Divination — from Latin divinare, meaning to foresee or be inspired by a god — is a way through which insight about something is acquired, typically by a paranormal or ritualistic means.
Various common usages consist of predicting the future, or gaining answers to a query. There are multiple ways to practice divination, such as tarot cards;pendulums; black mirrors/crystal balls; and runes, amongst many other methods. Many people who practice the occult are also practitioners of divination.
There are 78 total cards in a "standard" Tarot deck consisting of four different suits of 14 cards — known as the Minor Arcana — and a separate 21 card suit plus a separate card (The Fool) called the Major Arcana.
The Minor Arcana consists of cards one/ace through ten, as well as a Page (sometimes Jack or Knave in older or "non-traditional" decks), Knight, Queen, and King. Each card of the Minor Arcana's four suits has something in common with the other cards of its number or face. For example, the Ten of Pentacles represents material wealth and completion or accomplishment of something material (such as reaching the crux of one's career), the Ten of Cups represents emotional wealth and the complete emotional fulfillment, et cetera. Each suit of the Minor Arcana corresponds to a traditional element: Wands corresponds to Fire; Cups to Water; Pentacles to Earth; and Swords to Air.
The Major Arcana's cards have their own unique symbolism and correlations, such as The Chariot's association as the "King" of all Knight cards; the card typically representing a balanced, methodical, and paced outlook on a situation. The cards of the Rider-Waite deck's Major Arcana from numbers zero to twenty-one are The Fool; The Magician; The High Priestess; The Empress; The Emperor; The Hierophant; The Lovers; The Chariot; Strength; The Hermit; Wheel of Fortune; Justice; The Hanged Man; Death; Temperance; The Devil; The Tower; The Star; The Moon; The Sun; Judgement; and The World. In older decks — a common example being the Thoth deck — the position of Strength and Justice are swapped, with Justice being the eighth card and Strength being the eleventh.
Some good decks for beginners -- according to the author of this section's opinion -- are the Rider-Waite deck or the Thoth deck if the reader prefers a traditional deck; or the Golden Thread deck for a more modern, stylized option that still retains much of the essential symbolism needed for a novice reader. It is recommended that one takes care of their cards, making sure to cleanse them regularly (this can be done through smudging, placing the cards in a bowl of salt, placing them with crystals or in the moonlight, or various other methods).
A simple card spread for beginners would be the yes/no spread; shuffle the cards however you like before focusing on a simple question that can be answered with a "yes" or a "no". While thinking solely of this question, draw a card. According to some users of this spread, a reversed card means "no" while an upright one means "yes"; however, some readers also go by whether the card's meaning is a positive one or a negative one to discern if it is a "yes" or a "no". An easy exercise for a beginner to become more familiar with their cards is to draw one card in the morning each day, reflecting on the card's meaning and what it might be telling oneself about the upcoming day -- it's recommended that you write down your thoughts somewhere afterwards, so you can see just how accurate your reading was.
A pendulum is an object that can swing freely while suspended by something, typically a length of string or a chain. Pendulums can be used for a variety of purposes, such as contacting spirits, answering yes/no questions, and finding missing objects. Using a pendulum is fairly simple; for a yes or no question, ask the pendulum "what is yes" or "what is no" and it should start either circling around or swing back and forth.
These are quite common and very similar to tarots except different cards and each oracle deck works in different ways. Some oracles are better of for self help while others the future and others for spirit communication. The possibilities for these are endless. All oracles involve contacting deities, entities and oracles but the creatures contacted depend on the deck and the deck will say what is contacted.
This is the most controversial use of divination but they do work and can be used for good. It involves talking to any entities through a board. The board can be made out of anything from glass to paper but the most common is wood. The tool used for contacting the spirits can be made form glass, wood, a cup or just fingers really.
Using this type of divination is dangerous like any other meaning you have to be serious and respectful. A board must be cleansed before and after a session with burning herbs. Holy water and a cross will not cleanse a board. DO NOT ask for when you will die or the future. Negative entities prey on those people who are lonely and desperate.
Runes are a Norse way of casting spells but also famous for runic divination. This is done by drawing, carving or painting runes on natural objects, and casting them for the result.
A simple form of divination which is used a lot in the far east. It involves divination using symbols such as animals, phrases or items that pop up in ones daily life. Birds are used frequently in symbolic divination e.g
One: sorrow Two: joy Three: a girl Four: a boy Five: silver Six: gold Seven: a secret never to be told
This is the rules for the divination involved in counting magpies.
