Let’s Talk About Divination!

Let’s Talk About Divination!

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Bethany Krause, @occultstrology on Twitter. Bethany is a spiritualist who performs different forms of divination including tarot, scrying (reading a crystal ball), and dream interpretations. She also works with oracle cards and pendulums, which is why I decided to talk with Bethany because I believe readers will get a lot of insight into divination through Bethany’s words! I hope you all enjoy this interview as much as I did, and that you can learn from this.

Q: How long have you been practicing divination for? What tool did you first use when you began? What’s the newest divination practice you’ve been called to?

BK: Just over a year now! Oracle cards tarot, and recently more scrying (reading a crystal ball) or pendulum for a quick answer.

Q: What first drew you into divination/spirituality? 

BK: Well since I was a little kid we had a metaphysical store in our local town…but I’d always take my mum in there and make her buy me a crystal I every time I went into town with her. So I was just drawn to it; I just always loved talking to trees as well, for as long as I can remember especially when I was at school and I didn’t really have any friends I’ll be the kid that was like outside talking to the school trees in the field yeah and I’ve always liked fairies as well/mushrooms…I did lose touch with it around when I was about 16 to 18 because it wasn’t like “cool”…however last year so in about 2019, when I left uni and everything, I really got back into touch with it I realized how much I loved it all, and I haven’t stopped since I’ve just kept growing and evolving with it and finding new and more things I love it.

Q: How did you get into palm readings?

BK: Honestly, I’ve always been interested in palm readings, I always have posters of it, I’ve always had like model hands (you can get like palmistry hands) since I can remember I’ve always had a couple in my room. So was just kinda like a next step in my learning, I just bought loads of books on it and just been studying it and doing all my friends and family, and it’s just another form of divination that I really enjoy and a lot of people I feel arent as scared of it as tarot and are more open to it and they’re more interested in it so it’s quite fun!

Q: How did you get into dream interpretations?

BK: I just used to have weird dreams so I wanted to know what they meant and why cause they’d recur! I was just interested in it as another side of spirituality/ the subconscious so I again watched youtube, got books and learnt a lot more on it! 

Q: What’s your favorite form of divination, if you had to pick, and why?

BK: Probably tarot/oracle cards, you can’t go wrong with them and they’re reliable! I know so much now about them it’s my go to.

Q: When performing a reading, what would you say is the most challenging aspect of reading for yourself versus for others?

BK: Good question! Honestly, I think getting in the right space to tap into a clients energy and really feel their energy/emotions is challenging cause you never know what it will be like! Also, once you’ve finished a reading for someone is the waiting to see if it was accurate or good!

Q: How do you protect yourself and your energy? For example: do you cleanse your space, or pray, or use protection crystals, etc..?

BK: Personally, I always wear crystal jewellery! As rings, bracelets, necklaces most are protective crystals! Other ways is smoke cleanse with incense…if I’m using my pendulum I say a type of prayer to archangel Michael (one of my guides) to protect me and make sure I’m only talking to him or beings of love and light; I also just trust regardless he is there and always divinely protects me! As well, I have a few evil eyes in my room! Which I’ve had since a baby!

Q: How do you conduct your readings? 

BK: Depends on what you’re after! Usually most of my readings are done by a document or long paragraphed message! Depending on the card spread/topic. There is also video reading offers, which is sent to you by an unlisted youtube link for only you and I to see and go back too! Or a video call which is by Zoom and [we] can talk through it one on one and really get to grips on what guidance/message is coming through for you! Palm and dream interpretations, you pay with how many paragraphs you like so [depends] how in-depth you want it! These are done by a word document and email. Crystal ball/scry can be done by video as well or just as a written reading! I would love to one day have people actually come to me and do it in person! 

Q: What would you tell someone to expect who’s never had a palm or tarot reading before?

