Our ancestors were a hard-working lot who didn’t have time to take up esoteric studies of divination such as Astrology, Tarot, or even Playing Cards. Though they may have had some knowledge of these systems, their knowledge was often limited and/or highly specialized. For example, they may have known how to plant according to the moon’s sign or to break a habit when the moon is waning but chances are they couldn’t draw up and delineate a person’s natal, or birth, chart. Furthermore, they may have known that to draw the Ace of Spades was an omen of death or that Aces over Eights was a bad sign but relatively few of them could do a full reading with the cards beyond a simple card cutting. These systems of divination were often reserved for the professional psychic or rootworker, however that does not mean that there weren’t other options available to the average person. Many of these methods developed over time and were passed down through families and other contacts as traditional practices. Some Basic Items Used for Divination Folks often didn’t have money to spend on fancy tools like tarot cards and crystals balls so, as is often the case, the people made due with that they had. For this reason, you probably have several tools in your own home right now which can be used for the practice of divination. Some of these tools include, but are not limited to, the following: The Bible: The bible is a popular medium used in the practice of divination. Practitioners often have their own systems of operation but generally speaking a question is posed while holding the book, it is then opened to a random page with eyes closed and one's finger is also randomly placed onto a page. The passage on which one's finger falls is then read and interpreted in relation to the question that was asked. In other instances a large dictionary was also used in this manner. Sieve and Scissors: This method of divination was practiced in ancient Greece and was popular in 17th century New England, therefore, various methods of operation have been described. The easiest method consists of turning the sieve upside down and balancing it on the tip of a pair of scissors held upright. A subjective question (i.e. yes or no) is asked and if the answer is yes then the sieve will swirl around or even fall off of the scissors. In other instances, a question such as “Who stole my [whatever]” was asked followed by a list of possible suspects. When the guilty party’s name is mentioned the sieve will swirl or fall off the scissors. Colored Stones: Urim and Thummim are objects which are held in the breastplate of the Jewish High Priest and which are associated with a system of casting lots mentioned in the Holy Bible (1 Samuel Chapter 14). While there is no description as to the Urim and Thummim's form, it has been theorized that they are two dissimilar stones which can be distinguished from one another by their color, type of stone, or words which have been engraved upon them (1 Samuel 28:6). Again, while the precise manner in which to operate the Urim and Thummim is largely unknown it has been theorized that the Urim (a white stone) represents 'no'; while Thummim (a black stone) represent yes. To use the stones, they are placed in a bag, a objective question is asked and a stone is drawn unseen from the bag. Eggs: To determine if a person is crossed, jinxed, or hexed a fresh, raw egg may be passed over the body and then cracked into a glass of water. If the egg contains blood or any strange matter, this is considered a sure sign that the person is crossed up. Alternatively, an egg may be cracked into a clear glass of water and then used as a focal point for scrying, or crystal gazing. Determining Crossed Conditions Certain folk-magic practices prescribe various rituals to determine if one has been the target of a psychic attack, specifically in the form of the evil eye. Some of the rituals include: In Eastern Europe, three matches are lit one at a time and dropped into a pan of water. If the matches float on the water and cross one another it is considered a sure sign of spiritual attack. (See Photo Above) In Greece, a drop of olive oil is placed in a glass of holy water. If the drop floats you are fine, but if it sinks it is thought to be the effects of the evil eye. Alternately, two drops of olive oil are placed into a clear glass of water. If the drops stay separated there is no cause for worry. In Mexico, a fresh egg is rubbed over the body or alternately placed under the person’s bed overnight. The egg is then cracked open in a bowl and inspected. If there is blood, or anything ‘hard’ in the yoke, the individual is believed to be under the influence of the evil eye.
To Identify The Person Who Cursed You
Get something personal from someone you suspect in order to test them. Place the possession in a pot of water, add some salt, and set it to boil on the stove. If, while the object is boiling, that person shows up at your door or calls you, then that is who jinxed you. It is considered a truly damaging piece of evidence if the person mentions how hot it is, because it means they are feeling the heat of the boiling water. If they do not contact you, clean out the pot and wait a day, then move on to the next suspect. This procedure can be used to determine the name of the individual who stole something from you as well.
To Find the Source of a Spell and Break It
This spell works two-fold. First, it identifies who jinxed you and second it forces them to break the spell. To begin, find a black walnut tree growing in a secluded place and call it after the one who cursed you. Draw an X on the tree and drive a nail in its center part way. Everyday, drive that nail in a little farther. If the one you name is guilty, they will feel the pain of that nail. When they can't stand it anymore, they'll come for you, or send someone to borrow something from you. If you give them what they want, it will break the power of the nail and they'll keep tormenting you. If you don't give them what they want, they will have to stop or the pain will kill them.
To Know Your Love is True
In the magical tradition of the granny women of the Appalachian mountains if a girl wished to know if her boyfriend loved her she would hang a bible on a string and recite a Ruth 1:16-17 (where you go there shall I follow....) followed by the name of her beloved. It is said that if the bible turns on the string so that the open end would face the girl, then her sweetheart loves her and that they will one day marry. Similar procedures have also been reported for discovering a thief as well as taking off a spell.
To Dream of Your Future Husband
Place you shoes in the shape of a capital T before bedtime while reciting “I make of my shoes a T, hoping to my true love see!” and it is said that you will dream of your future husband.
