You've likely heard of the o riginal Alleyman's Tarot, which is made of over 130 mismatched cards by all different artists. This campaign soon became the highest backed tarot deck ever in Kickstarter history! Decks made up of a melange of cards isn't new but the Alleyman Tarot really brought it into the forefront. There is a group on Facebook that I discovered recently called The Alley where many fans have gathered to swap cards to create their own themed decks which are called Magpie Decks - or Patchwork deck (which I love). I have recently become OBSESSED which doing this myself and have already started to trade a buy individual cards.
This is also a great way to collect your fav cards from your fav decks that you may not have been able to get a hold of. Or are special/rare like this Lovers card of Matthew Ryan Cohn and his wife Regina Marie Cohn that I got from the Oddities Flea Market in Chicago this year.
In my last podcast I talked about different archetypes in the Major Arcana as well as the 16 archetypes in the Modern Goddess Oracle. While looking at my shelf of decks I forgot about one I acquired recently in a trade. The Ancestral Oracle of the Celts by Caitlin Matthews.
Each card has an affirmation associated with it. For example: The Prophet "I foresee the images hidden within the greater pattern and how they were seeded in the past."
The spreads included with this deck are more about working with the ancestors using the archetypes within each card which I find super cool. Not only are my ancestors Celtic but working with ancestors is something near and dear to me. Caitlin includes guidelines for gathering the ancestors, as well as a circle of welcome ritual.
You start by making a welcoming semicircle of cards around a candle which represents the hearth, to which the exiled ancestor is invited. Have a glass or bowl of water near.
- Place a Divine Ancestor behind (or under) the flame. These cards have family gifts associate with them and an image of the Gundestrup Cauldron. I chose the Lady of Life because looking at the Sun Cycle. I associate with the Maiden, Spinner and Seer.
- Next choose some female clan cards for the Line of Mothers and some male clan cards for the Line of Fathers.
- Place a stone to represent the exiled ancestor you are welcoming (I chose Gabbro) and say "This stone represents..."
- Hold the stone. What does the exiled ancestor need most? Look through the line of mothers and fathers to select one card from each to act as sponsors of the exiled ancestor. Which of the clan cards welcome the exiled ancestor unconditionally? What do they say to the ancestor? Speak these words aloud.
- Place the exiled ancestor between one of the mothers and one of the fathers as sponsors who support them. How does this ancestors stone feel now? Moisten the stone with water from your glass in token of the ancestors cleansing and long thirst.
- What welcome does the Divine Ancestor make to the exiled ancestor? Speak this aloud.
- Finally, make your own welcome, saying " As one of your descendants, I witness your return to the family hearth. I am holding you in my heart as one of the family. May you find the welcome you have longed for."
- Move the stone to the hearth and leave it there overnight with the glass of water.
There are many ways you can use this deck. The archetypes included are both common and unique. I really like the Initiator and the Restorer. They may be topics I explore more as I get more comfortable with this deck.