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Divination

Well we’ve made it to December, haven’t we. Thank the gods for that. The weather continues to cool down, it’s dark like, all the time now. And in fact, speaking of darkness, the New Moon is this Saturday, December 4 and then we have a solar eclipse the same day! What a wonderful time to release things that no longer serve us, and to also find new solutions for problems that have maybe been troubling us for a while. This marks a great time to start fresh and make some amazing progress. Don’t be afraid of this eclipse energy. Don’t ever be afraid of any eclipse, actually. Lean into it and let its energy take you where you want to go. Ok that’s all I’m going to say about that.

We’ve got the place decorated for Yule. And can I just take a moment to remark on how Yule is the time of year that almost everyone is on the same page in terms of decorating. These beautifully decorated trees, the red and green, all the candles and twinkling lights, boughs of holly and mistletoe, the poinsettias, this is all classically Yule. And I absolutely adore it. Anyway, we’re going to talk about Yule a whole lot more in-depth next week, and to be honest with you I probably won’t shut up about it for the rest of the episodes this month, but I just had to mention how much I am loving it. 

 

And I also love the kind words and ratings and reviews that some folks have been leaving for this podcast. Any time I get a notification that someone has dropped a message or left a rating or a review for this show, it’s like my birthday. I really appreciate it, and it really helps give this show a little boost in exposure, because ratings and reviews are how the algorithms decide which podcasts to bump up in the results when people search for things like witchcraft podcasts. You can rate and review this show on Anchor, on Spotify, on Apple Podcasts, even on Facebook. So you’re helping me when you do it, and you’re also helping other witches who are looking for a community like this, and our community is so lovely. Thank you. 

 

And finally, I have to thank Candice and Jeanette for actually becoming supporters of this show. There’s apparently some way to go on Anchor and actually become a show supporter where you can donate like a dollar a month or whatever and I like, screamed when I got those notifications. I didn’t start this show to make money, and I really don’t, to be honest. But I would like this show to eventually just pay for a decent microphone. So thank you again ladies, for being wonderful.

 

But this week, we are going to talk about divination. Specifically, we are going to get into different methods of divination and how they work, and how you can use these methods to set yourself up for the best outcomes in your life. So all that divination is, really, is the practice of seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means. Whether that means tarot and oracle cards, runes, pendulums, ouija boards, scrying, astrology, reading tea leaves, reading palms, numerology, and just straight up reading omens in the events that happen in your life. And it really doesn’t end there. 

 

Now we obviously won’t be able to do a deep dive into each and every method of divination in this episode, and I am frankly not an expert in all of these methods, but we will touch on them all and then go in depth in at least a few of them.

 

So my personal favorite method of divination is tarot. I know not every witch uses tarot cards, but a lot of us do and I think most of us are at least aware of tarot, if not familiar with it. Now, there are almost as many different kinds of tarot decks as there are different kinds of witches, so it’s easy these days to find a deck that speaks to you. And to debunk a common misconception that I’ve mentioned before, this false idea that you’re not supposed to buy your own tarot cards. There’s an old witch’s tale that started somewhere along the way that you’re supposed to wait for someone else to buy tarot cards for you.

 

This is pseudo- mysticism bullshit. You absolutely do not have to wait for someone else to buy you a tarot deck, and in fact I much prefer to buy my own decks because I can be assured that it’s a deck that I like and that resonates with me. So go to your local occult shop and handle the decks, or go online and look at the many hundreds if not thousands of tarot decks in all shapes, sizes, price points, and artistic mediums. Find yourself a deck that feels good in your hands and that you’re intuitively able to connect with. On the other hand, if someone does buy tarot cards for you, well that’s a lovely gesture, but unnecessary for the purposes of being able to use them effectively. It just doesn’t matter who buys the cards.

 

And here’s a fun fact: if for whatever reason you’re in a position where you want to do tarot, but you’re unable to, perhaps you’re a younger witch living at home and your family or partner disapproves of it, or even if you’re unable to afford them, or you’re not quite ready to make the commitment of buying them, you can 100 percent use a regular deck of cards. There won’t be any major arcana cards in the deck, but the suits of a regular deck of cards correspond to the suits in a tarot deck and you can use them to do some really great readings. 

