I am going to list several divinatory methods, and although my list may seem a bit long...sure enough there are other methods out there... these are just the familiar ones, at least to me. Following each one with the basic description of each, I will list, in my opinion the merits and flaws of each. Of course this is based on my opinion, to each they may naturally feel at ease with one method that I may have indicated to be difficult. This is natural, in my opinion, for any divination method to work, one must be in tune and balanced. It should feel comfortable to the reader/user of the method being used. I do have to note, however, when it came to writing the flaws, it was a difficult task. Reason being, that what little flaws that were discovered by me are not necessarily going to be those of others. For as I have mentioned and believe, there are many different divination methods, and one should find one that they are comfortable with that works with them.
It is usually that a person does not do their own readings...as sometimes our own emotions can cloud our thinking, and blur the actual readings. But this is not saying that it cannot be done.

Choosing the correct divination tool for you to use: There are many to choose from, obviously. With my listing of opinions on its merits and flaws should not be used as grounds for choosing your tool. Instead one should choose one that they seem drawn to, or it appeals more to them. One should not choose more than two methods, for it takes a lot of concentration, meditation, and study to become familiar and use the method properly.

Before beginning, there are several steps that should be done...
1. A ritual should be done asking for assistance and guidance from the God and Goddess with your desire to use the method(s) to begin divination. Choose a Deity that is known for psychic abilities.
2. Whatever method you choose to divine with, it should be bought or made prior to the ritual. If possible it is better to make the tool. With the effort, skills and work put into making your tool, makes it more yours. However for those who rather not attempt to make it, buying the tool does not make it any less. Through meditation and the ritual, the tool becomes a part of you...
3. You should cleanse and consecrate the tool during the ritual, and if so be, dedicate the tool to a specific deity.
4. Every year, one should repeat the original ritual to build the capabilities.
5. Have some type of protection available for your tool. (Black wards off negativity.) Tools should be cleansed periodically depending on usage and readings. To cleanse your tool, one should allow the tool to sit in the moonlight for a few hours and then complete the cleansing by finishing with a few drops of holy water.

Different Divinatory Tools/Methods

Cartomancy:
Divination or "fortune telling" with cards. They could be the Tarot, Rune cards, The Celtic Tree Oracle (based on plants and trees), Phoenix deck (for past life readings), Medicine cards (which uses animal symbolism), etc. I have used the Tarot and Medicine cards. Merits: there are several ways to do a reading with Tarot cards, as well as different levels. One can be a beginner or as well be advanced. There are many different spreads...varying with your beliefs, as well as what type of reading one wants. Flaws: The cards' meanings are generalized. One should have a clear mind (usually best when doing any type of reading) while doing the reading. Yet the readings sometimes are vague. There are various spreads to do readings as well as to learn the different meanings of the cards. It DOES take time and practice.

Dowsing:
Divination by the use of a pendulum, metal rod, or forked stick. Merits: Excellent for seeking simple answers, especially to yes and no questions. As well as you can create your own answer chart. Also in my opinion this method is quite simple to use, and very easily learnable. Flaws: One flaw is that none of the answers are more than what is already answered before them. Meaning-you create the answer sheet and use the pendulum to find the answer...well if the answer is not on the sheet...you are going to be sitting bewildered for a while. And if one chooses not to use an answer chart...then one should know the motions and their meanings.

Numerology:
Divination by the use of numbers and calculations thereof. Merits: Pretty simple to use, anything from your birth date to your dreams can be used. Quite the assistant in astrology. Flaws: It pays to be good at math!! As well as knowledge as to what the numbers mean is a plus.

Geomancy:
Divination by the use of marks in the earth. Merits: I sense this as Natures way of telling you a message. Quite resourceful if you know what you are looking for. Flaws: One must be out in nature to observe this. Messages could be missed due to someone not paying attention. Focus has to be to search for the answers out there.

Astrological Geomancy:
Divination combining inner consciousness and astrology. Merits: Another great assistant in astrology. Flaws: One has to be in an open minded, meditative state. One should also know something of astrological charts and patterns.

I-Ching:
A divination vehicle using three coins or chips. This is the ancient system of Chinese wisdom often used in oracular divination. It consists of 64 hexagrams of solid and broken lines. The hexagram is determined by tossing three coins, three times by the inquirer. The I-Ching is based upon an entire philosophy of an unified and cyclical universe, the future develops according to fixed laws and numbers. In other words, there is no "coincidence" or "chance", but only causality. The I-Ching does not give definitive answers (similar to Tarot) but enables the inquirer to look within themselves for answers. Merits: Very good for business or financial matters. Also good for certain religions/beliefs that frown upon certain divination tools, such as Tarot. This seems quite harmless, and passes off as more of a game instead of what the person is really using it for. Flaws: One needs to know how to interpret the meanings of the patterns. And should have some type of text or guide that explains such...as to there are numerous patterns for the meanings to really be memorized.

Crystal Gazing:
Divination by using a crystal ball Merits: Very clear answers to the questions being sought. More of seeing the answer then trying to figure the answer out. Flaws: It takes time as well as clear thinking; deep meditation and the knowledge of a situation to see what possible outcomes may be... Crystal balls are more expensive the bigger they get. As with any tool, proper caution and handling should be seen to when using, however more precaution needs to be placed into the tool, the crystal ball. Scratches and flaws will affect usage.

