“Turn up the radio” — a brief primer on the divinatory practice of Radiomancy!

Despite various religious proscriptions against it, I love divination.  And just so we’re on the same definitional page here, by “divination,” I mean the practice of using some intermediating method to make an appeal to the Divine for counsel on some issue or other (i.e., asking the Divine —> “divination”).

The Oracle of Delphi divines divinely -- art by John Collier, 1891
The Oracle at Delphi divines divinely — art by John Collier, 1891

Divination has been around for approximately as long as people have been walking upright, if not longer, and you’re likely familiar with the existence of many forms of divination, even if you don’t think you know of them, don’t think of them as such, or don’t know their particulars.  If you look at the page maintained by our good friends at Wikipedia that’s titled “Methods of Divination,” you’ll find a list of what looks to be several hundred distinct methods by which people practice divination, most of them ending in the suffix, “-mancy” (my research department has compiled a report indicating that this suffix seems to derive from sources in ancient Greece, and basically means “used as a form of divination” [and by “my research department,” I mean me, surfing the ‘net…]).

Some common forms of divination include cartomancy (divination by use of cards, such as Tarot), cleromancy (the casting of “lots,” which would include things like Runes), tasseomancy (the reading of tea leaves), lithomancy (using gems or stones), necromancy (speaking to the dead), and chiromancy (the reading of palms).  There are scads of others, too — if you can think of it, there’s probably a form of divination based on it, whatever “it” might be.  You can divine by watching the patterns formed by smoke (capnomancy) or by clouds (nephomancy) or by hot wax dripped in water (ceromancy).  You can divine by watching the path taken by a crawling baby (I can’t find the official “-mancy” here…), by listening to the ravings of lunatics (chresmomancy — we arguably have opportunities to practice this one pretty much on a daily basis…), or by making use of arrows (belomancy).

If you’re a newcomer to divination, and wouldn’t mind occasional bits of counsel from the Divine, but you don’t have a strong pull toward a specific form of divination, this can all be a bit overwhelming.

Ain't *that* the truth?!
Ain’t *that* the truth?!

There’s also the problem of experiencing a definite affinity for a given method, but feeling kind of daunted by the steep learning curve that looms up ahead along that pathway.  For instance, learning the Elder Futhark if you’re interested in Runes requires you to get your head around a set of 24 unfamiliar symbols.  The I Ching consists of 64 hexagrams, each with its own meanings.  A Tarot deck is comprised of 78 separate cards, and each of those represents its own subset of import.  And then there’s also the history of each method that can be of significance…and there’s also always a crowd of dogmatic practitioners of any given form of divination out there, ready to berate you — you, the already hesitant newcomer — about how you’re doing it wrong…and there’s the art of performing more complex readings, by using more than a single symbol at one time, assembling them into combinations and patterns, which can coax forth a richer wealth of knowledge in response to your question, but which requires even greater familiarity with the symbols and the method you’re using…  So like I said: daunting.

So what’s a fledgling diviner to do??

Try this…  Here’s an exceptionally user-friendly method of divination that doesn’t carry much in the way of history to slog through, and has no arcane symbols for you to memorize in what little spare time you have.  I’ve been calling this method “radiomancy,” although that term surprisingly doesn’t appear in that long list of “-mancy” disciplines on Wikipedia that I mentioned.  Anyway, it involves you formulating a question in your mind — you can ask it out loud to the universe if you feel so inclined, but you don’t have to do that if you prefer just thinking it — and then simply flipping on the radio to catch a burst of sound at random.  That burst of sound is your answer.  That’s it.

A veritable fountain of divine counsel for you...
A veritable fountain of divine counsel for you…

See what comes out of the radio.  It might be best to tune it to a station at random before trying this, so that you minimize your own ability to sort of “load the dice” as it were.  That is, you might have greater influence over the probabilities of what you’ll hear if you know what kind of broadcast will be waiting for you on the other side of the speakers before you begin.  For instance, you may not get any music at all if you’re already tuned to talk radio, which would eliminate a huge field of possibly very valuable input.  Then again, I wouldn’t stress about this too much.  Mostly, just clear your mind, take a few deep breaths, think of your question…and then turn on the sound.

Interpretation is where your intuition comes in.  Sometimes you’ll get some almost absurdly specific responses.  I once tried this trick while pulling my car out of my driveway, and wondering if I should just abandon something I’d been involved in that had proven unsuccessful to date, and was causing me to rapidly lose my faith in the project, and my optimism for it…and when I tapped the radio on, I was met with the chorus of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’!”  You can’t get much more on-point than that, right?  And happily, my little endeavor did turn around for the better after that, so whatever Divinity was advising me through my car radio that day was definitely on the ball and brimming with prescience right then!

But it will most likely be a rare thing to receive such a specific reply.  And I’d say don’t despair at all if you don’t get something like that!  You probably won’t.  Just see what you hear — and there’s no set length of time to allot for your snippet of answer, either, so best not to impose some strict parameter along the lines of “I must always grant the radio exactly 3.5 seconds to inform me!”  Just see what feels right.  It might be a single word, or a small phrase, or maybe a bit of conversation between two jocular morning DJ’s, or a jaunty little commercial jingle.  Just take in a quick gulp of sound, then switch the radio back off, and see what kind of meaning you can wring from what you heard.

Obviously, if you get words, be they spoken or sung in a tune, then their face value/literal text might be your answer (like when Steve Perry seemed to be telling me directly not to stop believin’).

Journey: under-credited conduit for Divine wisdom??
Journey: under-credited conduit for Divine wisdom??

Or it could be that the words of a song aren’t as important to the question at hand as your own associations with them are.  Maybe Lionel Richie singing “All night long, all night, all night, all night long” won’t address your problems, but the fact that it was the theme song of your Senior Prom 25 years ago when you and the world were both very different entities is the key factor, and you’re being told to view your problem through those adolescent lenses.

Lionel Richie: far more than just the adoptive father of Nicole Richie!
Lionel Richie: far more than just the adoptive father of Nicole Richie!

Or maybe you don’t get words you can even understand — maybe you find that you’ve tuned into a Spanish-language station, but you don’t speak Spanish.  Maybe the message is then that you need to diversify in your approach, to embrace other viewpoints and get a feel for where other people are coming from.

Maybe you get silence.  This could mean that you’re not ready to actually hear an answer, or that the answer is within you, but it’s so still and small that you need to meditate in silence in order to hear it.

Maybe you get a burst of static because you’re between stations on the dial, or because a station is actually down at that exact moment.  This could be a message that you’re experiencing some very real interference in the area of your life that you’re inquiring about.  Maybe vital connections there are currently off-line, and you need to fix something, or you maybe need to wait and focus on other things until repairs can be made.

Maybe you happen to tune in on one of those periodic tests of the emergency broadcast system!  This could indicate that something dire looms up ahead unless you prepare properly and remain vigilant.  Or maybe it’s just a statement that you’re about to enter a period of very unusual probabilities holding sway, because, really, what are the odds that you’d tune in during one of those tests?

"This is a test.  This is only a test..."
“This is a test. This is only a test…”

Anyway, experiment away with simple radiomancy.  Practice a bit with interpreting.  That’s valid divination right there!  If it feels like you’re trying to force specific meaning onto what you hear when you ask your questions, then this may indeed be the case.  Don’t force!  Try to focus just on what your first, pure impressions are, regardless of whether they’re “good” or “bad” with respect to the query.  The initial interpretations you get are almost always the real deal, and it’s second-guessing that chisels away at the usefulness of any answers.  Flex that intuition, and as yet another ’80s song advised, “Turn up the radio…”

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