Divination is the use of symbols and tools to interpret what is happening or what will be happening. It can give you a better understanding of situations and aid you in making decisions. Itís also useful in determining whether or not a spell is in order, and what type.

Divination only shows what can happen if you continue on a certain path. Nothing is set in stone. Things CAN be changed. Negative readings should not be a cause for upset. They are a sign that something needs to change or action needs to be taken to prevent a negative outcome.

Divination is not always 100% accurate. There is always room for error, especially in the way you interpret the reading. Most people get better with practice. Itís important to keep an open mind. Some people want to believe certain things and this causes them to misinterpret reading to mean what they wish it to mean. You should never base a major decision on a single reading. You or the person doing the reading could have made an error. Always use common sense and take in to consideration what you know to be fact before you make a decision.

Choosing a tool you are comfortable with and find interesting is in important. You might want to try several and pick the one you like the best. They do not have to be complicated, simple forms of divination can be very effective with practice.

Some of the more common forms of divination -
Tarot: This is probably the most common form of divination. It consists of cards with images, each card means something. The cards are shuffled and laid out in patterns, with each card representing an aspect of a situation. There are different types of tarot, some are simple and some can be quite difficult to learn. Research each type to find one youíd like. Tarot cards are readily available in bookstores and occult shops.

Runes: It consists of a magickal alphabet, These are usually inscribed on stones or flat pieces of wood. They are laid out in a pattern and read in relation to each other. Some systems differ slightly from others. You can usually buy them with a book, they are available at some bookstores, occult shops and new age mail order companies. Alternatively, you can make them yourself by painting them on flat stones or wood. If you choose to make your own, Norse Magic by D.J Conway includes some very basic instructions that should be helpful to beginners. Rune symbols can also be used during spell work to represent something according to their meaning. Some people also use them literally as an alphabet.

Stones: Stones can be used in different ways. They can be laid out in patterns and interpreted by their color in relation with the position theyíre in or they can be interpreted by the energies of the stone.

Tri-Stones: Sometimes three stones are used to answer yes or no questions. One represents positive or a ďyesĒ answer, one represents negative or a ďnoĒ answer and one serves as the indicator. These are thrown, with the stone landing the nearest the indicator being the answer. Stones are chosen based on their color, traditional meaning, or their individual energies.

Scrying: Scrying consists of gazing into a crystal ball, cauldron, body of water, mirror, etc. Messages received are usually in the form of symbols. Itís important that the symbol is interpreted by what it means to the individual person. There are some lists around of what particular symbols traditionally mean, but because symbols usually deal with the individual personís subconscious, the ďtraditionalĒ meanings may be of little or no use. For example, what a cat means or represents to one person might be totally different than what it means to another, depending on what they associate it with. The symbols may be difficult to figure out at first, especially their relation to each other, but it does get much easier with practice. Itís useful to keep a notebook of what symbols were seen in a particular reading, what the reading was in regards to, and what the actual outcome was. This will help you learn and understand what particular things mean when you see them. Learning to interpret this is also extremely useful in dream interpretation as many things are represented as symbols in dreams.

Tips for successful divination

Do not attempt divination if you have been drinking, taking any prescription medication or mood altering substance, or if you are sleep deprived. You will get the best results if your mind is clear and you can think effectively. But on the other hand I know several people who a little mood altering substances help open their minds.

Donít attempt divination when you are overly anxious or nervous. If you have a particular situation that you are nervous or anxious over, you might want to consider having a friend or another trustworthy person do the reading for you. This is also good in that when doing readings for yourself regarding a highly emotional situation, you might read in to it what you want to see rather than what is actually there. If possible, have someone with no emotional ties to the matter do the reading for you. If this isnít possible, at least wait until you are calm and mentally prepared to deal with any negative aspects you may see. Always keep in mind that nothing is set in stone and if you see something negative, you CAN take action to remedy or prevent it.

Cleanse and consecrate your divination tools regularly, the same as you would any ritual item. They should also be cleansed after someone other than you has handled them.

If possible, perform divination at your altar or another space that is cleansed on a regular basis. You might also consider casting a circle and making the divination a part of a ritual. Candles, incense and certain herbs will increase your chances of success. You might also call a deity to aid you.

Colors: Yellow, Purple, silver or use a color corresponding to the question being asked.

Herbs and incenses: rose, mugwort, moonward, thyme, meadowseet, orange, marigold, dandelion, sandalwood.

Timing: full moon is the best time but divination can usually be successfully performed at any time.

Elements: Air, Water and Fire.

Divination for other people.

Divination for other people can be tricky sometimes. Itís better if you fully understand the situation or question being asked. The problem with allowing them to get too detailed is your conscious mind and opinions on the situation may affect how you interpret the reading, just as it might when you are doing readings for yourself. You might want to try getting the basic question thatís being asked, do the reading, make a note of your interpretations. Then ask for a detailed description of the situation and look at the reading again to get your final impressions. Many people do not understand why the second step is necessary. Some will expect you to automatically know everything about them and their situations from a reading. Itís rare when that happens, and if you want to give them an accurate reading, itís best to ask questions. In my opinion, you should keep anything anyone tells during a reading confidential. If you donít feel you can do this, or you have some emotional involvement, send them to someone that can. Itís best to try to keep things positive. If you see something negative in a reading, donít outright tell them itís going to happen. Instead, tell them in what areas they need to be cautious, and/or what they need to work harder on. The future can always be changed and if you tell them something negative is going to happen, they might actually believe it enough to sabotage themselves, or to give up hope, instead of working on improving their situation. Be prepared to deal with people that will only accept what they want to hear. Itís sometimes impossible to get someone to accept something that they do not want to believe or to accept that they have any responsibility in anything. I donít think itís ethical or wise to tell them what they want to hear, but at the same time, trying to force them to believe something can also be useless. Use caution how you handle these situations and be as honest as possible. You may want to charge a small amount for readings. Check the laws in your area to make sure itís legal to do this. I think charging a small amount is a good idea, provided you have studied and practiced your chosen method and can perform fairly accurate readings. It will discourage people from seeking your help for insignificant problems and using you for their own entertainment. I consider it unethical to charge large amounts or to claim that you can ďsee allĒ. No one has 100% accuracy, and no one knows everything. Be honest and fair. Otherwise, you may not only steer someone in the wrong direction, you may also find yourself with a bad reputation.

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