Tarot for Ancestor Healing


I want to share some tarot pulls I was guided to work with when I was using the same ancestor healing techniques I use with my clients to heal my own lineages. 

I use two terms to describe the ancestors. These terms were popularized by psychotherapist Daniel Foor, PhD in his research into lineage healing. Your deceased relatives are either:

  • Loving and wise, AKA "ancestral guides", or "elevated dead", or
  • Troubled or unwell dead

The loving and well ancestors are the ones that are supporting your journey, offering guidance, offering blessings and healing, and working with you to help you align with your personal destiny. 

The troubled dead are your ancestors that still have stuff to work out. They are often earthbound spirits and often very well deserve the term "hungry ghost". In fact their hunger, and low vibes, can be a source of illness, distress, blockages, and can cause all kinds of other problems for the living. 

So how can we find out which camp our deceased relatives fall into?

One way is to use the tarot.

The first question I ask when I am curious about the wellness of a deceased relation is, "What can I know about the wellness of the spirit of my relative [Insert name here]?

Some tips: It's very important to say, "spirit," as you are not asking after the wellness of their physical body. Using the full name of the person you are asking about is best but if you do not know a name than saying, "my great-great grandmother" works fine too. If you knew the person when they were living you can also just connect their essence or energy when shuffling your deck. 

Here is an example of the card I pulled when I asked after my paternal grandfather BEFORE doing any healing work with him:


I was not surprised to pull that card as he had a hard life and death. 

One card I get often when asking about the wellness of deceased spirits, (I now use this pull to check up on any deceased spirits, not just ancestors), is the four of pentacles.




This card is how my deck communicates to me that the spirit is earthbound and stuck on the material plane. For whatever reason they are holding on too tightly to the realm of the living and have not successfully crossed over. I have found this more with my deceased American relatives than with my relatives from the French countryside who lived were honored more traditionally and spiritually when they died. Many times American culture can be disconnected from more ancient processes of fully honoring the dead so the dead are more likely to get "stuck". 

AFTER you have worked with your deceased relatives to find healing, and to cross over to the realm of the elevated Ancestral Guides, the cards you pull will look much different. Below is the cards I pulled after finishing my work healing all of my relations in my four core lineages through the beginning of time: 



These cards showed me that my work was successful and complete! My maternal grandmother is the Empress card, maternal grandfather the Emperor, paternal grandmother is the Star, and my paternal grandfather is the Fool. Imagine my joy on receiving this confirmation that my beloved ancestors were now elevated, vibrant, and well in spirit. 

Next I will share the tarot spread I use to gain insight into the wellness of an entire lineage and how the lineage is effecting the living relation. 

We each have four core lineages that have the most influence on our lives. These are  the lineages of our four grandparents. For instance, the lineage of your father’s mother includes your father’s mother’s mother + her mother’s mother + her mother’s mother, all the way to the beginning of time, back to the first womb that birthed the first woman in this lineage. Kind of like this picture: 



To get inquire about the influence that one of your particular lineages has on your life, ask your deck this question, "What are three blessings I have inherited from my __________ (paternal/maternal grandmother, ect's...) lineage?"

Pull three cards to form the top row of your spread.

Then ask, "What are three burdens I have inherited from this lineage?"

Then pull three more cards to form the bottom row.

Below is an example of the cards I pulled for one of my lineages BEFORE I did any healing with this lineage. You can see that this lineage got some tough cards even under blessings. This showed me that there was a lot of work to do here, as of course, I did not want these energies influencing my life and phyche!



Ideally, you would like all the cards you pull to feel like blessings that you have inherited from you ancestors instead of burdens. So that even the burdens row feels energetically like blessings. When we take the time to do healing work and rituals for our lineages we can greatly shift the cards. Take a look at a follow-up spread I did on a lineage AFTER I did healing work on the lineage and made sure all of my ancestors had become elevated Ancestral Guides. 


You can see that these are all cards that feel energetically to me like blessings instead of burdens, even in the bottom row that I asked to represent burdens. This shows some of the incredible results you can get from doing this work! I especially loved seeing the blue butterfly as this was a symbol I saw often when doing deep healing work with this particular lineage. 

Although I am finished healing my core lineages, I still use the cards to check up on my ancestors periodically. With one particular ancestral spirit I am finding it interesting to use the cards to follow the journey of his soul's evolution through the realms beyond death.

In my next blog I will share more about what concretes shifts, changes, and benefits I saw in my life after completing this profound healing work with my ancestors. 

Till then, I wish you great insight and clarity if you chose to bring these questions to your own tarot deck. May your curiosity and compassion lead you on a path to greater harmony with all your relations.