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Author Topic: Creating a Divination System  (Read 1834 times)

Aster Breo

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Creating a Divination System
« on: March 03, 2015, 02:01:24 am »
When creating a brand new divination system, what are the main considerations?  

If using an image based system (like cards or icons on disks/stones/etc.) are there specific concepts that should be included in the images?

For those who have created a system or are considering doing so, what process are you using?  What are its pros and cons?
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Kylara

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Re: Creating a Divination System
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2015, 09:23:25 am »
Quote from: Aster Breo;172250
When creating a brand new divination system, what are the main considerations?  

If using an image based system (like cards or icons on disks/stones/etc.) are there specific concepts that should be included in the images?

For those who have created a system or are considering doing so, what process are you using?  What are its pros and cons?

 
I sort of did my own, based on a set of cards someone called witch cards.  The original was 25 cards, and each card was divided into quarters diagonally (so an X drawn from corner to corner).  If you laid out the cards next to each other, you would have boxes formed from the sections of the X, and each box would be half on one card and half on the other.  Each box had an image in it.  So you would put the cards face down, shuffle them around, then lay them out in a square, and turn them all face up.  You interpreted the images that matched up, and you could rotate any of the little squares to make images match, but not move their position in the grid.

I took that concept, and did my own images, but I only did 16 (mainly because as I was writing out my list of 'symbols that have good meaning for me...and that I can draw" i sort of stalled out around 15, so didn't want to try to push for another 10 and have things I didn't really connect with.

For me, the big thing was I wanted symbols that were personal and had solid meanings for me...but also that were not so specific that they couldn't have room for interpretation.  So I chose things like Key, Doorway, Rainbow, Tree.  It ended up being a really neat little deck, and I am very glad I made it.

But my big thing for divination of any kind is that it has to appeal to me.  The images have to be ones I like, and they have to be ones I can connect with.  I've seen tons of lovely decks that just weren't my style of image, and weren't something I thought I could work with well.  So when thinking about my own divination systems, that is kind of what I thought of.

I actually made divination sets for friends this year for Yule.  One of my friends had asked for the card set I described above, and I kind of took that one and ran with it.  I made one set of cards where each card had a different Zentangle on it, figuring it could be a sort of meditation focus deck.  I made one for a friend that does Minoan stuff, based off an old Minoan symbol tablet (so that one is a circle with symbols drawn on it, for tossing tokens or using a pendulum over).  I made one set with Pennsylvania Dutch Hex signs for a friend who really likes country style things.  And the final set was with Arabic letters (and zentangles for added design) for a friend who is big in linguistics and works with Arabic.

So there is a lot of room to be creative!
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Altair

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Re: Creating a Divination System
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2015, 10:11:55 am »
Quote from: Aster Breo;172250
When creating a brand new divination system, what are the main considerations?  

If using an image based system (like cards or icons on disks/stones/etc.) are there specific concepts that should be included in the images?

For those who have created a system or are considering doing so, what process are you using?  What are its pros and cons?

 

I've considered trying to create one using the symbol system from my mythos (see my signature, below), since each symbol represents not only a divine entity but also the core concepts that go with them. For example, the Earth symbol in the lower left corner of the triangle represents not only the earth goddess but also mother, life, and birth.

I'm not sure there are enough symbols (17, if one counts the double logarithmic spirals that make up the outer ring, and a circle for the outer ring itself) for an effective system, though. It might be easy to augment it with some other symbols I find meaningful, such as alchemical symbols for the 4 elements, etc.

I'll be curious to see what others have to say. Kylara's post was really inspiring, and suggested some interesting ways to make cards interact based on position or orientation.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Aster Breo

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Re: Creating a Divination System
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2015, 01:28:37 pm »
Quote from: Kylara;172257
I sort of did my own, based on a set of cards someone called witch cards.  The original was 25 cards, and each card was divided into quarters diagonally (so an X drawn from corner to corner).  If you laid out the cards next to each other, you would have boxes formed from the sections of the X, and each box would be half on one card and half on the other.  Each box had an image in it.  So you would put the cards face down, shuffle them around, then lay them out in a square, and turn them all face up.  You interpreted the images that matched up, and you could rotate any of the little squares to make images match, but not move their position in the grid.

That sounds like a fascinating system.  Do you have any idea if those cards are still published? (I'll be googling them when I can. ;-) )

Quote from: Kylara;172257
I took that concept, and did my own images, but I only did 16 (mainly because as I was writing out my list of 'symbols that have good meaning for me...and that I can draw" i sort of stalled out around 15, so didn't want to try to push for another 10 and have things I didn't really connect with.

I'd LOVE to see examples, if you'd be willing to share pics. This sounds very interesting.

