Divination has always been one of the most popular and widely
practiced of all the occult arts. In a world so full of uncertainty the idea of getting some wise guidance from a higher power,
the idea of peeking into the future and gaining advanced knowledge of what will happen, the idea of knowing the consequences
of your actions in advance so that you can choose the right path - these are all very appealing notions indeed.
There a literally hundreds of different methods of divination,
from examining the entrails of a recently slaughtered sheep or goat, to staring into the flames of a fire. Today, with divination
at least as popular as it ever has been in the past, the most commonly used methods are astrology, tarot cards, palmistry
and the Chinese yi ching.
But although more people than ever have access to some form
of divination, such as newspaper horoscopes which are read by millions, there is also a greater degree of misunderstanding
around as to the nature and purpose of divination than would have been the case in the past.
Most people tend to think of divination as fortune-telling,
as a method of predicting what will happen to someone in the future. But actually this is an over-simplification, and it introduces
a subtle but important error into the way we think about divination. Whether you perform reading yourself, or if you are just
an interested person who maybe reads their horoscope, you should know that in order to gain the most possible benefits from
consulting a divinatory device it is important to be aware of the nature of the information which you will receive.
The classical warning against the kind of misunderstanding
which is prevalent today was given in the form of a story. This story is about a king or emperor (I don't remember the details,
only the general outline, but it's that which is the important bit). There was tension with the neighbouring kingdom and the
emperor consulted an oracle to help him in a decision about whether or not to declare war and invade his neighbour. The oracle
told him that if he went ahead with the war her would crush a great army and lead to the collapse of the kingdom. he took
this to mean that he would win a great victory and went ahead with the war, but it turned out that through his own incompetence
his actions crushed his own army, and lead to the collapse of his own kingdom.
The significance of this story is that the emperor went
to the oracle expecting a prediction but actually got a divination and his misunderstanding lead to his downfall. In this
case t was not in the oracle's power to predict the exact outcome of events, or describe what would happen to whom. What she
did (what divination always does) was to describe the character and form that events would take. Within this pattern individual
people and events are somewhat irrelevant, and cannot be accurately predicted. If you keep this in mind when using divination
it will serve you well.