Divination – Explanation, Uses, and Common Types

Divination is a common tool used by both witchy and non-witchy people. It is often seen in pop culture as crystal ball readers, fortune tellers, and psychics.

While those representations are not always accurate, they do hold some merit and are a great way to spark conversations of divination.

Today I’ll be getting into what divination actually is, how it works, reasons to use it, and types of divination.


What is divination and how does it work?

Contrary to what is seen in pop culture, divination is not all about “fortune telling” or seeing your future.

It is about looking at and understanding your present conditions. Through this you can see how you got there and where you might end up if you continue on the same path.

So, sometimes there is an element of looking into the future, but it doesn’t usually stand alone. It is rooted in an understanding of your present.

There are many explanations for how divination works and what it does. Some people believe in one specifically, others believe in a blend.

The one thing most of these explanations have in common is a belief that everything is interconnected in one way or another.


Connect to the Divine – Divination is a method of communication the divine/deities can use to directly communicate with you.

Collective Unconscious – This is the idea that there is a level of energy and thought that contains information about everyone and everything on earth. Everything is connected through it and it can be accessed using divination as well as through hypnosis, dreaming, astral projection, and studying archetypes.

Higher Self/Subconscious – This is a great way to explain divination to more logical/analytical people. It is the though that divination is just sorting through what you already know deep down, digging up those gut feelings that may have been ignored.

Spirit Guides – Many people believe that we have spirits guiding us in one form or another. Divination can help connect to your own guides or the guides of who you are reading for. The querent’s guides are also able to communicate any advice or guidance needed through the divination method.

These are not the only explanations for how divination works but they are some of the more common and easy to understand views.

When and why you should use divination

Divination can help with everything from better understanding yourself to making decisions.

A regular divination practice can help you learn to better use your intuition, a skill that is very important for not only divination itself, but also for practicing magic.

It can help you dig into yourself, your identity, your patterns, and your shadow side. All of that can teach you how to best go about your life and achieve your goals!

Many people turn to divination in times of confusion or frustration. It is a great way to look at your situation from a different perspective, to see something new that will help you through it.

Some thoughts

While divination is a great thing to use when you need clarification, be sure that your emotions are stable when doing a reading. If you want insight on something you are worked up about either wait until you have calmed down or ask a trusted friend/other reader to look into it for you.

Divination takes a lot of practice and respect. No matter what you use divination for, make sure you are respecting the practice and your tools. Learn to recognize when you are pressing an issue too far or when you need to rephrase questions. 

Types of divination

There are SO many forms of divination. Here are some of the more common ones:

  • Cartomancy – divination with cards like Tarot, Oracle, Lenormand, etc. Every card system works a little different.
  • Elder Futhark Runes – A writing system used by the ancient Norse that has been interpreted to have great spiritual meaning and insight
  • Scrying – Looking into reflective surfaces like crystal balls or dark mirrors
  • Pendulum – Using a suspended weight (think crystal on a chain) to answer yes or no questions
  • Pyromancy – Looking into fire
  • Tasseomancy – Reading tea leaves
  • Numerology – Using symbolism of numbers
  • Palmistry – Reading lines on palms

This is only a small list of the more common divination methods. Wikipedia has an impressive list of some more obscure methods!

Where to start

If you’re curious about divination but not sure how to get into it, go with your gut. Now is the best time to start listening to your intuition!

If you are curious about a particular method, try it! Or maybe you’re just drawn to one for no apparent reason, that’s how it was for me with my runes!

Don’t be afraid to try different methods to find what works best for you.

When it comes to actually finding your tool, let your intuition guide you again. Go for what feels right to you, what calls out to you, or what you feel pulled towards.

While you can order many divination tools online, I recommend getting them somewhere in person, especially for your first. This way you can hold the item and really get a sense of its energy and if it is something you connect to.

Plus you can support a local business!

A tip I got once was to hold the item to your chest and close your eyes. If you feel yourself swaying or being pulled backwards, it’s not for you. If you sway or feel pulled forward its a yes!


What sort of divination is your go to? Or what are you most curious about? Let me know in the comments!

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Types of Divination
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