Forms of Spirit Communication

Communicating With Spirit Through Divination & Psychic Tools

Divination AltarThe following section is a contribution from one of the regular members to my original message board, Panther Witch. She has graciously allowed me to post part of her research on the History of Divination from the board.  I have made a few additions & edits.

(From Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary)
From the Middle English “Divinacioun”,
From Latin “Divination-, divinatio, from divinare”.
Approximate first usage: 14th century

1. The art or practice that seeks to foresee or foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge usually by the interpretation of omens or by the aid of supernatural powers.
2. Unusual insight; intuitive perception.
3. The practice of sensing energy patterns around a person, animal, place or thing and interpreting messages from that energy.

The word divination comes from the Latin word “divinare” or to be inspired by the Divine. Traditionally, it never has mattered which God or Deity has inspired the events foreseen, but almost all religions have had their versions of diviners. It is actually more common than most people realize.

The Egyptians, Druids and Hebrews used scrying (a method of staring into water, a mirror, fire etc and seeing images). Romans liked augury (divination from the flight or movement of birds) and haruspicy (divination from examining the entrails of animals). Druids also used haruspicy as well as reading death throes (sudden violent movements that people sometimes make when they are dying). Greeks had Oracles. And many early cultures tossed grain, sand and peas onto the ground or into fields during the Middle Ages to read the patterns the created. These patterns would divine messages for the purpose of foretelling the cast of the year, crops, health and every other aspect of daily life.

Dice and even playing cards have a divinatory background. Dice (or knuckle bones) were made from hooves of animals (horses, oxen, ect) and then cast both for gambling, and for fortune telling. Dominoes were a spinoff of dice as well, and had similar uses, but more variations were available. Dominoes were used in China and India first, and have some connection to the IChing and casting of bones. The IChing has been used as far back as 1000 BCE.

Playing cards and tarot are linked closely as well. Some decks were used for both fortune telling and gaming. There is controversy as to which came first, but some stories say that early divination decks were turned into playing cards to hide the practice of divination during the Crusades and Inquisitions. Read more on The History of Tarot.

Astrology has been around in both legends and history for many centuries as well. The influence of planets on humankind and the things surrounding us seems to be very common to hear about. Even most newspapers have a daily section dedicated to your daily horoscope.

Other low key divinations that you may see in daily life: farmer’s almanac, moon messages and planetary retrogrades. These can be considered a type of weather reading. Certainly the farmer’s almanac each year can be considered a type of divination. It often provides moon phases which are linked to crop planting times, best fishing days, and sometimes lucky numbers or day outlooks (depending on the version). Read more about Working With The Moon.

I want to thank Panther for allowing me to share this with you.

Psychic Abilities
Everyone is psychic to some degree. Most people just don’t realize it or they call it by some other name or phrase. It’s easy for someone to say “I have a gut feeling about this”, instead of admitting to themselves that they are listening to one of their 6th senses, or psychic insights. It has become more acceptable to distance your intuition and natural instincts from anything related to the paranormal. But truth be told, that intuition and gut instinct are your psychic senses at work.

As Albert Einstein put it: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift”.

Being psychic is simply a matter of becoming aware of these abilities, accepting them as part of nature that all animals possess and becoming in-tune with these extra senses on a conscious level. You had to learn and understand your other senses for sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch. You learned about them when you were a baby and the more you experience in life, the more you are able to utilize those senses in your daily life. Psychic senses are exactly the same. They aren’t a special gift, nor do they make one person more special or powerful than the next. We all have these abilities and we all can learn how to use them on varying levels.

Many people see these abilities either as a curse or a blessing. To some degree that variation in perception is based more an individuals knowledge of these abilities, how these types of abilities have been judged by the individual’s family or community and if they know how to control them or not. Fear is a power emotion that can not only block one’s ability to utilizing their natural senses, but it can also direct those abilities toward negative or devastating energies instead of the uplifting positive potentials.

The first step to understand what these senses are and which ones you have an aptitude for is to learn about the variation in senses. Just like some musicians are adept at playing the piano more than the guitar; each person has their own aptitude with one of their psychic senses. There are many types of Psychic Abilities and terms to describe those abilities. From Clairaudient to Clairvoyant, from psychic reader to Spiritual Channel. It’s important to note that not all psychics are channels, but all channels are psychic. And depending on your personal spiritual mission, what abilities you need to fulfill that mission, you will also have varying levels of those abilities. 

