Divination is essential for any medicine worker. We need to have a way to ask in to situations that need addressing and understand what to do to facilitate healing, clearing or effect change. Following is a simplified list of how to go about divination in general.
The essential questions for divining are who, what, where, why, and when?
These are the questions to direct any inquiry we enter into. It is also helpful to return to them when we feel overwhelmed by information that is coming in during a divination and are getting a bit lost in the deluge. Each medicine person is schooled in their own particular way to ask questions and receive answers. This is what I mean when I speak of divination and divining. If you have absolutely no training, begin to listen in your own way and take the the following as a broad guide.
- who: When we are divining, we are entering into an inquiry. Let’s say we are divining into an issue concerning the Earth, the planet we live on and how to care for her. In this case, Earth is the who.
- what: We want to know if there is an issue that needs attending to. We listen for what those issues are. This is the what of divining. Once that is determined, the next question is always: are offerings needed? If a yes is received, go down the list of of common offerings referred to in the previous blog post, Top 5 Physical Offerings to Make to Spiritual Beings. The offerings that are needed (once we become familiar with their qualities and what they are usually called in for) provide insight into the feel, importance and quality of the next category.If a no is received when we ask about offerings, it may be that nothing is needed at the time. And we must respect that as well. But it could mean something else is needed that is not an offering or that we are being asked to be still and come to a deeper understanding of the situation before we act. We can ask for a dream to help with this, or a message to come to us. We keep listening as listening is our primary job.
- why: Is there a ritual to go with the offering? What is our intention when we make these offerings or carry out this ritual. Perhaps we are asking for healing or we are apologizing or sending love, or strengthening connection or counteracting negative thoughtforms, or offering a cleansing or a clearing. This is the why.
- when: when shall this offering be delivered or ritual happen? Immediately? Next full moon? A week from now?
- where: most important: Where are the offerings to be made? The where indicates which entity we are calling in to carry out this work, because it is not us. We are the intermediaries and facilitators. We want to remember this or we will fast become overwhelmed thinking we have to “save” and “cure” and “heal”. We offer physical materials to help those whom we are calling upon to carry out the “saving” and the “curing” and the “healing”. Bearing this in mind keeps us grounded and understanding our place in the arrangement of things, helps us remember our own sphere of influence and stops us from taking on too much or doing too little. We have great influence as humans medicine people on this planet. The is not to be undermined or underestimated but we must also know who we are working with and who to go to for what situation for the greatest effect.
Earth has many allies as does every medicine worker. Calling on the right entity for the job is crucial. Surrender the work to them and remain in humility.
Initiated diviners have many shrines for entities they work with where offerings are made in answering the where.
For beginners without shrines, stick to the following 5 elements from the Dagara cosmology as a start:
- fire: an offering needs to made to the ancestors or onto a fire.
- water: water is carrying out this healing. Make the offering to a body of natural water asking it to do so.
- Earth: make the offering onto the Earth asking Earth to carry out the healing.
- mountain: go to a mountain or make the offering onto a stone or rock.
- wild: go out into nature and call upon the wild to carry out the healing as you make this offering.
The rituals can be simple and clear so they integrate easily into the fabric of our daily lives. The most important job for any medicine person is always: to listen.
~Theresa C. Dintino
©Theresa C. Dintino 2019
Theresa C. Dintino is an ancestral Strega (Italian wise woman), Earth worker, and initiated diviner in the West African Dagara tradition. For more than 20 years Theresa has studied and practiced an Earth-based spirituality. She currently helps others reclaim their personal lineages through her divination work. Theresa is the author of seven books which include her Tree Medicine Trilogy. Learn more about her books here.