Practiced among civilizations around the world and throughout history, divination is the method of discovering the obscure source or significance of various events, often in the form of predicting the future. Divination is an attempt to seek unknown information concerning rational problems in the private and public sphere. In effect, divination allows you to manipulate the future, as the results of these practices allow you to make practical decisions that will influence the course of events in your life.
A number of different divination tools exist, with different cultures using divination in different ways according to their specific beliefs. Ancient Romans, for example, believed the gods were actively involved in their lives, so divination was dedicated to uncovering the will of the gods to avoid angering them and causing a catastrophe. In Saharan Africa, however, problems suffered by individuals and communities were thought to be caused by witchcraft or the interference of ancestral spirits. Divination in these cultures, therefore, was focused on revealing the origin of these problems so they could be properly dealt with and eliminated.
Common and Popular Divination Tools
Modern Western divination has drawn from traditions cross-culturally to allow individuals to learn about and influence their destinies. The most commonly used divination tools are scrying, dowsing, the reading of astrological charts, teacups, and runes, the use of the Ouija board, and the reading of tarot cards. With appropriate knowledge and careful practice, you can employ these methods to determine the hidden workings of your own life and influence your future. Read below to learn about specific divination practices and get started today!
Scrying is the practice of using reflective surfaces to perceive visions, including water, mirrors, metal, crystals, or crystal balls. Extensive practice is necessary for this divination tool to be successful. It must be performed in a quiet, peaceful environment to ensure maximum focus.
To begin, concentrate intensely on the question you’re looking to answer, then stare deeply into the tool you’ve chosen. Hold your gaze, even as your vision becomes blurred. A mist will form, after which you will begin to see images and shapes. When the images have faded away, you can relax your eyes and find a notepad to record these images for later analysis. They will likely be symbolic, so you must consider your own personal reactions and feelings to determine your individualized message.
We’re in love with this Clear Crystal Ball with Redwood Lion Resin Stand. It’s perfect for beginners and also makes a great gift for a fellow witchy friend.
Dowsing is a divination tool that uses rods or a pendulum to obtain the answers to yes or no questions. A pair of L or Y shaped rods is used to locate underground water or mineral sources and to communicate with spirits. To do this, you gently hold the rods and walk around, observing their movement. If they move up or down, this indicates a water or mineral source. If they cross one another in the form of an X, this suggests the presence of a spirit. You may then ask questions and evaluate the movement of the rods to determine the answers.
To dowse with a pendulum, you will use a chain connected to a cone-shaped crystal or stone, preferably one with special meaning to you. Write the words “yes” and “no” on a sheet of paper and hold the pendulum over it. Focus on your question and the pendulum will swing toward your answer. Pendulums are also used to recognize chakra or aura imbalances.
How magical is this Opalite Crystal Pendulum? The Opalite stone Represents October or Scorpio. It’s also a symbol of peace and patience.
Astrology relies on the position and movement of the planets and stars, which are believed to impact your life and your future. To use astrology, you will input your birth month, day, time, and time zone into a calculator online, which will create a birth chart and determine your zodiac signs: sun sign, moon sign, and rising or ascendant sign. There are twelve distinct signs, or houses, each with their own unique personality traits. Take time to learn about the signs and houses, as well as the elements and planets, and you can foretell events in your life, including relationship compatibility and career changes.
If you want to get started with a fresh introduction to astrology that will provide a contemporary perspective on this age-old practice, check out this book on Amazon The Stars Within You: A Modern Guide to Astrology.
The reading of tea leaves, or tasseomancy, is the practice through which you interpret the patterns and placement of tea leaves to learn about potential challenges in your life and obtain advice for how best to navigate them. To begin, boil a kettle of water and prepare yourself a cup of loose-leaf tea. Hold the cup in your non-dominant hand, drinking slowly while concentrating on a particular question or area in which you’d like guidance. Leave around a tablespoon of liquid in the cup, swirl it counterclockwise three times, then drain the remaining liquid.
