July 5, 2022

The Art of Divination

The Art of Divination

What is divination?

According to the Oxford dictionary it is the practice of seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means.

Found in all civilizations, both ancient and modern, it is encountered most frequently in contemporary mass society in the form of horoscopes, astrology, crystal gazing, tarot cards, pendulums, divination rods and the Ouija board.

Divination and the belief in the power of the divining rod can be traced back to ancient Greeks and Romans and their acceptance of ‘wish- rods’ as a way of discerning the dishes of the Gods. Numerous written accounts from this period allude to such objects- the staff of Hermes for example being shown as a forked rod. Publicus Cornelius Tacitus, a Roman historian and Governor, wrote of the arts of divination by rods in ‘ The Germany and the Agricola of Tacitus.’ One of the earliest references to the use of the pendulum as a divining object, in any detail, is contained in a work by Ammianus Marcellinus- a Roman historian who wrote a history of the Roman Empire from the ascension of Nervia to the death of Valens. During the course of this he recounted a story of a group of conspirators apprehended for the assassination of an Emperor. One member apprehended describes the method used to discover the name of the Emperor’s successor. He related how a priest suspended a ring by a fine thread over a circular platter with the letters of the alphabet arranged around the rim. The ring (held by the priest) would oscillate and point to letters and consequently name Theodorus as successor. 

As investigators in the paranormal we are familiar and used to equipment such as digital recorders and K-II meters but few may incorporate techniques such as scrying through mediums like crystals and water; few will incorporate tarot, pendulums, divination rods etc. These can prove just as valuable as the more easily recognised gadgets advertised for use by those exploring the paranormal. Whilst they may be less technical to operate they can sometimes prove to be more reactive in fact during investigations. 

To incorporate tools such as divination rods first of all establish what would be a yes or a no response. Hold the rods in each hand and allow them to move freely- you may see them move to the left, the right or even cross. To establish responses you can begin by asking more obvious and closed questions to which you are clear on the answer. Incorporate into that language indicating the rods can move to the left if yes and the right if no. You can repeat this a number of times to build confidence in the technique. After you have set your responses then you can begin asking questions linked to the history and potential hauntings of the location. 

So why not branch out and incorporate some of these in future investigations or spiritual practice?