Well over a year ago, Juniper over at walking the hedge made a blog post about a method of divination using a casting system that she created. I was very inspired by the whole idea of creating a system that had personal meaning to you, and by the fluidity that a casting system has over something like a card system in my opinion. I decided quite quickly that I was going to set out and create my own.
Since that point I have been working on my collection on and off. I collected a few items at first and drew up a few meanings for them; but soon found myself having to do an overhaul because I had given each peace far too many meanings and it was almost impossible to work out what each piece represented in a reading. I have since streamlined the meanings for each piece and tailor them further as time goes on and I get to know the set.
My next issue was the structure of the casting cloth. I had tried using the same approach as Juniper and dividing the cloth into four quarters representing the classical elements. I once again used too many meanings at first and had to streamline them; but it soon became apparent that the symbolism was never going to work for me. I have never used the four classical elements in my own practice and after all these years within paganism I still have only the most rudimentary knowledge about what each of them represents in many modern practices. Therefore, I decided to divide the cloth in a much less interesting (but much more ‘me’) way: physical, emotional, spiritual and mental. Each category contains some sub categories; for example ‘health and environment’ for the physical quarter.
Since getting the basics down I have been acquiring a few more pieces to cast with and performing practice readings whenever I can. Despite not being charged or consecrated properly yet, the pieces are reading really effectively for me, even when just cast onto a piece of paper with a very rudimentary circle drawn onto it in pencil.
I wanted to see if it could read effectively for others too, and so on Tuesday I attended a divination evening with some pagan friends and offered to read for them. I got some odd looks at first as I emptied a pouch of apparently random objects into my hands, held them motionless for up to a minute (I wait until I get the feeling that it is the right time to cast) and then dropped them onto a piece of A4 lined paper that a child had apparently scribbled on; but soon others were getting into the idea and I got to perform readings for 4 people.
I felt like a proud mother. The set was incredibly insightful and I got some really positive feedback! Some were kind enough to explain how the reading was relevant to their lives and from that I was able to learn a little more about my pieces and some things they may convey that I hadn’t thought of in the past. I was so nervous about looking like an idiot that I actually shook during my first reading of the night.
Without any further delay, this is a photo of the set after some divination I performed with Hermes earlier today:
I was originally going to wait until I had created a proper casting cloth until I presented this set to the world, but I reconsidered and decided that I wanted to show people what these things look like in their planning stages. Not everything is glamorous, nor do things have to be particularly fancy or magical looking to work effectively. Every one of those items has a story that connects it to me. That chunk of rose quartz in the centre of reading is one of my oldest possessions (it was a gift from my Nan when I was 4; the window cleaner accidentally snapped it off one of her larger specimens. She taught me all about ‘crystal healing’ and I used to run it under the tap every few hours to ‘cleanse’ it thinking that if it felt cold then it was clean!).
I will post the meanings of each piece at a later date, and when I finally do have a cloth I will detail a reading for your viewing pleasure. 🙂
Finally, as I said at the top of this (long) post; all credit for this idea goes to Juniper. Her own system inspired me greatly. If you would like to learn more and perhaps create your own, then she has a great article up at her main site that may be of help. Check it out!