The Diviner’s Quiver

Many seekers who begin their journey into the esoteric arts with one favored method of prediction and conscientiously develop their skill over an extended period of time eventually feel the urge to stretch out into other forms of divination, if only to be able to wield a “quiver” of techniques to fit any situation. It may also be driven by growing boredom, a sudden, quirky inspiration or simple curiosity; books, presentations, and online blogs and forums are often the catalysts for charting a new course. Many of these alternatives are mainstream in their appeal: cartomancy,  astrology, palmistry, runes, etc, while others are decidedly more obscure (lithomancy and geomancy are examples of the latter). My own path may be instructive for those pursuing a fresh direction.

I began my occult avocation as a natal astrologer, which can be considered a form of divination only if one takes the long view of an entire lifetime and punctuates it with a series of planetary  transits, progressions, returns and the like to show developmental influences and experiences. But I soon discovered the esoteric tarot, which became my main focus of study and practice over the next several decades. Around the beginning of the present century, I was exposed to geomancy  through the writing of Israel Regardie and worked vigorously with it for several years. Shortly after, I encountered the Lenormand system of cartomancy and embarked on an entirely new trajectory, one that is exceptionally well-suited for practical inquiry. I spent around a year exploring a personal style of lithomancy, and along the way I somehow found the time to stick my nose into palmistry. Most recently I’ve been merging dice throws with my card reading.

All of this sounds like it could wind up yielding a sloppy mish-mash of conflicting observations, but in practice each one has its place and only occasionally steps on the toes of one of the others. If I’m after a purely mundane answer I will usually choose the Lenormand cards, but if the subject is as specific as finding a lost item or picking the best time to start an activity, I will resort to horary astrology of the appropriate sub-category. Geomancy is also admirably suited to pragmatic questions, as is lithomancy in a less evolved way. More philosophical and psychological matters are best approached with the tarot, although I tend to stay away from character analysis and personality profiling as being poor subjects for divination, which is more situational in nature. What I won’t normally do is ask the same question of several different oracular sources in the hope of getting a more agreeable answer. In the same way that I wouldn’t use a screwdriver where a hammer is called for, I try to pick the right tool for the job the first time around. Although I no longer have much enthusiasm for learning new systems, playing-card cartomancy and the Kipper oracle are still on my “bucket list.” As long as a strict hierarchy of techniques is maintained and observed in practice, there is no reason why a polyglot array of exploratory methods can’t coexist peacefully in one’s divinatory toolbox.

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