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Tuuli

Divination: Powerful tool or waste of time?

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I recently ran across a quote from an anonymous source in a old witchcraft magazine from 1914 called the word. The quote is as follows:

 

"But divination, in whatever manner we may operate is dangerous or at least useless for it disheartens the will. Consequently, it restricts the freedom and fatigues the nervous system. A hebrew prophet once said "he that consulteth spirits will not sow" ".

 

I've always used the tarot to guide me. I've even used it to decide how I should go about a magical operation, what I should avoid etc..But this quote got me thinking, what if divination is doing me more harm than good? I always felt like the whole point of divination is to understand whats coming so we have an opportunity to change it...I'd love to get some other perspectives on this. Was there ever a time when you felt like divination was more restrictive than freeing?

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I'm curious about the date of that magazine.... I didn't think the witchcraft laws were repealed until the 1950's...??? But anyway, I think the above can be true depending on the understanding of the person receiving the reading. If a person believed that divination showed the end result, period, then a "bad" reading could well stop them from even trying which could well be restricting an depressing. Whereas if they believed that divination merely showed where things are headed if the course is not changed, then it could be motivating and get them to make necessary changes and go forward.

 

M

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Basically a divination can serve as a guide or reference, any choices made is purely yours. The Art of Divinations has been around since Ancient Time till this Modern Era, It's existence is a proof of it's influence is evident not without validity. Your belief and preference on use of divination is purely individual and there is nothing wrong or right about it. Personally I will only use divination when I feel it is necessary but not in all aspects of my life or practice.

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I'm curious about the date of that magazine.... I didn't think the witchcraft laws were repealed until the 1950's...???

 

I tracked down the issue the quote was from Eliphas Levi. Here is the link to the magazine https://books.google.com/books?id=NWUmAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA128&lpg=PA128&dq=but+divination+in+whatever+manner+we+may+operate&source=bl&ots=gB7K3beXb6&sig=N-dcxb5CwjOn0ARpA8xjfZvNj4s&hl=en&sa=X&ei=H7JfVcLfN5SZoQTgmIOYBQ&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=but%20divination%20in%20whatever%20manner%20we%20may%20operate&f=false

 

 

Basically a divination can serve as a guide or reference, any choices made is purely yours. The Art of Divinations has been around since Ancient Time till this Modern Era, It's existence is a proof of it's influence is evident not without validity. Your belief and preference on use of divination is purely individual and there is nothing wrong or right about it. Personally I will only use divination when I feel it is necessary but not in all aspects of my life or practice.

 

Thank you Oceanos, well said.

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A hebrew prophet once said "he that consulteth spirits will not sow" ".

 

 

That sounds quite biblical.

 

Using divination and turning to other spirits is a direct 'slap in the face' to a jealous god who demands loyalty and blind trust.

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Sounds like whoever wrote the quote has no experience with divination. It's incredibly useful in my practice.

 

There are many ways to use divination - the article above seems to only look into fortune telling type things. I dont do that. I do divination to see how to make the most of my decisions, not to make my decisions for me. I also use it to understand and learn from the past better. Also great for learning about yourself or the world around you. I dont see how learning could ever be useless, and I dont see any reason to limit your won will because of divination - sounds like the person in the article just doesnt know what they are talking about.

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I have a perfect example of this:

"But divination, in whatever manner we may operate is dangerous or at least useless for it disheartens the will. Consequently, it restricts the freedom and fatigues the nervous system. A hebrew prophet once said "he that consulteth spirits will not sow" "

 

 

Insert important family drama (any flavor)

 

5 people that want tarot card readings that are all involved in the situation

 

a totally horrible fucking outcome

 

a total of a dozen throws (2 or 3 for all 5 people) different questions, phrasing, whatnot

 

the same freaking cards came up in every spread. everyone had a chance to cut and shuffle (which I normally don't do)

 

no less than 6 major arcana in each hand, 8 major arcana in total, 13 card spread

 

Sorry, but that's just fucking set in stone. I've never seen anything like that before or since. Hell, I've only ever HEARD of it a couple times.

