As I mentioned in the beginning of this course, Energy Work takes on three forms: Magick, Divination, and Worship. We’re gonna talk about Divination and Worship in this lesson, and cram a whole lot of information into a very short space. I want to make it clear, however, that Divination and Worship both deserve just as much attention, focus, and study as casting spells and making magick work does. Take your time, delve deep into these subjects, and you’ll get far more out of them than you put in.
Divination takes as many forms as there are cultures, societies, and people on the planet. I could list forms of divination and not be done for a good long while, but I’ll hit the high points, at least, and then give you an overview of how divination works energetically, no matter what form your practice takes.
A very common form of divination that you will definitely run into is Cartomancy. Cartomancy involves using a deck of cards to gain insight into your life, the future, the people and events around you, and even into what supernatural or divine forces are at play in your life. Tarot, Oracle decks, and even using a deck of playing cards are all forms of cartomancy. Some readers or diviners use a set of proscribed meanings for the cards, some go for an intuitive interpretation of the cards, and others mix and match as they go.
You can buy a deck, make your own deck, borrow a deck from a friend; each reader has different ideas about how to get their hands on a deck for use in cartomancy. Some common ideas are that one should not buy their own deck, it must be a gift, and that one cannot read with a deck that belongs to someone else. Some readers won’t let the person they’re doing a reading for touch the deck, others tell their querents to shuffle and cut the deck. It’s a personal preference, and matters only to the reader.
Runes are another very common form of divination, especially among Norse pagans and Nordic witches. Alongside runes, we can place Ogham sticks, reading cowrie shells, and other forms of casting or drawing lots. Cleromancy is the drawing of lots, or casting of dice or other objects, to divine and gain insight. The diviner can use set meanings and patterns, or use intuition to read the objects. In cleromancy, the diviner either draws lots from a bag or pouch, or tosses items onto a flat surface. In some cases, where and how the items land, the patterns observed in them, and proximity to other meaningful items cast all carry meaning.
Pallomancy and Dowsing
Pallomancy is the use of a pendulum to divine insight. The diviner allows a weight to dangle freely, and then interprets the movement of the weight; circles, angles, and speed all have meaning. Most of the answers received from pendulum dowsing are yes/no/maybe, so gaining in depth insight can be a matter of asking 20 questions. However, pendulums can also be used to dowse.
Dowsing is the use of the movement of a tool held in the hands of the diviner to gain insight into the environment immediately surrounding the diviner. You can use a Y shaped rod, a pair of bent rods (often copper), a pendulum, or any other held tool that can freely move in the grip. Dowsing can reveal underground water sources, metal ores, caves, and can help lead a skilled dowser to hidden or lost objects.
To divine is to connect to a supernatural force and gain insight into questions about the world, your self, and other people. Whether that supernatural force is a divine being, the Universe as a whole, or some other ‘thing’ is wholly determined by the framework of the diviner.
To divine, one first grounds and centers oneself, then connects to that greater energy. Focusing on the question at hand, the diviner interacts with their tool to gain insight into the question. Moving energy into the tool, focused on the question, the diviner interprets feedback gained. Afterward, the remaining energy needs to be grounded, the tool and diviner cleansed of residual energies, and then the diviner re-centers and grounds themselves to return to a baseline.
In some ways, Worship is less well delineated in terms of energy work. Worship is an act of honor or veneration of a deity or divine figure or being. In some cultures, worship follows specific proscribed patterns and forms, while in others the relationship between worshipper and deity is more informal and relaxed. Worship can include prayer, sacrifice, offerings, and more.
Energetically, when one wishes to work closely with a deity, god or goddess, or other form of divine entity, it works the same way as connecting with any disembodied spirit. Remember that the being is sentient, capable of thought and feeling, and of reason. You enter into the relationship with the intent to create a mutually beneficial arrangement. Worship, energetically, is the part where you provide that benefit to the being you’re worshipping.
Just like Magick and Divination, Worship follows the same form. In the case of Worship, the energy you connect to often is the energy of the being you’re worshipping. Just as often, you connect to energy, raise energy, imbue it with your intent, and then offer that energy to the entity you’re worshipping. It’s a mutual relationship: sometimes the divine being is providing you with energy, sometimes you’re providing them with energy.
Worship flows in the same patterns as working with a coven or a partner in magick. To maintain a long term beneficial relationship, you give and take; first it’s your turn to benefit, then it’s their turn to benefit. Each half of the partnership should ideally benefit from being in the relationship. Your divine entity, god, goddess, or higher spirit is fed through your worship.
You can offer energy to your divine or higher spiritual partner through offerings that you’ve enchanted or charged, through offering food and drink, by prayer and visualization to send energy directly, or through sacrifice. A sacrifice is the giving up of something of value to you, in the name of, or for the honor of, the being you’re making the sacrifice for. This is the heart of why our ancestors sacrificed things; in addition to thinking that on an energetic level the sacrifice travels to the astral or otherworld directly, the energy of the sacrifice and veneration feeds the divine being. Whether this is what you believe or not is up to you, but it is a commonly held belief and rationale behind sacrifice.
(* You do not need to sacrifice a living thing for your sacrifice to be valid. It just needs to be something you value.)
Synchronicity and Intuition
Synchronicity is the phenomenon in which one observes unrelated events that have no apparent connection yet seem to be meaningfully related. Synchronicity has been picked up from the writings of Jung and applied to new age and modern occult thought. If you’ve ever thought of a song, and then turned on a radio to hear it playing, or contemplated calling a friend only to get a text from them, or wondered about how long that lightbulb lasts just to have it burn out the next day, those are examples of synchronicity.
For some, the invisible hand behind synchronicity is the divine, or a higher spiritual being pulling strings. Synchronicity explains how and why astrology, for example, can give insight to personality and motivations, despite the plainly observable fact that stars and planets have no real tangible effect on any given persons growth or development. Or does it?
In the same way, intuition seems to operate on a level unrelated to verifiable rational thought. Intuition and intuitive flashes can point out unseen patterns and draw attention to conclusions arising from the subconscious mind. The best explanation for intuition and synchronicity is that part of our minds unconnected to the conscious mind is always busy drawing comparisons, making inferences and conclusions, and can sometimes give us an awareness of things in the world that are not verifiable by scientific rational means.
Or, intuition and synchronicity mean that there is some overarching supernatural world beyond our normal waking touch, than impinges on our world and sometimes communicates to us. It’s up to you to decide whether a coincidence is meaningful or not. And, it’s important to be aware that “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”, or that, in other words, a coincidence is a coincidence. A reliance on apophenia or pattern recognition, an over reliance on synchronicity and intuition even in the face of rationality and science, and a rejection of reality and observable facts can all be hallmarks and warning signs of mental illness. If your belief in and reliance on the unseen causes harm to yourself or others, or negatively impacts your life, talk to a mental health professional, because that reliance and belief may be maladaptive and harmful for you.