As far back as the 14th century, divination was considered the art or practice that would seek to foresee or foretell future events. Discoveries of hidden knowledge, usually by the interpretation of omens or by the assistance of supernatural powers was how it was perceived. Today, the idea is not so different.
Divination is considered unusual insight or intuitive perception. As intuitive beings, we often tend to let go of or lose sight of this ability as we age. Children are extremely intuitive and utilize this ability daily. As we grow older, it seems that we tend not to trust these feelings, images, or concepts from our mind’s eye. They almost seem odd, irrational, or just something that is hard to believe. The Art of Scrying, or in other words, tapping into the supersensory powers of your subconscious, are just other ways of “paying attention.”
Divination itself can take various forms, including the direct observation of events; which have not (yet) occurred, through a medium such as scrying.
The interpretation of patterns: formed by objects or on surfaces. This included the reading of tea leaves and palmistry.
The selection of objects with meanings: such as from a bag or deck of Tarot Cards. This would include the Runes, Ogham and Coins, or I-Ching. While divination is often a structured and methodical process it is never purely rational.
In adopting a divinatory tool, such as the runes, pendulums, crystals, color, or whichever tool you choose, you are taking on certain responsibilities. It is one thing to divine for yourself, but the big responsibility comes when you are working for others. Learn your craft and learn it well.
Before beginning divination, we need to mention the importance of keeping a divination journal. This is a journal in which you record all of your readings, including the medium, and format or spread used, the cards or runes that turn up, your analysis and interpretation of the spread, and any follow-up observations about the accuracy of the reading.
You should also record anything that seems relevant about the context of the reading (e.g., your physical or mental state, astrological conditions) as well as any potentially synchronistic events that occur during the divination. If you have additional insights after the reading, you should go back and note them in your journal too. Remember a single reading may impact more than just the immediate future. Thus your journal becomes a repository of your experiences in divination, in which you can accumulate discoveries of both general and personal significance. By reviewing your journal periodically you will hone your reading skill.
From a religious standpoint, we are in effect requesting an audience with the Gods. We are asking that They give us advice on a problem, reveal Their Will, or give us a glimpse into the future. It should be apparent that we should not present the Gods with trivial or frivolous questions. Further, we should not resort to divination before we have availed ourselves of more mundane means of problem-solving.
One way to convey your sincerity is to conduct divination as a ritual. Not an act of passive fatalism, Divination is the window through which we have the opportunity to see what needs to be altered, as Magicians we are in a position much like a Tailor with clothing we have the power to modify the outcome. Divination reveals the set future, as it stands if nothing were to change at a given moment of time. The future is not fixed, we are free to choose how we will raft the river of fate.