As the moon wanes and the days begin to grow shorter, both the time of year and the lunar phase create ideal conditions for experimenting with the art of divination.
From traditional methods like the Tarot, to lesser known arts like smoke scrying, from techniques that make use of exotic ritual tools to the simple act of gazing into the clouds, I compiled a list of ways to pay closer attention to the messages of a deeper reality.
I tried to include divination systems that are readily available, as well as some more esoteric systems worth exploring.
Divination is an art form. It takes patience, practice and concentration! Just like anything else, the more you do it, the more you will be rewarded with new insights and clarity.
1. Kaleidoscope scrying. I love this idea! Simply look into the kaleidoscope, rotate the dial, breath deeply and let yourself be mesmerized.
2. Cloud scrying. I wrote extensively about cloud scrying here. I love this method because with a very few exceptions (in certain climates, clouds are rare), cloud scrying is available to everyone. Plus, laying on the lawn during a pleasant afternoon is just good for you!
3. Smoke scrying. Personally, I find this method extremely spiritual and healing. Incense sticks are cheap and will do in a pinch, but there are lots of variations. Smoke bombs in a cauldron have a theatrical quality and are great for group rituals. For solitaries, burn herbs known for their tendency to heighten spiritual awareness, like belladonna and mugwort.
4. Reading tea leaves. The first records of tea leaf reading in Europe date back to the 17th century, right around the time that the Dutch merchants brought tea back from China. Since that time, tea leaf reading evolved into a spiritual discipline practiced around the world. Try it!
5. Bone Casting. Another form of fortune telling with ancient roots, references to bone casting appear in biblical scripture, Roman mythology and Chinese prophecy. This system might be as simple as using a collection of chicken thigh bones.
6. Ink water scrying. This method works just like a scrying mirror, except with water and a dark ink. You can even use the ink from a fountain pen or a ball point. Dye the water dark enough that it almost looks black, dim the lights (candles are best) and allow your eyes to lose focus. Wait.
7. Tarot cards. If you struggle to find anything in scrying techniques or systems the require too much visualization, the Tarot gives you more to grab onto mentally than many other systems. However, learning the “traditional” meanings of each card requires a lot of dedicated memorization. While the tarot relies on very subjective imagery and creative interpretation is usually encouraged, most readers know a basic, near-universal tarot “language.”
8. Runes make perfect additions to the crafty or artistic practitioner’s tool kit. Easy and inexpensive to make, carve a set of runes into wood or paint them on tiny pebbles. Much of Runic history is complex or lost, so many interpretations of the symbols of themselves exist. Read about them, come up with your own interpretation and apply it consistently.
9. Pyromancy. If you’re a fire sign, working with fire as a “porthole” may really appeal to you. Use a single candle flame or a full on bonfire. Flash powder is especially fun for this.
10. Palmistry. While many systems tend to be introspective and involve very little interaction with others, palmistry is perhaps one of the most intimate, connective, sensual forms of divination.