✨ A Gathering Place for Magical Readers and Writers ✨

Author Archives: Anne Greco

About Anne Greco

Anne Greco is a non-fiction writer who writes about her life experiences and travels with humor, keen observations, and the hope that her words will remind us that “we’re all just walking each other home.” Her book, Serendipity: Chance Pilgrimages, tells the story of Anne encountering her places of power. As she reconnects with herself at each site, Anne also develops a deeper understanding and appreciation of her connection to both the seen and unseen worlds. Learn more about her work here: http://annegrecowriter.com.

Goddess Love Oracle, by Wendy Andrew

Goddess Love Oracle, written and illustrated by Wendy Andrew
Rockpool Publishing, 1925924329, 107 pages, 2021

Goddess Love Oracle is an incredible deck that packs a lot of Goddess guidance into it. Measuring only about 3 inches by 4 inches, the deck and accompanying guidebook are easily portable. In fact, creator Wendy Andrew recommends carrying the guidebook in your bag or pocket and opening it if you need inspiration or a bit of direction. As both author and illustrator, Andrew brings the wisdom of the Goddess into our lives with her beautiful paintings and accompanying writings. Based in southern England, she writes that she first heard “Goddess whispering in the wind and vibrating through the land.”1

When I first received the deck, I shuffled the cards and pulled Radiance, a card that illustrated the Goddess Flora, ringlets of golden hair flowing down her back. A halo of purple and pink flowers surround her head as she tilts her face toward the light and warmth of the sun. Her guidance was spot on for what was going on in my life: “No more hiding in the shadows, no more silencing your voice and no more walling up your heart.”2 I was immediately drawn in by the warm colors and comforting illustrations, which all have a feminine sense of fluidity to them.

Another day I did a three-card spread that Andrew calls “Work, Play and People.”3 Cards fully shuffled, I cut them into three piles and magically, I pulled three cards in numeric order, Rebirth, Reflection, and Rest, all cards that encouraged inward thinking, restoring one’s energy, and stillness. Incubating periods versus outward growth. Again, the cards resonated, and I felt the Goddesses communicated with me.

I truly loved how Andrew approached the deck – simple but certainly not simplistic, uncomplicated but complex. In the guidebook she writes that “there are no hard and fast rules about how to use the cards; simply do what feels right and that will be Goddess guiding you. Allow yourself to feel the essence of Her messages as Her love enfolds you.”4 She continues by offering very easy ways to connect with the message of the cards – sit quietly and when it feels right, shuffle the cards. Although she writes that there are many ways of laying out a card spread, she offers only three. There is a single-card reading and two three-card spreads: one on work, play, and people and the other on body, mind, and spirit.

The back of the cards contains a circle of 12 winter-bare trees, their roots extending into the earth until they reach a circle of eight purple hearts. The trees appear against what reminds me of a purple-colored, star-filled night sky. Then every Goddess is richly illustrated, inviting one to go deeper into the meaning/communication by quietly sitting with the image. As Andrew recommends, put the drawn card on your altar (if you have one) or in place where you’ll see it during the day. Allow the image and the Goddess’s message to become part of your day. Invite in the Goddess’s love and wisdom.

There are 36 Goddess cards in the deck, each card offering a message and also a connected “Goddess-inspired daily practice” such as a guided meditation, journaling/vision boarding, or doing something that brings you out of your comfort zone. The daily practices are intended to “deepen the communication”5 from the Goddess.

Almost all of the images contain animals with rabbits/hares and foxes dominating the group. I use the term animal loosely, including those of the air and water. Only two cards do not contain animal imagery, Rati (Love Your Body) and Quan Yin (Compassion). Also present in most of the cards is the spiral of the Divine Feminine, sometimes obvious and other times very subtle. The cards foster a sense of connection to the natural world.

Named Goddesses do not appear on all of the cards but those that are represented by name include Rhiannon (twice), Brigid (twice), Lakshmi, Demeter, Freya, Arta, Flora, Iananna, Cerridwen, and Mellangell. Other cards simply reference a communication from “Goddess.” 

