Like many others I’ve dabbled with divination on and off over my years as a Pagan but although I learnt a few things, nothing ever seemed to quite connect. Recently I’ve been working on my divination skills again and I believe I know why earlier efforts never really felt quite right. It wasn’t the tools, I use the same rune stones now that I made about twenty years ago now I think, it was my approach.
When I first started to learn about divination it was as a tool to tap into my unconscious mind or into some form of a collective consciousness of the world. I could get some benefit from this but it wasn’t an approach that really felt right and I never really knew why until recently. Now I have come to understand divination as a method of communication between myself and my gods and I have found that to be a profound change.
No longer am I doing the equivalent of shouting into the wilderness and hoping someone will hear me, respond and provide useful advice. Now I am doing the spiritual equivalent of making a phone call to a particular being. I might not get a reply but if I do I have a much better chance of someone listening and replying. Given the deities I am devoted to that may not always mean a sensible reply, they too have a sense of humour, but the chances are much improved.
At the moment there are two tools I am working on improving my skills with and both are ones I have had for quite a while. One is the set of runes I mentioned above that I made many years ago and the other is a set of the Druid Animal Oracle Cards that I’ve also had for several years but not quite as long as the runes I made. I’ve always loved the artwork on the Druid Animal Oracle cards but used to get more distracted by the details.
I have a number of small yew wood slices now and I intend to use pyrography to create a set of Ogham disks. I have Ogham staves and cards which I do occasionally use but I like the idea of a handmade set of disks to work with and maybe making them will help me learn the various symbols that I don’t know yet. If I manage all that, then I may start to use Ogham as a divination tool as well but that’s a bit in the future yet.
When I work with my runes I ask Loki for guidance with them. I’m aware that He might not be considered the usual deity to approach for runic divination but this works for me. I think some people often forget, or perhaps don’t even know, that Loki is skilled in the use of words. That is something that shines through in the various tales that we have about Him. To me, and I’m probably not alone in this, that skill with words implies a skill with runes too.
When I work with the Druid Animal Oracle I have begun to ask Maponos for guidance. If that seems like an odd choice to you then I will simply point out that the Romans linked Maponos with Apollo and Apollo is well known for His Oracles among other attributes so it is a strong possibility that Maponos too had his oracular side.
At the moment I feel my skills are improving and I have begun to offer readings to others as further practice. I feel more confident about using divination now that I am approaching my gods when I do this and I trust in their guidance.
3 thoughts on “Musings on divination”
I have found the Oghams I cut into yew rounds with the flat blade of a soldering iron, since that was the tool to hand, are very on target. And at times this is disconcerting. I agree, it is not so much technique, perhaps, as one’s attitude, at least that has been my experience. I have a black bear Zuni fetish with a turquoise salmon in her mouth and sometimes I have her with me when I seek guidance. Sometimes it just takes a while for everything to come together. I too have the Druid Animal Oracle and the Druid Plant oracle and use them also. Quite often I begin the day drawing an Ogham having asked about the energy for the day or its lesson. It is a good way for me to focus if I am feeling scattered and uncollected.
Interesting approach. I only really use tarot and sometimes I address the questions to the universe and sometimes to a specific deity. I usually use the Wildwood Tarot and that fits well with my work with Gwyn as a wild hunter god of whom I sometimes ask questions. Working with Maponos in oracular work makes perfect sense as does Loki and runes (although I might wonder if he’d be tricksy although that may be my misapprehension as I haven’t met him in person and don’t know him). I’d love to have another system but don’t connect well enough with the Norse tradition to use runes and ogham has never called to me. I’ve thought of trying to construct something of my own with natural materials – stones, feathers, bark, bones etc. but it still hasn’t manifested yet…
I also have found Loki to be skilled with Runes. I have a set I work with dedicated to Him