For instance, just as everyone has the ability to learn to play the piano, not everyone has the aptitude to become a concert pianist. And even among those accomplished experts, there will be a few who have an unexplained gifted talent. Being a psychic is similar to this. Not everyone is destined to be a multidimensional channel, but everyone can utilize their personal psychic ability to gain understanding and insight for their own future, spiritual lessons and work for their spiritual mission and enlightenment.

As you work on the issues in your life to learn lessons, pay or redeem karma, you progress toward an enlightened path. In taking on this spiritual work, you can also begin developing your natural instincts and abilities. But understand, the gift will not form to its full potential while issues exist that can cloud your judgment and hold you back. Facing those fears and issues are part of the learning process to innovate, adapt and overcome life’s challenges.

It’s important to note that no one can use tools of divination to foretell the future in the modern perspective people see in TV and movies. What a psychic reader or divination tool can do is show you the probable outcome of energy patterns you have currently put into place up to today. But with free will and choice, you have the ability to change these outcomes. And in fact that is what divination is intended to be used for.

The benefit of divination is to help determine how your current choices have created a pattern of energy on your path for today, tomorrow and beyond. By understanding how your energy is being manifested by you, you can alter those aspects you don’t want, and work toward those you do want. So don’t think the future is set in stone. It’s not, if you don’t want it to be. But if you don’t change the pattern, the likelihood is, the messages from a reading will come to pass.

Divination Tools
Wolf PendulumA spirit or ghost can influence any divination tool. But, it’s a lot harder for an earth bound ghost to influence a tool that requires only energy or a direct connection between diviner and spirit. These would be tools such as the Tarot, a crystal ball, runes, objects for scrying, sticks & bones, tea leaves, and other such tools that rely on symbolic or third eye sight. These are tools or objects that are not manipulated or moved to provided communication.

Some suggest that the pendulum falls into the same category as the Ouija board as a physical tool.  In most uses of the Ouija,  the energy is in the tool and it’s empowered by all who touch it. Leaving the control over the tool to the spiritual/ghostly energy that is called upon. Read more about the History of the Ouija.

You can work with the Ouija from this higher source perspective, but it’s nowhere near as easy because of the additional “players” involved. When used by a single individual, the Ouija can be a well controlled tool, but it does take a great deal of concentration and effort. Think about it, how easy would it be for you to move an object when someone else is putting pressure on it and not working with you to move it. That small amount of resistance makes all the difference in the world in applications such as divination. Now add additional “players” to the mix and that resistance factor goes up. This is what makes the Ouija a physical tool that can be easily tampered with by malevolent ghosts.

A pendulum by its simple size is designed for one practitioner who can control and protect their energy during usage. A diviner is better able to channel energy trough their being from a higher source to the tool itself. Because of its free flowing nature and lack of resistance, it requires less physical energy and more spiritual energy to direct its movement. Read more about Working with Pendulums.

So while they both are similar in that they need physical movement to divine their messages, the pendulum is seen as the better or higher spiritual divining tool because of its singular application. 

Sadly some of this perception about the negative aspects of the Ouija board does it a disservice. TV, Movies and books have long vilified the Ouija board. But truth be known, any tool of divination can be misused or become dangerous if the practitioner doesn’t know what they are doing. Like any tool, be it for construction in building a house, or divination, one must understand how to utilize the tool safely. In the hands of an experienced diviner, the Ouija can be a beneficial tool. No divination tool is a toy to be played with or misused. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could be inviting a wide range of unwanted energies into your world and regret it later. So be fore warned.

The best divination tools are those that require no tool and rely on spiritual communication through psychic abilities such as being Clairaudient, Clairvoyant and so on. This is where Channeling falls into the mix. But tools help diviners focus their energy and connect with both client and spirit to interpret the energy patterns that have been created and put into play.

These “psychic” tools require you to raise your energy to your psychic senses which reside at the highest level of the individual mind. The Spiritual Consciousness is where your physical consciousness is connected to the Divine Consciousness. It is from this level that the best communication for divination can occur. This is why the ultimate method for spiritual communication is through meditation where you can control your connection on the spiritual realm.

The following isn’t a complete list of divination tools, but this can give you some ideas of what has been used throughout history, some of which are still in use today.

By Panther Witch & SpringWolf

The reading of the planets and stars and how they affect us. Astrology is very particular to Earth. The stars would align differently if you were on another planet, or even the moon. Theoretically this would make a difference on the energies surrounding you. Horoscopes are very common, and there are differing types. The zodiac is made of 12 houses in Western astrology. Chinese astrology uses a different system entirely, basing whole years on a single house, usually symbolized by an animal.

