Divination is the practice of consulting some form of an oracle for messages, answers, or predictions of the future. Popular methods for divination include the tarot, I Ching, scrying, and runes (runes will be covered in Chapter 9). Most Wiccans use some form of divination before a spell to determine if it will have the desired outcome. Some also do a morning divination to see how the day will go, or if there is a particular message to focus on for the day.
Tarot is one of the most popular forms of divination. A tarot deck consists of seventy-eight
cards: twenty-two Major Arcana and fifty-six Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana represent
archetypes and reflect the life cycle. When they appear in a spread, they are considered
to have a stronger influence than the Minor Arcana cards. The Minor Arcana has four
suits, and roughly corresponds to a standard deck of playing cards. The four original
suits were coins, staffs, wands, and swords, but many modern decks have updated the
suits as pentacles, wands, cups, and swords. Each suit is related to specific attributes,
and has the numbers one through ten, plus an ace, page, knight, queen, and king.
I Ching, the Book of Changes
The I Ching, also known as the Book of Changes, is a very complicated Chinese divination system. At over 4,000 years old, it is the first form of divination known to man. I Ching is comprised of a set of sixty-four hexagrams that translate the knowledge of the subconscious to the conscious mind. The six-line hexagrams are based on the binary yin/yang symbol. To create a hexagram, stocks or coins are tossed into the air and the order in which they land is compared against a book containing the meanings of the sixty-four symbols and the various interrelations of all the possible line combinations.
Gaze into a Crystal Ball or Scrying Mirror
Scrying is a form of divination performed by gazing into a crystal ball, a bowl of water, a flame, or a scrying mirror. As you do so, you think of a question, quiet the mind, and stare into the device until an answer is received. The answer could be a picture you see, or it may appear in your mind. It could also be auditory.
Scrying is usually done in a darkened room. If you want to use a scrying mirror, you can make your own. All you need is a glass side-table topper that you can paint black on one side. Set a candle in the middle and then stare into the reflection of the flame with a question in mind.
Wiccan practices take a variety of forms. Together with celebrations, beliefs, and tools, the four elements form the basis of the Wiccan faith. Other Neo-Pagan faiths, such as Asatru, may seem to have similar elements, but they are applied in a different way.