Interview with Nancy Hendrickson – Author of ‘Ancestral Tarot’

Ancestral Tarot, newly released from Weiser Books, is a practical journey to uncover your past and chart your future. We caught up with Nancy so we could share with you a bit behind the author of this incredibly revealing book.

Nancy Hendrickson

Q: Do you consider yourself a witch? If so, when and how did you claim that title for yourself? If not, do you have a magical title you prefer?

I’m not much for labels but the closest one that speaks to my beliefs is that of an animist. My background is in tarot, healing, and working with the Ancestors, as well as the Spirits of Place and Time. I walk the line between this world and the next.

Q: Can you tell us about your own magical training and background? How about your academic/genealogical pursuits?

I have studied and worked with both distance healing and tarot for decades. My primary work today is in helping others learn to open the portal between this world and the Otherworld in order to commune with ancestral spirits. I also assist in helping people connect to their past lives. I jokingly say that I have spent a lifetime surrounded by ghosts.

Although it’s rarely said, there is a magical power in knowing your lineage, in understanding the wise women, the healers, and the witches whose DNA runs through our beings. Those who walk the path of magic may have only glimpsed at the power they carry within. I hope, by reuniting with their magical kinfolk, they will realize they can do anything and be whomever they choose to be.

Q: Have you ever had a magical mentor, or other teacher that was especially impactful for you?

Yes, I was fortunate enough to have worked with Jessica Macbeth for several years. Jessica taught me the basics of healing as well as the true gift of trusting my own intuition. If anyone has worked with the Faerie’s Oracle, she is the person who wrote the accompanying book. She has lived a life of magic since childhood and I could never have walked this path with such surety without having known her.

Q: What makes Ancestral Tarot really special for you? Is there a particular part we should really be tuning into to get a deep sense of your approach?

Again, there is tremendous power in knowing your lineage even if in a small way. When you realize the generations of strong women standing behind you, you gain a confidence that is rarely shaken. Tarot is just one tool of ancestral communication, but it’s one I think most people can easily learn. For me, it’s the key that fits perfectly into the locked portal to the Otherworld.

Q: What is your favorite tarot card and why? Least favorite?

I love the Knight of Swords. The one who is always on a quest to learn more. My life would be empty without ideas, without learning new things every day. I cannot imagine going through a day without learning something new. My least favorite card is the 2 of Wands – the card of waiting. My Aries moon is not very good at waiting for anything!

Q: We are a bit book-obsessed here at Witch With Books – who is your favorite witchy author, and what is your favorite witchy book of all time? Tarot books absolutely count!

Well, I love Judika Illes, not only because she was my editor but because she’s an incredibly good writer with knowledge that far surpasses my own. I am eagerly awaiting the release in August of her book Daily Magic. Although not a book, I am very fond of The Witches’ Wisdom Tarot. It is a nature-based deck, and those are the ones I’m always drawn to as nature is the original healer.

Q: What is next for you? Any exciting projects in the works?

I am working on a new book project that I hope to finish before Mabon. I also have a deck project tucked into the back of my brain, but it’s going to have to wait until the book is finished. I will tell you, though, as a sneak peek, the new book is going to have far more magic than any book I’ve written before.

Q: What bit of witchy wisdom would you like to leave for our readers?

The ancestors are trying to communicate with you – let them know that you’re open to their messages. They really do want to help in whatever way possible. The amount of love pouring out from the millions whose DNA runs through you is beyond description.


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