For a while I have been vexed by a difficulty in settling on a method of divination. This has been a significant block because the ADF Core Order of Rituals requires a method of divination to be performed as part of the primary point of contact with the gods. It almost seems to me that the order concieves of divination as the point of exchange of information, but I have balked at this because it seems like what should be a face-to-face is being relegated to a Victorian-style séance. Tarot, runes, Ogham, in short all of the standard methods of divination used by other members of the order struck me as being … well, at least not for me.
Part of the problem lies in my own sensibilities regarding the high Core Order of Ritual. I have tried performing the minor version that occurs inside, but it just seems to pat, too controlled. My house is a hovel compared to the divine landscape. I worship in nature. My gods are in the heavens and under the earth. I dearly love ár nDraíocht féin, but the whole bowl-as-well, staff-as-tree, and candle-as-sacred-fire just seems too Wal-Mart-ish. My gut has never led me astray …
Correction: my daemon has never led me astray.
… and my daemon is uncomfortable with the common forms of divination. This is not to say that I have any problems with tarot or the runes. I use them quite often, but if I am calling the gods and the other kindreds I need to feel the connection and … what’s the word ? … cumhacht in the method.
Tonight, that all changed.
A few days ago, we were cleaning the house in preparation for the coming Spring. I’ve been working a lot in yard, getting the area into some semblence of shape so that I can create it as a sacred space. I’ve started discerning more and more what my daemon’s nature is and how I can foster a connection and real … imminence (if that is the right word). During this process, D. happened to light ona beautiful purple stone with light blue striations. Neither of us knew where it came from, but it was gorgeous. Knowing that I loved such things (I have several other such stones for various purposes that I carry with me), she gave it to me to do whatever I might with it.
Then this evening when I came home from work, I noticed that one o fthe children had found a length of leather cord and left it lying on the floor. I thought little of it until about an hour ago when suddenly it struck me that here I had the makings of a perfect dowsing pendulum. I’d worked a little with dowsing back in 1997/’98 with little satisfaction, but I have always liked the idea and have seen it used successfully too many times to discount. It occurred to me that perhaps these materials were put in my path for a reason, so I sat down to see if I could bind the stone with the cord. In the end, I had a sizeable weight with a tapered point at the bottom of a cord of some three feet – a comfortable size as any motion coming from me would be considerably obvious.
Having made this pendulum, I sat still for a minute, grounding myself through the two powers and waiting for the stone to become perfectly still, before praying to the kindreds. It was a simple prayer just to establish a connection. I asked for the attention of the kindreds, particularly the gods, but honoring them all, and for their guidance to move through the stone that my questions might be answered. When I had tried dowsing before I had read that a motion forward and backward meant ‘yes’ and a move to the sides meant ‘no’, but my inner sense now felt that a ‘yes’ should come as a clockwise motion and a ‘no’ as a counterclockwise. I turned this feeling into a petition that the kindreds move it in this fashion.
When I opened my eyes and looked down at the now perfectly still stone, I felt as if there was a magnet pulling the stone down. Even with the small shakings of my outsretched arm, there was no discernible movement of the stone. I first asked that if the gods were present to me the stone should swing clockwise. Almost immediately the stone began to rotate in a tight, but definite clockwise circle. With my heart in my throat I asked a second question, one that I had not planned to ask but one which I suddenly felt was of utmost import: was I misled in committing to the ADF dedicant path? Though not abruptly, the stone became immediately still again for the barest moment before reversing its direction and swinging in the same definite, but tight circle to the counterclockwise.
I cannot set the emotions into words here. I could scarcely breath and my mind was racing. I tried to think of another question but was too distracted by the clear and definite response of the pendulum. Tomorrow, I happen to have the afternoon at home and plan to have my Imbolc rite then. I look forward to using this new tool that was brought to me through no agency of my own and … well … just all that comes next.