Types of Divination for Modern Witches
Updated: February 12, 2023
Divination is a really beautiful aspect of magic and clairvoyance. It asks us all to remove our egos, clear our minds and trust in the intuition that we all enter this world with to reveal and manifest the secrets of life, nature and the universe.
So what is divination exactly? Putting all of my romance of it aside, it’s a simple way to bring clarity around the future. Specifically, the future of what may happen if we make no changes and continue on the same path we’re currently on.
People get confused about the “fortune teller” aspect of divination, I think because of much of the popular culture around witchcraft in movies and folklore.
No one can “predict the future” as the saying goes, but through much introspection and insight, and a little help from the higher consciousness that surrounds us, we can bring intense clarity to our situation and that of others for the purpose of lending more perspective.
The way we do this is by using the different types of divination within our spells and rituals, and that’s what you’ll learn in this guide.
Types of Divination
Divination can take on any form really… I think this is a very important concept to understand before you start down your own path of learning. As with all witchcraft, one witch’s way is most likely not another’s.
The divination methods covered here are not comprehensive, nor do my descriptions reflect the one true way to use them. Please open your mind, then open your heart to learn the true essence of divination for you self. Take these concepts and make them your own.
With that said, there are several common divination method that have been passed down to us that many witches choose to work with:
Tarot is a widely used form of divination that you’ve probably already heard about. A simple reading will be focused around a question or topic you’d like insight into, then a spread of cards is placed on the table to be interpreted by yourself or someone else.
Scrying is a form of divination that uses a mirror-like surface to bring about visions of some form or another. The nature of the visions vary from witch to witch, but the idea is the same for all.
Stare into a cauldron of water, a crystal ball, a black mirror as you raise your consciousness and alter your state of being. You may begin to see visions, words or symbols that can be deciphered into a prediction of things to come.
Pendulum divination is a very simple form of divination that relies heavily on yes/no answers to questions about things that are and things that may come to pass. A pendulum of some sort is tied to a string or chain and held in one hand.
As the question is asked, the answer comes in the form of the pendulum swinging north/south, east/west, or in circles of some sort. Mats or predetermined directions are used for the yes/no validation.
I Ching Divination
The I Ching is an ancient Chinese divination text. Its name translates into “book of changes” and it’s been used by many in divination practices in the modern day.
To consult the I Ching, you need a copy of the I Ching, 3 coins, and a pen and paper. You make your question clearly, toss the coins, then decipher the results much like with tarot cards.
Rune stones are items (sometimes wood, crystals or plastic) that are engraved with runic symbols. Most commonly, you’ll see the Elder Futhark rune sets being used, which includes 24-25 runes.
Basically, there are two main ways that witches commonly use runes for divination.
- by casting all the runes on a cloth or table and deciphering the meaning
- by picking several runes out of a bag and making a spread, much like a tarot spread.
Ogham divination uses the ancient Celtic Ogham alphabet, carved onto staves to predict events that may come to pass. The divination is performed simply by asking a question, then taking the staves (1-5ish of them) out of the bag and reading their meanings in sequence.
Bone divination is the process of asking a question, then tossing a collection of bones and other items on a surface, then reading the messages that the bones provide. This is a less common form of divination that many animist witches partake in, as it takes a deep connection with the spirit of the bones to read them properly.
Candle divination is a form of candle magic that is worked by reading a candle as it moves through its burning process. Reading things like smoke, flame, wax melt and direction of flow after a question is asked or a petition is made what candle divination is all about.
Crystals for Divination
Crystal divination is a really simple yes/no based form of divination that uses three white crystals and three black crystals to answer questions about your current or future experience.
With the stones in a bag, draw out three of them and read their message: All white – Yes, All Black – No, Two white, one black – Most likely Yes, Two black, one white – Most likely No.
Divination With Tea Leaves
Tea leaf divination is the simple process of assessing the herbs and tea leaves that remain in an unstrained cup of tea. Coffee or wine can be used, but those generally don’t give enough material these days.
When the tea has been drunk, swirl the remaining leaves and liquid and pour off the remaining liquid to reveal the tea leaves. Intuition and basic symbolism is used to predict events.