APA Book of Shadows:
|There are many ways to divine the future, answer questions, and analyze a problem or situation. A few of the most popular include Tarot cards, Runes, scrying, pendulums, Palmistry, Astrology, Numerology, and coin or dice systems such as the I Ching. I'll attempt to give an overview of each, and plan to add links and resources as I can locate them. Please Email any links or suggested reading to us!|
The Tarot (pronounced tah-row) is a system of divination using decks of 72 cards; these are divided into 5 groups - 22 or so major Arcana and 4 suits: Cups (or grails, hearts); Swords (or spears); Pentacles (or discs, coins); and Wands (staves, staffs, batons). In general, the Major Arcana cards represent archetypical qualities, while the four suits detail four aspects of humanity: Cups for love and enmotion; Swords for intellect and strqategy; Pentacles for money and material things, and Wands for creativity. Cards are shuffled, then chosen and laid out in various spreads; the cards are then interpreted for the questioner. The position of one card in relation to others and the order in which they are drawn is how the cards are interpreted.
Runes are flat stones made of clay, crystal, or other rock-like substances upon which symbols or sigils have been drawn or carved. Each rune or sigil has a specific meaning, and how they are drawn or where they fall indicates their meaning in the interpretation.
Runes are generally attributed to the Norse, though other similar divination tools might have been used by other groups, such as casting dice or animal bones.
Crystals are often read the same way, by drawing a specified number of stones, or casting them upon a chart. Many people enjoy making their own runes, which can easily be done with clay and a tool to etch sigils. For more info on Runes:
Scrying is the art of looking into a surface, such as water, a magick mirror, or crystal ball; then interpreting the pictures or symbols seen. This can be done in any reflective surface, and I have heard of flame scrying as well. To scry, obtain or go to a surface (a moonlit pond, a mirror, a bowl of water); then focus your energy upon the surface and wait for pictures or symbols to appear. For more info on scrying:
Pendulums have been used for centuries to answer yes and no questions - they can be made of many things; a coin on a chain, a crystal point, even a needle and thread inserted in a pencil eraser! One fun form of asking the pendulum a question is done by women who are pregnant and wish to know the sex of their child. A needle is threaded, and the needle stuck into a pencil eraser; the pendulum is held by the thread and suspended over the mother-to-be's left wrist, and ask the sex of the child.
Once the pencil "settles", it will begin to swing either in a back and forth or a circular pattern; generally a circle means a girl; the back and forth drection means a boy. For additonal information:
Palmistry is the art of palm-reading, or making predictions based on the lines and shapes of the palm, hand, and fingers. This art is very ancient, and somewhat complicated! For more information, check these links:
Astrology is based on moon, sun, and planet positions at the time of birth; these signs remain as an influence throughout life. There are 12 signs and 12 houses in a horoscope, affecting all areas of life. For more in-depth information on this detaied topic, try these links:
Other forms of Divination
There are still many other forms of divination, such as the use of crystals, coins, dowsing, the I Ching. Check the links below for more information.