I got my start into divination back in the late nineties when I had a couple of premonitions that came to be. I mentioned these premonitions to a friend saying “It’s almost like I’m psychic”. When she suggested that I might be, my response was “Huh?”! Keep in mind that I was an engineer and raised Catholic, so my knowledge of psychics and the occult, in general, was limited or skewed at best. However, being an open-minded individual, I decided to entertain the notion and asked what I was supposed to do to develop my so-called “psychic abilities”. She suggested I buy a deck of tarot cards. My only experience with cards was a few years earlier when I got a reading from my sister who was starting to dabble in the esoteric arts, so I figured it could not hurt.
I just so happened to live around the corner from an occult/new age shop, so I wandered down there the next day to pick up a deck, but I returned the following day to buy a different deck. The story of the first deck is a subject for another article entirely. Nevertheless, I had ventured into the occult world of divination that night. I started to read for anyone who would want a reading because I was excited about this new “toy”.
Initially, like most first time readers, I used the little booklet that comes with the deck and tried hard to memorise the meaning of all the cards. The shop owner had told me to throw the booklet away and just read the cards. This was difficult because there is a lot of symbology in the cards and if you don’t know what the symbols represent, how can you possibly understand the meaning? However, once I got comfortable with the cards, I stopped relying on the booklet, although I was still working from the memorised meanings. It wasn’t until a few years later that I just looked at the images and went with my “gut instinct”.
I started investigating other forms of divination like astrology, numerology and runes. Astrology and numerology appealed to my engineering side, so I did not use much intuition with those methods at first. It was my study of the runes that brought my divination to a new standard. At first, I did not find my rune readings to be very good despite the reassurances of my peers but something started to happen during the rune readings. I do not cast the runes according to traditional techniques. I get the client to pick out 9 runes and they toss them. I noticed while the clients were picking out the runes, I began to sense the purpose of the reading – stress, anxiety, relationship issues.
Over time, I started to develop a line of thinking, or understanding, based on a couple of concepts: the first concept is that everything is interrelated and the second concept is that there are no coincidences. Everything happens for a reason.
I also do energy work and this is where the first concept that everything is related became obvious (to me). Some people I knew appeared to have physical manifestations of mental or emotional issues. I discovered by explaining how their issue is likely tied to the pain, it would help the person through the healing process. This interrelationship was clearly evident when I had clients who came for both a reading and a healing.
With respect to divination, the interrelationship was shown to me when I worked a mini-psychic fair. There were three of us using different techniques: tarot, astrology and palmistry. One client came to see all of us with me being the last and mentioned that she got the same information. I, too, have received the same information from different readers who were using different methods. For me, this meant that no matter what form of divination you use, the answer will be, if not the same, very similar.
The second concept weighs in when working with divining tools such as horary astrology, tarot and runes. Why do the appropriate cards, runes or charts come up to describe a specific situation that has already transpired or is currently happening? Sceptics will argue that it is just “coincidence”. It cannot be “just coincidence” every time this occurs when I do a reading or have one done for me! I prefer to use the word “synchronistic”.
My favourite story about synchronicity was when I was looking for a shaft for a besom (witch’s broom). My astrology teacher had asked me to make one for her 60th birthday. I was on my regular nine kilometre run when I stopped by a willow, which I consider to be my Hecate tree (the willow is sacred to that goddess), to see if there were any suitable sticks lying about. All of them were brittle, so I said to the tree to be on the look-out for any good ones. Five minutes later as I continued on my run, making my way through a wooded path, a branch fell right in front of me and I had to side step it. I stopped. I went back. I broke off the brittle ends (the lessons of the brittle sticks around the willow) and now I had nice crooked broom stick! I finished my run with the stick in hand. The broom shaft literally dropped in front of me.
As far as divination goes, I have read of several interesting techniques. There are people who read chicken bones. Henry Cornelius Agrippa, the fifteenth century occultist, mentions several methods in his Three Books of Occult Philosophy one of which is divination by using livers. The ancient Romans would ritually kill a calf before a battle and read its liver to determine if the outcome would be favourable. There is a form of divination where you get the querent to poke holes in the ground with a stick and you read the patterns made. Also, the Roman augurs would look to the patterns of birds flying by when you left your home. I think it is because I’m an engineer that I try to figure out why things work, so my mind started to process this nebulous world of the occult.
The more I continued with my tarot card readings the more I began to notice that I needed images combined with the card number (Six of Wands, King of Cups) to get a good reading. I have seen expressions of the characters on the cards change between readings. When I’m asked if Tarot cards really work, I usually answer that the cards do not work but rather they trigger the psychic abilities of the reader. I eventually came to the conclusion that it’s not the medium, it’s the Medium! In other words, it does not matter what tool you use, if you have good psychic ability then the messages will come.
I finally got the opportunity to prove this theory on someone. I was at a function when a friend mentioned she had wanted to get a rune reading from me at another event but there was a long line up and she did not have the time to wait. I said to her “no problem” and asked if she had time for a reading. We were at a pub and she asked if I had my runes with me to which I responded “No” but I lead her to a booth. I instructed her to take the cloth napkin of her place setting and spread it on the table. I then asked her to sip some water and spit (spritz) it on the napkin. She looked at me like I had lost my mind but reluctantly did as I asked. Looking around I saw a pepper shaker. I put some pepper in her hand and had her throw it on the napkin. I looked around for something else and saw the straw in her glass and got her to put it on the napkin. I was obviously making this up as I went along. I stared at the “image” she created and asked “So what is going on at work? And what’s up with your boss?” She looked at me in utter amazement as she could not believe I zeroed in on the issue of her week! At this point I was elated because I knew I was onto something.
Armed with this new technique, I would occasionally try this on someone to develop it further. A variation was to have the querent pour a creamer into a saucer, add pepper and drop ripped pieces of sugar packs onto the saucer. This got me curious enough to try reading other things: making people crumple paper, getting them to build something with Lego and to have them pull “random” things from a bucket. I have decided to name this type of divination “Bucket Readings”! Based on the technique of reading tea leaves, I once tried reading someone’s dinner plate at the end of the meal. The reading was a casual, “just see if I could do it” type of thing.
About now you are probably wondering about the term mentioned in the title – what is Omnimancy? This is a term my friend John and I coined during a dinner a few years back. Since tarot readers practice cartomancy and chiromancy is the practice performed by palm readers and the word omni means of all things, we figured if someone is skilled at reading many things then he or she must be an omnimancer!
By writing this article, I am not purporting that you throw away your divination tools and take to reading someone’s chewed bubble gum. (Hey! That’s good one!) The classic tools are proven methods to give you solid readings. My intention is to simply demonstrate that the tools are just that: tools! For instance, every tarot reader has their favourite deck because those images work for them but replace that deck with a different one and the chances are the readings will be just as good. The other point that I am making is that by performing these alternative forms of divination you could strengthen your psychic abilities. I guess there is one more benefit of doing readings with random stuff – it is fun!
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