Editress Ginger Strivelli This year we again joined in the Western NC's Pagan Community 'Earth Religions awareness month' events, by hosting The annual “APA Costumed Brunch” on Samhain. It was well attended this year, with several of us APA ladies and some other local Pagans meeting at the Fiddlin' Pig BBQ. It was so enjoyed in fact, that we planned to have another APA Ladies Brunch right after new years. Our Leading priestess Ginger Strivelli also participated in the Annual 'Ask-a-Witch' event held during Earth Religions Awareness week. FROM OUR BOOK OF SHADOWS: Forms of divination: TAROT:Tarot cards are of course the obvious type of divination magical work, most of us are familiar with...some of us like myself who do on line tarot readings I sell on ebay, are even more familiar with it as our daily 'work.' I suggest new learners of the art of Tarot start with 2 decks....the traditional swiss woodcut original imagery deck ...and also a modern deck that has the actual 'prescribed' meanings printed on each card (like the 'walking the wild spirit' tarot) OR where the meanings are very obviously shows the Whimsical deck is a good one as it's images are based on fairy tales...so the princess and the pea themed card means 'being oversensitive.' These 'right' meanings for each card do need to be understood, like the 'traditional' meaning of each of the most ancient woodcut tarot designs, as the 'book' teaches them. However I teach all my students of the tarot to also 'read' each card as the message that that image sends to them personally, as that is how the Gods, the Universe, 'spirit' whatever you call It will send the reading answers to you by the cards you are reading. Two readers may indeed correctly read the same card to mean two different things depending on their personal view of the image. The Gods may send a card with a serpent image to a reader who has a fear of snakes as a message of 'danger' and send the same serpent image card to another reader who had a pet snake as a child who she misses terribly as a sign of 'longing' because of the way she reads that image. Both are correct. Lastly tarot cards are much like a piano. Anyone can sit down and bang out some notes. It is within everyone's limits to 'read' the cards to some degree of success. However with some lessons, some practice many people can learn to play chopsticks or even Bach's melodies. Some people pick it up easier and quicker than others because they are born with a talent a gift for it. But no one is unable to because of a lack of that talent gift...they may only be able to bang out noise, or with lots of effort and practice and learning play Mary had a little lamb, but they can play. That being said, most readers can not with any great success read for 'themselves.' The act of divination in Tarot requires questioner and reader...and it is best if they are not one and the same. Some of my personal favorite decks I recommend most are; The tarot of the Ages, Ramses the great, Cloisters,,and Sacred Rose. SCRYING:Scrying can be done in water of course...but also in grain (either in a bowl like water or still in the field in the wind,) clouds, crystals (balls and points,) stars, fire, and other such mediums of Nature. In the traditional bowl of water method...start out with a dark bowl (wood or glass or metal not plastic or other unnatural material,) rain water or spring water is best particularly if caught without touching it. It's helpful to add a layer of oil to the top of the water. Egyptian Lotus oil is ideal, but corn, olive or such will work. You can use scented oils if you like it may make it easier for you to read or may be distracting it depends on your 'gift's in divination. RUNES: Runes are not one of the sharpest tools in my own magical tool box, but I can report it is a popular way to dine the future and seek advice form the Gods. I suggest a set of runes handmade by your own hand in clay or stone....and I suggest a good book or teacher familiar with the art. I'd say it is much like my tarot-piano player metaphor and anyone can have some success with runes, while some people are gifted in their use. OTHER DIVINATION METHODS: Other forms worth noting: I-Ching, Numerology, Astrology, Palmistry, etc....none of which I can personally do much of a 'lesson' upon. (Distrust upon sight any Pagan Priestess Teacher who claims she knows ALL topics well enough to teach you, she's a fool and you will learn to be as well as her student.) Reading entrails or bones are again not the sharpest tool in my magical tool box, or in many people's for the last several hundred years, but it worth noting for historical reference that such were used as told for divination by ancient Pagans....African tribes and South and Central American tribes particularly...but also in Europe and Asia. It seems odd to us now, but at the time was considered quite an 'art.'