It is commonly assumed that events which happen in life can be random. When an event seemingly out of your control happens it’s considered bad luck. However, since everything seems to be connected this does not make sense. Even a slight event in the far reaches of the universe will affect you in some way, although you might not notice the effects and the cause might be even more obscure to you.
Magic is an attempt to control this randomness, under the assumption that the subconscious knows no limits. It would however be extremely tiring to try to control your whole life through deliberate magic rituals. Traditional people have solved this to some extent through ritualizing everything. They have songs, taboos and a code of conduct for almost everything. Integrated in a culture which all the participants believe in it 100% will in my opinion be a quite powerful way of adding some predictability to the chaos. I will consider such ritualization of your daily life in a later article.
Another option to attempting to control the future is to read it so you can make the proper adjustments to prevent or encourage a development. This is if you believe fate to be changeable. There are basically 4 ways of looking at the future which moderates the usefulness of divination. These are simply extremes and one’s belief-system might lay somewhere in between these.
- As random. To this person divination is mere child’s play.
- Various paths available branching like an endless tree.
- Pre-determined from the past either by yourself in a previous existence or different plane, by the shared subconscious or by a god or otherwise divine entity.
- As pre-determined in endless cycles where time is completely irrelevant.
To number 1 divination is not interesting. For number 3 and 4 the future is absolute, although number 3 might believe he can affect future by deliberate means such as prayer and rituals. Number 2 is the pragmatic choice that can be understood either fully physically or spiritually. By reasons I might explain another time I tend to lean towards something in between 3 and 4.
Self-fulfilling prophecies is a cause of concern for the people hovering around 1, 2 and partially 3, but is irrelevant to number 4 since this person believes it would happen anyway and that this self-fulfilment is part of fate as much any other event in life. In any case, to protect yourself from this danger, avoid asking too direct question about the future unless it’s about something which you don’t consider important. The more vague you are, the less useful the oracle is, but it also saves you from worrying about a prediction coming true. There seems to be a tendency for fears to come true. If you ask HOW to achieve something rather than IF you will achieve something you are protecting yourself from self-fulfilling prophecies.
For the Sceptics
For the sceptics hanging around nr. 1 I’ll ask you: How many times in your life have you experienced mathematically completely unlikely events? An example would be to meet a person in a place unfamiliar to you both, which you haven’t met for 10 years and have only recently started to think about again. For people who writes a diary such phenomena should be well known and easily reviewed.
An example from my life happened a while ago. At an oil platform I spoke to a guy who mentioned that they had seen some seals lately. I had not seen them there before, although I’ve been there many times and have spent many hours overlooking the sea. However, as soon as we stepped outside of the room we were in I clearly spotted a seal swimming right off the rig. I have not seen any since.
To me it is clear to me that this conversation was a “sign”, that we either picked up something or drew the seal towards us from the eagerness to see one. Cause and effect is never perfectly clear in magic, so as long as it works I don’t ponder too much about whether I’m reading the future or creating it.
Methods and Trance
Anything can be used to predict the future as long as you have integrated the meaning of the tools you are using into your belief system. Say in a binary toss with coins, you need to have fully decided in your life which side is yes and which is no. I’ll only quickly mention some other methods this time. They include: Reading rocks, tarot cards, reading the liver of an animal, coffee grinds etc… In a later article I may write a bit more about the ones I am using.
Binary tosses, numerology and very many other methods are very straightforward and you get a very clear reading due to the meaning of the system you are using, but they are limited in the way that you can’t normally see the unexpected unless paired with interpretation. In this case you “make” the signs and your ego can thus be a limiting factor. More interpretative oracles, such as reading rocks and coffee grinds has more room for seeing the unforeseen, but it requires a lot of focus and training for the answer to not be ambiguous fluff. On the contrary of some authorities on the magical arts, I do not think a trance is necessary when you use tools for telling the future, because everything is connected anyway. However, during interpretation it can be helpful to go into the appropriate mindset, perhaps connect to a certain “spirit” in order to see things more clearly.
All dreams have elements of past, present and future and cross various dimensions of our existence. Their meaning is usually very symbolic and to interpret the meaning of the dream to a meaningful degree you need to be culturally extremely close to the person who has had the dreams. And some symbols will still not make sense, but be a personal symbol that even the dreamer isn’t aware of himself. An example is a dream about snakes; for some that could be a dream about death, for others it could be about healing.
Everything is a sign for everything it’s being noticed by, even if the sign is very hard to see as significant or that it is very obvious in it’s meaning. For instance, seeing a pine marten could mean a very clear sign of danger to a squirrel. On the other hand a sign can be very subtle, like you hearing an fox screaming when considering a decision. Your thoughts at the very moment of the scream could be the way to go, or what to absolutely avoid, depending on what kind of symbolic meaning a fox scream has to you.
A strong cultural heritage is helpful in all interpretation of signs, clearly defined values and little external influence makes it far easier to understand which signs has whatever meaning. A person from Western society, does not have this homogenous spiritual tradition to support him/herself on and finding out what the signs mean to themselves can be extremely difficult.
A few people are particularly gifted or have long training in terms of seeing the future and can see it by slipping into a light trance and see it just like “it is”. The omission of the interpretative layer is definitely helpful, but here at least a slight trance would be needed. As far as I know a functionally sane person can not see the future constantly, or they he would mix it with the past and the present in daily tasks. I don’t believe anything is impossible though, so someone out there might be able to see the past, present and future simultaneously.
A person using visionary oracles is using his mind to interpret the “waves” or “energies” that constantly move through everything. It’s not possible for the rational mind to process such immense amounts of information, but the intuition filters out the relevant information and reproduces it in symbolism and imagery which you are familiar with in your life on earth.
As a last word of caution: A good seer doesn’t judge the subject whom he/she is reading. That will create a layer of ego that can influence the readings. The importance of empathy and association is something I will cover in a later article as it is essential for nearly all fields of magic.