Whether you are doing divination yourself or looking to get a reading through a store, you are going to reach the question of which form of divination to learn. Each form of divination has its own “voice” or way it speaks. By paying attention to this voice, you can help narrow down what sort of divination would be best for your question. To help you out, here’s a quick rundown on a few of our favorite types of divination and our notes on how they tend to speak.
We’ll be updating this one over time with more forms of divination. For now, we’re focusing on the ones in our store under General Readings to help you see the differences in each reading type.
Cartomancy is any sort of divination that uses a deck of cards. There have been a myriad of cartomancy styles over the decades, each one having its own pros and cons.
Tarot is one of the most recognized forms of cartomancy in English speaking countries. There are different subsets of tarot, such as Rider Waite or Thoth, but the general format stays the same. Tarot decks have a major arcana of roughly 22 cards, and a minor arcana broken down into four suits. There’s some variation on the naming of these cards, but each deck generally follows the same interpretations. If you can read one Rider Waite deck, you can probably understand others with relative ease.
The message of a tarot deck tends to focus on the abstract. They will talk about looking for “an opportunity” not what the opportunity is. They will warn of incoming challenges but not always where it is coming from. With a tarot deck, you are going to get a general idea of the road ahead, but not a specific indicator.
Unlike tarot, Lenormand loves the literals and specifics. It and other decks like it (Kipper, for example) tend to be well suited to messages about mundane life events, such as social, romantic, or business situations. This is because the thirty six cards each focus on one symbol. These symbols, such as Sun, Ship, or Dog, can be very literal, but also have a more symbolic meaning. Messages from Lenormand decks feel like a gossipy relative coming to tell you the latest news.
For more on Lenormand, see our full post on this form of divination!
Decks without specific formats tend to be lumped into the category of “oracle decks.” What deck you choose is going to determine the voice behind the message. Think of each card as a vocabulary word: you want to use the deck that best matches the topic you want to address, or the response will sound like gibberish.
Other Types of Divination
Runes are a very common form of divination. Usually made with stones or wood chips, each rune in a set has a specific meaning and interpretation. The voice of a rune set is typically more vague and “mystical” sounding. They are good at giving advice, like a friend you turn to when you aren’t sure how to proceed. A small reading with runes often shows an omen of things to come. If you are doing a rune casting, it will show more of the big picture, as how the runes fall is taken into account.
Ogham sticks are similar to Runes in concept, but come from modern Druidic and Celtic practices. Each stave is associated with a specific plant, taking into account the mundane and metaphysical uses for the plant in question. Because of their origin and plant focus, the messages are often connected to community and interpersonal relations. They tend to have a voice akin to an elder explaining to you how things are and always will be. They are good at helping you find your place in how things are going.
For more on Ogham, see our full post on this form of divination!
Charms are very individualized. Typically each diviner makes their own set, choosing what items to include and which meaning to assign to each one. The charms get tossed as a set, meaning you are getting a very holistic look at a situation. These speak a bit like someone analyzing a picture to see how the composition was made. As such, you are likely to see the root causes of an issue, and perhaps infer from that what needs to be dealt with to proceed.
Pendulum readings, at their most simple, are the fastest way to get a yes or no answer. However, if you are a reader who enjoys using pendulums, you might get a set of pendulum boards, which let you add different types of messages. Some types of boards include alphabet boards, numbers, days of the week, and even percent boards. This is probably one of the most versatile ways to add vocabulary to your divination. Pendulums tend to be blunt and straightforward. It’s like being handed a list of basic phrases in a team-based video game and having to rely on only those to communicate with your team. The pendulum can only communicate based off what choices it is given.
Need help determining what sort of reading is best for your question? We are more than happy to help. Leave a comment below or reach out over email to [email protected].