Divination is the most commonly accepted form of Magick. It’s one of those few areas where most people when given an example will listen… even if they don’t want to believe.
In America, we tend to see Diviners as kooky women who are either Astrologers, Palm/Card Readers or “Psychics.” However there are a LOT of forms of divination. Around the world you will find, smoke, fire, water, crystal, book, bone, blood and Entrails divination. Cultures tend to have culture specific twists to their favored forms. In Ifa-Orisha Tradition they use Coconut pieces, Cowrey Shells, Ikin (Nuts) or Opele (Stringed/Chained cut Nuts) for either yes/no answers or complex understanding based on a system of 256 Odu (fundamental concepts) each of which have many Ese (Stories) to help understand the Odu and its possible implications for the topic being read. In the east we see I-Ching readers. Here everyone thinks of Tarot Cards.
Just the sheer numbers of methodologies should tell you something… To quote Ruby, “You never needed the feather Dumbo… you had it in you the whole time!”
Divination methodologies are all just tools to help you listen to Spirit, Your Subconscious or the Gods. I have divined using which songs come on the radio before. Had a full on conversation with a God asking for detailed answers and listened by pushing a button on my radio and hearing the lyrics of the songs I switched to. The responses were amazingly word for word.
For a couple years, I have been testing out my “intuitive reading” skills (no tools, just listening to my heart and gut) and I find it pretty accurate, yet I often compare intuitive readings to tool based divination. Most tools empower you to put your question into careful form and then receive an answer. I often fail to do this in intuitive readings; however, sometimes my failure to ask tight questions ends up being a strength.
One person asked a question over the internet about some challenges in her future and I felt the need to tell her that many people are happy with the results of Back Surgery. She said this wasn’t what she was asking about; however, she was impressed as she’d been putting off back surgery for a while.
Tight questioning can be great if you’re smart enough to ask good questions. Unfortunately, it is VERY hard to ask good questions. Some cultures believe that good questions are more important than good answers. From my divinatory experience with Tarot, Runes and Bones, I would agree. I have been accurate with my questions and answers before only to find later that I had mis-formed my questions, and thus come to an incorrect conclusion and given bad advice. Usually it was clear to both of us how the questions were flawed, but errors still feel like failure even if your divinatory answers were “correct.”
As a diviner, it is your job to be conscious of the strengths and weaknesses of your questions. I would also recommend listening to your gut regarding how your answers feel. If you are on track your heart and gut will feel big and expansive. If not, they will feel small and reductive. With the tarot, for years I have pulled a card asking what my deck feels about my reading and recently was informed by my deck to “stop doing that and listen in other ways.”
Yes, I treat my deck as if it is alive and has a spirit because it does. As I mentioned in How to make Rings, Amulets, Staffs and other magick items, if you use an item for a purpose often enough it becomes attuned to that purpose (a focus). With my deck, I had a very vocal spirit form/move in (not quite sure which).
It feels like the bones I use (literally turkey neck bones where I boiled away all of the meat) have a poorly formed spirit; however, with my Runes I have yet to have them seem be “spirited,” and I’m not sure if they ever will. Runes being the energy flow forms they are don’t seem likely candidates for an spirit to me; however I could be wrong…
Obviously this spirit aid is a good reason to use a tool; however, if you’re listening properly, spirits can tell you what they want expressed directly in intuitive or channeled readings as well.
So where do you start? Most people like to start reading the future for the exact wrong reasons. If you read the future it’s easy to ignore or explain away if you’re wrong. VERY few Diviners read truth that WILL happen, most tend to perceive a truth that MIGHT happen. If I tell you you'll die from lung cancer and you stop smoking I can claim it didn't happen because you changed your actions...
If you’re a beginning diviner, you need to build skill and trust. I would STRONGLY recommend you Divine immediate and/or short term information which is provable. Which would you rather? Spend years claiming you’re all that and a bag of chips without proof, or PROVE to yourself when you’re right or wrong?
You are going to be wrong in Divination. Some things just don’t align with you. For example, I SUCK at pendulum divination. Every time I’ve tried, I have had worse than odds results. With 50/50 odds, I’ve been wrong over 70% of the time (this is still Magickal btw, but it’s just not USEFUL). I will keep trying once in a while (who knows, maybe I’ll figure it out), but I know better than to trust my results with it right now.
Get over the fear of being wrong and you are on the path toward getting better. If you are conscious when you are right and wrong, you will begin noticing tell tale signs about how you feel, what you did wrong and so on. In other words you will learn.
It is perfectly possible to divine current and even past circumstances. Now if you divine past circumstances, the proof probably isn’t going to stand up to any sort of scientific rigor, but you don’t care about proving anything to other people. You’re proving things for yourself.
As time goes by you will learn the signs which tell you when to trust, the signs which tell you that you are in flow. Soon thereafter you will likely find yourself noticing odd urges that don’t make sense showing the “trust signals.” Turn left now. Talk to that person about your project. This is the greatest value of Divination: Living in flow!
One of the fun parts of connecting with the Divine (where do you think DIVINation came from?!?) is watching things just “go right.” It doesn’t have to be big; moments where you decide for no reason to turn down an ally and find a dollar are just as important to you as those moments where you stop the car at a green light only to see someone run a red and fly through where you would have been (Both of these have happened to me btw).
In fact, I’m going to look for a Joomla plugin to recognize these moments. In the next few days I will post a solution where people will be able to post their Magick/Divine stories and have them randomly displayed for other readers. Who knows, maybe your story will be the one that helps people see the point of why we do this!
Walk in awareness of the Divine,
Power Before Wisdom