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?”
Divination in various forms has been an ongoing practice in cultures across the globe and throughout time. Humans have always been curious about the mysteries of life and have sought answers via any means they deemed effective; this could be scientific, mathematical, pragmatic, religious, spiritual, or magical. This kind of inquiry is nothing new nor will it ever be entirely suppressed or eradicated. As long as people ask “why,” multiple methods of providing answers will prevail.
While some psychics or tarot readers might be able to see an event in the future that has a high probability of occurring, the form of divination that I practice is not used to predict the future or discover an individual’s fate. Instead, divination is used to understand the spiritual cause behind current circumstances and learn what actions can be taken by the client to change their situation.
Divination is not about prediction, but instead diagnosis.
Divination does not proclaim an unchangeable destiny but reminds you of the agency you have in your life and provides actions that you can take to change your circumstances, if you so wish. As scholar Laura Grillo explains, “the client comes to a diviner not to determine a fixed fate but to alter the course of experience and enhance possibility. Divination does not curtail choice or preclude change, but provides a mechanism to maximize both.”
Divination will attempt to tell you why something is happening and then what you can do about it. Sometimes you are offered the opportunity to do rituals in order to initiate change in your life, however you always have the choice of whether or not you want to do them. Divination is an active process, not a passive one. You are a co-creator of your life and can actively participate in the healing of your life, your ancestors, and the planet, if you so choose.
You always retain choice and free will
The spirit guides, angels, ancestors, and divinities that show up in divination are there to help you. They love you and want to be of assistance. However, it is always your choice how much you do or do not want to do. There is no compulsion; you always maintain free will.
In this current time, people and the planet need healing more than ever and divination wants to help us. Why not hear what advice is being offered and engage with loving and playful beings? However, the choice always remains yours.
Vivien was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and is an active diviner trained in the Dagara tradition. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in Philosophy and Religion, writing her dissertation on the ancient Greek Delphic Oracle. She is a published writer, scholar, speaker, and visionary who is passionate about contributing to the healing of the planet and all beings residing upon it.
 Laura Grillo, “Divination: Epistemology, Agency, and Identity in Contemporary Urban West Africa,” Religion Compass 3/6 (2009): 929.