AUTHOR’S NOTE: Not long ago I answered an online question about how I would rank my favorite methods of divination. This required me to step back and re-examine where I’ve been going with prognostication over the last fifty-odd years.
Tarot: Reading the tarot cards is the “fortune-telling” practice I’ve been pursuing the longest (since 1972) and the one I view as the most rewarding from a metaphysical and intellectual perspective. As a graphic artist I find the images of the historical decks compelling, and as a writer I get a lot of narrative stimulation from the storytelling “tropes” offered by metaphor and analogy. It is also the one I’ve been performing professionally off-and-on over the years.
Lenormand: This is my second love in cartomatic divination, and it is threatening to overtake tarot due to its highly pragmatic focus. I had been edging away from psychological uses for the tarot anyway since natal astrology is so much better for that, and discovering Lenormand in 2014 “sealed the deal.”
Horary Astrology: Although I have been an astrologer a bit longer than I’ve been involved with the tarot, I never spent a lot of time with its predictive side (transits, progressions and returns). But when I discovered the horary angle I soon realized how accurate it can be for both finding lost items and choosing the right time for any activity.
Numerology: I only use it in conjunction with tarot reading, to which it adds considerable insight, and only in its Pythagorean and Hermetic forms. I don’t bother with the “lucky number” type of popular numerology.
I Ching: I’ve been flirting with this fascinating mode of forecasting for decades. I intend to take a more methodical approach to it in the next year, and am awaiting Benebell Wen’s forthcoming book on I Ching divination to augment my Wilhelm/Bayne translation. I use the “Chinese coin” technique rather than yarrow stalks.
Geomancy: This is another practical technique that relies on local environment for its efficacy. Traditionally, a patch of ground was groomed down to bare soil and a random series of “dots” was poked in the surface with a stick (“wand”), after which their odd or even numeration was assessed and given divinatory significance. When shamanic practices moved in-doors, this was updated with a “box of dirt” and eventually a random group of stones was drawn from a bowl for the same purpose. I use only the first set of “operations” in my own practice, producing the sixteen fundamental “geomantic figures,” and seldom get into the elaborate refinements that can be brought to bear.
Combined “Binary” Techniques: I sometimes bring cards together with coins, dice, dominoes or board-game spinners to make an either/or “cut” at decision-making in multi-path layouts.
Kipperkarten: A close “cousin” to the Lenormand cards with similar interpretive meanings; it is unlikely to replace Lenormand in my own repertoire.
Playing-Card Divination (Cartomancy): I’ve studied this at some length but haven’t worked with it much yet. Like Kipperkarten, it is a distant also-ran to Lenormand in my estimation.
A few others I have been exploring but with which I have yet to achieve a good rapport are:
Lithomancy: I created my own “prepared field” design that I call “Astro-Lithomancy” but haven’t used it in a long time.
Crystal Ball: I have not arrived at a workable balance of light and dark in the room to be able to discern any astral visions: too much light and I get glare on the surface, too much darkness and I’m completely blind.
Pendulum: I just bought a new one and have only begun to get reacquainted with it.
Runes: I read a basic book but haven’t found a set I like yet.