Tarot & Ancestors
We are all bought up with silent stories surrounding us.
Handed down from generation to generation, quiet expectations that are whispered to us “this is the way the world works”
Sex is bad
Good girls stay quiet
Work hard, the world is unfair
Money is evil
Our family is unlucky
Money is safer than love
Keep safe, never take a risk
Men always let you down
There are a million variations. No doubt at one time they helped your grandmother, or great great great grandfather through a terrible time. Now that pearl of wisdom is held as a life survival guide, a secret code that the whole family knows deep down, but never quite acknowledges.
Many of these “secret codes” will be inspiring, helpful and useful. But some will not be. Some will run quietly, unknown, unheard- but creating self limiting blocks. When you are tempted to move forward, that little family story will nag you in your mind “better not- that kind of thing never works out” That inner critic retelling the family secret until that step forward fills you with anxiety, or fear, or you self sabotage to the point of failure- proving yourself right, again.
As a shaman untanging these ancestral patterns is a big part of my work, and it creeps often into my tarot readings too.
Here is a reading I often do for clinets when I feel there are ancestral issues blocking their path.
And turn to the bottom of the pack- the card there is included in this spread too!
I always start with my clinet, then work back through the generations. I like to start with something my client can authenticate, know to be real.
I read this spread a layer at a time, then there are the mini spreads within this reading too- the horizontal lines. I am sharing a true spread I have done formyself to work through some issues.
Card #1- represents me (or you, or your clinet!) as I am now.
The 4 of cups is perfect, I am reflecting, manifesting, dreaming, slightly stuck at this moment of transformation.
Card #2- a gift from my parents (or childhood)
Even the worst of childhoods will have left you with a gift.
The 3 of wands is a sense of optimism. I’m not quite sure where it came from- but yes, I do always try to see the best of things (even when dire! It irritates my husband, my “Polly Anna” attitude)
Card #3- something from my parents that is restraining me, and would be good to let go .
My family is a strange affair, I haven’t seen my parents for abut 8 years now. This is about letting the past be & accepting what is.
The next row relates to parents. Families are complicated (myself included!) before doing the spread consider carefully. You might want to do several different spreads- perhaps one for mother, one for father, or one for birth family, one for step family. Set your intent before shuffling. My focus was on my childhood family.
The middle card (#4) represents childhood home.
I am aware my parents could read this-lets just say the queen of wands puts her own needs first, and I always felt that my parents followed their dreams whatever the cost to me.
Card to the right (#5) represents a gift from childhood (read this with card 2).
I have broken the patterns form my childhood, as a young child I never felt I fitted my family, I have created a life for myself that is very different from my parents expectations (probably why we have not seen each other for so long)
Card to the left (#6) Something to let go of from childhood.
As a child I turned to an inner world, found escape through books. Arguably when faced with stuff I don’t want to do I can loose myself in books & films rather than face reality.
The final layer is “past generations” It describes a strong message, or code, that has come down through Grandparents & beyond. Remember that when we form a couple we are often connecting to someone with a similar code to ours. Neither my husband nor I see our parents, and we are both (if I’m honest) over compensating by meeting our children’s needs to the detriment of our own. Our "code" is always children first.
The middle card (#7) links to the card at the bottom of the pack (#10) this is the karmic cycle you can break. These two cards form a deep link, it may be obvious or it may take you a while to “get” it. Put the two cards together & meditate on them. Forget the books, just gaze.
Mine are quite simple- king of pentacles & world, a new beginning for my relationship with money. Money has been used as a real tool to control in my family, and has left me with a difficult relationship. I feel I am really understanding & letting that go.
To the right- (#8) Something wonderful from your ancestors. For all the madness my ancestors, and indeed parents, are their own people. Many of them have had fascinating careers based on things they loved. (including horticulture, silk-screen artist & civil servant). I guess I follow this as a tarot reader!
To the left (#9) something to let go of from the ancestors. At its worst this is the card of workaholic. Call me mad- but I had never quite realised that my Fathers obsession to work all hours made my childhood lonely, and I am exhausting myself as a workaholic who still spends time with her children. It is sleep & selfcare that gets put to one-side.
A deep & complicated spread, I hope you enjoy it. I am very aware that I had promised to take a day off today, and at 6.15pm I have infact been working most of the day. I’m going to pack a picnic and go on an evening walk with the kids.