I use divinatory tools for the purpose of identifying and clarifying life situations in order that I can help others find new insights and possible solutions to life's challenges. I do not use these tools to predict the future because there is no single future. As in quantum physics, all possible events exist within a range of possibilities. Many factors help to indicate the most likely possibilities. These are probabilities and a reasonable understanding of these probabilities can be obtained by taking a careful look at all existing conditions and events.
Let me take an example. If you and I were to stand at a busy street corner and I exclaimed to you that I was about to blindfold myself and walk across that street, you could examine the present situation and my apparant actions and be able to say that the most likely and probable outcome of my intended action is that I may be hit by a car and severely injured.
With divinatory tools, we apply principles of chance and chaos theory to let symbols and images provide insights into our pursuit of answers. All of us tend to focus on our problems within a limited view of sight. Chance operations can help to provide new possibilities or help us to see things in ways we may not have thought of before. But, there is more involved than just blind chance.
The word divination comes from the word divine. As neo-Pagans, we believe that there are forces beyond ourselves and that by using tools of divination, we are connecting to these forces. I cannot tell you how many times the cards or the stones have come to reveal just the right message at the right time or how many times I have seen people ask for several readings by different people using different methods and, each time, the message came out the same.
Let me stress that this is not, in any way, a substitute for professional counseling. If you are not a professional counselor, then what you are doing is advising. I also strongly recommend that those who may wish to take on this practice be at least a second degree Pagan practitioner and study methods of ethical counseling either through courses or through books and lectures. As High Priests and Priestesses, we will be looked upon as leaders and will be sought out for advise by others. We owe it to others to be able to offer that capability with skill, tact, and with good ethics.
Divinatory Advising versus Fortune Telling
Divinatory Advising differs in many ways from the traditional view of the use of divinatory tools such as tarot cards.
- The advising session does not attempt to predict a single future. Rather, it attempts to view a range of probabilities based on current conditions.
- The advising session is focused on the needs of the person asking the question in order to help that person in facing life choices and opportunities. It is not a time for the reader to display fabulous psychic abilities in order to impress the querant. Although extra sensory means may be employed to help the reader, boosting the ego of the reader is never the goal.
- Probabilities are explored through the presentation of symbols and images but they are mostly explored through asking questions. It is not the reader's goal to try and predict the problems and possible outcomes. Instead, the reader is there to help the querant understand and examine a situation.
There are several skills involved in becoming a skilled divinatory counselor. There are, of course, quite a few good books and sources on these topics. Here are the basic skills required:
- The ability to skillfully use a divinatory method such as tarot cards or the runes, for example.
- An understanding of the basics of magick and ritual (training equivalent to the first degree).
- Experience in applying these techniques to a personal practice (training equivalent to the second degree).
- The ability to apply good listening techniques, especially good spiritual listening skills.
- A strong personal spiritual connection.