 

There are differences of opinion on which card suit equates to which tarot suit, but the general consensus is that the hearts are represented by the cups in tarot, the diamonds are represented by the wands, the spades are swords, and the clubs are pentacles. I personally swap those around a little bit when I read playing cards, but again there is really not one absolute correct opinion on which suit is what, that it’s really up to the individual witch to decide how to read them. Another option to physical tarot cards if that is a barrier for you is a tarot app. There are several, many of them are totally free, and they’re discreet.

 

I like tarot a lot. I pull a card every single day because I feel like it helps me to be ready for whatever may pop up, or at least I’ll be able to keep my eyes open for some kind of opportunity that may present itself. If I pull the King of Cups reversed, I’ll just try to stay aware that emotions may be running high that day, and I will make more of an effort to be understanding and not jump headfirst into an unnecessary argument or whatever.

 

If there’s a larger issue going on in my life, or if I feel like I’m at a crossroads and maybe there’s some kind of decision coming up, I’ll do a larger spread to help tease out the pros and cons of a situation, or to give me a more objective view of a situation. The thing about tarot cards is that they are there to give you the straight shit. Tarot cards are not there to coddle you and tell you what you want to hear. I will do a full episode on tarot cards coming up in the future, because I have just a lot of thoughts about tarot as a tool, and there are a lot of different opinions and they all deserve a chance to be heard.

 

Oracle cards are similar to tarot in that they will have some sort of themed artwork, and again there are hundreds upon hundreds of different decks. They’re not the same as tarot though. Tarot decks almost always have 78 cards, with minor and major arcana and the meanings of each card will be similar, if not identical across each deck.

 

Oracle cards, on the other hand, have no set rules about what kind of cards are going to be in the deck or what each card may mean. For example, I have a botanical oracle deck wherein each plant has a message that it conveys, and I have an animal oracle deck where each animal brings a different lesson, but there is no crossover whatsoever in the messaging. They are completely unrelated. Oracle decks are more of a tool for self-reflection and they will tend to offer the reader some aspect of their lives or their outlook to meditate on.

 

Oracle decks are also generally a little more straightforward and easy to read and they’re usually a bit more gentle in the way they will convey a message. If you’re doing a love reading with tarot and you pull like, the three of hearts and the seven of swords, tarot is basically telling you that this person is going to rip your heart out and pour salt on the wound. But an oracle deck will be more like, oh my darling, this isn’t the one for you. The messaging tends to be a bit more focused on positivity and aspiration, self-care, and reflection. They can be a great tool to use alongside tarot too, especially if you’re having difficulty trying to figure out the meaning of a tarot spread. Sometimes it can be helpful to pull an oracle card to shine a little more light on what tarot may be trying to tell you.

 

Runes. Runes are so cool. They’re most commonly made of stone, but also crystal, bone, and wood as well. You can make your own really easily and at no cost to you by simply finding some small stones that are similar in size and drawing or craving the symbols onto them. Runes are usually of the Elder Futhark variety (which you can google to see what they look like and what they mean), but you can certainly add your own designs as well which will have more personal meaning to you.

 

And the way they work is much like any other divination method. You meditate on a question or a situation until you feel like your focus is very clear, and then you cast your stones. Some folks like to look at the way the runes are grouped, so for example if you’re trying to start a family and the rune representing fertility is next to or touching the rune which denotes delays, you may expect some difficulties in becoming pregnant. 

 

Other ways to interpret the meaning is that the runes in the center of the cast are the more dressing issues that demand your attention, while the runes on the edges of the grouping are less pressing. This is also a common way to read tea leaves, byt the way. Runes which are flipped upside down are interpreted to mean that they’re not important at the moment, or they can be interpreted to mean that instead of a literal or physical, they’re more of a spiritual interpretation. Like if you cast the wealth rune upside down, perhaps you’re feeling spiritually depleted. Other readers interpret these upside down runes to mean that the matter isn’t current, but will pop up later on, so you’ll need to watch out for it. 

