Divination – But What Does It Mean?!?!

Divination is the practice of seeking knowledge either of the future, or of events using supernatural means. Divination is also excellent for shadow work, and communicating with your ancestors and spirit guides.

A note on cleansing: Before divination, it is important to cleanse and ground. Depending on the type of divination and depth of the reading will depend on how much this needs to be done. Smoke cleansing is an excellent and quick way to cleanse. Using crystals such as tourmaline, clear quartz or selenite can be kept with divination tools to keep their energy clear and ready. I don’t like using water to cleanse as it can ruin cards and is also a conduit for the spirit.

My personal suggestion is that you work with and become familiar with one method of divination before picking up another. Some experienced diviners will use multiple methods in readings, which is fantastic, but until you know the methods well and have developed and honed your skills you will need to build this gradually.

I’m going to go into some different methods of divination now, this will be an overview of the type of divination, not a tutorial on how to use each.

Pendulums: These are a weight (crystal, metal, pendant, ring) on a length of chain which is suspended and used to answer direct questions. Also very helpful in verifying which particular spirit you are communicating with. Pendulums have roots in China, Egypt and Rome as a form of divination.

Runes: Casting the runes is a method used by Odin, where he hung from the Yggdrasil upside down and cast until he gained the wisdom he needed. Traditionally this method involved reading the stones as they fall, but many people use spreads and draw them from their bag or container individually. Nordic origins.

Bones Basket: Similar to the runes, various bones and some items are collected to make a set, and they are cast or pulled to tell a story. Traditional bones or items included are a wishbone, a key, a claw, a tooth, a shell, a ring, a small horn or antler piece, coin, etc). People tend to collect and add or change their own set over time. Origins are African and Asian, bone casting is common in hoodoo practice.

Tarot: Probably the most popular and well known divination method, the Tarot deck traditionally consists of 78 cards ( 22 major arcana cards and 56 minor arcana). The minor arcana is split into 4 suits; clubs/wands/staves, swords/blades, cups/chalices and coins/pentacles. It is strongly advised that when learning the tarot you start with a traditional deck (such as Rider-Waite or Waite-Smith) as these have the traditional symbolism and will give you a good baseline for reading. Tarot originated in the 1430’s in Italy, but have a rich history throughout Europe. The traditional imagery contains Jewish Mysticism and the cards have a strong connection to Romani culture and traditions. Tarot is not a closed practice and was used as a card game before it was used for divination.

Playing Cards: Playing cards have long been used as a form of divination, particularly when the risk of judgement or persecution from performing divination. A traditional deck of 52 cards is used. There is a different style to reading playing cards and I have seen readers learn some very specific meanings to certain cards. This form has been around since tarot cards or maybe longer, and often included the use of the blank card and jokers. Origins France.

The Fortune Teller, 1895 by Mikhail Vrubel

Oracle Cards: Oracle cards are a newer form of divination. There is no formula for an oracle deck. Some decks have as little as 10 cards, others have 30+. Oracle decks are usually less formal than tarot or playing cards and read more intuitively. Oracle cards are excellent to use in addition to the former mentioned methods of cartomancy. Oracle cards appeared as early as the 18th century, in and around France. Oracle cards, at least in the early years, had heavily Christian overtones. Now many decks lean into more indigenous and shamanistic imagery. Angel decks are a form of oracle cards.

Numerology: Numerology is when numbers are assigned meaning and used as a method of providing information. We typically see this in predicting how people behave according to their birth number (their date of birth added up). Numerology can also be applied to cartomancy, particularly playing cards, when the total summation of the cards values are added together. Nostradamus used numerology in his predications. Numerology has Greek origins and was originally created by Pythagoras.

The methods listed here are methods which do not involve particular skills in psychic development or mediumship, but can certainly provide a pathway to that if that is your desire.

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