I will be the first to tell you that I reach for the bones when I’m anxious about something coming up. I’ve found myself doing it more an more lately as I’ve been getting back into the swing of divination. I’m doing little readings for just about everything that is about to change in my life and….well, I really need to stop.

Because, in some ways, I set myself up for disappointment. Divination isn’t infallible, and even the best reader can’t anticipate everything. It is important to remember that divination provides a snapshot of the most likely outcome at that moment. If factors in your life shift and change, then the reading will no longer be accurate.

So, if you’re getting a reading on a housing situation (as an example) and you find that something you were told was not accurate — calm down, slow down, and evaluate all of the factors. Did you do something after getting the reading that sped up the process, like calling your realtor? Did you do something that slowed down the process, like punching a hole in the wall that now needs to be repaired and tracked in your deposit?

It should go without saying that your actions have more of an impact on your life than any divination tool.

Knowing this, what is the best way to get a reading and process the information from that reading?

  • Ask clear cut questions. “Will there be a change in my career soon?” is miles better than “Do the cards/runes say anything about my job?” The second question is more likely to tell you things you already know, like how miserable you are at your current job! The first gives more room for forecast, whether or not there will be a change, factors leading up to it, and so on.
  • Ask questions. Now, I can’t speak for every reader — but I don’t mind clients asking questions, especially if I haven’t explained something in a way that they understand. Asking questions can give you a better idea of what the cards or runes mean, and how to personally interpret them. This is especially important if there are details you haven’t let your reader know. You always have more of the picture than they do!
  • Take notes or review the reading (if given to you in written form). Sometimes it takes awhile to process a reading. Taking notes can help you think back on it at a later time. If you’re getting a reading online, going back and re-reading it can also be helpful.
  • Do not be hasty. Do not base major life decisions on divination. I know that you’re asking the questions you are for reassurance — that’s the same reason I do divination. But it is important to make informed decisions. If something big is coming up, it is fine to get divination for guidance and reassurance, but base your decision making processes on more concrete, less malleable, things.
  • Think about the big picture. There are a lot of things going on in our lives, and they often times influence things in ways we don’t immediately realize. Take the time to think about the big picture, and how X may be having an impact on Y, and vice versa. There may be things influencing factors in your life that you’re not immediately aware of — not being aware of these influences can make a reading seem inaccurate, or leave you unprepared for changes.
  • Be realistic. Divination is an art, not a science, and accuracy is a hard thing to achieve. Be realistic when you get your readings. This goes hand in hand with looking at the big picture and not being hasty with your decision making processes.
  • Make informed decisions. Another bedfellow to “don’t be hasty” and “be realistic”. Take every factor into account, and make decisions based on the reality of your life. Making decisions based on divination can leave you unprepared.
  • Do not get readings on the same thing too often. You’re going to get frustrated, and you’re going to be disappointed because you’re either going to get wildly varying readings or you’re going to start feeling lied to when things don’t happen immediately. Take time to review and really think about a reading before you go shopping for the next diviner to tell you what you want to hear. Be aware that people performing divination sometimes know each other, and will be aware of the fact that you’ve been “reader shopping” for the answer you want. This can have an impact on your reading.
  • If you get an answer you don’t want, that is a cue to sit back and evaluate the question as well as another opportunity to look at the big picture… and every other possible factor. Instead of thinking the person reading for you is bad at what they do, consider everything and the possibility that you’re not going to get the answer you WANT right now.
  • If you’ve taken the time to evaluate the reading, and the factors in your life surrounding it and you finally come to the conclusion that the person reading for you just doesn’t mesh with you or seems to be consistently off on their readings… find someone else. Try and do it as amicably as possible since they did provide you a service.
  • And the most important tip: Accept divination for what it is and that it does, indeed, have limits.

I really do recommend keeping a divination journal, especially if you’re getting readings from people. This allows you to track your readings, and see if there are any trends that you need to be aware of (asking the same question too many times, etc.). Record the question you’re asking, who you’re using to read for you, and the results — while being aware that results could take time. Keeping tabs on who read for you can help you remember who meshed well with you so that you can use them again in the future.

If you find that you’re getting really emotionally upset while you’re getting readings, I also recommend stepping back and giving yourself some space. It is best to come to a reading with a clear head. This isn’t saying get 100% emotional control over yourself, just try and get a little cognitive distance between yourself and the process of divination. Coming to divination in emotional turmoil sets you up to have a lot resting on the outcome, and can cause you further distress when you don’t get the reading you “wanted”.

If you’re reading for yourself, one of the worst things you can do (in my experience) is re-shuffle and re-ask the same question because you didn’t get the answer you wanted or the answer you got was upsetting. If you find yourself doing this over and over again, put the cards away. Go do something to relieve the state of distress you’re in… and this kind of self care will look different for everyone. I put the cards away and read or play a video game, but you may need to go outside or talk to a friend.

As always, things are going to vary from person to person. There may be aspects of this you disagree with (“Sometimes I re-shuffle and re-read because my cards are being dicks!” That’s fine, then I’m not addressing you!). Feel things out, write things down, say them aloud, or however you learn best and find something that works for your particular set of needs.

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4 thoughts on “Managing Your Expectations: Divination

  1. Good post, but a question. (just out of curiosity). Do you try to base your methods of divination on historical accounts? I can’t find many relevant historical accounts, so I wondered wether you had access to information I do not have or that you decided to move forward without that information.

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    1. Hello! The divination I am discussing here is not based on historical accounts. I will be doing some writing on historical divination in the future.

      My personal go to is divination with runes, with a tendency towards intuition rather than any kind of structured layout.

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      1. Im still working out how I want to build my own rune-set, currently using hem less as a divination tool and more as focus for meditation and prayer. I have ideas on how I’d use a runeset, but I do perfer atleast knowing what (likely) happened back in the day, so I’m looking forward to reading what you will write!

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  2. Fantastic! Egil’s Saga has some advice for would be rune-carvers… which is don’t unless you know what you’re doing! Study can never hurt you. I advise staying away from anything published by Ralph Blum.

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