The Garden

A blog by Marijn van Hoorn

Ruminations on divination

Marijn van Hoorn
A winged man sleeping.
Morpheus, God of dreams, as depicted by Jean-Bernard Re┼┐tout.

This po┼┐t is a rough tran┼┐cription and elaboration from my journal. Sorry about the long S; i'll try to figure out a way to in┼┐tall a permanent on/off toggle...

As of right now, the only form of divination i practice is interpretation of dreams, and even then only when it's ┼┐trikingly obvious that there ┼┐eems to have been ┼┐ome kind of involvement. This is out of a combination of general ┼┐ceptici┼┐m and lack of re┼┐ources, but i think i would like to get more into it, if more from a theurgical angle than a predictive one╬▒ ÔÇö ┼┐o, i've thought about it, and here are ┼┐ome criteria for what i would consider a ┼┐olid ┼┐y┼┐tem of divination:

A good divination ┼┐y┼┐tem ┼┐hould:

  • Be unpredictable at a human level: You'd think this to be ea┼┐y, but things like a┼┐trology, ba┼┐ed not on the ┼┐huffling of cards or ┼┐wirling of flames but on the grand, generally predictable movements of ┼┐tars and planets through the ├Žther remain ever-popular.
  • Be re┼┐i┼┐tant to the ideomotor effect: The baited breath and quivering of hands of ┼┐omeone waiting for an an┼┐wer ┼┐hould not be the cau┼┐e of the an┼┐wer. (This means pendula are right out.)
  • Be generally recogni┼┐ed to ┼┐ometimes just be random entropic noi┼┐e, ┼┐ans ┼┐piritual involvement: This is generally the ca┼┐e for dreams, and it's ea┼┐y to apply this thinking to other forms of divination. This doesn't rule out anything in particular, but is more ju┼┐t encouraging a healthy ┼┐ceptici┼┐m.

With that in mind, i've been leaning towards ┼┐ome forme of cartomancy: it's well-atte┼┐ted, ba┼┐ed on the ┼┐mall movements in the ┼┐huffling of a deck, ┼┐eems rather re┼┐i┼┐tant to the ideomotor effect, and, well, ┼┐ceptici┼┐m is always applicable. ­čśŤ

(This po┼┐t isn't meant to dunk on anyone who practi┼┐es the methods i don't like! I'm ju┼┐t explaining what i'd want out of it.)