What is Divination? Divination is the art of using magickal tools and symbols to gather information from the collective unconscious on the nature of people, places, things and events in the past, present and future. It contacts the psychic mind by tricking or drowsing the conscious mind through ritual and by observing or manipulating tools.
Now, in English terminology: The use of your mind to see the past, present and future.
The tools help your subconscious mind (younger self) to see past what the conscious mind is telling it to see. You may see pictures as flashes or see it as a movie. It may be as continuous action or just blurbs of pictures. Not everyone "sees" either, some are more empathic and will have "feelings" instead of visions.
Divination is useful prior to working magic. Itís a good way to check to see if a spell is necessary or should even be used. (Maybe youíre not looking at the whole picture? Maybe there is something else involved that you hadn't thought of before?)
Once youíve found the tool you want to work with my recommendation is to start by learning all you can about that particular tool. Do research. Then find yourself a place to sit undisturbed (turn phones off) place the tool in your hands and feel the vibrations coming off it. (all things have vibrations)
A deck of interesting picture cards, or you can use a plain deck of cards. (I personally have never looked into using regular playing cards but I know others who use them, check with your library for books on Fortune Telling with a Regular Deck of cards) I recommend keeping your tarot wrapped in silk to protect them from outer vibrations when not in use. Also, when you first get your cards, leave them open to the moonlight on a full moon to cleanse them, and to charge them. (A large windowsill where they will be undisturbed is good, or some people have used the dashboard of their car!) You can also do this periodically as a cleansing, depending on how often you use them.
Tarot decks come from many different sources of artists. You need to look at all the cards to make sure you like the pictures. This sounds silly, but itís not. The pictures are actually what awaken your younger self. You will see more through the pictures on the cards to help you see the vision then you will really know from any book. Learn the cards and what they say to you. Then if youíre unsure of your results double check it with the book (all cards come with their own interpretations printed in a easy to read format in their corresponding book). There is a really good workbook called "The Tarot Workbook" by Emily Peach, and there are also other books and workshops that you can take to learn. But the best way is just to meditate and use them.
You can use a crystal ball or small chunks of crystals for this. You would simply light a candle and place the crystal above the flame (be careful not to place into the flame) you would gaze into the crystal and you will see shapes and pictures. Some people use just a crystal ball, and have the flame behind the ball, this method works well too, especially if you have your ball on a stand.
You may find yourself thinking at first that your mind is playing tricks on you but itís not. You are seeing things within this stone. This is also referred to as crystal gazing. If you donít have any crystals handy you can fill a black colored bowl with water and do water scrying. This works especially well if you can catch the light of the full moon in the bowl. Or even better, fill a black colored bowl with water and place a crystal in the center and then you will be surprised at what you see.
Anther form of scrying is done by simply staring into the flames of a fire until you are in an altered state of conciousness, and letting your intuitions and energies flow.
Cunningham puts out an easy book for learning all about crystals, Crystal, Gem and Metal Magic. Or if youíre more interested in crystal ball gazing, a good book is "The Crystal Ball" by Sibyl Ferguson.
You can use a pendulum or a forked stick or metal rods. This is excellent for yes and no questions. A pendulum can be anything really, from fishing line and a small weight, to a necklace with a crystal on the end. As long as it can be held in the hand and dangled, it can pretty much be used. Dowsing is rather exciting when done with a pendulum because you can design your own charts for answers and it is really a very flexible tool. There are some who use these dowsing tools to locate lost items. In ancient times a dowsing rod made out of a forked stick would be used to locate water for the best planting location. A good book for pendulums is called "Beyond Pendulum Power" by Greg Nielsen.
The Earth has various laylines upon her. These lines are looked at with special maps and used to divine the past, present and future of the Earth. Astrological Geomancy is combining astrology and geomancy wherein a set of random dots are correlated to type out an astrological chart.
Now this is also an interesting and very useful tool. It is the study of an individual's script or handwriting. This is extremely useful in all aspects of life. Have you ever wondered what a person is really like before you become involved with them? This handwriting analysis can tell you what the person is like right now. Word of caution here: Be careful that you use a book to verify your accuracy. Every formation of each letter, how it falls on the line, if itís open, closed, slanted and all placements mean something. A good book for this isGraphology Explained, A Workbook" or "Handwriting Analysis" by Anna Aab, which is presently out of print.
This tool is the use of three coins or chips. Once tossed, a linear pattern is determined by the right or wrong side of each coin. Coins are tossed several times to determine a single pattern. You can purchase these coins or you can simply use three dimes to create the symbols. A book to learn the patterns and the symbols is "I Ching In Ten Minutes" by R.T. Kaser.
This is the use of numbers and the calculations of them. Anything from your birth date and address to dream analysis can be used. Tarologists and astrologists often will use numerology to give a more complete reading. There are many different number lists out there to be used. Find the one that best suits you. You can learn the number system that best suits you and then use this to help you decide on when is it a good day to do business, study, vacation, all aspects of your life. It can also help you to learn what you may need to be working on, your strong points and your weak points, by simply applying the number system to your birth given name. A book on this subject is called "Thru the Numbers" by Paul & Valeta Rice.
This is done by the examination of an individual's hands. Every person has different hands. Just like our finger prints, no two hands are alike. This is done by looking at the shape, texture, size and lines of the hands and fingers to determine the person's past, present and future. There is a really good workbook for this called "The Palmistry Workbook" by Nathaniel Altman.
The use of stones or ceramic tiles inscribed with a magical alphabet of the Germanic, Scandinavian or Norse symbols as a divination tool is extremely old. Runes are excellent for dream analysis, spells, and talismans, as well as for general divination. Out there now are some great looking runes with good books to help you understand all the symbols and the placements of the runes when shaken and thrown. In the past we've made our own runes out of sculpey clay and adding a tiny stone that best suited the meaning of each rune. Runes can be made from anything that is small enough that you can hold at least 21 of them in both your hands at one time. You hold the runes in your hands while thinking of your question and then throw them down on to your work space. Then itís a matter of reading the symbols and placements of the runes as they have fallen. One book on Runes is "The Magic of the Runes" by Michael Howard.
This is a more esoteric form of divination, useful after doing candle magick. You would allow your taper candle to totally burn out all the way, leaving the drippings as they form, and then examine them closely. Look for patterns or pictures that suggest themselves to you. This can be used to determine how successful your candle magick spell is likely to be. As a different form to determine other future events, you can drip candle wax into a bowl of water and determine the shapes and pictures that it suggests to you.
As you can see there are many, many forms that divination can take, they are only limited to your imagination! Many people also use omens (such as animals or other signs that "cross their path" during the day) as divination tools. But whatever you choose to use, remember to practice, practice and more practice! Get yourself some friends who are willing to be "guinea pigs" for you and have fun. I also recommend that if any of these forms of divination interests you please go to your local library and do some research. You'll be glad you did.