The two cards featuring Brigid contain her flame, her light. One of Brigid’s cards is Awakening, encouraging us to live in the moment. A swan appears behind her, its extended white wings seemingly giving her the ability to fly. Spirals appear in her orange flowing hair and also on her forehead. Five white stars crown her head. He is cloaked in a garment covered in winter snowdrops, the flowers that first poke through the earth around Imbolc. A hare stands near her as she cradles a flame in her hand, Brigid asking if we are “ready to be fully awake?”6 The Goddess-inspired daily practices asks the reader to ask one’s self “What would happen if I released rather than strived?”7

Another card that I was drawn to was Hope, reminding us that “out of darkness comes light.”8 The card features Demeter and her daughter, Persephone. The star-filled winter evening sky contains a crescent moon. Bare trees stand on the landscape. In the right corner of the image one sees the pink of the rising sun. Two birds fly around Demeter, her head crowned in brown flowers. Her arms open to surround her daughter who holds a brown hare. Although this reunion will be short-lived, Persephone brings flowers and the hope of rebirth. As Andrew writes, “Demeter comes to you now, saying: ‘I understand. I hear you when you call for help. I know that there are times when life can be hard. But I also know that the darkness is balanced by the light.’”9 The Goddess-inspired daily practice encourages one to find a symbol of hope to carry around. 

Perhaps my favorite card is Wisdom, the last card in the deck. Here we encounter Cerridwen, the crone, the “ancient Welsh Mother Goddess.”10 Cerridwen is cloaked in purple, her garment covered in spirals. A spiral also appears on her forehead. She holds a cat that tenderly strokes her long hair. In her other hand she holds an orange pumpkin, carved with leaves and tendrils. The pumpkin holds a brewing hot liquid, steaming rising from its center. Cerridwen stands against a purple colored night sky, a sky that contains stars and a crescent moon.

Andrew reminds the reader that Cerridwen is here to tell that “you came into this life as a wise being and you have spent much of your time forgetting and unlearning.”11 She writes how the Goddess will “come…at significant times during your life to give you special opportunities to rediscover your inner wisdom.”12 The Goddess-inspired daily practice is a guided meditation that brings one into the presence of Cerridwen where one is invited into her house in the woods. 

I highly recommend Goddess Love Oracle for those who want a colorful burst of Goddess energy in their life. It is filled with messages of warmth and love, of hope and inspiration, of tenderness and guidance. Wendy encourages us to be “alert to any synchronicities that may occur” as we use the deck for “these may not be mere coincidences by subtle nudges from Goddess to heed her message.”13 I’ll let Andrew’s words close this review as they embody the intention of the deck: “May Goddess bless you with clarity, enlightenment and love.”14

Ancestral Tarot, by Nancy Hendrickson

Ancestral Tarot: Uncover Your Past and Chart Your Future, by Nancy Hendrickson
Weiser Books, 1578637416, 202 pages, March 2021

Ancestral Tarot: Uncover Your Past and Chart Your Future by Nancy Hendrickson immediately drew my attention because it combined two interests of mine: tarot and ancestry. I have been working with the tarot for almost 30 years and have used it countless times for advice, guidance, and clarification. Ancestry has been a newer passion for about the past 10 years. I have an insatiable interest in learning about the different ancestors that live in my family tree, all of them coming from Southern Italy. It’s the stories of these blood ancestors that intrigue me – why they did the things they did and how they lived. I truly feel the blood of these ancestors coursing through my veins.

Hendrickson does an amazing job of illuminating how one can use the tarot as a tool for ancestral communication to: “identify and access ancestral gifts, message, powers, protectors, and healers… and use the tarot to discover ancestors you may not have known you had.”1 As one who has decades of experience in genealogy and tarot, she is well-poised to write on this topic.

In this book, Hendrickson writes that there is really no order recommended in which to read the book. While she understands that one might want to delve into issues around one’s family of origin for example, and start with that chapter, she does suggest doing the tarot spreads and journal prompts introduced at the beginning of the book to form a foundation for working with one’s ancestors

I automatically connect the term ancestor to my family of birth origin, or as she calls them, Ancestors of Blood – grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-grandparents – on down the line. Yet I was immensely intrigued to read about how she broadened the term “ancestor” to include two other types: Ancestors of Place and Ancestors of Time. Ancestors of Place are those ancestors with whom one has a genetic connection and who lived in the one’s ancestral homeland a long time ago, but those whose names are not known. Ancestors of Time are ancestors from past incarnations.2 I have this inexplicable draw to Ireland and was hoping to have a “conversation” with those Ancestors of Time to see if there may be a connection.

