Needles and pins

A friend recently shared some information about household divination. This brought me back to how I got started in Tea Break Tarot School; the desire to make magical practice and divination inclusive and accessible. I have often wondered what I would do without Amazon or Etsy or Facebook and Instagram to show me smart new oracle decks and divination tools? I wonder what my foremothers did when they needed to seek answers?

Reading tea leaves, using a block of laundry blue in a bowl of water, making a needle pendulum, dropping marbles, candle wax…these are methods of divination under the wire, without the approval of a publisher or brand, no certification available, only a trust in your own wisdom as you work your way, inching forwards, with ancestral whispers for guidance and support.

I love these older methods of practice. I love them because they are at hand. I want to do some pendulum work; I find an old needle and a piece of thread and I can begin. There is no need for excess income or to wait for a delivery driver. In a society driven by the need to consume there is a magical freedom to discovering and practising a form of divination without a book’s guidance or YouTube video.

I sit at the table, looking over a rainwashed sky and thread my needle. It swings wildly and enthusiastically in a wide circle of yes as I test it out, then a definite back and forth line for a no. It seems happy to help, keen, like a puppy, to retrieve answers, quivering over my palm as it comes to rest. I have used needles countless times in my life but never for this purpose. I wonder what other tools are waiting to be uncovered among kitchen cupboards and bedroom drawers.

This year I am working with the idea that less is more, embracing the resources already at hand, shedding the unused or surpassed. I feel a shift within as I acknowledge a way of knowing lost in the sterilised and sanitised work of mass-produced oracles, the rawness of magic teased from everyday tools hovering expectantly, waiting for me to wake up to its presence, and my own power.

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