Thursday, 15 March 2012

Kitchen Witch’s Guide to Divination: Finding, Crafting & Using Fortune-Telling Tools From Around Your Home by Patricia Telesco

The blurb on this book begins:

Divination is a time-honored tradition that has appeared all over the world in many different forms. Early diviners played a role similar to modern counsellors. Their task was to provide alternative perspectives and hope. Today, each of us is our own priest and priestess, counsellor and guide. Anyone with the right intention and concentration can learn to make or adapt their own divination tools, then use them to gather the insight they most need.

I won’t put all of it in, it’s a big blurb.

The first part of the book is called “Scry If You Want to: The Art of Seeing” and goes through the basics of divination with 20 commonly asked questions – effectively a FAQ for getting a reading. Developing your inner psychic lists a wide variety of tips and hints for opening your senses and setting the right mood for divination. Adapting divination methods begins with an overview of what is readily available, the pros and cons of different styles and methods and then how to adapt an existing system, or create your own.

The second part goes through many more styles and systems – each to its own chapter and gives some history and ways you can make this work for you.

When I first picked up this book, I was prepared not to like it. On the surface it seemed to be just another one of the many pulp superficial new age books that fill our shelves and are just a rehash of the books before and after them. However, once I started reading it, I was pleasantly surprised.
Patricia Telesco has a nice light voice, it’s easy to read and doesn’t preach, which is always good in my opinion. But it’s not all nice and light, there are many common sense answers and intelligent comments in all the right places. I especially liked many of the answers in the FAQ part. As I am a tarot reader myself, I’m really quite cynical about many of the readers I see, and the way their clients often behave.

When I saw the “Coupon Tarot” and divination by drawing an item randomly from your junk drawer I was starting to go back to my original preconceived notion of ‘this book is fluff’ but the explanations made sense and I can see how these could work. There were also the Omens that could be read around the home – these come from folklore, and she states how in our modern world you could think about the things that you see and hear or stand out. I was waiting for it to turn into the “everything has a special message” type of stuff that often makes me feel physically ill when I hear it from some New Age practitioners, but then she says:

“Lastly, if I could leave you with one final piece of advice when it comes to psychic information and divination, it would be simply: sometimes a rock is just a rock. Not everything in life has to have intense spiritual significance. A situation in your life could be just normal life happening! I’ve often joked with folks about creating a system based on body odors just for the fun of it. You laugh, but unfortunately some people get so caught up in their yearning for spiritual experiences that they forget to keep one foot on the ground, and actually seem to look for signs everywhere. No one needs omens, signs, portents, and divinations to know how to run every moment of every day. Just live it! Be the magick, and on those days when you get stuck with really difficult questions, then consider divination as an ally.”

Overall, I recommend this book to anyone who is thinking about using any form of divination. Even if you are planning to stick with a well known tried and true system like the Tarot, there is still some very valuable advice for all in this book.


PS Cauldrons do stock this book for $33 – below RRP. Check it out here if you are interested.

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