Friday, February 17, 2012

D is for ... Divination


What is divination?  Essentially, it is a means of fortelling future events, or clarifying current circumstances, often using metaphysical tools.  There are many, many types of divination, from the fairly well-known rune casting, tarot cards, pendulums, astrology and seeing omens, to more obscure methods, such as critomancy (using barley cakes), cromniomancy (using onion sprouts) and tiromancy (using cheese).*

My favorite techniques are Tarot and pendulums. At last count, I think I have acquired 7 different Tarot decks, each with its own unique personality and speciality. As to the pendulums, I tend to make my own and therefore own several - certainly more than one person really needs :)

Divination can be a useful tool in a witch's arsenal, but one should not rely too heavily on any predictions received.  The future is not set in stone and is subject to change due to our own actions, or those of others.  When receiving a reading from another person, it is smart to remember that they are a) only human and can make mistakes; b) they may not have the knowledge/abilities claimed; and c) your own interpretation, actions and reactions will determine much of what is to come, regardless of what anyone else says.

That said, divination can provide much needed insight into a complicated situation, and offer suggestions regarding how to proceed.  I've found that many times the most honest and helpful readings are those that simply clarify a given situation, perhaps helping someone to understand how they came to be where they are; what happenings transpired to bring about current events.

There are many places one can go to find divination methods, tools and how-to's, so I won't dwell on that here.  One thing I woul like to point out though, is that as good as a teacher is, or as well written as a book might be, the only sure way to properly interpret a reading using your favorite tool is to follow your instincts.  That doesn't mean that the teacher or author of a book is wrong, simply that their interpretation may not resonate with you.  It is important to recognize this, and to have confidence in yourself and your ability to accurately practice divination.

It is also important to know how the energy-exchange works.  You may hear from different sources that it is "wrong" to charge or to pay for a reading.  Then again, you will see many places, on the internet and in various venues, such as a Pagan Pride Day festival or a metaphysical store, where there are people who actively charge for these services (though they may ask for a specific donation amount, this is basically the same thing), and then there are those who truly only ask for a donation in an amount the seeker sees fit to give or offers free readings.  In my opinion, none of these methods are more right, or more wrong, than another.  Whether the individuals offering the readings rely on this as their only source of income, or they do it as a hobby, they are expending energy (time and effort) to provide a service that others want.  It is fair that they receive something of like value in return, whether it be monetary compensation, or they barter for other items or services, it promotes a healthy energy exchange, leaving both parties on equal footing when it comes to debts owed and paid.  It is not fair to expect that a diviner provide her/his services without expectation of any compensation.

Personally, I find that working with my cards restores my inner peace and calm.  Even if I do not do a reading, just handling the cards will ease my mind, and allow me to sort through whatever is going on in a more rational, yet spiritual, frame of mind.  I also enjoy doing readings for others, whether someone I know well, or a complete stranger.  I love the fact that I can help someone, even if just a little, to understand what's going on in her/his life, and figuring out options for the future.  I will be the first to admit I don't know everything.  I'm not always right.  Sometimes, whether due to my own frame of mind or a lack of sincerity on the part of a seeker, I will lay out the cards, and get absolutely nothing but gibberish back.  I won't try to pretend I can read that.  There are days when the cards will not divulge their secrets, and that's ok.  Maybe I'm not ready to hear it, or am not open enough to the answers I need.

Knowing that I will probably never know all there is about my chosen methods, much less all the methods out there, encourages me to continue to practice.  It may not make me perfect, but at least I'm working on it.

Brightest Blessings, All!

*For a more complete list of divination methods, please see


  1. Do you by any chance know how divination with cheese works? I'd be very interested in trying it!

    I see your reasons for saying that it's ok to charge for a reading; however, I'm still a bit sceptical about it. The fact that money is involved does draw some frauds who just pretend to be gifted, and this is my main reason for thinking that you shouldn't charge for readings (obviously, there are gifted people who want to or have to make a living using their gift for others, and that's fine).

    1. I have no idea how divination with cheese works. I found a passing reference to it, but no details. :(

      I agree that there are definitely frauds and others who are just out to "make a buck" (including those who are able to do a reading, and are exploiting their own ability). This does not detract, though (IMO), from the fact that there are legitimate practicioners who do actually know what they're doing. It is up to those seeking the service to determine if the person they are considering is legitimate and if the cost is a fair trade.

      It's probably generally safe to assume that someone offering readings by donation of the seeker's choice is legitimate, as well as someone asking only $10-20, or offering no set time limit to the reading.

      However, I'd steer clear of a psychic asking, say,
      $15 for the first 5 min, then $1/min, or $60+ for a single reading. Also, beware of anyone asking for alot of personal information before providing a reading. Someone who is truly able to provide an accurate reading shouldn't need to know your full name, birthdate/place, or whether you are involved in a relationship.

      I do see both sides, and I used to be of the opinion that one should never charge for a reading, but I have since come to my own understanding of the energy-exchange and the need for a fair-trade, and also believe we should all exercise common sense, regardless of whether we are the provider or receiver of the service.


    2. I just did a quick google search on divination with cheese and found this website:

      It seems to have the basics, and there are a few different methods of using the cheese to diving answers.

      Happy Reading!

  2. Personally, I like using both. I also believe that it is a picture of what is happening at that momment. Ultimately things may change.

    If you are reading for others - I think there is an ethic that should be in place - that if someone is depending on every momment of the day your readings - they need to get help. And as a reader you should say this or tell them you can't do any more readings. Just my thoughts.

    1. You make an excellent point. When acting as a counselor, we need to ensure that we are fully honest with those requesting the service, whether that means that we have to admit we don't know the answer to their question, or to advising them to trust themselves more than the cards, we have a moral duty to help them the best way possible.

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