What is it Good for Anyway?
Divination has become so associated with unscrupulous fortune-tellers, that people who consider themselves to be reasonable, rational, moral people regard the whole subject of divination with derision and contempt. “They’re all con artists,” the thinking goes, “and divination tells us nothing of any value.”
There are solid reasons for regarding divination as a worthwhile and beneficial pursuit. But before getting to those reasons, let’s go over a basic lesson in the functioning of the human brain. Science tells us that the brain has a built-in analyzer. It gathers data, evaluates it, weighs it, assesses it, categorizes it, and organizes it. This part of the brain is the master of abstract concepts. Another part of the brain is the conceptualizer. It is the part of the brain where we visualize things, imagine things, and create things. This part of the brain is receptive to in-put, but it processes data in a different way than the analyzer part of the brain.
Even since the Eighteenth Century, C.E. western society has considered the analyzer part of the brain the preferred arbiter of facts and truth. Though appreciative of the products of the conceptualizer part of the brain—art and literature—it regards with a good deal of skepticism, the value of the conceptualizer part of the brain’s other products, such as dreams, visions, and prophecies.
So why, in this rational, reasonable, analyzer-brain-preferring society we live in, should we devote any attention to, or time learning about, the vaporous, ‘woolly’, hard-to-pin-down subject of divination?
Some Good Answers
Divination is a way of communicating with the conceptualizer part of the brain. The conceptualizer part of the brain has information and advice for us, just as valuable as information from the analyzer part–though the analyzer part of the brain would probably disagree. The trick is getting to it. This part of the brain simply doesn’t function the same way the analyzer does. You must approach the conceptualizer on its own terms. Divination can be a good method of communication with the conceptualizer, and getting it to provide information.
Divination can be used as a tool for personal growth. In many divination systems, their various pictures and symbols carry implicit moral lessons which the inquirer (known traditionally in divination terms as the ‘querent’) needs to hear, but which loving family and friends may be reluctant to tell them or find impossible to convey to them. It can give the inquirer food for thought, and can serve as valuable subjects for meditation. Perhaps more importantly, when the inquirer can see which decisions in the past led to their current situation, and where such thinking is likely to take them in the future, they can then choose to behave differently. Divination can be an impetus for change.
Divination can help us prepare for change. One of the most valuable things divination can do for us is act as an early-warning system. If you are the sort of person who does not handle change or surprises well, divination can be a helpful friend. When divination highlights coming change, it sometimes tells us whether the change is avoidable or unavoidable, good or bad. We can then decide how we are going to deal with the change to come before it catches us unprepared. Divination can be a traffic signal or a roadway sign.
Divination can help us see the Larger Now. Divination can help us see the details in a problematic situation which we are overlooking, or of which we are unaware. A friend I read for once put it this way: “When I ask you to do a reading for me, I’m not asking just to find out what is going to happen in the future. Sometimes, it just helps me to see my problem spelled out in images I can understand.” Many people find visual cues invaluable in their thought processes. For them, seeing their problem spelled out in images they can understand is their first step toward getting control of the situation and resolving it. Divination can give us perspective.
Divination can help us make decisions. Sometimes we have to make a quick decision, with little or no information. A divination tool at those moments can be a wise adviser who helps us discern the better of two or more equally-good options, or can even help us identify the possibility of still another option. Divination can help us be decisive and open up new possibilities.
Divination can save us from making a mistake. Perhaps we want to invest in a certain stock, may a play for that attractive person at school or work, or take up a fun-sounding, dangerous hobby. Divination can tell us if the company is sturdy, the attractive person is a bad prospect for romance, or if skydiving is not for us. Divination can save us some pain.
Divination can prevent us from hurting others. Sometimes in life, it looks to us like someone else has behaved very badly, when there are other factors in the situation of which we are unaware. We then treat them based on how they look to us. Then we find out later, be it hours, days, weeks, months, or years later, that the real story was something different, and we were very wrong to treat that person the way we did. It can be painful and embarrassing to realize we mis-treated someone who didn’t deserve it, and atonement may not be possible. Divination can help us walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.
Divination can help us find what’s missing. Whether it’s a missing object, a missing person, a missing piece of information, or lost treasure, there are a few divination systems which can save us time, as well as wear-and-tear on our nerves, by acting as a member of the search party. Divination can fill in the blanks and save us from having to rustle-up assistance.
Divination can help us communicate with those not here in the flesh. You’re in a predicament and you really wish you could get some input on the situation from your wise old Grandmother, but she’s dead, so you can’t call her on the phone. Why not pick up a card deck, or bag of stones, and ask her? If you ask for someone specific to answer you, they can answer you, and if they can’t ‘come to the phone right now’ very-likely someone else who cares about you will step in and answer. Divination can shorten the distance between two people.
Divination is a conversation with the Divine. Sacred scripture is God delivering a monologue. A really, really long monologue. Sometimes, that is what will best help. Some people are naturally more-inclined to listen than to talk. Other people would much rather learn by picking someone’s brain, by talking things out with someone. Or their feeling is, ‘yes, scripture is all well and good, but my situation is a special case.’ Divination is made for this latter-type of person. You ask a question, the Divine, however you conceptualize He/She/It/We/They, answers. Divination is a give-and-take.
Not every divination tool or method will provide all of these benefits. Certain divination methods or tools lend themselves more to certain purposes than to others. On this website, you will learn which tools to use in what situations. But all of them have value to the sincere, honest, open-minded seeker, and can change your life for the better, if you let them.