Create Your Personal Book of Shadows
by Nancy Hendrickson
Publisher: Weiser Books
Published: September 1, 2022
What is an Ancestral Grimoire?
Where do I start with this magickal book? It was hard to read it just for review reasons, I wanted to drop everything and run for a Tarot deck and a beautiful blank journal to turn into my own Ancestral Grimoire, after reading just a few pages into the book! This isn’t one of those books full of theory without much hands on experiences, this is the opposite. This book is a workbook full of amazing knowledge about working with your ancestors. And you’ll create a treasure for future generations, in the Ancestral Grimoire you’ll have by the end of the year of working with this book, a deck or two of Tarot cards, and a place to record the ancestral knowledge that you’ll learn.
Part One of the book goes into the different tools for divination you’ll be using in the creation of your grimoire. The list includes the Court cards, runes, pendulums, oracles, charms, sigils, and Lenormand. The Courts are used to discover the Ancestor coming through for that month’s work; after giving us a 101 introduction to the Courts, Nancy goes into a deeper exploration of the Courts one by one, going into what type of person they represent both positive and negative sides. So many charts and spreads to works with!
Part One continues with a overview of the Seasons, Months, and Sabbats; with a few great charts and a Wheel of the Year graphic. After taking us to the Land of Tarot through visualization, Nancy dives into how to pick the right Tarot deck for your work and includes a short list of suggested decks broken down by continent and culture. Nancy also explains her system for supplemental cards used for adding gender and era to the mix, as well as Pendulums and how to make your own pendulum boards, Oracle cards for clarifications, Casting charms on casting sheets, several methods of using Sigils, and finally offers two Optional tools of Runes and/or Lenormand.
Finally in Part Two we get to the heart of the matter, the actual work to be done after you’ve gathered a grimoire to fill, and the tools you’re going to use for the work. First a quick explanation of the Four Types of Magic (Family, Personal, Elemental, Celestial) and then a Month by Month series of exercises and spreads.
This is the meat of Part Two and the book itself, each month is presented in its own chapter packed full of exercises and spiritual work, spreads and other tool uses. The start of each month has the tools needed for that month, listed as the first part of the chapter. The chapter after December is a final flip of the questions, instead of you asking the Ancestors questions you get a 12 question review of the year, questions asked of you by the ancestors.
The back of the book has several more treasures in appendix form, Appendix A is the resources section; listing books, decks, apps, websites, and podcasts. Appendix B is the Charts, oh the charts, the beautiful, beautiful charts! Minor and Major Arcana charts, Lenormand keyword chart, and a breakdown of the Elder Futhark Runes. And then there’s Appendix C, amazing magical Appendix C, with a spread for each Sabbat on the Wheel of the Year.
I’ve Got Questions!
I only have one question, how many times can I go through this book before it falls apart? Seriously, as soon as I’m done with this review I’m gathering my tools for the full 12 month workshop, I’ll be starting January first. And I think I’ll repeat the cycle of exercises until my whole grimoire is filled from cover to cover.
Now I have to figure out what Tarot deck I should pull out for the work…
This is a treasure of a book, and a workshop of this immense magnitude being crammed into book form is magic in and of itself. And the amazing Ancestral work we’ll experience by doing the work is awe inspiring. I’m a big fan of Ancestor Work myself, and consider Nancy Hendrickson to be one of the best voices in that arena. If you’ve been looking for a way to connect with your ancestors and find your ancestral magic, then this is the book for you.
If you’re not ready to face yourself and really get to know yourself and your ancestral linages, then maybe you should get Nancy’s other book Ancestral Tarot and work your way up to Ancestral Grimoire. This is amazing work and I’m so glad that Nancy Hendrickson is bringing the work to the world. I’m looking forward to seeing how this modern surge of Ancestral Veneration will help shape the world for the better.
Don’t forget to join us for the interview about this book on YouTube, and to see what wisdom Nancy Hendrickson will share with us! <insert YouTube Link here>
Nancy Hendrickson is an Amazon bestselling author based in San Diego, California who combines her passion for Tarot, genealogy, and history into books, courses, and presentations.
Among her books are Ancestral Tarot, the Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com, and Historic Photos of Old California.
When not writing, Nancy is traveling the back roads of the frontier west, taking notes and photographs for future projects. Visit Nancy’s website at http://sageandshadow.com to learn more about her books, courses, and presentations.
You can find Nancy at @nancysageshadow on Instagram
About the Author:
Jonathan has been reading Tarot for over 33+ years. He has had many teachers, and has experienced many Spiritual Truths. He even had the honor of teaching a Beginner’s Tarot Reading class!
He has swam with Manta Rays, Sea Turtles, and Whales in Hawaii; ran barefoot in the jungle with the Ticos of Costa Rica; danced the Naraya with the Shoshone; Prayed at Buddhist Temples in Thailand, China, and Japan; wandered the green hills of Ireland, studied Acupuncture in China; and has had many more adventures!
Jonathan’s love of the Tarot started when he was in Summer Camp (in New Jersey of all places) and was privileged to take a class with a Magus who taught the group not only the Tarot, but also crystals, Runes, pendulums, energy work, spell casting, Past Life Regressions, and many other “New Age” practices. That class was one of the catalysts for Jonathan’s own Spiritual Awakening to his many past lives, and his Higher Purpose.
Jonathan is an Acupuncturist who has created his own style of acupuncture aided past life regressions using gold needles. Jonathan is a Certified Health Coach. He has lost count of how many readings he’s given, and decks he’s collected, over the last 3 decades. Find more from Jonathan on YouTube.