divination, telling the future, spirits

Introduction to Divination Tools

Divination is a form of energy communication. An ancient practice of searching for guidance, knowledge, messages or even inspiration from spirits or higher consciousness. Divination is one of the most practiced types of magic. Even non-magical people will sometimes flip a coin to make a decision or open a fortune cookie with more than random curiosity.

Divination is a common practice amongst Pagans of all Traditions. It takes many different forms, and there are nearly countless techniques. Which one works for you will be largely preference and results from personal experience. No one single method is better than another. The ultimate goal is to find the best way to express your natural psychic gifts. Everyone possesses that ‘sixth sense’, some are just more aware of it than others.

If you are interested in growing your psychic senses, divination might be a good way to do this. Remember, the more you practice the better you will get at it. Don’t get discouraged if it is a bit overwhelming at first. Start with tools you feel comfortable with and you can try more complicated methods as your skills develop.

Divination tools work on the principle that all things are connected. Our own consciousness is one with the Universal Consciousness and as thus we can access a great deal of guidance and knowledge by attuning ourselves via divination to that greater knowledge repository.

Here are some popular Divination tools used today

tarot cards, oracle cardsOracle cards

Not to be confused with Tarot cards. Oracle cards usually have a theme or set of deities/characters that allow the reader to communicate with that particular Oracle set. When you pull a card from the deck, the card pulled is typically the one the higher power you are communicating with wants you to read and interpret so you can find your answer.

Tarot cards

I’d venture to say Tarot cards are the most popular and well-known of the divination tools. Tarot card readings tell a story, drawing on metaphysical concepts. Reading Tarot, however, can be a complex method of divination. Containing 78 cards of the major and minor Arcana, there are nearly infinite meanings. Though it takes a bit of research, practice, and patience, learning to read a Tarot deck is a great tool in divination.

birds, birds flying, migration


This refers to Divination made by watching birds. Often referred to as omens depending on the sightings or actions of birds, migrations, etc.


Runes are an archaic Norse Alphabet that has become a powerful set of magical symbols. The 24 letters of the Elder Futhark are the most common form of runic divination. They are often etched or drawn on bones, stones, wood, etc. Each rune has a set of meanings – a phonetic sound, a literal meaning, and a figurative meaning. There are several popular ways to use runes, one of the most is to pull a random rune from the rune bag for a straight, to the point answer to your question.

crystal ball, scrying, divinationScrying (Crystal Balls, Mirrors, Smoke/Fire, Water)

Scrying is one of the oldest forms of divination. The term comes from the word ‘descry’ meaning to ‘make out dimly’.
Scrying works best in a meditative state. The scryer then gazes into a bright or reflective object. Some of the most popular being crystal balls, scrying mirrors, smoke or fire, and water. The information usually comes in the form of images, though some practitioners may also hear sounds or feel sensations. Scrying does take some time and practice, but with focus, the images and interpretations will get stronger.

tea, tea cup

Tea Cups

Like scrying, reading tea leaves present the reader with various images to interpret. Tea reading involves drinking a cup of loose-leaf tea and examining the pattern the leaves make at the bottom of the cup.

Dowsing Rods

Dowsing rods are pretty specific and usually used for finding things or places rather than foretelling the future. Most dowsing rods are used for finding minerals or water, with other uses such as finding oil, gemstones or even gravesites. Dowsing rods are L or Y shaped twigs or rods. The user walks around with the rod in their hand, waiting for a sign such ass a dip, incline, twitch or twist to indicate they have reached the spot where the item they are searching for is located.

Lithomancy Gemstones

The analysis and interpretation of an arrangement of specific stones or gemstones after being dropped or thrown. It is one of the oldest forms of Divination. Most traditional sets include 13 stones, 6 for major topics and 7 for the primary signs of ancient astrology. Each stone has a meaning.

astrology chart, star chart


The reading of the planets and stars and how they affect us. This is also another familiar way of Divination that most people have heard of (Mercury retrograde anyone?). Horoscopes are very common, the zodiac is made of 12 houses in Western astrology. The Chinese use a different system, basing year on a single house, usually symbolized by animals.

spirit board, ouija board

Spirit Boards

Spirit boards, such as the Ouija board, are also a popular tool for divination. These boards are typically engraved with numbers, letters, and ‘yes and no’ to aid the spirits in their responses to questions. Usually utilized with a planchette, the user places their hand on the device, ask a question, and waits for an answer to be spelled out. Many believe the use of such devices can open portals or invite bad spirits into the earth realm, and must be used with some caution.

Aura Reading

Some people claim to see the aura around a person. These auras are often depicted as colors, which can be then be broken down to give a sense of a persons’ health, mental state, etc.

automatic writing, writing, parchment

Automatic Writing

Usually used by someone channeling a spirit, or accessing the spirit realm to access messages or symbols which are written down for later interpretation.


Numerology is the practice of studying numbers to answer questions or anticipate hardships. In numerology, your life path number is the most important. To gain this number you add the single digits of your birth month until you end up with a single digit (i.e. – 2011 = 4). Repeating this process for your birthday and year, then again for the sum of all 3. The final, single digit number is your life number.


The reading of palms. Palmistry uses the natural creases and lines in the palm of your hard to chart out things like length of life, success in business, etc.



A Pendulum is a weighted string used to gain information about a question, object or environment. It is held on one hand, while suspended over a sheet of paper with simple ‘yes or no’ answers; while the user observes the subtle movements the pendulum makes. Pendulums are inexpensive and easy to use. They can be nearly anything that can be suspended by a string or chain, including necklaces, fishing weights, etc.
Pendulums are great for ‘yes or no’ questions.

Vision Quests

A Native American tradition. It is based on the induction of visions. Usually aided by deep meditation methods.

Wind Listening/Wind Watching (Austromancy)

Based on meditation and deep listening of the surroundings. Usually done out in nature. It can include listening to the wind and its effects on objects such as trees and clouds.

The I Ching

I-Ching is a divination tool from ancient China. It traditionally consists of yarrow sticks, but modern methods utilize 3 coins. You can use any kind of coin on hand, as the message in the coins is not connected to their value. Each side of the coin has a Ying and Yang value (heads or tails). To gain your answers, you toss the coins a total of six turns, writing down the assigned numerical values as lines. After 6 tosses, you will have a hexagram. The meaning of this hexagram number is the answer to your question by using a Hexagram identification chart.

Akashic Records

This is a newer method for me and one I’m not particularly knowledgeable on. The Akashic Records are believed to be the records of all events, wisdom, and experience in the universe. The term comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Akasha’ meaning ‘Ether’. The Akashic records exist in the astral plane, accessed by the higher unconscious mind or the soul. Accessing these records comes in the form of meditation, astral travel, and dreams.


Also referred to as Spirit talking. Channeling is the interpretation of energy being received from a spirit. The information received is given directly to the recipient without interpretation.

As you can see there are several kinds of Divination tools and methods you can use in your personal practice. Which you learn will depend on what you are attracted to, or have an affinity towards. There are many more out there to explore as well.
Hope you have enjoyed!

Love and Light,

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