By Nikki Harper
Staff Writer for Wake Up World
What do you think of when you hear the word divination? If the word conjures up images of sheep’s entrails, Professor Trelawney or a woman in a headscarf waving her hands over a crystal ball in a tent at a regional fair – you’re not alone.
Divination is a much-misunderstood spiritual practice – but a daily divination practice can bring great spiritual growth and progress towards the expression of your authentic self.
Divination is Not Fortune Telling
Let’s be clear: divination, in the modern sense at least, is not fortune telling. Most spiritual seekers using divination do so in the full knowledge that it cannot ‘predict the future’. Each of us has our own free will, and the future is not predetermined. A daily divination practice, therefore, is emphatically not about trying to predict (or guess) what might happen to you in the days and weeks ahead.
Divination can be defined as ‘the practice of gaining hidden knowledge through supernatural means’ – which can sound a bit, well, spooky. Or even evil, depending on one’s personal religious beliefs. In truth, it is neither spooky nor evil – because the supernatural means active in most forms of divination is simply your own access to your own intuition or higher consciousness.
The phrase ‘the psychology of meaningful chance’ is a good way to look at divination. Diviners are well aware that they are ‘reading into’ chance events or random symbols, but it is our ability to glean meaning from randomness of this nature which makes divination such an intuitive art. It is strongly linked to synchronicity, and regular divination practice will improve your understanding of synchronicity too.
Methods of Divination
There are hundreds of different methods of divination. The ones people are most familiar with these days are astrology, tarot and oracle cards, runes, the i-ching, crystal balls, palmistry and pendulum dowsing. However, almost anything can be used as a divination tool. From tea leaves, eggs and candle flames to the movement of ants or the movement of clouds – anything which creates patterns, shapes or images, and which is beyond the diviner’s conscious control, can be used.
If you’re curious, there’s an entertaining list here – but one thing is clear, you do not need any physical equipment or expensive tools to start divination. All you need is a curious mind and a willingness to broaden your mind.
Benefits of a Daily Divination Practice
If you start to practice divination on a regular basis, you’ll soon start to notice a host of psychological and spiritual benefits.
Because there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ ways to interpret a divination, you will learn to trust your intuition more than ever before. In fact, exercising your intuition is one of the very best reasons for starting a daily divination practice, because with time, as you look back over your divination work, you’ll start to see how accurate you have been and this will build your confidence in your own intuitive abilities.
Better Understanding of Symbology Leading to Greater Synchronicity
The basic process of divination – no matter what you are using to divine with – is to find and then interpret symbols of some kind. Beginners might often wish that there were some go-to manual on what every kind of imaginable symbol ‘means’, but the whole point is that it means what it means to you, as in individual. Handbooks of symbology are generally a waste of time, because what something means to the author may not at all be what it means to you.
Take daffodils, for example. If you ‘see’ a daffodil during your divination, what would it mean to you? For me, it means Wales and it ties in to my Welsh ancestry. To you, it might mean spring, March or Easter. It might mean new life, it might mean yellow – and since colors are also symbolic, that might in turn lead to whatever yellow means to you. A daffodil might mean arrogance or narcissism to you, because of its Latin name narcissus. It might mean loneliness, because of its association with Wordsworth’s famous poem. If you are French, it might mean hope. If you are Chinese, it might symbolize good fortune.
Our interpretation of symbols is always unique to us as individuals, because each of us has instinctively associated certain things with different emotions, times, places or events over the course of our lifetimes.
So, a daily divination practice will increase your understanding of your own personal symbology library – which in turn will increase your ability to invite synchronicity into your life and to notice its effects.
A Strong Sense of Oneness
Once you start practicing divination on a regular basis, your sense of oneness and of unity with the universe cannot help but become stronger. These incidences of ‘meaningful chance’ do speak to an underlying link between all of us, and this in turn brings you closer to your divinity.
Peace, Calm and a Meditative State
The few minutes it might take you to perform a daily divination will bring peace and calm into your life when part of your regular routine. Many forms of divination, such as scrying (seeing images in something, such as water or a flame), require you to be in a semi-meditative state. Regular practice of this will increase your meditation abilities, which brings with it a whole host of physical, mental and spiritual benefits in its own right.
Better Decision Making
Your divinations may or may not inform your decision making on a daily basis; that’s personal to you and will vary over time. However, even if you are not actively making choices based on your divination results, you will grow to learn the value of randomness in decision making, and the value of taking a chance on life. Understanding ‘meaningful chance’ as divination will give you the confidence to make bolder decisions without feeling the need to second guess yourself all the time.
How to Start a Daily Divination Practice
You will need a journal of some kind – any old notebook will do unless you want to create something special.
The best time to carry out a daily divination practice is in the morning – but you can do it at any time of day. Do try, however, to keep to roughly the same time period each day, so that you have approximately 24 hours between divination sessions.
Decide whether you will focus on one particular type of divination, such as tarot, and persist with this to a high standard, or whether you would like to explore many different types.
