The materials are laid out before you: cards, stones, coins, even the
stray leaves in your teacup. You puzzle over the swords, cups, wands,
and circles, or perhaps an unfamiliar alphabet, or even something as
seemingly simple as a series of lines, broken and unbroken. And let’s
face it, of all the world’s most perplexing mysteries, certain
questions assert themselves at the forefront of our thoughts: Does
he/she still love me? Will I get a promotion? How can I improve my
health? Where will this road take me? They’re personal issues, the
stuff of daily worries, the building blocks of our days.
But is this sort of divination really about the future or is it about now?
Divinatory tools are triggers. We begin by recognizing its symbols,
picking out the ones that resonate with us first. Some tools already
comprise a sophisticated and complex language. When you learn its
symbolic alphabet, you can begin to read its message, which is really a
message from you to you. While the same symbols may present themselves
to you or another reader, how you build the sentences from these
esoteric words is yours alone. And by bypassing the language you use
daily to communicate the mundane, it’s possible for you to leap from
left brain to right, delving into personal truths that are beyond mere
casting runes or dealing cards, ask yourself what it is that you are
seeking of divination. Determine whether or not you will only see what
you want to see. What will change about your outlook or your actions if
the answer is the opposite? Will you repeat your reading until you find
what you were hoping for? Or are you truly ready to take what is given
and accept the fact that what you hope for may not be what is best,
that the problem you hope to solve likely has its answer within
yourself rather than without, and that no matter what promises you
perceive the cards to have given you, you still have to live with your
Divination, in other words, is not an escape. It is not an easy way
out. If used mindfully, it will help you to see the mountains you must climb, not avoid them.
Once you have accepted this, the method you choose for divination is
largely irrelevant. There is no one way that is better than the rest.
Ultimately, you need to go with the form that resonates with you most.
While it may seem like an ambiguous statement, you will
know what form is right for you. Don’t belabor the issue. You are not
tied to this deck or this method for the rest of your life. If
something feels right, go with it. At a later point, more likely than
not, this will shift and change, probably many times.
The most popular forms today are probably tarot cards (in one form or
another) and Norse runes. Divination tools, however, are diverse beyond
imagining. You can divine with almost anything. In ancient times, there
were those who found truth by looking at the fresh entrails of a newly
slaughtered beast, so if you want to find answers in the specks of fat
dotting your breakfast sausage, go to it. A few more common methods
include cartomancy, divining with cards; palmistry, analyzing the lines
and contours of the human hand; tasseography, divining in a tea or
coffee cup; phrenology, the analysis of the human head; and
bibliomancy, finding answers by choosing random passages from the bible
or another text.
The key to successful divination is to achieve an almost
meditative state before your chosen instrument. For this reason, the
practice of meditation in general is a valuable habit to acquire.
Essentially, you are seeking to achieve a waking dream state in which
your mind is not chattering on in its normal manner, preoccupied with
sundry worries, and begin a journey of free association and
storytelling with a willingness to let your mind go wherever it chooses
to take you. No matter how unrelated an image, idea, or word may seem
when it first flits across your thoughts, do not fight it. Don’t get in
your own way. Your mind knows where it is taking you.
If you are an artist, this state of mind is familiar to you. It
is that place you reach when you are not consciously choosing your
colors or where the next stroke of paint will go. You are simply
flowing along with it. Like driving a car, the minute you stop to
analyze what you are doing, the process becomes awkward and ultimately
The answers come from within yourself. Let them come.
|Document Copyright 1999 Spiritualitea.com & Sandra Mizumoto Posey, Ph.D., author of Cafe Nation: Coffee Folklore, Magick, & Divination
(Santa Monica Press, 2000). This article may be reproduced as long as
no changes, additions or deletions are made to the text. All the
information in this paragraph must be included on the document whenever
it is distributed or reproduced.