The book is divided into eleven chapters. Chapters one through three contain an introduction to the three afore-mentioned types of ancestors. Hendrickson also writes about how those who are adopted can work with their ancestors. She provides tarot spreads to help one find an ancestral spirit guide for the journey as well as using the tarot to ask questions about the purpose of one’s walk with the ancestors. As she writes, “Chapter 3 will load you up with a variety of tools for the journey. I hope your backpack is super-sized – because you’ll be given a lot to work with!”3

I did the spread to help me determine what type of ancestors I wanted to work with initially – those of Blood, Place, or Time. While my head was pulling me to one column of cards – that of the Ancestors of Time because it was comprised entirely of Major Arcana cards, my intuition pulled me to work with the Ancestors of Place. 

The majority of my ancestors that I can trace come from the same province in Benevento, Italy. Ironically, Benevento was through to be the gathering place for witches, a place where they would not be prosecuted. I remember hearing about the “Evil Eye” growing up and was given an amulet to wear to ward it off. In fact, when my daughters were born my grandmother gifted each of them with their own amulet. I also remember hearing about great-grandmothers who knew how to do the “overlooks” that could remove the curse of the Evil Eye.

Looking back, maybe it was from my Ancestors of Place that I have inherited some of my interests in Italian folklore such as the Evil Eye and witchcraft. When asked how I could expect to benefit in my work with my Ancestors of Place I drew the High Priestess card – inner knowing seems to be spot on. Finally, when asked what message my Ancestors of Place had as I begin this journey, I drew the Page of Pentacles – learning how to manifest, being a voracious learner – and ironically, the astrological correspondence of the card is Capricorn – which is my birth sign. So much insight just from one spread, which as you can see really helped me to reflect on the unknown ancestors from this spirit of place and make connections to present day in my life.

Moving along, chapter four, “Meet the Family,” held information on using the tarot to work with one’s present family to reveal familial patterns. Then chapters five, six, and seven deepened the work with the three ancestral types. Chapter eight covers the importance of keeping a tarot journal for this journey of discovery. The final chapters nine, ten, and eleven offer ways to create “ancestral altars, sacred space, and crystal grids.”4

While I have provided an overview of the focus of each of the chapters, one should realize that there is a tremendous amount of information offered in each one — too much to digest in one reading. I came to understand that working with one’s ancestors is not a quick walk in the park, but rather a dedication to spending time with the ancestors, more of a slow, multi-leveled revelation versus a quick answer. I realized that I had to dedicate the time to do the spreads and journal promptings, to listen for the answers that bubbled up over time, and to put the pieces together to understand the story. From understanding the story and receiving the communications I could begin to work on self-healing and to experience hidden ancestral gifts emerge.

Hendrickson’s writing style is very straightforward and comprehensible. However, I feel that having an understanding of the tarot is beneficial before diving into this book. A tarot novice might easily be overwhelmed by the spreads, especially since one needs to use one’s knowledge of the tarot for insight into the cards as a form of communication with their ancestors. 

The only downside I encountered was in chapter nine, “Pairing Up,” she writes about using an ancestor’s birth date to calculate personality and soul numbers. Unfortunately for me, the majority of my ancestors were illiterate, and their birth dates are more approximations. Many of the church records that housed information on births and christenings were destroyed. However, I immensely enjoyed the final chapter, “Ancestral Rituals,” which covers how one can honor the ancestors through rituals such as creating altars. This has always been a meaningful activity for me. I truly liked creating an ancestral altar using items that “came” to me as I was meditating on what to include on it. 

The Appendices in the book provide additional information. Appendix A provides an overview of the tarot – or “Tarot 101”5 as it’s referred to. Appendix B offers recommended reading on the tarot and Appendix  C offers genealogy resources. 


I very much enjoyed working with the exercises in Ancestral Tarot as a new way to connect with my ancestors. Through combining tarot and ancestry, Hendrickson has opened a whole new realm of possibility when it comes to communing with our family and spiritual lineage from beyond the veil. I highly recommend this book for those who want to use the tarot to work with one’s ancestors and discover a connection to their ancestors beyond those of their bloodline. I nod in agreement with Nancy’s observation that “the search for ancestors is really about a search for self. Work with the ancestors and the person you find is you.”6