What are divination tools? This quick guide will dispel confusion and fear over divination, offer insight into how divination can help you, and offer a practice to help you get started, or refresh your practice if you already dabble in divination.
Divination by word, used to scare me. The thing about fear is this: we fear what we do not understand. I was actually in fear of something that I was naturally, unconsciously doing, and something that is incredibly helpful and valuable in my life now that I am more conscious about it.
Divination is an ancient art, likely honed well before it was written about, and much older than documentation reveals. When I say ancient, I mean ancient. Think thousands and thousands of years. Early divination practices included throwing bones or shells, scrying, tea reading, and deciphering dreams or visions, among other methods.
It seems humans have always sought the answers to their questions through divination, and there are innumerable ways to do so.
According to my mom, my grandma, Syble, used a standard deck of playing cards for divination. Anything at all can be used for divination. Often when I’m at a bookstore I will pull a book from the shelf and open it to a random page to find what message awaits. I would say the most important tool in divination is our own mind and intuition. The experiences we live, the knowledge we have gained, paired with the inner knowing of intuition; are the foundation of divination. Intuition can be strengthened, like a muscle, when used regularly.
The following are tools I have used myself and feel comfortable with. There are many, many more available to you. The most important element when choosing a tool for divination is to seek within what you feel most connected to, and to practice with that tool to get to know it, and see if it’s a good fit for you.
Mediums and Channelers use their own body, mind, and senses for spirit communication. This can be a challenging path, and one that is not for the faint of heart. If you Channel or are a Medium it is something you are called to, and something that, in my opinion, you have likely practiced and honed lifetime after lifetime.
Mediums and Channelers must undergo a significant healing journey to develop their integrity, their capacity for empathy, and the strength to know and experience things that can be, at times, significantly difficult to see, feel, hear, or know, depending on the ability (or abilities) one possesses.
Connecting with my spirit guides helped me to understand myself more deeply and increased my comprehension of the spirit world in general. You can read more about this here: Spirit Guides
If you are drawn to mediumship and channeling, do a deep dive into shadow work and healing before you get started. Meditate or take on some other centering practice, and it can help to study under someone who is skilled, educated, and talented. I know people who were natural healers, channelers, and mediums who when they meditated regularly became rather frightened and gave up the practice because of the things that they saw and felt. It can take a good deal of time to understand the practice and what it means to each individual person.
Mediumship and channeling are beautiful spiritual gifts to develop, and can be the most difficult to acquire. If this is what calls to you, you will not be daunted by the challenge!
Tarot and Oracle Cards
My first experience with divination was with tarot cards. I knew nothing about them. I found a deck that belonged to my mom, and I began to use them to read my family and friends. I found them to be incredibly accurate and thought of them as magical cards. What I didn’t realize then and do now is that it wasn’t the cards that were magic, but rather, me. We are the magic of the cards, and we pull through information from higher sources.
Tarot cards, which were originally playing cards for a game, and were later used for divining information, Tarot cards have specific suits containing archetypes and symbols and are read to determine potential outcomes and answers to questions.
Oracle cards can come in many different varieties. I have oracle cards celebrating different deities, angels, as well as specific purposes such as astrology or numerology. Oracle cards differ from tarot cards for this reason, they are less structured.
Tarot and oracle cards can offer potential guidance for the future, but more so, can help us to know ourselves better, validate intuitive knowing, and provide comfort during difficult situations by helping us feel more connected to our higher selves and spirit team. Often, for me, pulling just the right card is like a big hug or a little wink from the Universe.
Use of a pendulum is a type of dowsing. There are other tools that can be used for this, like dowsing rods, or even a stick, but I prefer a pendulum. I make my own pendulums and almost anything, as long as it’s weighted, can be used as a pendulum when attached to a chain; a watch, a pendant, a stone, a crystal, a coin… You get the idea.
I make pendulums with crystal points and add decorative handles that won’t interfere with the motion of the pendulum. The pendulum acts as the receiver of energy, and conveys this energy through its motion. Swinging one way for yes, and another for no. Pendulums can also be used to gauge energy centers in the body, as well as, when used by a skilled healer, determine where there may be stagnant energy or a health issue.
Keeping a regular journaling practice creates an easy transition into automatic writing. We are, all of us, channeling spirit; our higher selves. So whatever we think or feel, is a translation of our higher selves. We can deeply distort these interpretations when we haven’t befriended our ego or protected ourselves properly.
Automatic writing is the practice of silencing the mind and allowing spirit to bring information through in the form of writing. You’ll know you are successful at this practice when you write effortlessly, you don’t know what will come next, and don’t stop to think what will come next. I use a pen and a dedicated notebook for this, but sometimes also use the notes in my phone. You can use any method to successfully use automatic writing.
When I first began using automatic writing, I would keep a list of questions I wrote down whenever they came to mind. Once I had several questions, and some quiet time, I would start at a fixed point, calm my mind, and wait for information to flow.
Signs Symbols and Omens
Spirit guides, spirit beings, our loved ones who have passed; they all delight in our recognition and appreciation of the signs and symbols they send. Anything that you have a connection with can be a sign. A big one for me is music. If I’m thinking of a loved one that has passed, often a song that was important to us will play and I’ll feel them near.
Experiencing the same cluster of numbers, feathers, the same song repeats, birds, animals; anything at all could be calling on you to recognize a message is meant for you, your attention is requested by spirit. Notice them, write them down, keep track of them. I think you’ll see it happens far more than you realized.
Omens are a less frequent occurrence that portend an event. I’ve experienced omens in my life, on a few occasions. Usually these happen for me in dreams, but once occurred as a large glittering flower of life shining, late one night, on my bedroom ceiling.
Absolutely anything can be used for divination. We are divine beings, spirits in bodies. We are our higher selves, in drag, basically. Knowing this, doesn’t it just make sense that everything at play around us, anything, can be a message from beyond?
Many will use fear to deter you from practicing divination, which is truly just the way we communicate with our higher selves and spirit team. We are surrounded by light and love, at all times, even if or when we don’t feel it. We are always protected.
Remember that spirit isn’t negative or scary. If you receive information such as your life is in danger, your loved ones are in danger, you receive ultimatums of any sort, or receive harsh judgments; this is information that should be written down, and looked back on later for record and comparison. This isn’t to say there isn’t trickster-like energy that can come through. There very much is, but it isn’t worthy of your worry or time.
Spirit is thrilled when we reach out, and they are not judgmental or harsh.
Still, part of my own ritual is to cleanse and protect myself and my divining tools. There are many ways to do this. I use visualization most frequently, as well as prayers of protection, selenite, and the full moon. Actual bathing; taking a bath or shower, is a powerful way to cleanse our energy.
I use ritual frequently because it creates a space of sacredness. Ritual gives power to intention, and creates a sense of importance. How often do we do things that are important but we skip the formalities, and hurry through them? Too often, I think. Creating the time and space for ritual is as powerful as the practice itself.
Creating a ritual doesn’t require expense or even a great deal of time. I generally practice in my bed or on my sofa in the living room, setting aside time each day to connect with spirit. Light a candle or incense, which is also cleansing, play calming music, and take the time to protect yourself, and set intentions.
One incredibly important element is belief. We have to believe that we are more than our bodies, that we are connected to something greater, and that the greater…whatever you want to call it, is open and ready to communicate with us.
Intuition and belief are the driving forces behind divination, and tools simply transmit the messages we seek.
You are the magic.