Divination has been used for thousands of years by many ancient cultures and civilizations to determine future events as well as to choose a path while making difficult decisions. Although the methods may vary, the essence remains the same: tapping into your own psychic abilities through the use of certain tools and with the help of spirit guides. Some people are more adept to this than others as some are born with sentient gifts, but it’s a practice that essentially anyone can try and even “perfect”. You may even find, in your exploration of the craft, that you’re more gifted in one method of divination than in another. Unsurprisingly, crystals have played a major role in many methods of divination since the beginning of time as their energies lend a connection between ourselves, the earth, and the heavens. Let’s have a look at some methods of divination and how you can incorporate crystals into your divination practice.
Though many are familiar with this method of divination, not everyone knows that tarot reading is not so much a form of fortune telling as it is a guide. Each card in the 78-card deck holds its own unique meaning and although most decks come with a guidebook, it’s entirely up to the reader to use his or her intuition in order to relate these cards to the querent. The 22 cards in the Major Arcana are representative of major life events while the 56 cards of the Minor Arcana are divided into four suits, each representing a different aspect of day to day life. Depending on what you’re trying to get out of the reading, there are different spreads available. One way you can incorporate crystals into your tarot readings is by cleansing yourself and the querent with them, if you’re reading for someone else. Many readers like to store their cards with their crystals to keep the deck cleansed and charged. But simply being near certain crystals can also help your intuitive readings and allow you to tap into higher levels of consciousness.
The Norse Runes
According to the epic sagas of Norsemen, long ago Odin created the runes as a gift to mankind. The symbols and runes were of a sacred alphabet, each with their own special divinatory meaning and thus were carved into stone, but over the centuries they have evolved and today are carved into wood, stone, glass, and even crystals. In the Elder Futhark there are 24 runes, but as the Norse people spread out around Europe, different versions with more runes developed over time. Ideally, runes would be cast on a white cloth, on an East to West axis, but you can choose the way you prefer to do it. These runes are often stored in a pouch to keep them all together, and can be used for simple “rune pulls” where you’ll think of a question and pull a rune to get your answer. Many other spreads are also available, involving pulling 3 – 9 runes at a time. When thrown out on the reading cloth, you should read the runes which are face up first, then proceed to read the ones which are facing down. Generally, when purchasing a Rune set, you’ll get a guidebook with the different readings as well as the definitions of each, but as with any form of divination, the interpretations come down to intuition. One awesome way to incorporate crystals into your rune readings is by purchasing a set made entirely of crystals. Simply find one that speaks to you. My personal favorites are the sets made of moonstone and labradorite as they help tap into higher realms.
Scrying is an ancient form of divination whereby a flat and reflective surface (like a mirror or crystal) is gazed into to try and see shapes that may provide you with messages or answers to questions you seek. The Mayans often practiced scrying with large pieces of obsidian by pouring water over the surface and watching shapes form. They would also use large flat slabs of obsidian as a scrying mirror. (It’s important to note that your mirror should always be clean)
Scrying can also be done by using a candle flame or fire (flame scrying). In this method, the flame is stared into with intent until the reader enters a trance-like state in which messages are more easily received. To incorporate crystals into this method, you can hold a crystal or two in your hands while you do it, preferably something that enhances psychic abilities like amethyst and something that keeps you grounded like smoky quartz.
Another popular form of scrying is done with a crystal ball. Essentially the same as other scrying methods, the reader would gaze into a crystal ball to focus their intention of finding the answers they seek. Traditionally, the crystal ball would be made of clear quartz, but today more modern crystal balls are made of all types depending on your preference – like rose quartz for harmony and loving energies, amethyst for more intuitive purposes, and obsidian for ancient reasons as mentioned before.
As one of the simplest and easiest forms of divination, pendulums are a popular choice for those who are just starting out in the practice, and even an old favorite of more seasoned readers. Pendulums are normally bought to the reader’s preference, but you can make one of your own if you want to go that route. A pendulum is simply a crystal hanging from a chain which is held still over a flat surface while focusing your intention on asking a question. Depending on which way the pendulum moves, it will answer yes or no. This method can be applied to more complicated readings, if one only learns to ask the right questions. Choosing a crystal for your pendulum depends entirely on your preference, but you can even go a little further and get several, with each crystal pertaining to a different type of reading. For instance, you can use rose quartz for love readings or pyrite and citrine to attract wealth and joy. This is one method of divination where the crystal is literally already incorporated into the practice.
Perhaps a precursor to the Norse rune stones we’ve mentioned earlier, lithomancy was the divinatory practice of using stones to determine an outcome of events. Archaeologists discovered a variety of colored stones along with some bones and other ritual items which would indicate that divination was a common practice in the early civilizations of central Armenia. People would often read them daily, much like you’d wake up in the morning and check your horoscope. This form of divination is done using 13 stones, each with a different color and symbol of your choosing, which means you can most certainly create your own set. To incorporate crystals into this divinatory practice, it’s quite obvious that you’d want to choose crystals instead of plain stones. Create a list of aspects you’d like in your set and find symbols that relate to them, then you can choose a crystal that corresponds to each. Personally, I’m a little excited about this one to be honest.
A quick guide to choosing crystals for your divination practice
For Grounding: smoky quartz, obsidian, onyx
For Cleansing: clear quartz, selenite
For Loving Energy: rose quartz, pink opal, rhodonite
For Enhanced Intuition: amethyst, lapis lazuli, labradorite
For Protection: tiger’s eye, black tourmaline, turquoise
For Focusing your Energy: fluorite, citrine, aquamarine
Naturally, before you begin any sort of divination practice, be sure to cleanse your space, your crystals, your tools, and yourself. Do this with a sound bath or by using smudge smoke throughout your space. Set the vibes with some resonating music and some candles. Meditate a little before you begin to focus your intention on what it is that you want. Above all else, trust your intuition and just have a little fun with it. The answers will come when you’re most relaxed and open.