Quote from: Kylara;172257
For me, the big thing was I wanted symbols that were personal and had solid meanings for me...but also that were not so specific that they couldn't have room for interpretation.  So I chose things like Key, Doorway, Rainbow, Tree.  It ended up being a really neat little deck, and I am very glad I made it.

I agree about the symbolism needing to be something you connect to.  How specific were you about the images?  Did it have to be a particular kind of key or tree, f'ex, or a generic looking one, or would any kind suffice?

Quote from: Kylara;172257
But my big thing for divination of any kind is that it has to appeal to me.  The images have to be ones I like, and they have to be ones I can connect with.  I've seen tons of lovely decks that just weren't my style of image, and weren't something I thought I could work with well.  So when thinking about my own divination systems, that is kind of what I thought of.

Agreed.  I have Lenormand decks in several styles, but only styles of art that I find attractive. If I don't like looking at the cards, I don't want to read them. (Which sounds really basic, but I think sometimes people don't realize that at first. I think part of the reason I don't like tarot is that I tried to learn it initially with the Rider-Waite deck, which is not a style that appeals to me visually.)

Quote from: Kylara;172257
I actually made divination sets for friends this year for Yule.  One of my friends had asked for the card set I described above, and I kind of took that one and ran with it.  I made one set of cards where each card had a different Zentangle on it, figuring it could be a sort of meditation focus deck.  I made one for a friend that does Minoan stuff, based off an old Minoan symbol tablet (so that one is a circle with symbols drawn on it, for tossing tokens or using a pendulum over).  I made one set with Pennsylvania Dutch Hex signs for a friend who really likes country style things.  And the final set was with Arabic letters (and zentangles for added design) for a friend who is big in linguistics and works with Arabic.

That's awesome!!!

Were all of those sets based on the same method of reading, or did you devise different ways of reading for different sets or people?

Quote from: Kylara;172257
So there is a lot of room to be creative!

Indeed!
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

Aster Breo

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Re: Creating a Divination System
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2015, 01:40:35 pm »
Quote from: Altair;172259
I've considered trying to create one using the symbol system from my mythos (see my signature, below), since each symbol represents not only a divine entity but also the core concepts that go with them. For example, the Earth symbol in the lower left corner of the triangle represents not only the earth goddess but also mother, life, and birth.

I'm not sure there are enough symbols (17, if one counts the double logarithmic spirals that make up the outer ring, and a circle for the outer ring itself) for an effective system, though. It might be easy to augment it with some other symbols I find meaningful, such as alchemical symbols for the 4 elements, etc.

This is kinda-sorta like something I'm toying with right now, too.

What about breaking your symbols into component parts to create additional symbols? So, f'ex, looking at the symbols on the cover of your book, you could use the crescent alone, in addition to the crescent inside the circle. Or the circle and half circle by themselves. Or the dot that appears in two of the symbols. Or the + and/or the × (depending on whether you consider those to be the same symbol or if the change in orientation gives them different meanings, as in math).

Another idea, given the symbolism within the book might be to use some mathematical and/or scientific symbols -- "e", "i", pi, infinity, etc.

Does color matter? The same symbol in a different color could have a different shade of meaning or even a completely different meaning.

Just brainstorming... ;-)

Quote from: Altair;172259
I'll be curious to see what others have to say. Kylara's post was really inspiring, and suggested some interesting ways to make cards interact based on position or orientation.

Definitely!
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Fier

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Re: Creating a Divination System
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2015, 02:42:12 pm »
Quote from: Kylara;172257

I took that concept, and did my own images,


That system sounds really interesting! Thanks for sharing.

Quote
For me, the big thing was I wanted symbols that were personal and had solid meanings for me...but also that were not so specific that they couldn't have room for interpretation.

 
So I am wondering, if one was going to create their own system based on their own personal symbols, what MEANINGS should be covered? Regardless of the symbols used, I am sure that most divination systems probably include a lot of the same meanings (love, finance, ect.)

This is a questions for anyone, not just Kylara.

Aster Breo

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Re: Creating a Divination System
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2015, 03:01:28 pm »
Quote from: Fier;172280
So I am wondering, if one was going to create their own system based on their own personal symbols, what MEANINGS should be covered? Regardless of the symbols used, I am sure that most divination systems probably include a lot of the same meanings (love, finance, ect.)

This is a questions for anyone, not just Kylara.

I'm very interested in that, too. That's what I meant when I asked what concepts should be included in the symbols.

I think we could use existing systems to compile a list of basic concepts, like love, relationships,  beginnings, endings, pain, obstacles, journeys, etc.  