 

So, yeah. What progress is there to be made with a series of throws like that? What hope is there for changing the outcome?

 

You know what? Miracles happen. Well, other people call them miracles. If that is the set in stone fate or destiny there ain't a damn thing I can do to change it. Doesn't mean I won't try. Doesn't mean I'll ever give up. Some things are worth fighting, and even dying, for. And that'd be a hell of a lot quicker than the death I'm facing from the illness i have.

 

I told Wex in the chat room that hope scares me. it scares the shit out of me. Really, it does.

 

It can be paralyzing. Usually, when someone is od'ing on it. It can cause rash action and sheer stupidity. But, in measure, it can be the one force that keeps us going, that one reason that we don't just give up and in, (hell, it almost sounds like coffee and wild turkey LOL)

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Guest monsnoleedra

 

I recently ran across a quote from an anonymous source in a old witchcraft magazine from 1914 called the word. The quote is as follows:

 

"But divination, in whatever manner we may operate is dangerous or at least useless for it disheartens the will. Consequently, it restricts the freedom and fatigues the nervous system. A hebrew prophet once said "he that consulteth spirits will not sow" ".

 

I've always used the tarot to guide me. I've even used it to decide how I should go about a magical operation, what I should avoid etc..But this quote got me thinking, what if divination is doing me more harm than good? I always felt like the whole point of divination is to understand whats coming so we have an opportunity to change it...I'd love to get some other perspectives on this. Was there ever a time when you felt like divination was more restrictive than freeing?

 

 

I think people are forgetting just what divination was defined as around the turn of the century. Potentially even how it was defined earlier in the history, not including Christian influences either upon it.

Figure if the article was in fact 1914 then one primary form of divination using spirits was a seance, the so called table tappings, chair rockers, tappers and beaters, etc. It was part and parcel of the the spiritualist movement of the late 1880's to the early 1900's and the truths of "Spirits" was very doubtful at the time. Figure of such doubt that people like Houdini swore that if it was true and possible he himself would contact the living to show it could be trusted and valid.

 

Automatic writing was also a major form of divination around the same time period. Allowing oneself to be ridden and being moved by the "Spirits" to speak through them or divine the future and outcome of events. Again another fairly common aspect of the spiritualist movements of that time frame.

 

Ouija Boards or talking boards in general were in use but not sure they were really big either. Yet still had a lot of the same general mistrust that they have today. Vaguely recall they didn't become really big until the late 30's early 40's then fell into mistrust again.

Figure tarot cards were still considered palor games at the time so not really considered as divination tools.

 

So based upon the Spiritualist era of 1880's to early 1900's divination was considered both dangerous and resulted in non production. If one goes back even further most spiritual contact seemed to demand some form of blood sacrifice to call the dead forth so still not something taken lightly.

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I'm curious about the date of that magazine.... I didn't think the witchcraft laws were repealed until the 1950's...??? But anyway, I think the above can be true depending on the understanding of the person receiving the reading. If a person believed that divination showed the end result, period, then a "bad" reading could well stop them from even trying which could well be restricting an depressing. Whereas if they believed that divination merely showed where things are headed if the course is not changed, then it could be motivating and get them to make necessary changes and go forward.

 

M

 

 

I think if that was the case, Aleister Crowley would have been put to death.

 

also to Travsha (since i don't know how to operate this thing to quote you too): I think to say the author didn't know what they were talking about would be the lazy way of looking at this. He/she makes a good point, whether it be your cup of tea or not.

Edited by Barsa

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I think if that was the case, Aleister Crowley would have been put to death.

 

 

I'm sure a few would have liked that lol

 

I believe the witchcraft act was abolished in 1951 in the UK. It wasn't a popular, very well known act but it did exist and occasionally people were taking to court after accusations.

 

Have to agree with Monsoleedra. I think the times say a lot about the meaning meant in that quote.

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I'm sure a few would have liked that lol

 

I believe the witchcraft act was abolished in 1951 in the UK. It wasn't a popular, very well known act but it did exist and occasionally people were taking to court after accusations.

