Divination is the practice of foretelling the future, or simply discerning answers to vital questions, through the observation of natural indicators or signs, or through some form of direct contact with natural and/or ancestral spirits. Using emotional detachment from events, in order to see them more clearly, present, and future situations can be sorted out and dealt with from a more advantageous perspective.
Tools of divination vary widely and can include: Tarot cards, Runes, tea leaves, palms, dice, playing cards, omens seen in natural forms such as birds, fire, water, crystal or glass spheres, clouds, patterns in sand, eggs, entrails, faces and scalp formations, wax, etc.
The "science of the celestial bodies", Astrology may be considered to have been the first true science, and is a sort of transcendental metaphysics. A form of divination based on the ancient adage, "As above, so below'. An Astrologer uses planetary positions and alignments at the time of one's birth to help foretell the future and to evaluate one's potential strengths and weaknesses.
Astrology uses a birth chart to map the positions of the planets relative to the location and moment of birth. The interpretation of the chart incorporates the angular relationships between the planets and the signs of the zodiac, the area of the chart in which they fall and other symbolic indicators to examine the different experiences and psychology of the individual. A trained astrologer then analyzes the pertinent information, exploring how the various aspects of the client's personality may be integrated and finding ways to draw the greatest fulfillment from the energies symbolized in the chart.
Now have you ever wondered if the day of the week you were born on, and the lunar phase on that day, had anything to do with your personality traits? Go to Birth Days and Lunar Phases, find your day of birth, the lunar phase, and match them up with who you are. How closely do you resemble these traits?
A Tarot deck consists of 78 cards decorated with a variety of figures, diagrams and symbols. The Minor Arcana, 56 cards, divided into four suits with 14 cards each. The Major Arcana, 22 cards, with specific powers and symbolism.
The general meanings of the four Tarot suits: The Wands represent fire, inspiration, spirituality, action, initiative, and the Psyche. The suit of the Swords signify air, determination, strength, faith, and conquering of fear. The Cups symbolize water, emotions, purity, and your outlook toward life and the future. Finally, the Pentacles denote finances, social influence, worldly knowledge, and your connection with nature and earth.
The oldest known Tarot deck comes from 1432, although some argue that they come from a much older tradition going back perhaps to the 4th century BCE. The modern deck of cards used for gambling and other games is derived from the Tarot deck, with some minor modifications.
Tarot cards are used by people to predict the future, to develop profiles of people's character, or to provide advice on what to do with regards to present or future situations (like whether or marry someone or not). But divination, predicting the future, tends to be the most common use for a Tarot deck.
Personally, I use the "Celtic Dragon" set. I've always been attracted to Dragons, now I work with them personally. The Celtic Dragon Tarot by D.J. Conway and Lisa Hunt (the Shapeshifter Tarot), appealed to me because of the difference in the dragons. There are reds, oranges, yellows, pinks, blues, greens, whites, and blacks, each placed into their elements: Mountains, Forests, Seas and Waters, the Elements, Wind, Storm, Weather, Volcanoes, Fire, Chaos, Light, and Deserts. Combined with the beauty of humans dressed in medieval Celtic clothing, and authentic Celtic landscapes, the dragons look as if they are right at home. New Age symbolism isn't in many of the cards, but ancient Celtic symbolism is. Instead of Devil, card 15 is now Chains, and what was the Hierophant is now the High Priest. The Sword suit is of the element Fire, and Wands is now the element Air. If any other deck doesn't meet your standards, or if you really love dragons and medieval Celtic art, I recommend the Celtic Dragon deck and book. The pictures are powerful, you feel like the dragons are there with you, watching what you're doing.
Runes are an alphabetic script used by the peoples of Northern Europe from the first century c.e. until well into the Middle Ages. In addition to their use as a written alphabet, the runes also served as a system of symbols used for magic and divination. Runes fell into disuse as the Roman alphabets became the preferred script of most of Europe, but their forms and meanings were preserved in inscriptions and manuscripts.
