For millennia people have sought answers, advice, reassurance, and hope from the spirit realms. The oracular and divinatory arts have been one way that humans have engaged in conversations with spirits, deities, elemental beings, ancestors, and other non-embodied beings. With the rise of science and the need to dissect, disassemble, and understand how things work, we became more entrenched in the 3D world and our connection with spiritual realms and beings became tenuous and elusive. The truth is, the presence of the otherworld never left us. It can’t because it’s embedded within all of reality. Instead, we pulled away from it – and then forgot we were ever connected to begin with.
Currently we find ourselves in a world we no longer recognize – there are no constants, no guarantees. Our “normal” has been disrupted and there is no indication of what the future holds. We have been collectively thrust into existential anxiety, trying to keep our head above the waters. Now, more than ever, we need a lifeline to spirit. We need to mend our relationship with our spirit allies and receive their guidance.
Growing up in the modern West has been a painful spiritual struggle for me. The culture that I have been raised in follows the Cartesian split of spirit vs body. I am stuck between two polarized ontologies: the ‘modern’ and scientific one that argues everything can be explained by science and the religious one that argues for the presence of God, but a God who is firmly situated outside of earth and all matter and embodiment. These warring visions of reality have both caused deep psychic wounding in me and have made my struggle to find my own path all the more difficult. They both completely obscure any way other than these two choices, and as it turns out, my way is neither of these. Writing in the first century, Plutarch observed that the theologians of his day argued that God was the cause of everything, while scientists and philosophers argued that science and its laws were the cause of everything, but he pointed out that they were both wrong due their incomplete understanding, “Hence the reasoning of both parties is deficient in what is essential to it, since the one ignores or omits the intermediary and the agent, the other the source and the means.”
Vivien’s spiritual path began in childhood when she would have conversations with the trees and play with the wind. Her interests led her to pursue a Master’s in Women’s Spirituality and a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Religion.
Vivien has been initiated as both a stick and voice diviner. She is also working on restoring her personal spiritual lineage, which traces back to the Delphic Oracle in Greece, as well as understanding her ancestral connection with the Fae of the British Isles.
In addition to her medicine work, Vivien is also an experienced teacher who has worked in public school, designed and taught a women’s mythology course, given lectures at various religious studies conferences, and is a published writer.
Strega Tree sat down with Vivien and asked her a few questions.
I recently had a dream where I was shown the priestesses of my lineage, the Pythias of the Delphic Oracle, silencing their elemental friends – the daimones*.
While in altered states of consciousness the priestesses had foreseen a dark oppressive paradigm that would become a stronger presence in their world — an energy that thrived on hierarchy, always sorting and classifying things and people as “better” or “worse.” This force thrived on the masses being easily manipulated by fear.
In the West, most people have heard of psychic readings or tarot cards and have a general idea of what might happen when engaging with either. However, when I mention ‘divination,’ the response I usually get is a perplexed “What is that?”