Does anyone have thoughts about good starting places for a list like that?
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Altair

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Re: Creating a Divination System
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2015, 03:26:33 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;172275

What about breaking your symbols into component parts to create additional symbols? So, f'ex, looking at the symbols on the cover of your book, you could use the crescent alone, in addition to the crescent inside the circle. Or the circle and half circle by themselves. Or the dot that appears in two of the symbols. Or the + and/or the × (depending on whether you consider those to be the same symbol or if the change in orientation gives them different meanings, as in math)....

Just brainstorming... ;-)



These are *great* ideas! Esp. since some of the components you mention already have meaning:

  • From the full circle symbol of the Great Goddess, half circles arranged in different configurations are used to make the symbols for each of Her 3 male aspects--the symbols on the 3 sides of the triangle--so a half circle already means "a variation of".
  • The dot both signifies an eye (the sun as an eye [the symbol at 11 o'clock], and eyes on the face of an owl [symbol at 7:00]) and stands for intensification, for a focused expression of their masters' abilities (the ultimate in power and the ultimate in knowledge, respectively). So a dot card modifying other cards could be interpreted either as "this is especially strong" or as a signal to the card reader to look at this closely, pay special attention here.
  • The +/x symbolizes the inextricable link between life (earth goddess symbol at 8:00) and death (death goddess symbol at 4:00). As cards on their own, without the circles, they could signify affirmation/negation. Or maybe let the orientation of a given card do that itself?

Anyway, just for showing me what was right under my nose, Aster, you're a genius!
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Altair

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Re: Creating a Divination System
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2015, 03:49:00 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;172281
I'm very interested in that, too. That's what I meant when I asked what concepts should be included in the symbols.

I think we could use existing systems to compile a list of basic concepts, like love, relationships,  beginnings, endings, pain, obstacles, journeys, etc.  

Does anyone have thoughts about good starting places for a list like that?


Maybe take a look at the meanings attached to the runes? That might be a decent starting point.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Aster Breo

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Re: Creating a Divination System
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2015, 04:44:22 pm »
Quote from: Altair;172282
Anyway, just for showing me what was right under my nose, Aster, you're a genius!

Ha!  Hardly!  :-P

But I'm glad I could help. I hope you'll share your system when you get it set up.
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

Aster Breo

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Re: Creating a Divination System
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2015, 04:52:29 pm »
Quote from: Altair;172283
Maybe take a look at the meanings attached to the runes? That might be a decent starting point.

Great idea!  I was thinking of looking at the symbol set in Lenormand cards. Now I'm thinking it would be a good idea to look at several systems -- like Lenormand, runes, ogham -- to see where the commonalities are, as well as ideas for the more unusual concepts.
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Breeze

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Re: Creating a Divination System
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2015, 05:31:35 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;172288
Great idea!  I was thinking of looking at the symbol set in Lenormand cards. Now I'm thinking it would be a good idea to look at several systems -- like Lenormand, runes, ogham -- to see where the commonalities are, as well as ideas for the more unusual concepts.


This is how I plan to go about it when I get around to it.  I've had an idea for a strictly Brighidine divination system for a while now, I just haven't made the time to really plan it out yet.  I plan on looking at runes, ogham, astrology (basics of the signs and what not), tarot, and other systems to try to get a feel for the most common and pertinent to me symbols/energies/meanings/what-have-you.

Aster Breo

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Re: Creating a Divination System
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2015, 05:52:07 pm »
Quote from: Breeze;172293
This is how I plan to go about it when I get around to it.  I've had an idea for a strictly Brighidine divination system for a while now

That's what I've been thinking about, too.

If you have any interest in brainstorming or comparing notes, I'd love to!

Also, are you familiar with Ceri Norman's Brighid Oracle? (It's on Amazon.) If so, what do you think of it?
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Re: Creating a Divination System
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2015, 10:00:46 am »
Quote from: Kylara;172257
I sort of did my own, based on a set of cards someone called witch cards.  The original was 25 cards, and each card was divided into quarters diagonally (so an X drawn from corner to corner).  If you laid out the cards next to each other, you would have boxes formed from the sections of the X, and each box would be half on one card and half on the other.  Each box had an image in it.  So you would put the cards face down, shuffle them around, then lay them out in a square, and turn them all face up.  You interpreted the images that matched up, and you could rotate any of the little squares to make images match, but not move their position in the grid.

That sounds like the Russian Gypsy Fortunetelling Cards.

Sunflower
« Last Edit: March 04, 2015, 10:01:34 am by SunflowerP »
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Aster Breo

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Re: Creating a Divination System
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2015, 10:08:56 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;172362
That sounds like the Russian Gypsy Fortunetelling Cards.

Sunflower

Ooooooo! Thanks!

Those look fascinating! They're definitely going on my list.  ;-)
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