 

Have to agree with Monsoleedra. I think the times say a lot about the meaning meant in that quote.

 

 

agreed. I've read a lot of witchy pamphlets and books written around that time, and keeping in mind the years it was written and the thoughts and general lack of experience of some of the magicians and etc of that time (they didn't exactly have a TW forum) is a good way to glean the invaluable knowledge of it. I just read through one that had a very christian feel to it and I didn't agree with a lot of what was said, but it still provided me with the information about how things were done at the time and I would in no way state they just "didn't know what they were talking about".

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Guest monsnoleedra

I think another aspect that has to be considered is the fact Spiritualism and similar movements had a lot of 'Witchy" stuff in them but it wasn't considered witchcraft at the times. Figure the New Age movement has it's point of origin in the same general time frame and again it was seen as Spiritual not occultist so didn't get slammed. So while the collective we look back and consider it to be a form of witchcraft at the time it held no such connection or implied meaning. Consider many folk and granny practices we're also to be found but again not seen as witchcraft though today they also fall under that blanket heading.

 

I suppose a lot of that lingered right unto the 1960's and 1970's when we always referred to ourselves as occultist. Caused some flack with the ceremonial types who claimed to be true occultist but separated us from the eco and feminist driven groups claiming to be "Witches". Probably why so many books like The Spiral Dance failed so badly with us.

 

I think in part because things like the Hell Fire Club, Satanism according to Christian doctrine, etc were considered the true "Witchcraft" and such at the time.

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I recently ran across a quote from an anonymous source in a old witchcraft magazine from 1914 called the word. The quote is as follows:

 

"But divination, in whatever manner we may operate is dangerous or at least useless for it disheartens the will. Consequently, it restricts the freedom and fatigues the nervous system. A hebrew prophet once said "he that consulteth spirits will not sow" ".

 

I've always used the tarot to guide me. I've even used it to decide how I should go about a magical operation, what I should avoid etc..But this quote got me thinking, what if divination is doing me more harm than good? I always felt like the whole point of divination is to understand whats coming so we have an opportunity to change it...I'd love to get some other perspectives on this. Was there ever a time when you felt like divination was more restrictive than freeing?

__________

If it works for you, then why mess with it. I think the determining factor is if you are good at divination, no matter the form. If you are, go with it, if not..don't.

 

Times change, and so do the tools for divination. I would much rather use Tarot cards than animal intestines or livers.

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I have often wondered the same question and why it is that sometimes we are into some things and then change to other things and again why everyone is different. I heard this channeling by BASHAR and he puts it very simply

 

The idea is that every single ritual every single tool every single process is simply what we refer to as a "permission slip" It is like giving yourself permission to be more of who you are. The things themselves don't do anything.

 

They simply align with your belief system about whats possible for you or probable for you and so anything you are attracted to anything your imagination is attracted to come up with as a ritual , as a tool, as a process. Will work for you because your imagination is specifically keyed to your frequency, so whatever you find yourself attracted to do, will work best for you at that moment. In the next moment you might find yourself attracted to something else and if that is the case then that will work best for you at that moment. This is combined with the idea of always acting on your highest joy, because that is the highest frequency of your natural being and when you stay in that state by always acting on your highest joy every minute that you can with integrity and without expectation and also realise that every single thing that your attract yourself to is simply a permission slip or an opportunity to give yourself more permission to be who you are, and you simply move forward in that understanding, then all the intelligence and focus you need will be at hand for whatever you attract in your life and it will come in whatever form befits the idea of how your intelligence chooses to focus itself and that will be all that you need at that moment. The reality will design itself to meet how it is you best interact with it. You do not need to adapt yourself to the reality.

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Biblically, there is a difference between prophecy, divination, and those with familiar spirits, which is what this references, I think.

 

Just to add perspective.

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I've always thought of divination as showing an outcome of a situation if all variables remain as they are at the time of the divination. I don't think it restricts freedom at all as we are always free to act to change - or try to change - the outcome by changing one or more variable. If we have free will then nothing is set in stone.

 

Thanks for the link to the magazine, Tuuli. Interesting reading.