The reading of playing cards is an quick and easy alternative to the reading of tarot cards since they only require a full pack of playing cards.
If you require a quick answer to a question you can just draw a card from the top of the shuffled pack whilst thinking of your question.
However, if you wish for a more detailed answer you would use one of the spreads.
The Three Card Spread
This is where you lay the top three cards from the deck left to right, the first card represents the past, the second represents the present and the third card shows the future.
1 2 3
The Nine Card Spread
A more detailed expansion of the previous spread. The cards are laid in a three by three square, the top row showing the past, the middle shows the present and the bottom row shows the future.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
The Horseshoe Spread
Using 21 cards, this spread gives a more detailed overview of your life. It is laid as seven groups of three cards in a horseshoe shape and each group represents one of the following categories: 1. The past situation 2. The present situation 3. Developments in the near future 4. The unexpected 5. Those around you 6. Obstacles and opposition 7. The final outcome
The Gypsy Spread
Again using 21 cards, lay three rows of seven from left to right. the top row shows the past, the middle is the present and the bottom provides insight into the future. This provides a very detailed reading but can be complicated to assemble a meaning from it. Only for the very advanced diviner.
The Card Meanings
Ace: The gift of jewelry. News of money. A letter Two: Love affair and disapproval from others. A business partnership Three: Legal problems, domestic arguments. A legal letter Four: Inheritance, financial improvement. Five: Successful business and a happy family Six: Problems in a second marriage. Seven: Surprise news or gift. Issues with work Eight: Marriage and travelling late in life. financial ups and downs. Nine: Monetary surprise. Business opportunities. Restlessness. Ten: Money and travel highlighted. A change of fortune. Jack: A relative. A very fair haired youth. dishonesty or unreliability. Queen: A woman who loves to party and gossip. A flirt. A very fair-haired woman. King: a stubborn and influential man. Fair haired
Ace: The home, love, friendship, happiness and love Two: Success and prosperity. Engagement or partnership Three: Caution! Watch what you say. Four: A change or relocation (house or business). late marriage. Five: Jealousy surrounds you. Take time making decisions Six: Unexpected luck. Someone helping you out. Seven: An unfaithful or unreliable person. Broken promises. Eight: Visits and visitors. Invitations out. Nine: Dreams come true. Ten: Good luck and joy. Jack: A close friend or good-natured, fair-haired youth. Queen: A kindly fair-haired woman King: A good-natured, fair-haired man. Good advice.
Ace: Wealth, health, love and happiness. A letter concerning money. Two: Gossip. Disappointments and opposition. Three: Marriage to a wealthy partner. Money coming from the partner. Four: Changes for the worse. Lies and betrayal. Five: New friends and a successful marriage. Help from friends. Six: Business success. Getting financial help. Seven: Prosperity and success. Be careful of trouble coming from a person of the opposite sex. Eight: Trouble in relationships, business and personal. Jealousy and greed. Nine: Achievements. A new lover or admirer. Don't be stubborn. Ten: Unexpected money coming in. Good luck. Travel abroad. Jack: A reliable friend. A dark-haired youth. Queen: An attractive, self-confident woman. A dark-haired woman. King: An honest, generous and affectionate man. A dark-haired man.
Ace: Emotional conflict, obsession, death. Things coming to a head. Two: Separation, gossip and deceit. Difficult changes. Three: Unfaithfulness and partings. Be wary in partnerships. Four: Illness. Business and money worries. Broken promises. Five: Happy home but interference from other people. Reversals and opposition but eventual success. Six: Small improvements. Seven: Loss of friendship or loss of a friend. An unexpected burden. A warning against losses and sorrow. Eight: Trouble and disappointment. Plans go awry. Friends let you down. Cancellations. Nine: Bad luck in all things. Depression and low energy. Destruction, deaths. Extreme anxiety. Ten: Misfortune and worry. Imprisonment. Unwelcome news. Jack: A well-meaning but immature and unreliable youth. A very dark-haired youth. Queen: A widow. An unscrupulous woman. A very dark-haired woman. King: An ambitious and authoritative man. A very dark-haired man.
Joker: (optional) New developments, fresh starts, taking a risk.
Note: it can sometimes be difficult to get a clear answer from multiple cards but just try to build up a narrative, you would be surprised how accurate the cards can be!