BK: I would tell them expect the unexpected, it can be scary if you’re not ready for the answers or guidance. Make sure you really believe in the practice before getting one otherwise you will not trust me and my practice as much as you should and may not get the best out of it! Even if you ask a specific question, spirit or your guides may have other ideas and just give me a reading of a message you need to know/hear! It’s all based on present energy, you have free will so even if what I am saying is true now…depending what you do can change the results! Tarot shouldn’t be used as fortune telling/future telling it should be used as guidance to your best future self/path!

Q: What would you tell someone to expect who’s never had a crystal ball reading before?

BK: Again you have to believe and expect the unexpected! It is draining and you may not get as long or in-depth as a tarot reading cause only certain images can form in a certain time, and I can only hear certain things at a time! If you have a certain topic, then I will try my best to focus on that and see the answers that come but again spirit may have other ideas for what I should tell you! I go into a meditated like state and take what comes to me as a message for you!

Q: What is your favorite kind of reading to give and why (personal advice, love, etc.)?

BK: Hmm I would say healing readings! Cause I like knowing I’ve helped that person, and it means a lot to them.  

Q: How has divination personally helped you?

BK: [It’s helped] me to heal, grow and ascend into a person I never believed was possible.

Q: Do you believe this something you were meant or born to do? 

BK: I would say it’s there for everyone and anyone to tap into, it all depends on your mental space, and if you’re ready to open that door and explore the world in a whole new light… ready for change and for your whole perspective to be flipped. I believe it finds the right people at the right times for whose ready to discover and be!

Q: If there anything else you’d like to add? Anything you’d like to say about tarot, spirituality, or yourself? 

BK: Do your research and double check it all! Books are better than the internet/websites, and just enjoy it! It will be hard, low and shit sometimes but that’s all part of the process. It’s scary as well but it’s worth it, I promise 🙂

I hope you all enjoyed this piece, and thank you, again, to Bethany for taking the time to answer my questions! If you’re interested in getting a reading by Bethany, she opens back up for personal readings on January 4th, 2021, so go and check out her services on Twitter!

Elder Futhark Runes: What are they?

Elder Futhark Runes: What are they?

Today in our divination series we’re talking about runes, one of the most ancient systems of writing and divination. The runes are letters and alphabets that were used to write Germanic languages prior to the use of the Roman alphabet. The dictionary definitions of runes describe them as “a letter of an ancient Germanic alphabet, related to the Roman alphabet…a mark or letter of mysterious or magic significance…small stones, pieces of bone, etc., bearing runes, and used as divinatory symbols.” Today we’ll be talking about the latter definition of runes for divination.

While there are several different myths about the origin of the Runic alphabet, we know that the runes originated around 160 A.D. and have probably been around longer than that, which makes them one of the most ancient forms of divination. There are a variety of different runes you can use, but we’re only going to be discussing the Elder Futhark because it is the oldest and the one with which I’m most familiar.

Within the Elder Futhark, there are 24 runes, each assigned a specific meaning, symbol, and letter. Take the rune Hagalaz for example, which represents hail, and the letter ‘H’ and means chaos and destruction, which hail tends to cause.

So where can you get your runes? Runes can easily be made by hand and are probably more powerful if done this way. This former statement isn’t said to discredit purchasing them, but a handmade set of runes will connect you to them on a deeper level. However you go about acquiring your runes, remember your runes should be made of either wood, stones, or crystals.

You don’t need any other tool when working with runes besides the runes themselves and the bag you’re casting them from. Casting them is a pretty simple process that I’m going to walk you through now. First, you’ll want to cleanse the space you’re casting them in, then lay down a white cloth for you to physically cast your runes upon. Next, you will ask or think your question and channel your energy into this question and grab a handful of runes from your bag. You’ll then shake them around a bit and toss them onto the white cloth. Now that you have all your runes cast, you can refer to your guidebook to provide you with answers to your question. However, you do need to know a few more things first. The runes that land outside or off of the cloth should not be read. If runes land upside down, they should also not be read.

