Articles

Tarot vs. Oracle decks: What's the difference?

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Tarot vs. Oracle decks:  What's the difference?

Lots of people approach our Tarot display with this question:  I'm trying to choose my first deck, but I see there are Tarot and oracle decks.  What's the difference, and which one should I get? The sheer number of options for your first deck can be mind-boggling, but understanding their similarities and difference will help you make an informed decision.  Read this short article, and you'll be an expert in no time! The Name Technically, an oracle (meaning "that which speaks") can refer to any item used for divination.  So Tarot decks are actually a type of oracle--as are runes,...

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How to use charcoal tablets for incense

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

How to use charcoal tablets for incense

Interested in burning resin incenses like Frankincense and Myrrh?  The first thing you'll need is a roll of charcoal tablets. Most stick and cone incense is charcoal-based, meaning the fragrance ingredients are pre-mixed with charcoal to allow them to burn evenly.  Using charcoal separately allows you to burn incense that wouldn't ignite well on their own, like pure tree resins and herbs.  With charcoal, you can avoid unwanted additives and make custom blends to suit your ritual needs and preferences. Charcoal comes in rolls or boxes of tablets, and is available for a few dollars any place that sells resin...

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Intuitive vs. inductive divination: Which are you using?

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Intuitive vs. inductive divination: Which are you using?

Open almost any occult reference work, and you're likely to find a list of divination methods ranging from the familiar to the chuckle-worthy: acultomancy    divination using needlesaeromancy    divination by means of the weatherailuromancy    divination by watching cats’ movementsalectormancy    divination by sacrificing a roosteralectryomancy    divination by watching a rooster gather corn kernelsaleuromancy    divination using flour or mealalomancy    divination using saltalphitomancy    divination using loaves of barleyalveromancy    divination using soundsambulomancy    divination by taking a walkamniomancy    divination by examining afterbirth And so on. The word "divination" connotes communication with the divine, but it's rarely as simple as a two-way communication between the seeker and...

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Pendulum basics: How to use a pendulum for beginners

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

Pendulum basics: How to use a pendulum for beginners

A pendulum is a powerful tool for accessing intuition. Pendulums and dowsing have been used by humans for thousands of years, and it would be difficult to name a magical tool that is more compact and versatile. Pendulums, which work from involuntary muscle movements, allow you to bypass your conscious mind and go directly to the unconscious or Higher Self, the source of boundless knowledge. Many people use pendulums to answer “yes” or “no” questions. Begin by holding the pendulum by its chain or cord in your non-dominant hand (your left, if you are right-handed).  Let the pendulum bead (the...

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The Eight Witch's Runes

Posted by Michelle Gruben on

The Eight Witch's Runes

The Witch’s Runes are a set of magic symbols used as an oracle. (They’re unrelated to the Norse runes and other archaic alphabets.) While the exact age of this symbol set is unknown, it draws upon familiar images that will be instantly recognizable to the unconscious mind. Over time, Witch’s Runes have gained a reputation as an easy-to-learn, no-frills method for divining the past, present, and future. Author Dana Corby published an article in the Crystal Well magazine in the 1970s outlining a traditional divination method using 13 runic symbols. (It has since been expanded and re-released as a paperback...

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