D is for Divination

wildwood tarot deckIf we don’t believe in anything supernatural, if there are no forces of “woo woo” that can help us tell the future, can divination be of any use to Naturalistic Pantheists? This post will explore some of the ways we can interpret divination’s we do through a variety of techniques and how they can help us in our spiritual lives.

There are many different methods of divination, from watching the way birds fly to picking runes or tarot cards to reading horoscopes or ancient books like the I Ching. However, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that these things have any supernatural type of power to help you read the future or tell you what to do in life. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t useful.

Divination techniques are a psychological tool. They don’t tap into the universe but I believe they do tap into ourselves – into our minds and our subconscious. They act as a mirror to help us think about aspects of ourselves and and to see our situations differently. They stimulate our imaginations and the creative processes of our minds to reflect on problems and possible solutions. And they reveal to us things in ourselves that perhaps we were never aware of before.

We all share similar hopes, fears, needs and desires and this is why whatever cards we pull or horoscopes we read, we are likely to find something that is useful to us. And often that thing can help us to see situations in a new way or confirm things we didn’t want to face up to. We should however be sceptical and careful about our interpretations, especially if it merely seems to confirm our previous thoughts.

Of course, in one way the divinatory techniques can actually help to “predict” the future if we act on the interpretations we make of them – they help to create our future as we create it. If we make a decision to do something based on our interpretation of e.g. tarot cards – then that will create a different future for us than if we didn’t do anything. And divination’s can also be used as a tool to help us to focus in meditation or form a theme for our creative endeavours.

Weather prediction can be seen as a naturalistic form of divination – looking at what clouds are in the sky or following sayings like “red sky at night, shepherds delight” to help us interpret what the weather will be like in the next few hours or days. There is nothing supernatural here, its simply the laws of nature.

My favourite form of divination is the tarot card (I use the Wildwood Tarot Deck), although I don’t do divination’s very often. One way of using those cards is to do the Celtic Cross Tarot Spread so I will finish with a picture below explaining how to do it….

celtic cross tarot spread


7 thoughts on “D is for Divination

  1. I take a similar view of divination…that it is a symbolically potent key to unlock what we ourselves know. I have promised to do a tarot spread per day in 2013 to get back in touch with myself, my instincts, my recognition of those ‘edge of consciousness’ items of day to day life. I use a “Tree of Life” spread, and I always find it calming and revealing. I try to post once a week on “Tarot Tuesday”…but sometimes I skip. I’ve had cards of one sort or another since 1971….and I am really enjoying some of the decks NOT Rider-Waite related and less loaded with religious imagery.

  2. I sometimes use the Druid Animal Oracle deck, which has beautiful artwork. Interestingly, Philip Carr-Gomm writes very clearly in the accompanying book that the cards do not and cannot predict the future and should not be used for that. What they do is reveal hidden dynamics in thoughts and events that you can then act upon, much like you state above. I don’t think there has to be anything ‘woo’ going on there, it’s more of a psychological tool than a ‘magical’ one.

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