Runes can come out reversed (like the tarot cards), and it is your decision if you choose to read reversals or not. The meanings can also differ depending on the other runes present in your reading. Runes located towards the center of your cloth represent the present and further away represent later in life, the future. The further away they are, the more far off the issue is. You can also use a pendulum when you read the runes to guide you towards the message you most need to hear (more on that coming in our article about pendulums). Runes can be cleansed, if you’re using them on others, through the purifying smoke of incense.

Remember, when casting your runes, you should always ask them basic questions because that is how they were designed to function. They’re not going to go as in-depth to your problems as the tarot may, but they will give you an honest, straightforward answer. They tell you what will happen if the current situation doesn’t change.

Runes have magical and protective properties as well, and you can use them in your daily routine and spell-work. You can use the rune Sowilo (shaped like an ‘S’ or lighting bolt) by placing it on your altar when you’re manifesting or performing spells to bring something into your life. You can put Laguz under your pillow at night to help bring prophetic dreams and important messages through the dream world. These are just some examples of how you can work with runes outside of the traditional methods. I’d encouraged everyone to look deeper into runes if they’re interested.

The Elder Futhark runes are a very cool, simple divination tool that I think more of us should learn about and use in our lives. The runes can offer guidance and advice in your situation and show you what the future holds along your current path. If this is something you feel a call to learn more about, please check out these great resources listed below!

Tarot 101

Tarot 101

Starting our divination series, this week we’re going to focus on the tarot cards! For those who don’t know much about tarot, or would like to learn more, this article is going to cover the important bases. We’ll be discussing the history behind the cards, how they work, and how to use them. So, let’s start with the history of tarot cards.

Tarot cards have been around for centuries and originated around the 1400s in Europe, Italy to be specific, initially intended and used as a parlor game. As tarot became more popular, artists began to illustrate and add more cards, and many of the early decks featured depictions of kings, cups, swords, coins, and polo sticks (wands). These are some of the symbols familiar to us in modern-day tarot decks. Not until the 1700s did tarot become a tool for divination when Jean-Baptiste Alliette popularized modern cartomancy as we know it today. Going under the alias Etteilla, he published a guide for using tarot cards as a divination tool. Around this time is when tarot saw a surge in popularity as a means for divination.

As we move forward in history to the 20th century, the tarot saw a transformation. The most iconic tarot deck, the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, was published in 1909 through the contributed efforts of Arthur Waite and Pamela Colman Smith. Waite wrote a book providing the meaning behind the cards and sought out Smith to illustrate the deck. Smith gave us the well-known tarot illustrations we all know today. This deck quickly became the most well-known tarot deck in history. It’s only competition comes from the Thoth tarot deck, created by Aleister Crowley, which some may be more familiar with. Crowley’s deck, published in 1969, incorporates science, religion, philosophy, and spirituality into his version of tarot cards.

“The Rider-Waite deck has since become the most popular version of the Tarot among the masses. However, in 1944 another member of the Golden Dawn wrote an even better book entitled The Book of Thoth. This next-level manuscript was painstakingly put together by none other than the famous and infamous Aleister Crowley himself. Then, he commissioned Lady Frieda Harris to paint what would become the Thoth Tarot in 1969. The illustrations of the deck feature symbolism based upon Crowley’s incorporation of imagery from many disparate disciplines, including science and philosophy and various occult systems, as described in detail in The Book of Thoth.” – Joshua Hehe.

So you have a general overview of how tarot originated, but what exactly is it, and how do you read the cards? In simple words, tarot is a form of divination used to learn more about the past, present, or future situations. There are 78 cards in a traditional deck, with each card having a specific meaning assigned to it. The tarot is divided into two distinct categories: the major arcana versus the minor arcana.

The major arcana features 22 cards that focus on the milestones in life, focusing on the bigger picture and the lessons you need to learn. The minor arcana tends to focus on our daily lives and has 56 cards, broken into four suits: cups (water), pentacles or coins (earth), swords (air), and wands (fire). These four categories represent the four elements. Here is where we see an intersection between tarot and astrology because these cards specifically are associated with the energy of their respective elements. For example, cards featuring wands tend to be associated with passion, excitement, and fleeting energy, all properties of fire energy.