The primary characteristic which distinguishes a runic alphabet from other alphabets is that each letter, or rune, has a meaning. For example, whereas "ay", "bee", and "cee" are meaningless sounds denoting the first three letters in our alphabet, the names of the first three runes, "fehu", "uruz", and "?" are actual words in the Germanic language, meaning "cattle", "aurochs", and "giant", respectively. Runes also have magical and religious significance as well, thus transforming the simple process of writing into a magical act. They are also used for divinatory readings and to create magical spells.
Today, runes have been rediscovered as a symbolic system and have gained immense popularity as a means of divination. They are, however, much more than a curious alternative to Tarot cards for telling fortunes. They provide a key to understanding the lives and beliefs of the ancient people who created them, and have much to teach us about a way of life that was perhaps more inimately connected to the natural world, and to the realm of spirit, than our own.
Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm created the Druid Animal Oracle as a tool for connecting with our animal allies and guides from the natural world. The animals in this set are the sacred creatures from the Druid tradition. Some can still be found in the British isles, others, such as the bear and wolf, have long since disappeared. There are 33 cards in the set: 29 animals and 4 elemental dragons. The names are given in English on the cards and in Gaelic in the companion book, The Druid Animal Oracle. In the book the authors describe the oracular meanings of the cards and the tradition of each animal in Druid lore. They also offer a variety of spreads and reading techniques. The artist is Bill Worthington. The Carr-Gomms were inspired by the Medicine Cards set featuring animals of the Native American tradition.
I find the cards to be incredibly symbolic, and rather than predicting the future they instead comment on a particular situation. They draw the querent to think about a path they may not have previously considered, providing a different point of view. I like as well how the reversed cards present challenges to be overcome.
The Wicca Pack by Sally Morningstar is an introduction to Wicca and working with high magic. The set includes 42 divinatory cards that feature important elements of Wiccan practice. Each card shows a brightly colored image with a card name and keyword meaning in a black panel at the bottom. The companion book The Wicca Book: weaving magic into your life offers a history of Wicca, discussion of holy days and a description of each card and its meaning. It also covers topics such as cleansing and blessings, creating an altar and designing a wand and other tools of the craft.
A book and card set for divination, spiritual and psychic development and for deepening your connection to the natural world. This pack carries some of the mystery and magic of the Wise Religion to you, guiding you back to yourself through celebration, ceremony and understanding of the Wiccan way.
Dowsing, in general terms, is the art of finding hidden things. Usually, this is accomplished with the aid of a dowsing stick, rods or a pendulum. Also known as divining, water witching, doodlebugging and other names, dowsing is an ancient practice whose origins are lost in long-forgotten history. However, it is thought to date back at least 8,000 years. Wall murals, estimated to be about 8,000 years old, discovered in the Tassili Caves of North Africa depict tribesmen surrounding a man with a forked stick, possibly dowsing for water. Artwork from ancient China and Egypt seem to show people using forked tools in what might have been dowsing activities.
Dowsing has been used to find water for wells, mineral deposits, oil, buried treasure, archaeological artifacts, and more uniquely missing people and ghostly energies.
Some theorize there is a psychic connection established between the dowser and the sought object. All things, living and inanimate, the theory suggests, possess an energy force. The dowser, by concentrating on the hidden object, is somehow able to tune in to the energy force or "vibration" of the object which, in turn, forces the dowsing rod or stick to move. The dowsing tool may act as a kind of amplifier or antenna for tuning into the energy.
Forked stick: The most traditional method uses a small Y-shaped tree branch (most often from a willow). The dowser holds the branch parallel to the ground by the top of the Y shape, then walks over the area to be probed. When the dowser passes over the sought object, the end of the branch is drawn down, pointing to the spot at which the object can be found.
Rods: An alternate method uses two L-shaped metal rods, one held in each hand parallel to the ground and parallel to each other. In this case, when the dowser passes over the sought object, the rods either swing apart or cross each other. You can easily make dowsing rods from wire coat hangers.
Map Dowsing: Some dowsers don't even have to visit the location to be dowsed. For them, a map of the area is sufficient over which they hold pendulum. They know they have located the target area when the pendulum begins to move in a circle or back and forth.