The Spinster Aunt
This seems like a fairly good time of year to be talking about divination. What is it, why do we do it, and what's in it for us? Lots of people think it's a way of avoiding responsibility - if the future is preordained, we might as well go back to bed.
Of course, that's not it at all. Divination is the use of any one of several methods to obtain information which is not directly accessible to the conscious mind of the person asking the question. Whether you use cards, crystals, a pendulum, ink, lead, dice, the flight of birds or anything else, what you are really doing is opening your end of a channel to higher wisdom. I consider the "actual" source of that wisdom irrelevant and immaterial; it could be one's own subconscious, the collective unconscious, the Gods' will, telepathic insight, or a big computer buried in the Balkans. It's still additional information which is not as tainted by ego and intellect's limitations as most.
So what do we do with it? The same things we do with any other information; add it to what we already know and develop a synthesis that can help us do our decision-making. The easiest way to analyze the process is with a concrete (well, maybe Jell-O) example:
A young man has been between relationships for some time. He wants very much to link up with the great love of his life, but is not aware of anyone on the horizon. He is putting himself in a position to meet new people, presenting himself as attractively as he can, and generally taking care of business, but no results. He has to decide whether to take a work-related course at night or not. It will take a lot of time and there are not likely to be any women attending. His progressed horoscope is neutral. He gets his cards read. They say:
- Nothing at all about love, but a lot about skilled craftsman- ship and satisfaction through work. He decides to relax and wait for a better time, takes the course, and is rewarded with a modest promotion which enhances his satisfaction with his job.
- A lot about increasing social activities, leading to the start of a new romance, leading to great happiness and satisfaction after some difficulties are resolved. He does not take the course, and meets a really nice interesting lady at a party given by a friend (which he couldn't have attended had he taken the course).
- That he is overlooking sources of emotional gratification in his current situation. Given the information, he starts looking around and discovers that one of his quieter friends is a really thoughtful and insightful person who helps him learn to know himself better, and that a young cousin needs a mentor and this relationship gives him a lot of pleasure and fulfillment. He begins to feel much more ready for a good relationship, and much less impatient to have one start.
These examples illustrate the point made above; divination provides you with choices, and you take the consequences, no matter what the oracles say. Treat them with respect, not adoration or blind compliance, and may they always show you the truth.
The Spinster Aunt from RMPJ 12/86
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The I Ching
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- Pattee, Rowena. Moving With Change. (Arkana, 1986). Interesting approach to oriental divination. Cards also available.
- Ponce, Charles. The Nature of the I Ching, Its Usage and Interpretation. (Award Books, 1970).
- Trosper, Barry R. and Gin-Hua Leu. I Ching: The Illustrated Primer. (KGI Publications, 1986).
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- Blum, Ralph. The Book of Runes. (St. Martin's Press, 1982). Set comes with a set of runestones.
- Osborn, Marijane and Stella Longland. Rune Games. (Routledge & Kegan Paul, Ltd. 1982).
- Hope, Murray. The Way of Cartouche. (St. Martin's Press, 1985). Set comes with cards.