 

The point is, when you start reading runes, you’ll most likely stick closely to what you see online or in your rune guidebook, if your set comes with one. But as you become more experienced, you’re going to start relying more on your own interpretations and understandings. And frankly, that’s the whole theme of divination. Each of our minds and spirits is different, and we are all going to read omens differently. This is normal and it’s to be expected, but most importantly, this is the way it’s supposed to be. There is no one size fits all way to practice divination or any other form of witchcraft.

Pendulums are a fun one, and they can easily be combined with other forms of divination. A pendulum is just some kind of object suspended on a string, a ribbon or a chain. Pendulums can be made of crystal, metal, you can use a ring or a pendant on a necklace chain, you can use an acorn, a hagstone, basically anything you like. Anything that is meaningful to you. And you just have to get in touch with your pendulum and figure out how it wants to communicate with you.

 

For yes or no questions for example, simply ask the pendulum a question to which you already know the answer. So I might ask my pendulum, Am I 25 years old? My personal pendulum is going to swing from left to right, and that is how my pendulum tells me NO bitch, you are not 25. If I then ask my pendulum, is my dog’s name John? My pendulum swings forward and backward, which is how my pendulum indicates YES. Your results may be different, but this is why you have to ask your pendulum questions like this, so you will know what it is indicating and the way that it communicates. 

 

You can also buy or make a pendulum board or cloth. Google pictures to get a better sense of what I’m trying to describe here, but you can get a cloth or board with areas that indicate yes, no or maybe, but I find that you don’t really need this. If you’re in good communication with your pendulum, you’ll be able to understand those simple answers easily. But, there are pendulum boards that have the alphabet so that you can get more detailed answers. It takes a lot longer, because the pendulum has to spell everything out by swinging towards the letter it wants to indicate, but sometimes, that’s what you need.

 

You can also use a pendulum in combination with tarot cards, as I mentioned. For this you will fan all your tarot cards out, upside down so that you don’t unintentionally interfere with the results, and focus on your question. Steady your pendulum and slowly hover it across the spread. Once your pendulum is over the card that answers your question, your pendulum will start to swing or spin, otherwise get your attention, and you’ll pull the card and get your answer.

 

Scrying is a little more arcane as a divination method, and it’s a lot more open to individual interpretation. There are a lot of different ways to scry, you can use smoke, fire, running water, you can gaze into a dark mirror, which is a very popular method with witches, and of course we can’t talk about scrying without mentioning crystal gazing. So the basic method is to find a quiet place to work with whichever media you plan to use for your scrying session and center yourself. 

 

Once your mind is quiet, you can gaze deeply into the flame or smoke or water or what have you, and let your mind just receive whatever messages may come to you. If you’re using a mirror or a crystal, I recommend doing your scrying in a dark room by the light of a candle to get better results. If you like, you can have a pen and paper nearby to write down your impressions, but if you find that too distracting or if it takes you out of the moment, you can just wait until you’re done with your session and write things down afterward.

 

All kinds of images, words, phrases, scenarios, and memories may come to you while you’re scrying, it’s a lot like meditation. You may find that your mind wanders, and if that happens, don’t get frustrated. Just acknowledge those thoughts and let them go. If you find an especially intrusive thought keeps coming to mind or, what happens to me a lot, is that something will come to mind that I need to remember or to do, and my mind won’t stop dredging it up, and THAT’S why I keep a pen and paper nearby. I just make a note, and go back to scrying. Don’t make judgments about those thoughts, don’t get frustrated, just allow them to come and then go.

 

Once you feel like your session has come to an end, spend some time with your notes and see what you can make of the information that may have come through. Often, you’ll feel like none of it makes any sense, but that’s ok. Just look the information over anyway. Within a few days or a week, you may find that a lot of the images that presented themselves to you start to make sense in one way or another. When those affirmations come through, make note of that too. It’s nice to be able to go back to those old readings and see what kind of predictions you were able to make.

