Just what is “Divination”…?

I'm not sure all 57,000 of us mean the same thing when we say,
I’m not sure all 57,000+ of us mean the same thing when we say, “Divination.” But maybe I should do a reading about that…?

Every time I post a photo onto my various social media platforms, I take care to hashtag it up vigorously, so that people will be able to find it. If I’m posting a pic that has something to do with, say, Tarot, I’ll of course use the tag #Tarot…but I don’t like to stop there. Say I’m posting a shot of a version of the Moon card – I may then add in tags like #MajorArcana, #TheMoon, #Moon, and #TrumpXVIII. The idea is to bring in not just people who are looking for general Tarot posts, but who are also seeking input specifically having to do with the Majors, or even more specifically having to do with The Moon.
I also tend to add other tags that feel applicable, too, like #Metaphysical and #Occult and #Esoteric. These can work whether your subject matter is Tarot, Astrology, Runes, Crystals, or scores of other related and semi-related topics. And then there’s this tag called #Divination…

I use it a lot – pretty much always when I post about Tarot, among other things. And I realized recently that I take it for granted. I assume that everyone knows what that word means, and further, that the meaning they attribute to it is exactly the same as the meaning that I attribute to it. Which, the more I think about this, might not always be the case…

I just checked on Instagram to see how many posts would come up right now, right this very instant in Time, if I were to punch in a search using that hashtag…and as it turns out, there are currently 57,227 posts that make use of the exact hashtag, #Divination (along with a few thousand other variants and derivatives of that word). It would be nice to think that all 57k of us are on the same page when it comes to views on what this word means, but knowing humans as I’ve come to know them after having walked the Earth among them for several decades now…I’m going to have to admit that there’s probably quite a wide bit of swing across the definitions that we’re all clinging to inside our heads here…

Is the classic crystal ball a container filled with Knowledge...or is it just one of many windows in the world that allow their users to peer through them, directly into the Divine...?
Is the classic crystal ball a container filled with Knowledge…or is it just one of many windows in the world that allow their users to peer through them, directly into the Divine…?

So what then do I mean when I talk about “Divination?”

Simply put, Divination is anything that you do which involves posing a question directly to whatever you consider “the Divine.” If you allow for the existence in your reality of some “Higher Power” – some Force that’s greater than you – then you know what I mean here.

And this is important: this Higher Power can be – but does not necessarily have to be – some traditionally established and widely accepted Goddess or God. Your definition of “the Divine” might begin and end with the Judeo-Christian God, or with Muhammad, or Buddha, or Shiva…it might refer to the Universe itself…you might literally worship figures drawn from World Mythology, such as Odin or Artemis or Anubis…or your Higher Power might include none of these concepts at all.

The point, though, is that if you do harbor belief in some Higher Power – even a more vague/less personified one such as Luck or Karma or Providence – then you might agree that the knowledge and judgment and wisdom that could be brought to bear on any issue by such Higher Power would probably pretty far outclass anything that you, yourself, might bring to the table, even on the best day of your life. After all, what would you know that, say, Jesus or Athena or Ra wouldn’t also know, and probably know about a million times better than you know it?

So Divination is the act of appealing to your personal Higher Power(s) for guidance and answers. It’s as simple as that. And many systems for Divination have evolved over time: Tarot and Oracle Cards, Runes, Crystals, Pendulums, Astrology, the I Ching, Scrying, Palmistry, and the reading of dozens of other things in the world: people seek Divine guidance by reading tea leaves, coffee grounds, smoke, clouds, bumps on other people’s heads, entrails, birds, the wind, the patterns of falling leaves, dreams…

Divination 101: "Heads, I stay home and do chores...Tails, I go on a weekend-long bender..."
Divination 101: “Heads, I stay home and do chores…Tails, I go on a weekend-long bender…”

In fact, we learn from childhood that it’s acceptable, and often even good policy, to appeal to the Divine for counsel, even if that’s not what we call these appeals at the time… Maybe this scene will sound familiar: a long time ago, some confounding question or some great inability to reach a decision landed on your much younger head, and eventually led to a scene in which that younger version of you stood balancing a coin on the nail of one thumb…you assigned one meaning for the “heads” side of that coin, and another for “tails”…and then you sent that coin sailing up into the air, tumbling end over end, as you prepared to subordinate your will to that of whichever Powers That Be would choose to reach downward in that moment and declare your course of action for you, via that seemingly simple toss of a slim metal disc…

That…is Divination.

And Divination via Tarot works in much the same way as Divination via coin-toss…only imagine using a coin that has 78 faces instead of just 2…

Divination: ask (the Divine), and ye shall receive (Answers)…

5 thoughts on “Just what is “Divination”…?

    1. @thewritealice: Thanks so much! I appreciate you reading, and I really appreciate you commenting! I mean, I could pull some cards to see if people are digging this post, but I’ll certainly take direct replies here, too! 😉

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