Ancestral Oracle of the Celts

Published by Alison Cross on

Caitlin Matthews is a popular and prolific author of a slew of books and divination decks (if you are a Lenormand fan and don’t have a copy of her Lenormand Oracle Handbook, you are missing out!) and the Ancestral Oracle of the Celts is one of her most popular creations.

Originally printed in 1990, it has been re-released by Watkins and unleashed upon the divination world!

Let’s start with the box – it’s a lovely sturdy box decorated by the image from the Way Shower card. The deck and accompanying book are accessed via a drawer to the side of the box.

The box with the drawer open and the guide book showing.

This is a 40-card oracle, with two distinct types of card – Ancestral Cards and Clan Cards.

There are eight Ancestor cards, provided in pairs. These pairs are all Lord and Lady … and very helpfully, the realms that they preside over also all begin with the letter L – Love, Light, Lore and Love.

These cards are landscape in orientation and each features an aspect of the Gundestrup Cauldron:

Gundestrup Cauldron

These cards represent our common ancient ancestors and are described as Gods and Goddesses from Celtic lore, such as Bran and Brigantia. These cards pose questions for us to consider when we draw them in the Oracle Readings.

The other 32 cards are the Clan cards. There are four clans, each of eight cards. Each clan (Wisdom, Sovereignty, Truth and Honour) and has a symbol – Stag, Hawk, Salmon and Boar.

Since each card is a ‘person’ card, each of the clans is depicted with a different coloured border – Red, Purple, Gold and Green.

The Ancestor cards, flanked by the Clan cards.

All 40 cards are related to the Sun Circle and the illustration shows how the Ancestor and Clan cards lie together on the Wheel, which is the Wheel of The Year.

Sun Circle – p11 in Guide Book

The artwork by Wil Kinghan is lovely and the clan cards cover every aspect of ancient society – Kings and Queens, Weavers, Shepherds, Commanders etc.

There is a mix of Masculine and Feminine presences within the cards, but the ENERGY of each card is beyond the outward appearance of each character.

Although the book is small, it has 88 pages of information. The majority of it pertains to each card, but there are also sections on how to consult the cards and re-membering the Ancestors for deep work.

My only criticism of the book is that some of the print in it is TINY!

Book entry for Lord of Love, the font of the copy next to the image is very small!

So, what do I think of the Oracle – the cardstock is very pleasant. The cards have a definite shine – nice and easy to handle and to shuffle.

I’ve used the Burning Question spread, two cards, which required a random Clan card and a random Ancestor card. The questions posed by the Ancestor card are interpreted through the wisdom of the advice offered by the Clan card.

This is a lovely Oracle and the perfect addition to your suite of decks if you enjoy Celtic themed work.

You can explore more of Caitlin and John Matthews vast body of work on their Hallowquest site. You can also purchase this deck from Amazon via this affiliate link.


Alison Cross

The Tarot's Court Cards are my specialist area.  They talk to me. Not LITERALLY though ....

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