT-3, I was doing some digital house-cleaning in my computer drives and found drafts for prospective videos on Archetypal Tarot (June, 2021) and Ancestral Tarot (March, 2021). So I decided mind as well complete those and post them before the close of the year.

5 thoughts on “Connecting to Your Ancient Ones (with Ancestral Tarot)

  1. Link appears to be broken (content can’t be found) – and I can’t access it from your web page either. Waah! I love her book and am looking forward to reading your review!

    Thanks, Kimber


  2. Shadowrose

    I’m speechless… Just tried this one. And it’s sooo accurate and fitting to what is going on right now.

    My cards: VI (lovers) – 2 of cups – 6 of pentacles


  3. Sister Nobody

    I can’t recommend Nancy’s book highly enough!! I got a little sidetracked on specifically working with my Ancestors and her book this year (but my Ancestors do keep talking to me through other readings)…. I’ll be back on it after the New Year. Her Patreon “The Ancestor Cafe” is also wonderful! Thank you for this video!


  4. Pingback: Sightsee the Tarot: Video Series – benebell wen

  5. Loki

    Loki asks & says:
    Ms Bell,
    This is very important to my main trend, of what is it,to be here and now.
    I am wondering which translation and or version of Yijing would offer clearest insight into this line of inquiry and interrogation? I DO USE your Tarot a lot.
    Could one use a version of Yi, different that what you plan to release spring 2023 on I Ching Oracle? As that future, for me may never manifest und we r my current set of circumstances.


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