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Using Tools For Divination

Divination, which comes from a root word that means “to be inspired by a god” is the go-to practice of many, and dates back at least as far as Alexander the Great. It probably goes back much further, and today, it’s as popular as ever.


Divination is just using tools to harness one’s own intuition, or ability to see beyond the five mundane senses to gain insight. This can be done to predict the future, or understand hidden knowledge in the present. Lost items have been found using divination, and finding out what is going on when you have no physical means of doing so can be done. Some seek advice in personal matters through divination, and others ask for confirmation of what is true or what isn’t.

There are limitless possibilities as to which tools readers use to do divination, and each tool gets the same results as the other- the truth. What tool works best of all depends on what works best for the individual reader.


It all starts with tapping into natural intuition. Intuition is an instinctive knowing you don’t have to have proof or clues for. You just KNOW, and you don’t know how, but you just do. Some use their intuition for divination without using tools, but others prefer tools. Some use their tools to get them into the mode to do divination, and it provides them the focus they need to excel at it. Others only use their tools as a visual to help clients see what their intuition is showing them. The options for divination tools are limitless, and some things you can use may surprise you.


Perhaps the most popular tools today - cards fall into two categories, Tarot Cards and Oracle Cards. Tarot Cards came from playing cards that started being used for divination in the 18th century and consist of 78 cards divided into Major and Minor Arcana. They have structured, traditional meanings, and are often used in set spreads to get measured answers. People who use Tarot study the cards meanings, their history, and typically stay within the system to use them. The more informal Oracle Cards can have as many cards as the decks creator prefers, and no two Oracle decks are exactly alike. Spreads can still be used in Oracle Decks, and some decks may be designed with a specific spread in mind.


Scrying is typically done with mirrors, but it can be done with any surface at all the reader wishes. Bowls of water, placed under the full Moon are another scrying tool, as well as crystal balls. Readers look at the images and shapes that appear on the surface of their scrying tool to divine the images and messages. Some have a special mirror made of darkened glass, and some use a regular one. Anything with a shiny surface is used for scrying including ordinary crystals, reflections in windows, reflections in a body or water, and even just puddles of rain water.

Automatic writing

Also called Psychography, Automatic Writers write words without consciously thinking. They just relax, and let the words come on their own. Dating back as far as the Song Dynasty in China, and used by Medieval occultist John Dee to divine what angels were telling him, some use only Automatic Writing for their practice. Some put themselves into a trance state to do this, while others can do so completely conscious and aware.


Ogham and Runes

These two systems are different from one another, but use a similar concept. Both are individual pieces with a symbol that has set meaning inscribed upon them, and readers pull one piece at a time to find answers. The Ogham is called the Celtic Tree Oracle and the inscriptions on the pieces, called staves, are all letters that come from an old Celtic alphabet dating back to possibly the 1st Century BC. There were 400 surviving letters, and the Ogham Stave set uses 25 or 26 of these. Each stave corresponds to a different tree, and has its own meaning for the divination set. The Runes are similarly made using ancient letters, but theirs are Norse, and the symbols correspond not only to trees, but also animals, weather conditions, and concepts like movement and riding an animal. Readers pull Runes, and form a reading on how the Runes correspond in regards to the question. Interestingly, some consider the Runes to be the voice of the god Odin, and it is said one cannot read Runes unless they have a relationship with him.

These very recognizable tools work well for many in their divination practice, but they are not the only things there are. Divination can be done with handmade things, or messages that come from unlikely places as well.


Taking a walk in your own backyard, or your favorite park can yield answers without tools in ways you never expected. Relax, and open yourself to your intuition, then ask your question, and go look. Say you are asking which of two job offers to take? One is East of you, the other is West. Looking East you see storm clouds, and a dead tree. Looking West, you see more light, and a rosebush in bloom. If you are looking for a job to terminate your residence in your current city, so you can move away, the job to the East could best provide that. If you want a job where you thrive, the one West of you is the best choice in this reading. The shapes leaves take, and the number of birds flying overhead, or even the appearance of your lucky number can give clues and messages to you without formal tools.


Something as simple as the food on your plate can provide an answer. Similar to reading tea leaves, or coffee grinds left in the bottom of a cup, divination from the food you or somebody else has eaten, where a little has been left on the plate is a good tool. Say you have started dating somebody new, and you want to know a bit about them. Aside from seeing them leave a royal mess for your server and only a paltry tip - which is telling enough - look for shapes in their finished plate. The images may take the form of a full portrait of something like despair, which they could be battling with, or something more symbolic, like they left an almost full glass of water, which may mean for you that they have a good nest egg. Getting an extra cookie in a bag of a dozen can symbolize you are meant to share extra abundance you have been gifted with, and a double egg yolk is believed by some to mean good fortune.


The shape things take when you accidentally drop something can give messages. Pay attention whenever you or somebody you want to know things about drops something. A way to emulate this is to throw a deck of cards, a handful of paper scraps, or even a batch of pick up sticks down, and see what shapes they take, like looking at shapes in food.

Make Your Own

Many Intuitives are also creative. You can make your own tools with whatever materials you prefer. Some paint or draw their own cards, and some even go so far as to cut their own pieces of wood, and hand paint or wood burn their own Ogham staves or Runes. People have made their own pottery or hand blown glass bowls for scrying bowls, and some even hand paint a frame for their scrying mirror. If you don’t have arts and crafts skills, you can still make your own divination tools. You can gather odds and ends that have symbolic meaning to you, and put them together in a bag, jar, or box to use. A river pebble can represent going with the flow, a penny or dollar bill can represent finding money, and even papers with wise sayings from inside a fortune cookie can be used.

A Final Word

Each Intuitive who does divination is a unique individual and will find the tools that suit them best of all through trial and error. Try every divination tool you can, and don’t be afraid to acquire a tool, only to find it useless for you, because you can always pass it on to somebody else who will excel with it. What tools work best for one may be purposeless for somebody else. There is no one best tool for every Intuitive, and every tool gets the same results- the truth.

Sign up for classes, and join Meetup gatherings to practice with others, sharpening your skills, and learning from others. Practice really does make perfect, and between experimenting with different tools, and the guidance and feedback of others, you will get better and better at your personal divination practice. Someday, you may even be passing on the gift by teaching others!

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