Note that some types of divination, like astrology, can take years to master. Others, like tarot or oracle cards, can be quickly learned but moving away from the interpretations given in the booklet can take some time and confidence. Yet others, like flame gazing, have no instructions, no expectations, and do not need to be ‘learned’. How much time and/or patience you have will determine which types of divination you want to focus on.
Whether you choose to focus on one divination method or to dabble with many, the key is consistency.
Create a template page for your notebook – this should note:
- the date
- the time
- the method of divination
- the question asked
- a sketch or record of the divination
- your immediate interpretation
- your later thoughts, including whether anything ‘came true’
- a final section, recording links between divinations
Every act of divination should be preceded by a focused question. If there is something you want help with (“Should I look for another job?”), by all means focus on that. Otherwise, you can use a general question such as “What should I know about today?”
What do we mean by a record of the divination? Simply what was done. For example, if you are using tarot cards, you would draw the layout and mark which card appeared where. If you are using bibliomancy, you would note the book you chose, the page number and the phrase. If you are gazing into a flame, you would note the circumstances (what type of fire? Indoors or outdoors? How long for?) and perhaps roughly sketch any immediate images which come to mind.
In the immediate interpretation section, jot down your thoughts as soon as you have performed the divination. This is where you make your initial interpretation of any images, symbols or sensations, as they pertain to the question (if any) or in general.
Then you can go about your day as normal. At the end of the day, come back to your divination journal and re-read your morning divination. Did anything ‘come true’? By this, we mean did anything you expected manifest itself, or do you think you were correct about anything in your interpretation? We’re not looking for actual predictions of future events here, remember.
Once you have been divining for a week or so, you can start to go back through your daily divination records and fill in the final sections – here you are looking for links between divinations, common themes, common images, recurring symbols, patterns and anything else you notice. This self-reflection will be helpful to your spiritual growth and your personal empowerment, as well as increasing your intuition for future divinations.
Easy Divination Methods to Try First
If you’re keen to get started, but not sure what kind of divination to try, here are a few ideas for methods which are easy, cost-free, quick and fun.
- Tasseomancy – tea leaf reading. Any loose tea leaves will do, including a torn open tea bag, and you do not have to drink the tea first. Simply add a tiny bit of water to the cup, swill it about and empty it onto the saucer. Look for patterns, shapes, letters, symbols – anything you can see. Pay attention to the white space too, and to how crowded or spaced out things are. Imagine lines dividing the saucer into days, weeks, months or years, or divide it into sectors in your mind to cover different elements of life such as work, health and love.
- Pyromancy – divination by fire. Any fire will do, whether it’s an outdoor firepit, your own indoor fireplace, a bonfire or a candle flame. Relax, loosen your eyes and watch the flame dance. Look for images in particular, but also pay attention to sounds, random sparks or embers and the speed of movement.
- Hydromancy – divination by water. Use a bowl with a dark coloured inside, fill it with water and sit quietly and undisturbed. Relax your mind and unfocus your eyes – if you’ve ever done Magic Eye pictures, you’ll know what I mean by that. Allow yourself to see images in the water. If it helps, you can trail your fingers through the water to create ripples or movement.
- Libomancy – divination by smoke. Smoke from burning incense works well for this, but you can also use the smoke from a bonfire or even a candle. Simply watch the smoke dance and pay attention to the pictures you can see and the way the smoke moves. As a variation, you can also hold small pieces of paper or card above a candle flame so that the smoke creates an image (be careful not to allow it to catch fire – have a bowl of water or a fireproof bin nearby just in case). Then interpret the image (this can be enormous fun and quite addictive!)
- Nephomancy – divination by clouds. Simply lie back and watch the clouds. Look for images, but also colours, speed and direction of movement and so forth. Pay particular attention to the very edges of clouds, where the shapes can change quickly.
Have fun with your divination practice and remember – the only thing that matters is what it means to you personally. Enjoy!
Recommended articles by Nikki Harper:
- Harnessing the Power of Synchronicity
- Beyond 11:11 – The Significance of Repeating Number Patterns
- A Time to be Born and a Time to Die: Can Astrology Predict Death?
- Premature and Caesarean Birth: An Astrological Misinheritance?
- The Benefits of a Daily Divination Practice – and How to Start One
- 7 Ways to Find Awe in Your Everyday Life
- Need Answers? Looking for Insight? 7 Ways Astrology Can Help
- Alone But Not Lonely: 6 Amazing Benefits of Solitude
- Dancing in the Rain: 6 Reasons We Should All Be Pluviophiles
- Finding Time for a Daily Spiritual Practice – How and Why to Devote Your Time
- 7 Simple Steps to Start Communicating With Nature
- Getting Started with Remote Viewing: Step by Step to Strengthen Your Psi Abilities
About the author:
Nikki Harper is a spiritualist writer, astrologer, and editor for Wake Up World. She writes about divination, astrology, mediumship and spirituality at Questionology: Astrology and Divination For the Modern World where you can also find out more about her work as a freelance astrologer and her mind-body-spirit writing and editing services. Nikki also runs a spiritualist centre in North Lincs, UK, hosting weekly mediumship demonstrations and a wide range of spiritual development courses and workshops.