By Su Weber and Elizabeth Chapman
There are two common definitions that come up when people hear the word divination. The first is seeking knowledge of the future by supernatural means and the other is attempting to gain insight into a question or situation using some type of ritual. The first one smacks too much of something uncomfortable for a lot of people and reminds me of teenage girls at a slumber party playing around with an Ouija board. (Cue the screams and giggles, stage right).
The second one seems to fit our personal definition and practice a lot more closely. The focus on insight which to me is personal knowledge seems to be much more appropriate for using any of a number of Divinatory tools. We tend to use divination in our practice to ask about the following four things:
1. Figuring out my intention
2. Am I on the right path?
3. What are the possibilities if I make a particular decision?
4. What are some future possibilities?
Figuring out exactly what our intention is starts the process of any magick that we do. Seeking clarification of a vague idea of what we want to accomplish can let us focus our intentions on what we really need.
Often, we will have a bunch of ideas about what we want to focus on in our practice for a season or longer or have several choices of study topics to pick from. Narrowing them down to determine if we are focusing on what we need to learn about next reassures us that we are on the right path spiritually.
When faced with a decision, getting an idea of what may happen if we choose a particular action or what may happen if we do absolutely nothing can give us a better sense of control over life events even though the future is constantly changed by the present. We tend to believe that our past has led us to our present life and that our future is created by what we do right now so there are always unknowns up ahead but that just makes it more interesting.
Finally, we often perform Divination during Sabbat celebrations asking that some future possibilities be shown to us. We make sure that we write the messages down and look back later to see which possibilities have become part of our reality based on our work in the mundane and the magick we perform.
Divination is not something to become dependent on to the point where you can’t make any type of decision without consulting whichever tool you use or paying someone a fortune for professional readings. The idea is to get some assurance occasionally that you are making good choices and to open yourself up to a future that you work to create now; it is also a way to clarify your thinking on a particular issue or get insight into possibilities that you may not have considered.
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