Tag Archives: divination

Divination

Many of our temple members practice some form or other of divination to seek guidance and we sometimes include the practice in our rituals. The word literally means to “let the divine realm manifest.” Divination connects you with your subconscious mind or inner knowledge. Some also believe it serves as a link to divine wisdom or that answers lie embedded in the cosmic web that weaves together the seen and unseen worlds. Divination gives us access to information that we might not perceive through ordinary means.

Astrology

Astrology has been around for as long as humankind has watched the movements of stars and other objects in the skies. To link the movement of the planets and stars to our own human lives isn’t as far fetched an idea as it might seem on the surface. After all if the heavens are a macrocosm to our own physical being, the microcosm, then seeking guidance in them as a mirror to our existence has a great deal of merit. The word astrology means “knowledge of the stars” and an experienced astrologer sees the stars and planets as representing life forces which are experienced by each of us. It’s more than just knowing your sun sign on the zodiac and reading your daily horoscope in the newspaper though. Getting a personalized astrology chart gives you a much deeper insight into your personal circumstances and influences.

Auguries

Although these days often seen used as being synonymous with divination it was originally the art of foretelling the future by means of signs, particularly by the flight of birds. Used here, we mean it as interpretation of omens based on the appearance and behavior of animals in general.

Numerology

“The western form of Numerology, the Pythagorian system, is among the most enduring and popular of all self-help methods ever created. The Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Hebrews, Egyptians, Phoenicians, early Christians, Mayans and Incas all employed number systems to gain a deeper understanding of themselves and the universe.

Pythagorian Numerology was organized by Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras, who combined the mathematical disciplines of the Arabic, Druid, Phoenician, Egyptian and Essene sciences. Since then, it has continued to evolve. It formed the spiritual basis for many secret societies, such as the Rosicrusians, Masons, Anthroposophists and others.

Today, its popularity continues to grow. Numerology columns now appear regularly in newspapers and magazines. Numerologists are consulted with increasing regularity for everything from personal romance to business decisions. As the industrialized world becomes more computerized and dependent on numerical systems, the fascination with this ancient spiritual science only grows.”*

* The preceding is an excerpt from ‘Numerology: Key to Your Inner Self’ by Hans Decoz’s.

Palmistry

Palm reading, palmistry or chiromancy, is practiced all over the world. It is said to have come from Indian astrology and Roma fortune-telling. The purpose is to deduce a person’s character and/or future by studying the lines in the palm of their hand. The four major lines are: The heart line running horizontally nearest the fingers, the head line also running horizontally underneath the heart line, the life line running in a curve from near the web between the thumb and the forefinger down towards the center of the palm ending above the wrist and the fate line which only some people have crossing the life and heart line in a vertical line parallel with the life line.

Runes

The word rune itself comes from the old Norse word Runa meaning a secret or mystery. No one knows for sure just how old the runes are but symbols similar to runes have been found in cave markings from the late Bronze Age. Their use in ritual and as an Oracle for consultation probably predates their use for writing or the two uses may have come about simultaneously. Out temple High Priest posts a new rune from his personal daily divination each day on the forum. If runes interest you then you might also find his article on Runes My Way worthwhile.

Scrying

Scrying is accomplished by focusing your gaze on some object, like a crystal ball or a black mirror in which you can see symbols or maybe scenes that might give you insight on the past, present or future. Scrying has a long history as a valued divination skill and its history may go back as far as the dawn of spiritual ritual itself according to some sources.

Tarot Cards

Tarot cards are a great tool for guidance and divination. The symbology and artwork gives each card a meaning of its own. Picking a tarot deck is a very personal matter for some and many people become very attached to their deck of choice. The more you practice with your deck and the more familiar you become with the cards the better your readings will be. Like other forms of divination, it’s a highly intuitive thing, so while books and charts are great tools when you are initially learning them, the best way to actually become proficient with your cards is to handle them, and feel what they are telling you. The so called Rider Waite deck (artwork by Pamela Colman Smith) is the most used deck and it’s format is the standard for many other decks. It is made of of 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards for a total of 78 cards in the deck.

Tea Leaves

Also known as tasseography, tasseomancy or tassology is a divination method that interprets patterns in tea leaves, coffee grounds, or wine sediments at the bottom of a cup. The word tasseography derives from the French word tasse for cup, which itself comes from the Arabic word tassa. In the Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology, Fifth Edition, Vol. 2, edited by J. Gordon Melton, notes:

“After a cup of tea has been poured, without using a tea strainer, the tea is drunk or poured away. The cup should then be shaken well and any remaining liquid drained off in the saucer. The diviner now looks at the pattern of tea leaves in the cup and allows the imagination to play around [with] the shapes suggested by them. They might look like a letter, a heart shape, or a ring. These shapes are then interpreted intuitively or by means of a fairly standard system of symbolism, such as: snake (enmity or falsehood), spade (good fortune through industry), mountain (journey of hindrance), or house (change, success).”

