(This article was originally published in Beyond Infinity e-zine)
In recent years, I’ve noticed how much the divination section of my local bookstore has grown. Divination is the process of gaining insights into the past, present, and future through intuition, inspiration and reflection. Typically, some divination tool is used to clarify the message. Divination tools like tarot, I Ching and runes have been favorites for years but pendulum dowsing and tea leaf reading seem to be gaining popularity.
Tarot is a deck of 78 cards divided into two parts. Twenty-two cards make up the major arcana (“arcana” means mystery or secret) and the rest of the deck is called the minor arcana, which is very similar to the regular playing card deck. Tarot cards can be used for prediction and as a meditation or counseling tool.
I Ching (pronounced ee-ching) or Book of Changes as it is translated, is an oracle that explains 64 types of changes (known as hexagrams) based on the principles of yin and yang energy. The I Ching is commonly consulted by means of tossing coins and it is an excellent tool for guidance, showing you how to proceed and what steps to take.
Runes are 24 symbols believed to be based on alphabetic script from ancient Nordic civilizations. In most of today’s rune sets, the symbols are carved into stones and a 25th rune stone is included which is blank. The symbols are interpreted based on their literal meanings and are often used for magical purposes in spells and for making amulets.
Pendulum dowsing involves using a pendulum (a weighted object on a string or chain) to gain information about a person, place or object. Many people are familiar with dowsing rods used to locate water or precious metals in the ground. Pendulums are similar but smaller devices. By swinging in different directions, the pendulum signals responses; they are especially helpful for yes/no questions. Using the pendulum with a decision board or chart allows for more specific readings.
Tea leaf reading, also called tasseography, involves interpreting the shapes and images made from the leftover tea leaves in a cup of tea. Some common shapes include a bird, an anchor, or a spider. Often letters can be seen as well. Tea leaf reading is a fun, social form of divination that can be used for predicting events in the past, present and future.
The best way to understand and compare these different methods is to show them in action so I decided to do a reading using each tool. Here are my results based on the question, “How can I increase my financial potential this year?”
Tarot: The 10 of Cups shows a picture of a happy family in front of their home. This card represents group activities, families, connecting with others, and being thankful and joyous.
Runes: The rune Othel means native land and represents home, homeland, property, legacy, inheritance, establishment of a good home base, and assistance from family or established organizations.
I Ching: Hexagram 19 (Nearing) signifies an approach, the arrival of the new, growing, an honored and powerful force comes nearer, and gaining influence and decisive leadership.
Tea leaves: Among other symbols, I saw a stork, a horse and rider, and a bee. These symbols may represent a birth or new beginning; traveling or a change of job or residence; and being busy (as a bee).
Pendulum dowsing using a decision chart: The pendulum swayed toward these two messages – “Stay firm” and “Don’t take a financially tempting offer.”
I was really impressed by the similarities in the readings, particularly between the tarot and runes. I work as a consultant and one of my clients is a family-owned business. Part of my work with them involves training and facilitating groups – I haven’t done this type of work in several months, but it may be a good financial source. I definitely need to take more of a decisive role in determining my business direction as the I Ching suggests. This is also a very slow period and, as the bee and stork symbols advise, I need to get busy and start taking on new projects. The pendulum reading seems to relate to my thoughts about going back to full-time employment under more lucrative circumstances, but suggests that I try to stay firm in my consulting goals for now.
POSTSCRIPT: I discovered a week after performing these readings that my primary client would be reorganizing in the next few months and limiting my consulting services, thereby forcing some of the changes the readings revealed. I also learned of a potential opportunity for a full-time management position with a large and well-established organization. They offered more money than I had ever made. In hindsight, I should have followed the pendulum advice of staying firm and NOT taking this position. But I was in a desperate financial situation. I worked for the company for 2 years and it was the most toxic 2 years of my entire life.