Another For the Same
Place a sprig of rosemary in one shoe, and thyme in the other and then sprinkled them with water three times. The shoes are placed at the foot of one’s bed and it is said that the owner of the shoes will have a dream of her future husband.
To Know If You Will Be Married Within the Year
Finally, a girl wishing to know if she is to be married within the year is instructed to wait until the Eve of St. Andrews Day, which is observed on November 30th, and then throw her shoe at a door. It is said that if the shoe points in the direction of the door then she will marry.
Determining the Gender of an Unborn Child
More than a need to satisfy simple curiosity, to know the gender of a child before it was born was often necessary. Many folks believed that it was unlucky to put new clothes on a new-born child and so appropriate hand-me-down were often given by family and friends. In some places such as Ireland, boys were dressed in girls clothing to fool the devil who was believed to come after them. Alternately, a girl child was dressed in boy’s clothes in the belief that she would have many suitors in life.
Pendulum: Remove your wedding ring and hang it on a length of string or cord. Lie down and have your husband or another party, dangle the cord over your womb. If the cord swings in a circular pattern, the child will be a girl; however, if the cord swings in a straight line (either up and down, or left and right) the child will be a boy.
The Drano Test: Now disproved by science, many old-timers still swear by this method. This test should be performed outside in an area with plenty of ventilation as the combination of Drano and urine produces a caustic reaction as well as fumes. In a glass jar, place approximately two tablespoons of Drano and then add at least half a cup of your first morning’s urine. According to folklore, if the chemical turns brownish after about 10 seconds, the child will be a boy; if there is no color change after about 15 second then the child will be a girl.
What is a Spiritual Checkup and Why are they Important?
From time to time, we get so busy with our everyday lives that we forget how important it is to take the time to care for ourselves. Sure, we visit the doctor or dentist when something ails us or we are in pain and some of you are even diligent when it comes to getting your yearly checkups to make sure there aren't any problems and everything is working properly. But, how often do you perform a spiritual checkup for yourself?
All too often people wait until something is wrong before they take an active part in their own well-being. Sure, as magickal practitioners we put up our protections and if everything seems okay then we assume that our magic is working. I've also seen many people who put a great deal of faith in their own magic while discounting the power of others which can be a huge mistake.
However, those protections don't always work and sometimes things get through. Evil might come all at once like it breaking down your door and charging in like it owns the place, or it might just seep into your life through a small crack that you weren't even aware of. That's why it is important to perform a spiritual check up from time to time so that you can be aware that something is amiss before it has the opportunity to fully get to you and do the most damage.
For the average person, a spiritual checkup should probably be performed once about every 6 months. Other times when it would be wise to perform a spiritual check up include your birthday, New Year's, or anytime you feel that you need one. For one person that may be once every month for another it might be four times a year.
How to Perform a Spiritual Checkup
Begin by gathering several candles. They can be Vigil candles as in the illustration above or regular offertory candles. Set them up on your altar and designate each candle for a different area of your life. You can do this by assigning a specific color to each area of your life or if you only have white candles you can carve a keyword on each candle. If you go the second route, be sure to slip a piece of paper under each candle with its designation written on it or draw a little diagram for yourself so that you know which candle corresponds to what area of life it represents.
When your candles are ready, light them and pray Psalm 91 with the intention of having any dangers revealed to you. You will then observe the candles as they burn and take notice of how they burn or any marks they they leave behind.
For example if the candle designated for Money burns down clean, but the one designated Love burns dirty it could be a sign that someone is working against your relationship to break you up out of jealousy for your happiness or to take your partner from you. If you are single, and do not wish to be, it could be a sign that someone has cursed your love life so that you remain alone and lonely.
If this is the case, you should then think about how your relationship has been going lately. Have you been having problems out of the ordinary? Has your partner been distant? Have you been fighting more often? If so, you might want to have a reading performed on your behalf to look into the situation more in depth. Even if you don't think anything out of the ordinary is wrong it would be wise to do some work to strengthen and protect your relationship as well as to cleanse yourself and your environment. The same goes for any area of you life where negativity may be indicated.
Of Signs and Omens...
In addition to these simple rituals of divination or ancestors were keenly aware of their environment and often observed signs and omens which portend good or ill fortune. Some example of signs and omens are as follows:
To see a bird on your mail box means you should expect a message.
If a bird flies in the house is a sign that death will soon visit.
To hear an owl hoot is an omen of death.
An itching palm means money is coming.
An itching nose means company is coming.
To see blood on the moon means the death of a loved one.
A ring around the moon means rain in the summer, or snow in the winter.
When the Sun sets behind a cloud fortells rain.
To hear frogs singing means it will soon rain.
When the household broom falls means that company is coming.
When the morning sky is red it is an indication of storms.
To drop a knife at the table means a man will visit, a spoon indicates a woman, while a fork indicates two or more visitors.
Bubbles in your coffee cup means money is on the way.
Laughter in the morning means that you will cry before dark.
Ringing in the ears means someone is talking about you. Left for love, right for spite in the morning; at night itÃ¢s the opposite.
Walk through a spiderÃ¢s web and you will get a letter soon.
If a woman drops her apron sheÃ¢ll lose a friend.
If your left foot itches, you will walk where you are not welcome.
Forget to wash a dish and you can expect a guest at the next meal.
If a dog howls outside your house, someone inside will soon die.