The various mantic arts of ancient Egypt and Greece have survived to us unto the present day. So widespread was their practice that even millenia of Christian oppression was unsuitable for wiping them out entirely. Much was undoubtedly lost, but much was preserved thanks to encryptions of various kinds, and thanks to the fear of even the most Christian of rulers, and their desire to know their fates ahead of time.
In our system, there are two aspects of divination: the diviner, and the oracle. Above and beyond these is a seer, who may use oracles but is not dependent upon them. That, however, exceeds the scope of the current essay.
The Diviner: This refers to the person conducting the inquiry to the higher powers. Today, this individual is oftentimes someone with an inherent psychic ability, this being required in lieu of a training process which would allow others to make use of divination. Thus, the power of the divination today depends mostly upon the psychic intuition of the diviner.
The Oracle: The oracle is the mechanism being used to interpret the answer to the inquiry. In ancient times a Theurgist would use a spinning device called an Ynx (or “Iunges”), somewhat like a Tibetan prayer wheel, which would contain many formulae and sacred geometrical patterns used to indicate the answer. Simpler divination would be done using three dice, to create a possible series of 216 answers depending on what the numerical values of the die were attributed to. Bone-casting was also used. In instances of personal inquiry for others, palm reading was very common.
Today the practice of divination has fallen someone into disrepute. Many people, lacking some manner of proper training and method progression in their system of divination, combine it partly with the power of the oracle, and partly with intuition. The power of the oracle being used, however, is somewhat dependent upon the user’s ability to activate it. Without this activation, excess reliance is had on the instinct and intuition of the individual. In some people, naturally gifted psychics who would have traditionally been picked out as seers from a young age and given thorough training, this is sufficient for great results. Even still, though, there are some pitfalls. For example, many things can be garnered from instinct just as much as intuition or psychic inspiration. All of us instinctually know a great deal about face reading, and the recognition of otherwise ultra-subtle body language.
Things that we are not consciously processing, such as the rate of a person’s breath, the openness of their eyes, the puffiness of certain places on their face, and whether or not it is their right or left side which is leaning towards us the slightest half of an inch, is all taken into account subconsciously. This applies even more so when a person is in the so-called “receptive state” that many psychics will go in to. The desire is to know more about the person, and therefore more of that kind of information will be presented to the conscious mind. The conscious mind, unaware of its origin, will identify it as psychic inspiration. The result will be that the psychic will come out of their trance and proclaim, “You have lost someone dear to you recently,” and this will stun the client. The truth, however, is that we can instinctually recognize the signs of intense grief, even if they are all but suppressed, and we know that among humans, only so many things can be the cause of that grief. If you guess that the person lost someone close, you would have a great chance of being correct. A psychic will receive this information by going “passive,” but an Ayurvedic or Chinese healer would have been able to see it as soon as the person walked in.
This by no means suggests that the psychic intuition has no value in a reading. It has inestimable value. However, we must also be aware of the subtle subconscious factors which may be influencing us, especially since these often account of inaccuracies. The conscious mind of the psychic may try to rationalize their instinctual feel of the person with the outter person right in front of them, and in over-analyzing how they feel, come to an incorrect conclusion. This is why the “first impression” is often stressed in trying to do a psychic reading: it allows you to cut out the conscious process of analyzing subconscious information. This rule applies both for receiving subconscious instinctual information as well as genuine psychic data.
The Purpose of Oracles
The principle way that the psychic can avert instinctual redirection or interference is by gradually removing one’s own self from the reading process. Thus, oracles are used. By becoming skilled in the use of a certain oracle, like the Tarot or the I-Ching for example, the psychic is able to remove the “I-ness” from the reading process. There are an incalculable many factors involved in how the flip of a coin will come out, or which card will come up, or which way a dice will roll. It is not just a matter of chance. For example, if I roll a dice, one could say there is a one in six chance that it will land with a certain side up. Technically, this is correct. But there are a incredible number of factors influencing which of those six numbers ultimately does land face up. The strength of the roll, a flick of the wrist in a precise angular direction, at what point the fingers were released to let the dice out, the velocity of the dice once it left my hand, which side initially struck the ground and how hard, what the friction of the surface the dice is rolled upon is, how far the dice travels across that surface, etc. The variables are nigh infinite. So when the dice finally lands with a six facing up, it is like a small miracle, when one considers the great complexity of events required to cause its happening, and how many things could have changed it along the way. Instead, they all came together to create that single outcome.
It is precisely that complexity which creates the power of an oracle. All of those factors create a sort of cloud of destiny, a general haze with no set outcome. It is this “haze” that is so easily influenced by spirits, and by our own higher rationalities which supercede the conscious mind. To do this, though, a spirit needs to be invited. And, an important but often forgotten rule, every oracle has spirits unique unto itself, and a god-force which governs it. The more synchronized the diviner is with the powers which govern over the oracle, the more accurate the oracle reading will be. At that point, it is the power of the diviner, that psychic skill, which will allow an accurate interpretation of what the oracle has presented.
Which spirits govern which forms of divination, and which higher beings, must be learned either by instruction or from the spirits themselves. Without this knowledge, the full extent of the oracle will never sufficiently be tapped, and accuracy can never be guaranteed. On the other hand, if a powerful bond is had with the forces which govern the oracle, then the diviner may rest assured that their divination will never be wrong – only their interpretation will have room for error, and this is quickly corrected by experience.