Others

There are many other methods of divination to choose from. We advise you to explore as many as you are inspired to and use those which work for you.

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Runes My Way

Rune casting circle.
Runes Cast On Cloth

There are almost as many different ways to cast and interpret runes as there are folks who use runes for guidance. Like most forms of divination it is a very intuitive process and while individual rune interpretations and ways to cast them are written down in books and on websites galore those, to me, should be looked at as a starting point for learning the runes. Once you’ve learned how other people are using them it’s time to start listening to that inner voice and interpreting what it is exactly the runes are saying to you personally.

The rune casting cloth pictured here was a wonderful gift from my tradition sister Arachne Crowsinger. I told her about my typical way of casting runes when outdoors which was, prior to receiving this gift, to find a stick and draw a circle within a larger circle on a bare patch of earth or use chalk to draw one one pavement or smooth stone occasionally then cast them into the circle so that I could interpret them.

This handy cloth folds up nicely to travel with my rune bag and saves me the trouble of having to find a good surface to draw my circles on. It has served me very well and I am ever grateful for it. Now, the reason for the two circles is this. Typically, when I am seeking guidance on a particular topic I will meditate on my question while holding my bag of runes in my hands, energizing them with my question and the task of seeking guidance. When I feel they are properly prepared I reach into the bag, stir the runes around a little bit with my fingers then pull three out without looking while I pull them. Then, once out of the bag I take the three runes and hold them about 3 feet or so above the center then drop them onto the circle letting them fall where and as they may.

All three runes in the center. Odd.
All three runes in the center. Odd.

Well, well, well! This time all three runes fell and stayed within the center circle. This doesn’t happen often and leads me to take notice, for this is something I should pay attention to. Now, just in the interests of full disclosure, these pictures are quite old and I don’t recall exactly what I was asking for guidance on at the time but the exact question is irrelevant here. We’re just looking at the technique because I do it the same way regardless of the question for the most part. But, here’s how I go about reading these. First, as you may have guessed, the three runes represent past, present and future with regards to the question at hand. So, from left to right we would be looking at:

1. How did we get here? What lead us to this situation?
2. Where are we now? What wisdom is there regarding the present circumstances?
3. What does the future hold? What advice or warnings are there for the road ahead if we stay on the current path?

Now, in addition to the left to right interpretation I am also looking at how close to the center the particular rune may have fallen. If the past rune is way outside of the center then it has little bearing on the present situation but if it’s in the center then it has a lot to do with it. The same is true of how strongly the present and future runes are interpreted. Close to the center, strong meaning; farther away, less bearing. If the present rune is outside of the center but the future rune is in the middle of the inner circle for example then they’re saying “Okay, here’s where you are now but that’s not the big thing, where you are going is what really matters so pay close attention to this future advice.” Also, things like, two runes touching one another means those two things are intimately linked and should be interpreted as a combined thing. (How to go about doing that is a little more in depth than I intended to go in this article but I may cover it later)

Of course, the exact interpretation of the runes themselves you can look up in your book of choice or website of choice until you reach a point of familiarity at which you can do it intuitively. I still refer to my books often because each rune has subtle variations on the potential interpretation even if the overall meaning is the same. For example, Peord (Pertho) may represent the apple tree to many and can be interpreted as representing abundance and lavishness when upright but can also represent gambling and mystery to others. If it falls inverted or reversed then it’s interpretation is also reversed more often than not. So, you have to take the interpretation to fit the question and situation and you have to rely on your intuition to guide you. Studying your runes and their meanings according to sources you trust combined with practice and gaining familiarity with them is what will allow you to hone your skills as an accomplished rune caster and diviner. Once you’ve mastered their meanings you can also use runes in spellwork and other useful magickal workings.

So, in a nutshell, that’s my way of doing a typical three rune casting. Is it what some may consider to be the “right” way to do it? Probably not. I learned bits and pieces from books, other rune casters and online before picking the things I liked and going with what works for me. Your mileage may vary but you’re welcome to use whatever you like of my technique and see how it goes. If you have any questions, I’m always happy to make up answers. 😉 Haha!

Saol fada agus breac-shláinte chugat!

Long-life and fair health to you!

(A Gaelic blessing pronounced Say-ol faw-dah og-uss brack- hlawn-cheh ch(k)oo-at)

Cianaodh