Many different models of decision making have been developed but every model is ultimately based on a view of the world, humanity’s place in it and the role of the individual. Many who think good decision making must be rational or logical decry divination as mere superstition. But is such condemnation justifiable and reasonable?
Divination v prediction
Some people, including professional futurists as well as genuine clairvoyants, sometimes do accurately predict aspects of the future. But prediction is often trite, trivialised and served up to the gullible for simple distracting entertainment. This has given divination a poor reputation as divination and prediction are often bracketed together as if they were the same thing. Superficially they might appear to be, but in fact they are quite different.
Consulting a psychic or some other means of getting a prediction is essentially asking for your future to be foretold – to get advance notice of what fate has in store for you. The underlying assumption is that you’re a passive pawn in a predetermined game the fates are playing: What’s going to happen to me?
True divination is based on a more open and empowering view of your future. It’s essentially a way of asking for guidance and help in exploring the situation from a fresh perspective, and accessing your own higher wisdom - a way of asking: How can I best act?
Confusion arises because the same tools (tarot, rune, astrology etc) may be used both by people practising prediction and people facilitating divination.
How divination works
It starts with asking the question. Never mind which deity, spirit, archetype or higher aspect of yourself you’re asking, the question is paramount
Refining your question enables divination
The best questions are about where your responsibility lies, which course of action you can take. Beware of either or, yes / no questions – these can confuse any oracle and don’t translate well into a providing a useful answer.
Ask for guidance on your best course of action. For example with a card reading, perhaps choosing several different cards to represent different aspects of the situation and the action you could take can helpfully lead to in depth reflection and greater awareness. If you are already considering two or more options drawing a separate card, rune, or other indicator for each option can bring more clarity.
Understanding the answer
Although it can be very helpful to have someone else to assist you in exploring what the answer might mean, ultimately interpretation is down to you – otherwise it lapses into prediction.
A genuine facilitator can encourage you to use the divination reading for in depth reflection, to expand your awareness, to access your own inner wisdom – so you can decide what to do.
Avoid jumping to conclusions that fit how you already feel inclined, what you already want to do. Remember the salutatory story of king Croesus who sent messengers to consult the famous oracle at Delphi over his concern about the territorial ambitions of his rival, Cyrus of Persia. The oracle pronounced that crossing the river Halys and fighting Cyrus would cause a great empire to be destroyed. Croesus fatally assumed the great empire to fall would be that ruled by Cyrus, not his own.
When a divination reading is ambiguous it’s wise to avoid forcing it into a straight simple answer. It’s an invitation to stop and think further. May be the question needs refining or another subsidiary question needs to be asked. Or perhaps you need to look more deeply into the situation and question the perspective on it that you’ve been taking.
Sometimes it may be premature to make a decision and there are more immediate choices to be attended to. In horary astrology, there can be features of the horoscope cast for the question which rule it out as inappropriately timed and therefore not suitable for consideration.
Well considered decisions
The roots of the word ‘consider’ are said by some to come from Old English ‘side’ to survey on all sides. Others say it comes from Roman astrological divination, to consult with the stars. Real divination is a combination of consulting with a higher wisdom in order to access your own, and exploring the question from more than one side.
Each act of divination is unique. It’s the coming together of a question at that particular time, when the more fully it’s focused on the more powerful it can be. Divination looses its power when trivialised, so don't waste it asking inconsequential trivial questions. And respect the answer, it’s folly to keep consulting the gods till you get the answer you think you want!
Divination as an empowering aid to decision making
Divination is best reserved for decisions which don’t depend of factual research, but concern values, feelings, direction and strategic or major life choices.
With more data available than ever before it’s easy to be overwhelmed when trying to make a decision. As our world becomes increasingly complex and uncertain (or perhaps our awareness of it does!), even solid factual data – necessarily based on what has already happened - can’t necessarily be relied on to be relevant in the future.
Taking time out to distil what you know and feel, to consider the situation from different perspectives, and focus on what really matters is essential when making important decisions. When used appropriately divination can be an empowering way of doing this. If you'd like to include divination in your Decision Treehouse conversation let us know when you book your appointment.