Tarot can be such a beneficial tool to your life if used correctly; the cards don’t give you straight yes or no answers, unlike a pendulum, but they do give you the answers you need to hear and can provide clarity on the question asked. Tarot can offer advice, guidance, and insight into any situation you ask. So how exactly do you do tarot?

There’s this myth that you have to be gifted your first tarot deck, but this is not true. If you felt a calling towards the cards, head towards your local metaphysical shop and pick a tarot deck that resonates with you, meaning you should choose a deck you connect with. There will be plenty of options to choose from, and I must say the Rider-Waite-Smith is excellent for beginners because of the imagery and symbolism linked through the artwork and the meanings of the cards.

Once you pick a deck, you need to look into protecting and cleansing yourself, your deck, and your energy. Protection is one the most important parts of reading because you are tapping into other’s energy and need to make sure you’re not tapping into anything that can drain you or cause you harm. The easiest way to protect yourself is to say a prayer of protection to whatever or whomever you believe in. I usually pray to my spirit guides and ancestors for protection and guidance as I navigate within the spiritual realm. There are many different prayers you can say or you can make up your own. A simple one to use: “I pray to my spirit guides and those who watch over me, to keep my energy protected as I tap into the spirit. Thank you for always keeping me divinely guided and protected. I am grateful.”

You can also look into different protection oils and crystals (such as black tourmaline) and use them while working with the tarot. Another important thing to note before you begin reading is that you should always ground yourself beforehand, and you can learn how to do so here.

Now, you have your deck, and you’ve taken the necessary steps to protect and prepare yourself, it’s time to start reading the cards. I gave you a basic rundown of how the cards are broken up however, you still have to learn all 78 card meanings. You won’t remember every single one when you first start, so you should consider getting a guide book with each card’s meaning or consulting this website to learn the meaning’s as you read. Writing down key words for each card and attaching your own meaning to them will help you tremendously. It will take some time for you to know every single card, but the more you practice tarot, the easier it becomes and the more you learn.

Onto actually pulling tarot cards. There are so many different ways to shuffle the cards, and every reader does it differently, so you should try out whatever feels right to you. As you shuffle the cards and ask them questions (can be out loud or in your head), the cards will pop out at you, literally. They may come out upright or reverse, with both positions having a specific meaning, so you should take care to learn both. One good tip when reading is to learn to trust your intuition. If you ever feel unsure about a card, put it back in and re-shuffle; if the message was correct, the card will come out again. You should find that the more you practice on yourself and others, the better you become at reading the cards. Let your intuition guide you and try to learn as much as you can from others around you who have been in this practice for years.

You should also look into different kinds of tarot spreads, such as ones specifically for love or personal or career advice. Tarot cards can help you get that job promotion or see what you need to work on in your love life. It offers guidance in all aspects of life, so really dive deep into it if you feel the calling. Remember that tarot cannot determine the future because life is always changing, and so are people, but it can give you a valuable look into what life has in store for you if you continue along your current path.

Lastly, a small warning for those who are new to tarot: with power comes responsibility, and you have to make sure not to tap into other people’s energy without their explicit consent. This means that you shouldn’t ask the tarot cards about what your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend is up to because you’re tapping into their energy without their consent, and this can harm you in a spiritual and sometimes physical sense. What I mean by physical is that you may find yourself having a bad headache or feeling sick after tapping into the wrong energy. Make sure you respect people’s wishes and boundaries and only reading for them when given their express permission.

If you’ve made it to the end, thank you for learning about tarot with me today! What I’ve covered is just the basics of tarot, and there’s so much more for you to get into as you learn more about the craft. I encourage everyone to read up and learn as much as possible. This week there will be more articles featuring interviews with new and veteran tarot readers. Their advice is invaluable and can provide guidance and knowledge to us all.