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I was reading somewhere not long ago by a witch card reader,who said tarot cards are rubbish and there meanings are not right and there a few cards missing.....But I have read them a few times, seem pretty good to me,but I get a sad vibe off them and I get a bad feeling when I go to look at an Aleister Crowley book.Any other book is fine

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Pfft at the witch card reader. The witch cards you are referencing, is I think, the Gypsy Witch Cards created in 1999 and is a blend of two different systems to create a 52 card deck, where as the Tarot we have today ie. RW, has been around for over a hundred years and has 78 cards. So which deck is missing a few cards!

 

I get accurate readings using Tarot. Besides the power is in the reader, not the cards.

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Eliphas Levi was an associate of the Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn. For those not in the know, they were practitioners of Qabalah with all the guilt of Catholocism. You might remember them as being the ones that gave Aleister Crowley the boot for his radical ways. I think the meaning of the article might be more about the level of wisdom of the witch. My current path has me studying Chaos Magic. One of the suggestions for beginners is to not start off trying to achieve things that are above your level of experience because it will only frustrate you and cause your magick to fail more often than normal. Spellcraft and divination do take a certain amount of belief and practice for them to work. Perhaps Eliphas Levi was not strong in divination, so in his opinion it did not work. Others who have a strong connection with divination tools would beg to differ. So my advice is if you are having successes with divination then keep up your practice. If you are not then maybe your stronger suits lie elsewhere in the art of magick.

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+1

 

for this "So my advice is if you are having successes with divination then keep up your practice. If you are not then maybe your stronger suits lie elsewhere in the art of magick."

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+1

 

for this "So my advice is if you are having successes with divination then keep up your practice. If you are not then maybe your stronger suits lie elsewhere in the art of magick."

___________

Some, such a myself, are good at both :tongue:

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Well, I can't remember the last time I posted here.. I meant to come by yesterday for the solstice but got sidetracked.

Anyway, interesting thread. I can understand where they're coming from in this article.

I still do a full tarot spread every New Year's Eve, for the new year, and one again around July while on vacation (everyone gathers in the cabin for a reading, even the devout Catholics that are my in-laws! Some of those have been truly scary on-target. As in, sudden death in the family scary.)

 

But as to something like a daily reading, using runes or cards or what have you in the morning, I've think I'm better off anymore if I just don't. More peace of mind that way.

If I get a negative looking reading, I'd be like, "Oh that's great, it's gonna be a shit day.. lovely" and my day would be kinda ruined. (I don't believe in sugarcoating unpleasant readings and trying to turn them into unicorn kisses, especially for myself). But sometimes, the day wasn't actually all that bad and I got myself bothered for no good reason. Other days, I had what seemed a good or neutral reading but had a truly horrible day. But mostly, on any given day you never know exactly what's going to get thrown at you exactly when or how (at least on a small time scale), so I've decided to just roll with it, insofar as a daily basis goes, and leave my divination for special occasions. After all, there's only so much you can do with limited warning; you always have more control over how you handle a situation (i.e., yourself) than you have over the situation itself, or at least, that's my experience. (Though sometimes, I must admit I seem to have no control over either! )

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I was doing some reading on fate and how concrete it really is. (I can't remember if it was this site or another tbh) But someone raised a very good point that (assuming you believe fate is not a 100% sealed deal) divination becomes a useful tool because you can influence unfavorable readings and change the outcome. I suppose the same would be true of the reverse. So if you did a reading and it was unlucky, say a financial crisis upcoming. A spell could be cast to for prosperity. Even warning the person of the upcoming financial hardship might cause them to not make a bad investment or spend money frivolously. This makes perfect sense to me. While I believe there are some things that are just meant to be (or not) I believe most things are up for chance and our choices or influence absolutely will change the outcome.

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That depends on how set in stone the reading is. If 4 or 5 major arcana pop up - there ain't much hope in changing the outcome. But, otherwise, yeah.

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That depends on how set in stone the reading is. If 4 or 5 major arcana pop up - there ain't much hope in changing the outcome. But, otherwise, yeah.

 

Good point.

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