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Everything I know about divination comes from a family source, it comes from my ancestors and a path of history I’m proudly akin to. My earliest memory of divination comes from when I was roughly 3 years old and a naturally curious child as most 3 year olds are. So little and in many cases sneaky, I stood by the hallway in the late hours of the night and watched my mother work her beautiful blend of magick. I was mesmerised, the dense smoke from the censer curled out of a red hot piece of raw coal as more and more incense was added. A crystal placed poignantly by the side of the censor twinkled in the flame of her working candle. The energy in the room felt thick enough to run your fingers through, to this day that is what magick feels like to me.
There I watched her lay out card after card, her brow furrowed with concentration and every now and then she would pause and rest her chin on her hand as though she were considering a proposal. Then more cards would be laid out. It was soothing to watch her and I remember thinking, one day that will be me.
It was around that same time that I began connecting deeply with symbolism and interpreting them in weird and wonderfully childish ways. I would press leafy offerings into damp soil, preferably mud and from there I would divine what both leaf and earth was kind enough to show me. Then it was concrete and after that clouds and after that flame. Each method presenting itself organically, in fact it wasn’t until my induction into the blood mysteries that divination was explained to me in its divine entirety and once it had, I was hooked.
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Under the guise of my beloved grandmother, I began exploring the tarot; I so wanted to be like my mother and was confident that if I spent the time, the cards would soon speak to me like the leaf and mud, like the clouds. Well... they didn't when they didn't I felt gutted. I could not for the life of me understand why and my grandmother, mother and older sister weren't permitted to tell me. I remember feeling deeply frustrated and irritated and when I voiced my feeling asking my grandmother why it was that she wouldn’t help me and why no one seemed to care that this was upsetting me…. All she said was “these are the old way”. This response was not well received by a hormone charged, suborn and temperamental teenager, in fact I remember thinking that if the “old ways” were a person, then I would very much like to punch said “old ways” in the face lol.
You see, in my tradition, divination is the journey of highest vibration, it comes from a divine source and as such it is the source that must guide, offering someone help in this area is forbidden as it is seen as interfering with the flow of the divine. And while the principals of tarot and the fools journey were explained to me in detail, the connection, the feeling, well that was up to me to both attain and decipher. “They will speak to you” said my mother, “you’ll see the message in your mind’s eye, and you may even here the whisper in your ear”. Well needless to say, I didn’t.
In the end, it was my little sister who bought me the answer…. And answer wrapped in dark silk. It was the cards, the deck that I had been using; they were not speaking to me. They were not mine even though they were mine, our friendship had not properly formed because we didn’t really enjoy the others energy and in the end these cards went to someone else who uses them to this day.
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When I discuss this with others I’m comfortable speaking to about such things, I’m often asked if I have tried oracle cards. My answer is always “no, they are not for me” because I have always found oracle cards to be shallow when compared to tarot lacking both history and depth. And then 6 days ago, as I stood in my local new age shop, I picked up a deck of oracle called “The Golden Path” and there it was, that feeling, a connectedness unlike any I had felt prior to any deck I had ever touched. It filled me with a warm comfortable feeling that was akin to trust, I felt my subtle body ripple, allowing them in so to speak, it was so strange, so welcome and yet I immediately put them back on the shelf out of pure stubbornness, truth be told I felt embarrassed to buy them, especially after holding such a negative opinion of oracle cards for so long.
For the next week they haunted me, their image, that feeling so I went back to visit them again and still I left without buying them. And then, I had started dreaming about them so I went back a third time, this time with my father. I bought a little bronze statue of Venus of Willendorf and a tarot bag. Whilst there I said hello to the deck of oracle and as I held them in my hand my dear old dad leaned over my shoulder and said “what have you got there”. I explained to him it was the deck that had been practically haunting me but that I didn’t like oracle cards and refused to buy them. I then paid for my goods and left the store to answer a phone call. When dad finally caught up with me a minute or two later, he handed me a package, it was the bloody oracle cards, I couldn’t believe it. I had to laugh, especially when he said “The art work really spoke to me, very beautiful” he continued.
And so began my induction into oracle cards and while they are entertaining me at the moment, my search for the deck of tarot truly meant for me continues. I have come close a few times; to this day I am unable to go as deep with my reading as my mother does with hers. I have a sneaking suspicion that the one deck meant for me is actually hers.