Saturday, 28 May 2016


I've always been interested in divination, as long as I can remember. I love reading about different types of divination from all over the world, and have tried several myself, though I wouldn't call myself an expert in any of them. I recently acquired a new treasure, so I thought I'd do an overview of the sets I have and methods I've tried.

I've had this set of Norse runes since I was a teenager. I chose amethyst because it's said to be the crystal most associated with psychic and intuitive activities, but mostly because I love the colour purple. At some later stage, I embroidered the runic alphabet onto the bag. At one point about 6 years ago, I was using them fairly frequently and even did practice 'swap' readings for a couple of other people in online forums. This set was packed away for a long time after I moved house, and I only found them recently. I feel I would need to cleanse the crystals before using them again.

This runeset is made from Ash wood. I purchased it from Green Woman Crafts on Etsy about 6 months ago. They came in a hand-sewn pouch, which made them feel even more special. I daresay I like them even more than the crystal ones. They have a warmth to them, and on a practical level they also sit flat when I lay them out. I've been getting back into practice by drawing a rune most mornings for the past month or so, and I find that I often get insights from them.

These runes work on a system from a book of the same name by P. M. H. Atwater. I won't comment on the claims made in the book today. At the time I bought it (again, when I was a teenager) I didn't know any of that. It just looked like interesting to try, whether the method was an ancient one or not.
I made the runes from stones I found around my parents' garden. The method is to cast all of the runes plus a blank one which represents the querent. They are then interpreted on how close they are to the querent stone, moving outwards in a spiral. I haven't used these runes for a long time, but I can say the casting method appealed to me and seemed more intuitive than drawing them out of a bag.

I recently discovered that Norse runes can be cast as well, and I want to find out more about that and try it.

I Ching (The Book of Changes) is a Chinese book of divination. As I learned it, three coins are tossed. The heads-or-tails outcome is either yin or yang. The coins are tossed again and the second outcome either stays yin/yang, or changes to the polar opposite. (Hence the Book of Changes). Together, the two results form a six-part hexagram which corresponds to one of 64 poems in the book.
It's been years since I've used this method, so forgive me if I remembered some of the details incorrectly! As you can see, I used some ordinary 10c coins, which I marked with texta for clarity. I do keep them in a nice box, though. Dice, sticks, marbles or various other tools can also be used.

I Ching is a little different to other methods, as instead of an individual interpreting the outcome, the book is consulted. The text is a Chinese classic and has remained unchanged for 2,500 years. The intuitive part is not so much in interpreting the results, but applying the advice in the poem to the querent's particular situation.

In English these are known as moon blocks or kidney blocks. The pair of wooden blocks are flat on one side and curved on the other. They're a quick way to determine the answer to a question. Often people will use them to determine whether it's an auspicious time to consult the I Ching as well. The blocks are held in the hand, then dropped to the floor, and the answer stems from whether they land both curved side up, flat side up, or one of each.
I bought the set from an Asian grocery more out of curiosity than anything else. I haven't used them very much so far. The method is so simple and the outcomes so few and clear, it almost seems like cheating!

These are my newest treasure, and I haven't used them yet. Lenormand Cards are named after Madame Lenormand, a famous French fortune teller of the early 19th century. I only heard about this method a few months ago. There isn't a lot of information about them out there, and I haven't done a lot of research yet, but as I understand it, the method is this: the cards are shuffled and then all 36 cards are laid out in a grid. One card represents the querent, and the rest of the cards are interpreted depending on how close they are to the querent card.

The Lenormand Cards may seem similar to Tarot cards, but they have some important differences. I could never relate to Tarot, I don't know why. I was given a set as a teenager, but never used them very successfully, and ended up giving them away. The Lenormand method seems to use more intuition, almost like a card-based version of rune casting. As I don't know much about them so far, I'd love to hear opinions from anyone more knowledgeable than I am!

I wasn't thinking about purchasing a set, until I saw these Viking Lenormand cards, designed by BC Artworks. I couldn't resist. I also purchased the optional pouch to keep them in. I'm looking forward to giving them a try.


  1. I love your amethyst runes! It's my favourite gemstone. I've also never heard of jiaobei, how interesting! I used to be really into divination myself, but like you, I never really got on with tarot. It's really important to find a method that resonates with you on a personal level, and for me that was oracle cards. I've also heard that teenagers under 17 shouldn't try to read the tarot because the interpretation requires some level of life experience that you might not have by that age. I don't know whether it's true or not, but it makes some sense if you think about it...

    1. Thank you!
      I agree, I think finding a method that resonates with you is the most important thing. I like oracle cards too, I'd be interested to know which ones you have.
      I didn't know about not reading tarot before a certain age, but in a way it makes sense. I know I've gotten better at trusting my intuition as I've grown older.

  2. I have these Brian Froud ones -

    The book it comes with is very good! I've also used them as journal prompt cards before :)

    1. The artwork is amazing! Using them as journal prompts is a good idea, too.