Posted in Witchy Tips

Oracle: The Basics of Divination

What is an Oracle?

An oracle is a person, psychic or witch that uses their extrasensory abilities to attempt to foretell the fortunes of others through various forms of divination. Usually an Oracle focuses on one to three main types of divination and hones those skills, while others like to dabble in a little bit of everything. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.

What is Divination?

Divination, as defined in the dictionary, is the practice of attempting to foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge by occult or supernatural means, augury; prophecy, and perception by intuition; instinctive foresight.

Where do I start?

Personally, I would recommend starting with something simple. The three best kinds of divination for witchlings, in my opinion, are Pendulum Reading, Tarot and Runes.


What is Pendulum Reading?

Pendulums are made up of a crystal carved to a point and either a chain or rope. The photo on the left depicts my two pendulums (bloodstone and opalite) and my pendulum board. A Pendulum Reading is a type of divination where yes or no questions are asked of either the pendulum itself, or of a spirit, entity or deity with the pendulum acting as a conduit.

How do I use a Pendulum?

First, its always a good idea to cleanse any item you plan to use in your magical practice. The easiest way to do this is to hold it in your palm and visualize a white glowing light washing over it and purifying it. To perform a reading, hold the pendulum completely still in the center of your board or over a flat surface. Make your associations clear, for example, if you want a vertical swing to mean yes and a horizontal swing to mean no, say so. Then, ask your questions. If done properly and with enough practice, the pendulum should swing noticeably enough in one direction or the other for you to get a good answer. tarot reading

What is Tarot?

According to Wikipedia, Tarot is  is a pack of playing cards, used from the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe to play games such as Italian tarocchini and French tarot. In the late 18th century, it began to be used for divination in the form of tarotology/cartomancy.

How do I do a Tarot Reading?

That depends on your personal preference and the deck you choose. Some oracle cards do not operate the exact same way as the mainstream major/minor arcana 78 deck tarot cards. For a detailed run down of how to get started with Tarot, check out my Beginner’s Guide to Tarot post here.

What are Runes?all-runes

The term ‘Rune’ means ‘Secret, Whisper or Mystery’ and are Norse in origin. The legend goes that Odin, the All Father, suspended himself upside down from the Tree of Life, Yggdrasil, in order to gain enlightenment and revelation. After nine days and nights of this, it is said that he saw the runes suddenly appear at his feet. Runes are traditionally used for divination. The most common found rune set comes with 24 rune stones and is known as the Elder Futhark. You can also find rune sets with 25 stones, the 25th one being a blank stone known as the Wyrd stone, but this was a more recent addition. Each rune has a special meaning and a connection with a specific deity in the Nordic pantheon.

How do I cast and read Rune Stones?

Casting Runes can seem pretty intimidating, but its pretty easy once you get the hang of it. It is important to handle your rune stones with care and reverence. The best way to get well acquainted with your set of runes is to do a ‘daily draw’, that is, once a day draw a single rune from the bag, just like you would for a single card tarot draw. This will also help you to become more familiar with each individual rune’s meanings and interpretations. Some like to ask a specific questions, but because runes have a much more complex meaning than just ‘yes’ or ‘no’, the wording of a question can be important. Don’t ask questions like, ‘Will I have a good day?’ but instead word it to be something like, ‘Please give me insight into today’s events.’ You can, however, ask a yes or no question but instead of interpreting the runes, you receive the answer simply by determining whether or not the stone is in the upright position, which would mean a yes, or is inverted, which would be a no. For detailed instructions on Rune Stones, their meanings and how to read them, see my Beginner’s Guide to Runes here!

Okay, got it. What next?

Next, you should expand upon your skills! Some other awesome types of divination you could try as a newbie would be Crystal Scrying, Nephelomancy, Shufflemancy and Palmistry. flourite

What is Crystal Scrying?

Crystal Scrying, or Gazing, is the use of crystals to peek into the future. By staring into a slightly transparent crystal for a long period of time, you can start to pick out certain shapes, and interpret them into what they mean for you personally. The best crystals for Scrying, in my opinion, are Quartz, Fluoirite, Citrine and Calcite.

What is Nephelomancy?

Also called Aeromancy, Nephelomancy is the art of Cloud Reading or Cloud Scrying. You pick out shapes and interpret them. The colors of the clouds, shape of the clouds, and types of clouds all play a role in the overall meaning of the reading. You can see more details on Nephelomancy at the end my Stormcraft post. 

What is Shufflemancy?

Shufflemancy is one of the favorite forms of divination for tech and urban witches, as all you need to do it is your phone or mp3 player. You just put your music library on shuffle and the first song that plays is what should be interpreted. For example, I put my Itunes library on shuffle, and this is the song that played. Which is ironic, I think, because it’s actually currently raining where I live. You should also take into account what the song, personally, means to you. Do you have any memory associations with it? Does it relate to any specific emotion you feel? Is it nostalgic or sentimental? How so? For example, this song makes me feel a little melancholy, it reminds me of a time in my life when I was very alone and spent a lot of time on my own, longing to be loved and longing to heal from recent traumas. I also used to fall asleep to this song a lot. So, for me, I interpret this song as a sign that I need to stop and rest, to forgive myself and give myself a break, as well as focus on all the good things that have happened, instead of the bad.

What is Palmistry?hand

Palmistry, or chiromancy is the claim of characterization and foretelling the future through the study of the palm, also known as palm reading or chirology. The practice is found all over the world, with numerous cultural variations. Those who practice chiromancy are generally called palmists, palm readers, hand readers, hand analysts, or chirologists. I plan to do an in detailed post about Palmistry here very soon.




24 year old Mvskoke Creek Two Spirit Artist and Author.

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