Interpreting the leaves requires complete focus and a clear intention. You will see a variety of symbols and shapes in the cup, including letters, lines, dots, animals, natural objects (clouds, trees, mushrooms), and man-made objects (hourglass, ladder, scissors). Placement of these shapes within the cup is essential, telling you whether the event will happen in the present, near future, or distant future, and they may combine to delineate good or bad luck.
You can learn the art of reading tea leaves (or coffee grounds!) with this beautifully designed facsimile of an Edwardian fortune telling cup and saucer. Each kit comes with an actual cup and saucer and 96 page illustrated book explaining how to interpret the patterns you will find in your cup. Fun!
Runes comprise an alphabet developed by ancient Germanic and Scandinavian peoples to communicate and determine the future of individuals. Each rune served as a letter and functioned as a symbol of a spiritual power or principle situated within their cosmological understanding of the world. The definition of the word “rune” in Germanic languages illustrates this concept, as it is translated as both “letter” and “secret.” Runes were carved into small objects with a hard surface, such as bone, stone, wood, or metal.
Carving a rune imbues it with the force it describes. Reading runes is done for a magical purpose, allowing one to understand and commune with the gods and forces of nature. Learn about the special meaning of each rune and carve your own set to give them special significance. To use this divination tool, place the runes in a pouch, ask a question, and pour the runes out. The ones that fall face-up work collectively to create an answer, which you can interpret using a key.
Start with this Lapis Lazuli Rune Stones Set. It comes with 25 stones, including 24 stones with engraving and one blank stone.
Note: this set does come with its own booklet, but when it comes to gleaning the meanings of the runes, we recommend you use a more sources, such as the books below:
Taking Up The Runes: A Complete Guide To Using Runes In Spells, Rituals, Divination, And Magic by Diana L. Paxson. Today, the best known application of rune lore is divination: chips or stones marked with runes are drawn, cast, or laid out in patterns like tarot cards.
Futhark: A Handbook of Rune Magic Paperback by Edred Thorsson. In Futhark, rune master Edred Thorsson reinitiates us into our heritage, explaining the mysteries of a profound system of thought and practice that underlies our developing Western culture.
Probably the most commonly known divination tool, Ouija boards, also known as spirit boards, are rectangular planks of wood carved with the 24 letters of the alphabet, the numbers zero through nine, and the words “yes,” “no,” and “goodbye.” The board is accompanied by a planchette, a heart-shaped board on casters that points to the appropriate symbol. Ouija boards are used in seances, rituals designed to channel and communicate with spirits… If you’re ready to enter the world of the mysterious and mystifying, try Ouija!
What do you want to know? Get a friend, ask your question and, using the planchette that comes with the board, ask away! Remember to be patient and concentrate because the spirits can’t be rushed. Handle the Ouija board with respect and it won’t disappoint you!
Comprised of 78 cards, the tarot deck is a divination tool designed around metaphysical concepts. Learning how to use tarot cards requires a strong mix of intuition and familiarity with the symbols of the tarot. Each card carries its own particular symbolism. They are placed in a specific arrangement to create a reading that can be interpreted with a tarot guide.
If you’re just getting started, try a 3-card spread. One of the simplest readings you can try to start with is interpreting the 3 cars as the past, present and future. Shuffle your deck, cut it and then reveal the answers to your question – where you were (past), where you are (present) and where you’re going (future).
For more information on tarot cards, check out our article, “Everything You Need to Know About Tarot Card Reading.”
Picking the perfect tarot deck is personal. You should choose one that really speaks to you. The path to enlightenment is unique for each person, but many of the lessons we learn are from shared stories, passed among generations and throughout cultures. That’s why we love this deck “Tarot of the Divine” by illustrator Yoshi Yoshitani. Through her art she infuses the deck with worldly insight and an intriguing selection of fables and folktales from cultures across the world.
How to Begin Using Divination Tools
The sheer number and complexity of the divination tools available to you can be overwhelming, so a good place to begin is by focusing on observation, intuition, and symbolism. Commit to being attentive, respectful, and open-minded so you can perceive signs in the world around you and make yourself accessible to communication. Use your intuition to find meaning in the symbols and signs presented to you, employing your natural perception and instinct.
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