When a person becomes interested in taking up one of the Divinatory arts (Tarot or Rune casting etc.), one of the key factors that is often missed in books, videos, and courses that I’ve come across is — what is divination and how does it work? To a new student of these arts, the why and how are vital to understanding, beyond the mechanical aspect of “select a card or rune and read the meaning.” Getting to grips with the whole process allows the student to make a deeper connection and become more personally involved, making them a better diviner.
In simple terms, Divination is a process used to gain insight into the world around us. To look at how one does this, let’s get rid of single word explanations like Magic or Magick (however you wish to spell it), Psychic, and Science (frequently used as the modern spelling of Magic), as overly-simple explanations and put forward a deeper, more structured theory.
Divination works on the principle that everything is connected to everything else. This connection is on the minutest of levels; it is a connection of energies rather than one of material or tangible substances. Imagine an all-encompassing web stretching on into eternity, with each connection being stronger or weaker dependent on the relationship between those two points. This is the underlying structure of the universe. We can look to explanations both ancient and modern to explain this theory — both modern string theory and the ancient Web of Wyrd theories rely upon this concept to explain the universe.
These links vary in their size and effect. Imagine a stretched piece of rubber and how it thins as it is pulled out to a greater distance. This gives us the concept that events or actions more distant from a given point will have a lesser effect upon that point. The key factor here is that there is no RANDOM event; everything influences everything else, even if it is only in the most minor of ways. Once this is understood, and the basic concept grasped, it seems possible to gather information regarding any situation provided that one can access this “grid.” It is this accessing of the grid that we refer to as Divination. As we are speaking of divination as a whole here, the word Diviner is used to describe a person who makes use of divination; whereas specific systems may use other terms such as Reader or Caster.
Accessing this metaphorical grid is generally done through the use of such tools as a Tarot deck, Oracle cards, the Runes of the Futhark, and the hexagrams of the I-Ching, to name but a few more popular systems. Depending upon how well the user is able to connect via their chosen system (practice and familiarity are also important here), the patterns revealed may be used to give insight into situations. How well the information offered in the divination is able to be understood will be dependent upon the experience of the Diviner. For the diviner to access the meaning, they must rely upon their ability to touch their subconscious to allow for clarity in linking the received message to the question that was posed. Intuition is everything.
The difficulty in Divination comes in interpreting the multifaceted layers of information that is relayed from our grid. Learning any system is fairly simple; becoming attuned to the subconscious in order to make sense of it however, takes practice. But it is a most wonderful journey of discovery.