10 Ways to Use Divination During the Dark Moon

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.

Photo: SunsparkPhotography.com

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.”

Photo: SunsparkPhotography.com

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.   


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Dark Moon: Dream Work for Beginners

There are few opportunities for spiritual experience in daily life more accessible than the land of dreams.  Our deepest desires and our darkest fears are exposed to us, unlocking the mystery of our inner nature on a nightly basis.

These nightly encounters are our regular appointment with the unbridled wilderness of the soul.

During the dark or new moon phase, conditions for dream work are ripe.

As we enter this phase tonight, I submit to you a few ways to use this time to actively engage your dream life.  Given that we spend a third of our lives sleeping, this kind of experimentation can be extremely rewarding.  Dreaming with a purpose enriches a landscape in your life that is completely, totally and uniquely yours.

dream magic

1.  Bless your dream journal.  You may choose a simple composition book from the grocery store, or opt for an elaborate blank book adorned with beautiful artwork, but unless you already have a journal dedicated to dreaming, start with a fresh one.  Bless your journal on the night of the dark moon.  How you bless it is up to you.  Here are a few suggestions.  You can use one of them, all of them or some combination.

-Surround your journal with purple candles.
-Anoint the first and last page with lavender oil.
-Smudge it with a sage bundle.
-Place a piece of amethyst on top.
-Surround your journal with circle of dream herbs like lavender or chamomile.

2.  Create a bedtime ritual.  This might be as simple as playing soft music or smudging the space before you lay down.  A simple act of cleansing to raise spiritual energy in your room goes a long way

3.  Every morning until the next full moon, write down your dreams.  Do it immediately after you wake up.  The moment you are fully conscious, the details of your dreams are already beginning to fade.  Your recollection is the most vivid in the moments after you surface from sleep.  Include everything you can remember.  People, colors, scents.  Keeping a dream journal is certainly not a new idea, but it’s the best way to get in touch with your dream experiences, which are fleeting but extremely valuable for personal insight.  We’re going to use this tried-and-true technique in a new way.

4.  Don’t look back at what you’ve written until the full moon.  Write down your dreams, turn the page, and forget about it for the time being.

5.  Leave a blank page in between each written page. We’re going to use it later.

6.  On the night of the full moon, review your dreams.  You will find that your dreams have patterns in them.  Even if you didn’t have any nightmares between the dark moon and the full moon, you probably had some unpleasant ones related to your underlying fears and anxieties.  Dream researchers have discovered that rewriting your dreams has a profound impact on their quality.  The night of the full moon, go through each dream and rewrite it to “smooth over” the anxieties and fears in them.

7.  As the moon wanes, repeat step 3-5 until the next new moon.  By the end of this step, you’ll have been recording your dreams for a complete moon cycle, from one new moon to the next.  When you go through your dreams this time, notice the reduction in anxiety and fear-based dreams.  Anyone knows that your dream life is influenced by your waking life, but few people consider that the opposite is true as well: changes in your dreaming are also reflected in your waking life.  You’ll notice that as your anxiety levels decline in your dreams, they will also be lowered in your waking life.

Try it!

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