 

Palm reading and tea leaf reading, or tasseomancy, are two areas that I have really only ever dabbled in, well, more than dabbled, but still I don’t really feel super comfortable speaking with any degree of authority there, but what I like about these is that they don’t require any special equipment and they’re inexpensive to learn. All they really cost you is time and effort. But when you’re learning something new that you find interesting, the fun is in the learning. Another thing I like about these is that they’re open to your personal interpretation. Once you’ve learned the basics of these methods, you can really take it from there and create your own codes and meanings for what you see. I don’t really have a recommendation for palm reading, but I do have a good tasseomancy book called Reading the Leaves: An Intuitive Guide to the Ancient Art and Modern Magic of Tea Leaf Divination by Leanne Marrama and Sandra Mariah Wright.

 

Astrology and numerology are two really serious disciplines, and they’re not going to get a very good summary from the likes of me in a 20 minute podcast. All I can really say about them is that there are a lot of resources to get you started in the way of books, videos, websites, and so on. If those are methods that pique your interest, you can really divine a lot of valuable information this way. Once again, I don’t really have a favorite book on numerology, so if you do have one, please drop a recommendation for other listeners, but my personal favorite book on the subject of astrology, if I had to pick only one, is called The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need by Joanna Martine Woolfolk. Obviously, you’ll need more than one book or resource to get a real good handle on a topic as vast as astrology, but as far as giving you a damn good basis of information for doing readings at least for yourself and family and friends, this book will make a lot of the muddy waters clear.

 

I will include the book info in the show notes, just in case you want to buy or check these books out at the library, and I really hope I’ve maybe piqued your interest in a new divination method that maybe you haven’t considered before, or that you may have been interested in but kind of felt a little overwhelmed by. The thing about divination is to just do it. Even the act of trying to divine information will begin to open up your abilities, and those intuitive feelings will start to present themselves even when you’re not necessarily using a divination method. And you’ll start building your confidence in your abilities and really step into your destiny as an all-powerful, all-knowing badass. 

 

Ok I want to change gears really quickly and go to a listener question that I couldn’t get to last week. If this is the first time you’re listening, or if you’re hearing these out of order, last month I did a Q&A episode that was so much fun but I ran out of time and had to save some of the questions for later. So this question is from Heaven Bennett, and she actually has her own podcast where she reads excerpts from stories and actually reads a lot of her own stories. It’s called Soul Path Stories, if you’re interested in high fantasy in the Tolkein tradition, or even like Dungeons and Dragons style world building, you may enjoy it. 

 

Anyway, her question is this:

Have you ever created a guided meditation? Do you have any tips or resources for someone trying to create their own guided meditations for others? Thank you for being amazing! Blessed Be! 

 

I have written and recorded a few guided meditations; I have not published them. I’m not really waiting for anything, I guess, I just haven’t got around to it. I plan to do an episode about meditation, it’s on the calendar, I’ve just got a ton of other topics ahead of that one. But to your question about resources or tips, I would just say listen to a lot of guided meditations and decide what you like, what you don’t like, what works, what doesn’t work, and what you would do differently.

 

It’s the same thing you’ll do when you create anything new, find out what’s out there, and figure out what you would do differently. What are you going to bring to the table that’s unique. This podcast came about because I was listening to a lot of witchcraft podcasts, and I mean a lot of them, and some I loved and still listen to regularly, and some just didn’t quite hit the mark with me. Which is not a criticism of those podcasts. But I was looking for something a little different to what I was finding, and it occurred to me that I might not be the only one who felt that way. 

 

So take that spirit with you in this, and in every other endeavor. Make the guided meditations that YOU would want to listen to. Not everyone who listens to your guided meditations is going to like it, and that’s ok. If we all vibed with the same style of meditations, there would only need to be one. So my advice, and take this only for what it’s worth, or don’t take it at all, I don’t know everything, is to find out what you think is missing, and fill that void. And thank you for that question. 

 

And thanks for listening this week. If there’s a method of divination you like to use that we didn’t talk about today, or if you have a question you’d like to ask, DM me on Instagram or Facebook at @middleagedwitch, or email me at eli@middleagedwitch.com, because I love to hear from you. Until next time, my name is Eli, and this has been the Middle-Aged Witch Podcast.

 

Sources:

 

The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need by Joanna Martine Woolfolk

 

Reading the Leaves: An Intuitive Guide to the Ancient Art and Modern Magic of Tea Leaf 

Divination by Leanne Marrama and Sandra Mariah Wright

 

https://anchor.fm/soulpathstories

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