Many people assume that divination is about seeing the future. That’s how it’s been portrayed in popular culture for ages. Truth be told, that is one way of doing divination, but it’s not near as powerful or as fulfilling as divination the way I practice it.
For me, divination is about reading the energies affecting any given situation. Some of those energies are obvious. If I’m entertaining a new business venture, for instance, the energy of new opportunities is going to be present. Some, however, may not be as obvious, like the presence of a story of past failure of which I wasn’t thinking but that’s playing into the array before me.
Energies change with every choice we make, so divination is like taking a snapshot of the situation. The snapshot can help me make more empowered decisions. In the example of that new business opportunity, if I recognize that past failure story I may be able to address it before committing my time, money, and other resources to the venture. At the very least, recognizing it allows me to see how some aspects of the opportunity may be colored by that past experience, thus helping me to see those aspects in a new light.
For me, divination is a powerful tool for navigating life on this incredible planet. It offers me insight and understanding. In my experience, divination rarely sets the future, nor does it tell me the future. It shows me where I might go, especially if I continue as I am without taking different actions, but not where I must go. I think the key difference between popular culture’s version of divination and mine is that In mine, I hold the power to create my future, and in the popular culture version we’re led to believe that power lies outside ourselves.
A few years back, my family and I were looking for a new place to live. Ours is a small city, so rentals are limited. We had a Basset Hound at the time, so the selection of rentals was even smaller. Too many landlords equate the sweet, little Basset with large dogs because they weigh in at fifty or so pounds. The only rentals we could even consider were those that accepted large dogs, which too often are the most run down and expensive of the lot.
Being a non-traditional family didn’t help. We were running Hunter Creation and homeschooling, so beyond the usual living space we needed office space and space for lessons, or at least a place to store schooling materials. Plus, we had a tight budget. It was a tall order…one with a deadline. At the start of our search, we had four months. After three and a half months of looking, we were thoroughly disheartened.
One Saturday afternoon after watching the only almost-good-enough rental we’d seen the entire search go to someone else, we stopped off at a friend’s house for a tarot reading. It’s hard to read the cards for yourself when you’re feeling that bleak. Getting a neutral pair of eyes makes it harder to interpret the cards as you want them to be rather than as they are. Misinterpretation may make you feel better temporarily, but it doesn’t help you seize the power to shape your destiny. We wanted to understand the forces in play, and we hoped for something that might restore our faith. Understanding was far more important than easing our worry that we might have to live in our car, rent a storage unit, and attempt to do business from the local coffee shops and our friends’ kitchen tables until we could find a suitable home.
What my friend saw in the cards that day was just how frustrated we felt. The eight of cups came up along with the five of pentacles and Justice. The system was letting us down, and we were feeling isolated, alone, and without resources. But, the Wheel of Fortune and seven of cups also came up. They told us that something was just about to shift, and we’d have the opportunity to make some choices.
That evening, we caught a break. A new listing came up that lead to a second listing. By the next day, we had two potential houses to choose from. Both were in the right price range, offered spaces for business, learning, and living, and we all liked them.
We indeed had choices to make, choices about what was truly important in life. One house offered support for our primary elements through a fireplace and a garden sized bathtub, but left out essentials like a garage and fenced yard. The other had the basics down, a garage and fenced yard and even a huge space we could dedicate to business, but it was on a busy road, had no place for fire of any kind, and, God forefend, had only one tiny bathroom.
Choices. The seven of cups can mean simple choices, like the choice between a garage or a second (luxurious!) bathroom, or it can mean deeper choices, like whether you want to focus on building your business or feeding your soul.
The reading we did with our friend gave us hope, which made hanging in there a little easier. It also helped us recognize the deeper choices we were making when the tide finally did turn and we had the power to take action.
Here is a quick set of pics of my handmade runes. I use found wood, generally fallen, seasoned branches from trees who’ve offered them to me. I carve each set in sacred space and, if the bag it comes with is handmade, I make the bags at the same time as I make the set. It takes several hours to created a finished set, so I make few, mostly as inspiration strikes.
These two sets are made from driftwood from the Oregon Coast. The bags are handmade of cotton.
These sets were made from Ponderosa Pine from the Cascade Mountains.
This is my first set, designed to be large for meditation and study rather than divination.
If you’re interested in purchasing a set of handmade runes, contact me.
Divination is one of those skills that’s more art than science. When you’re starting out, though, it makes a lot of sense to read up on the tools you want to use. Here are a few of my favorite books on divination and divination tools to get you started:
- Futhark: A Handbook of Rune Magic and Runelore: A Handbook of Esoteric Runology–These are a little esoteric, but they offer a connection to the spirit of the runes, which makes them most excellent for folk who want to progress a little deeper onto Rune Studies.
- Rune Secrets–The website is a terrific place to start learning about runes and their use as a tool for gaining greater insight into whatever situation life has presented you.
- Learning Tarot Reversals–This is one of my favorites for figuring out how to read reversals, but also a good way to revisit and reinforce the straight forward meanings, too.
- Aeclectic Tarot–I find Thirteen’s interpretations and explanations insightful and helpful. Her ebook, Tarot Reading Companion, is a good guide if you struggle with reversals or want to have a copy of the free information she provides on the cards available when you cannot get online.
- I Ching Made Easy: Be Your Own Psychic Advisor Using the World’s Oldest Oracle–This is hands-down my favorite for using the I Ching. The authors do an outstanding job of relating the energies of the I Ching to practical, modern concerns with stories that help illustrate how they might play out.
I Ching is the Book of Changes, an ancient Chinese divination system based on reading hexagrams, or patterns, and pairing them with a specific progression as laid out in the I Ching. Traditionally, readings were done using Yarrow sticks, but I like to use my Magic Beans for I Ching readings. Each Hexagram describes an overall pattern comprises of 6 lines. The line designated as moving is the one that tells you specifically where you are in the progression of the pattern or the point in the progression that’s most pertinent to your question.
I offer short I Ching readings based on a simple focus. Check out my Store to sign up for yours today!
I make and sell Magic Beans like the ones I use my I Ching readings. If you’re interested in procuring a set, check out my store to see what’s available!