The same pendulums that you use for dowsing can be used for divination. (we covered these in Ghost Hunting for Dummies and will briefly cover these here).

Choose one you bond with (basically one that calls to you) and cleanse it before first use.

To use, you hold the pendulum by the chain in one hand with the tip barely touching the other. Start by setting your baseline of “yes” and “no” (I like to use test questions after setting baseline). Baselines can change between users, pendulums, and for some, they don’t change.

Once the baseline is set, you can start asking questions. They can be simple such as “would it be in my best interest to go to dinner with this person?” and, once you get more comfortable, you can ask deeper questions, tapping into your higher self for answers.

Cartomancy (Cards) / Taromancy (Tarot)

78 cards total, with 22 Major Arcana Cards (Arcana means secrets) and 56 minor arcana, broken up into the following suits:

  1. Cups (hearts) – water element, emotion
  2. Wands (clubs) – fire element
  3. Swords (spades) – air element
  4. Pentacles (diamonds) – earth element, physical things

Both playing card decks and tarot decks have ace – 10 with the jack, queen, and king. Tarot has the addition of the knight card in their “court” cards. These court cards can change (e.g. my deck has daughter, brother, mother, father)

Tarot has a long and thorough history, so here is where the TLDR kicks in. 

1400s started as card game then migrated

As the popularity grew so did it’s ties to mysticism

These decks contained images seen in most cultures (devil, queen…)

Pamela Coleman Smith (Pixie) – Ryder Waite deck 1909 for Arther Edward Waite

Used exclusively for fortune telling, First time minor and major were given their detail for meaning

Early decks didn’t have a whole lot of detail, making reading intuitively difficult

Modern decks not only have the traditional meaning linked to the cards (e.g. the 3 of cups often represents a female friendship) but each deck is designed with imagery, and this imagery can be used to tell someone’s fortune (or most likely outcome)

Haruspicy/Extispicy (Liver/Innards)

An ancient practice, dating back to the Romans, a haruspex was a person, who was often considered a highly spiritual individual, who would, after the sacrifice of the animal, perform divination on the entrails of the animal. The animal was commonly a sheep.

 The practice varied over time, for example in the form of hepatoscopy, which was performed by Greeks and specifically used the liver.

Both cultures practice can be tied back to the Etruscan religion, which originated in 7th century BC and was eventually absorbed, as a lot of cultures were at the time, into the Roman culture.

There have been Etruscan carvings shaped like livers found that were believed to be guidelines on how to read the organ.

These diviners were highly trained, and were often paid well to use their craft to answer yes and no questions. One source stated that answers would come from the Sun God in the entrails.

One text called the Barutu (Art of the Diviner) was dated as early as 600 Bc and took up 135 clay tablets with 60 lines of cuniform each. Think of these like medical textbooks while the clay models of organs were “cheat sheets”.

The diviner in training would familiarize themselves with positive (auspicious) and negative (inauspicious) details/conditions of the organ. The diviner would add up the positives and negatives to come to a conclusion. If confirmation was needed another animal would be sacrificed to see if the results could be replicated.

One note of interest regarding the Barutu is it addressed theoretical predictions, taking into account possible mutations and what effect they would have on the overall reading.

Modern day versions of this practice entail, as far as I can tell, and egg, cup, and sometimes water. Fasting beforehand is involved, as are incantations as you crack and put the egg in the cup. Basically, this was one of the few times Rebecca got creeped out during research so she stopped and cleansed her apartment.

Crystallomancy (Crystal Ball… a.k.a. Scrying)

Scrying has a deep history that has been around… awhile. There are many different types of scrying (some of which will be covered in a moment) but the tldr version is you stare at things and either see images in the thing or in your third eye.

One item for scrying that has been stereotyped pretty hard is… the Crystal Ball

Unlike crystal points (or other more naturally forming shapes) a crystal ball is considered to be the perfect shape (sphere) which allows it to radiate energy in all directions (points go one direction)

Like all other divination tools, you need to use what works for you. The most iconic is the clear crystal ball (which usually isn’t made from natural crystal). But, as with other crystals, these can come in all sorts of varieties (rose quartz, amethyst, etc).

One reason a natural crystal ball can be preferred is because it has spent thousands of years forming in the earth and gathering the energy and history of its surroundings. That being said, while there’s a connection between the scyer and crystal ball, the images come from the scryer’s third eye and the crystal ball acts as a conduit.

How To:

  1. Lighting: It’s suggested to let it be dark. Candles are generally preferred, and intention can be set by the choice of candle and candle preparation. Example: Green is typically a color of wealth and abundance, so a green candle can enhance a reading regarding finances.
  2. You should be comfortable and the crystal ball should be at a height that you can comfortably look into the center of the ball.
  3. Relax. Hold still. Stare at the center of the ball. Keep staring. And keep your eyes open.
  4. As you’re staring, you’ll notice a mist settle around the edges of your vision. It’s at this point you’ll probably start seeing imagery.
  5. Let the images come and when they’re ready to leave let them go.
  6. Once you’re done, breath, drink some water, and record the imagery you see, paying attention to those that seem relevant

Pyromancy (FIRE!)

So many articles about Dark Souls when I just want to tell the freaking future *dammit*

But this works sorta the same way the crystal ball does. The user stares at the flames and/or coals intently until images are seen. Specific types of wood preferred can vary by practitioner and dried herbs can also be used.

Tasseography (Tea Leaves… Or Coffee Grounds!)

A pink of tea leaves is placed inside a tea cup, over which boiling water is poured. The sitter (the person who’s fortune is being told) will drink the tea until there is a small amount of liquid left in the bottom of the cup.

The closer the leaves are to the handle, which represents the sitter, the those influences are within the immediate surroundings. Whereas a symbol seen across the cup could be interpreted as outside influences.

The cup is divided into three patches: Rim, middle and bottom, with the rim representing the present and the bottom representing the distant future.

The person reading the tea leaves can look for symbols such as an anchor showing love could be on the horizon, but if it’s blurry could mean the opposite. 

Care must be taken into interpreting patterns next to symbols. For example, if a letter is formed, like the letter “T”, next to a positive symbol, the interpretation could be that a person, who’s name starts with “T” could have a positive impact in your life soon.

The reader has to take into account where the leaves are in the cup and what their own intuition is telling them.

Troxler Effect

Ever follow this urban legend?

Late at night, go into the bathroom, and stare at your reflection. After awhile, you might see your face morph, maybe you’ll see flickers behind you, maybe even monsters.

Congrats! You’ve experienced the Troxler Effect.

A better way of describing the Troxler Effect is “sensory fading”. Ever have something fall on your arm then forget it’s there until you move? Ta-da! Troxler effect.

Basically… your neurons get tired of telling you things cause the information isn’t changing. Sometimes the neurons will stop firing until the input changes or the neurons can start sending mixed messages.

Does this psychological effect explain why scrying works?… Maybe.


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