Scrying:
Divination using a bowl of inked water, or a magick mirror. Merits: Similar to the crystal gazing. With the scrying, you are making your tool, which then in turn makes it more powerful, in my opinion to your hands. Again specific answers and situations can be seen. Flaws: Also similar to the crystal ball, meditation and clear thinking is a must. You must know what you are looking for. Also one must have the tools to make such items and as well know how to use them.

Fire Scrying:
Divination by gazing into the embers as you would a crystal ball, magick mirror and/or bowl of inked water. Merits: I find this to be another of a Natural divination. The fires' embers provides you the ability to look into the answers you seek. This method can also be very exhilarating as well as exhausting. It is excellent for usage with Covens and rituals. Flaws: Ummm... can only be done outdoors, unless of course you use a candle, but it takes more skill and practice to do such. One must be cautious to avoid burns.

Cauldron Scrying:
Divination by gazing into the steam rising from a pot of selected herbs and spices. Merits: Another natural divination tool. Another excellent tool that can be used with a complete coven during a ritual. Many images can be sought and discovered with this method. Flaws: One must have the herbs required to do such. One must be cautious to avoid burns. Other scrying methods are: sand patterns, seashells, liquor, candle wax, or smoke

Palmistry:
Divination by the examination of an individuals' hands. Merits: The reading is specifically meant for you, no outside influences are involved. Flaws: One must know what the lines, the mounts of the hand. One must be able to notice all little things such as coloration, cuts, and curves. Another flaw to palmistry is there is no specific seeking of certain answers.

Runes:
Divination by the use of stones or ceramic squares inscribed with the magickal alphabet of the Scandinavian, Germanic or Norse symbols Learning to read the Runes; The first step in learning to read the runes must be to get to know the runes themselves. This doesn't necessarily mean memorizing interpretations out of a book, although the literal meanings of the rune names should be memorized as a starting point. Instead, take one rune each day, starting with fehu and ending with oþila, and meditate on it. There are several exercises you can do daily to aid in this: word association with the rune names, visualization, physical connection with the rune, etc. Always keep a record of your rune readings in a journal. Merits: Excellent even for the beginner. This is excellent for dream analysis, spells, talismans, and seeking specific answers as well as typical reading. Flaws: One should know the meaning or have some reference to decipher what the runes mean. It's not quite as easy to draw a nine-rune cast as it is to record a tarot spread. But to be honest, this is another I really have no flaws with.

Dream Analysis:
Divination by the analyzing of ones dreams. Merits: Everyone dreams. Dreams can depict actual situations and clearly tell you what you need to/or/ should know. One can even set their minds to dream about specific things. Flaws: One needs to teach themselves how to recall their dreams as well as record them. Dreams can be altered due to foods eaten, stressful situations; as well they can be easily forgotten.

Tasseography:
Divination by the use of tea leaves left in a cup after the tea is drank. Merits: Simple method of divination. Easy to use even by a beginner. (The tea also aids in cleansing the body<G>) Flaws: Pictures seen by one person may not be the same as seen by another. As well as images could be confused as something other than what they are. Example, one person could see an image and refer to it as a book, yet in some manner, another person could see it as steps? So the predictions are as one sees them.

Graphology:
Divination by the study of an individuals' handwriting. Merits: No real special tools needed. The predictions and divination of graphology is another that is personal. Flaws: One needs to know how to read the writing and interpret the meanings. A disease or situation can cause disturbances in the manner one normally writes and thus giving a false reading.

Astromancy:
Divination by the study of an individuals' birth sign. Merits: This is one that is done by and accepted by many. It also is simple to configure. It gives a generalized reading.. Flaws: The generalized reading can be too vague. The reading is based on a span of time, instead of an individual date. Unless it is based specifically on the time and date of ones birth...it is too broad to be completely precise. One needs to be able to read astrological charts, configure the date of birth accurately to give a reading.

Domino Divination:
Simply as it is called, it is the divination through the use of dominos. Merits: Dominos are easily obtainable. Readings are based off the way the dominos are chosen and placed. Flaws: One needs to really know how to decipher what the dominos mean, have some type of reference available for deciphering. To me, domino divination is not a real method of divination...more so it appears as something fun to do. I have seen the reference for the meanings of the dominos and to me, it seems to be too complicated to determine what the domino means.

Dice Divination:
Again, divination through the use of dice. Merits: Similar to the domino, and also carries some traits of the pendulum. The dice are easily obtainable as well as you can create the baseboard on to which the dice fall upon and from that you decipher the reading. Flaws: Again a complex as well confusing method to divine with. I have also seen the meanings for the way and where the dice would fall...in my opinion, it is too complex to obtain a general or quick reading.
 
These of course, are generalized opinions based on my experience or trial with them. I have tried to be brief, yet self-explaining on my reasons. Perhaps a few of the flaws listed comes from the method on how I was taught, or the materials I used to attempt to use the tools. I mean none as a discouragement for their uses. As to each they shall find their own. I as well welcome any feedback and experiences you may have with one of the methods.

Brightest Blessings in your discoveries...
Copyright 2000
Briana Ashling
Used by Permission
 

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