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Author Topic: What form of divination is best for an absolute beginner?  (Read 1142 times)

CalicoNyanko

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What form of divination is best for an absolute beginner?
« on: June 25, 2016, 10:17:33 am »
Hi, I'm hoping I'm posting this on the right board, but here goes.

I'm interested in learning a form of divination, but I don't really know where to begin, or what form would be best for someone like me who is just starting out.  Does anyone have some advice on where to start, or pointers on how to choose the best form of divination for me?  Thank you!

Jenett

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Re: What form of divination is best for an absolute beginner?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2016, 11:24:55 am »
Quote from: CalicoNyanko;193155
Hi, I'm hoping I'm posting this on the right board, but here goes.

I'm interested in learning a form of divination, but I don't really know where to begin, or what form would be best for someone like me who is just starting out.  Does anyone have some advice on where to start, or pointers on how to choose the best form of divination for me?  Thank you!

 
Either this board (if you'd like people to keep to the Beginner Friendly rules) or the Divination board would be fine, I think. (If you'd like the thread moved to Divination, we can definitely do that for you.)

So, there's three things about divination systems in my experience:

1) Some of them are fairly simple to learn (at least the basics) and others are a lot more complex.

2) Some systems do better with different kinds of questions than others

3) Some systems may work better for *you* than others.

So, picking which divination methods you use or start by learning, is sort of a combination of how you feel about learning a more complex system, what kinds of questions you're interested in, and then trying some stuff out and seeing what works for you.

In my witchcraft training, my teachers did something that I think was pretty smart: we started with pendulums, and then later in the year, we spent more time on Tarot (we also touched on the basics of astrology and runes, enough that we could decide if we wanted to spend more time on them.)

Pendulums are an inexpensive way to get started (you can actually make one with a reasonably round stone or seed - we did it with horse chestnuts - and a bit of string, or you can buy stone and chain ones at a lot of places for not a lot of money.) The basics are very simple: ask the pendulum to show you what yes is, what no is, and what maybe or don't know are. And then you ask questions.

The trick, of course, is that this only works for questions where those are useful answers. It doesn't work as well for getting a broader view of a situation, or looking at a variety of possible outcomes, or influences.

You can expand the range of a pendulum by using charts (if you search for 'pendulum charts' images, you'll find tons of examples: the ones we used were similar to the ones on this page, though I don't necessarily agree with all the other comments on that page. I never had much luck with the ones with letters or numbers used to spell things out, personally.)

One of the great things about pendulums, though, is that it can give you lots of experience at forming questions, which can be a really important part of divination skills. They're so quick to use, you can do several questions in a session.

After that, though, it gets more complicated. I'm fond of the theory that suggests there are divination systems that are about the macrocosm (mostly forms of astrology: the effects of the larger universe on us), and microcosm (how we are affecting and interacting with the world near us: this is Tarot and Runes and oracle decks and so on.) A lot of people like eventually learning one system of each, because they're doing different things.

In terms of starting out, I do suggest starting with a widely used form of whatever kind: I don't care for the art on the Rider Waite Tarot deck, for example, but using a deck that mostly works with those symbol sets gives you a lot more resources (books, websites, etc.) you can use to help you than if you use a really specific deck that doesn't use that set of general symbols and meanings.

If you have a deck you're really set on, consider getting a book that talks about multiple decks and gives examples - both Rachel Pollack's Tarot Wisdom (huge, but packed with info that's useful for beginners but also experts) or Barbara Moore's Tarot for Beginners (much smaller and less overwhelming) do this well.

There are similar approaches for runes and astrology out there. (On the latter, I really recommend Ivo Dominguez's Practical Astrology for Witches and Pagans, which is one of the best overall intros I've seen, and manages to explain some complex concepts very clearly without simplifying in ways that make them harder to learn more about later.
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Re: What form of divination is best for an absolute beginner?
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2016, 11:47:30 am »
Quote from: Jenett;193156
Either this board (if you'd like people to keep to the Beginner Friendly rules) or the Divination board would be fine, I think. (If you'd like the thread moved to Divination, we can definitely do that for you.)

 
I'll note, too, that the Divination forum tends to be a fairly friendly place for beginners, even though the Beginner Friendly rules don't officially apply.

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Re: What form of divination is best for an absolute beginner?
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2016, 01:00:43 pm »
Quote from: CalicoNyanko;193155
Hi, I'm hoping I'm posting this on the right board, but here goes.

I'm interested in learning a form of divination, but I don't really know where to begin, or what form would be best for someone like me who is just starting out.  Does anyone have some advice on where to start, or pointers on how to choose the best form of divination for me?  Thank you!

 
I am fairly new to divination as well. 😊

To add to Jennett's excellent advice, I would ask a question; what are you working with now? As someone who grew up in the Christian church, bibliomancy came naturally to me (I actually didn't know that's what I was doing until I explored paganism.) I also felt a strong draw to tarot, but not runes. If someone worked with incense a good bit, maybe smoke scrying would be a good fit.
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RecycledBenedict

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Re: What form of divination is best for an absolute beginner?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2016, 07:01:44 pm »
Quote from: CalicoNyanko;193155
Hi, I'm hoping I'm posting this on the right board, but here goes.

I'm interested in learning a form of divination, but I don't really know where to begin, or what form would be best for someone like me who is just starting out.  Does anyone have some advice on where to start, or pointers on how to choose the best form of divination for me?  Thank you!


There exist several types of divination with cards.

It is possible to use an ordinary 52 card deck for divinatory purposes.

The 78 card tarot deck is famous, and there exist tarot decks in several different styles of art or esoteric thought. If you read a book written for one particular version of the tarot, some of its interpretations will not apply to all tarot decks, since ennumeration and graphic details will differ. I become very irritated when a tarot deck give the tarot trump Justice number 11 and the tarot trump Strength number 8, since that is so untraditional, and that is just one example among several.

I recommend Paul Huson's book Mystical Origins of the Tarot.

Another famous deck is the Lenormand deck - another deck produced in several artistic styles.

Astrology broke with the past in quite a severe way in the 1890s. Most books on the market treat the subject of the simplified (and slightly disfigured) astrology, that exist since the 1890s.

If you are interested in traditional astrology, there exist a growing number of books out there, but I am not sure if any of them are really suitable for beginners. With some hesitation, I mention Benjamin Dykes: Traditional Astrology for Today: An Introduction and John Frawley: The Real Astrology.

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