Augury- (Animal Guides)
Watching of birds. From species of birds, to the migration of birds, this is one of the most common forms of divination. Commonly considered an omen when an unusual sighting of one or more birds occurs.

Aura Readings-
Some people use the aura around a person to see the immediate future. Also some places have an aura around them, but it may not be perceivable to sight. Auras can give you a sense of health, mental state, stresses, and sometimes things that the person is thinking about.

Automatic Writing-
A person channels from the spirit realm and allows the spirit(s) to use their body to write a message or draw symbols to be interpreted later.

Botanomncy – (Scrying) – a form of pyromancy
This method involves divination through the burning of leaves, tree branches and herbs. It is a practice where a Diviner draws messages from the smoke of the fire and/or from the ashes that remain.

Crystal Ball- (Scrying)
Used as a tool to trigger visions, crystal balls come in many shapes and sizes and colors. Most commonly used in a trance or meditative state while looking into the ball and viewing any inclusions or shadows seen in the ball itself.

Fire and Smoke Scrying- (Scrying) – a form of pyromancy
The flame from a candle or a campfire may allow one to see various images dancing in the flames. Sometimes puts the person into a trance and allows visions. Smoke scrying is similar, but shapes are observed dancing on the smoke.

Viewing of animal entrails to divine the future. First seen used in the early Roman culture, it is still used in some circles today.

Depending on where you live, IChing can either be a type of bibliomancy, religious text, or a guide for how to divine the future by use of symbols and objects. The IChing means “Book of Changes” and is a classic Chinese text that shows how to use a symbol system to identify order in the chaos that surrounds us. Historically it was viewed as an account from the time of Fu Xi in a similar story to the Noah’s Ark legend in the Christian and Jewish texts. More modern meanings use the text as a guide to the “oracle bones” and the casting of them much like rune stones.

the meaning of numbers in everything, from giving letters in your name a symbolic number and reading that meaning, to the meaning of your birthday, to the oracle meaning of the number of any certain type of animal you see.

Oracle Cards-
These cards are similar to tarot. Some use animals as the basis for their meanings, others use a combination of animals, plants, stones, symbols, ect.

The reading of palms. Commonly thought a parlor trick, it uses the natural creases and lines in the palm of a hand to chart out things like how long the person’s life will be, how many times he will marry, ect. Some people use palmistry like tea leaves, and view the patterns as shapes to divine the future of the person.

A device on a string or chain, usually made of stone, wood, glass, crystal, or bone that is polished into a point and then dangled from the string. Some superstition says that a pendulum dangled over a pregnant woman’s belly will move in one direction or another to foretell the sex of the unborn child. Primary methods use the movement of the pendulum to divine answers to questions, or even scry for the direction of an object that is lost. Uses the energy lines and patterns around the user and in the earth.

The feeling and interpretation of energy associated with an object belonging to a person or animal. It is the process whereby facts or impressions about a person, animal or thing are received through contact with an object associated with the subject of the impressions. Rings, photographs, and similar tokens are often used, but sometimes the physical presence of a person may bring about images or visions in the psychometrist’s mind that correspond to real facts (sometimes still in the future) in the life of the subject.

Runes – (Nordic Runes & The Celtic Ogham Script)
These are stones or sometimes sticks that are marked with either Norse runes or Ogham (Celtic) script. The most commonly used runes are based on the Norse system. Readings vary in how they are implemented. Some people pull a single stone, others use a spread similar to the tarot. They can be found custom made, out of stones, wood, various crystal and hand carved, or commercially produced.

Tarot –
Also called tarotmancy, the use of picture cards that use imagery as symbolic messages to divine information about a subject or question. Made up of the Major and Minor Arcana, there are usually 21 cards in the Major Arcana, and 4 suits of 14 cards in the Minor Arcana. There are custom decks available, and decks that use different suits, as well as some that have extra cards, or some that feature fewer cards. Some decks even change the names of the Major Arcana cards to suit the theme of the deck itself. Each spread can vary in number of cards, meaning, and even the depth of the questions asked. Read more about the History and Use of the Tarot.

Scrying Mirror- (Scrying)
Similar to the crystal ball, this type of mirror (usually colored black) is possibly most reputable from Nostradamus visions of the future. The colored glass can create a depth illusion in which a person can see objects, people, or happenings. Read more about Scrying.

Scrying Bowl- (Scrying)
A plain bowl (sometimes made of metal, glass, or stone) that is filled to the brim with water, until the water bubbles at the lip of the bowl to create an edge. Used in meditation or trance.

Spirit Boards / Witch Boards / Talking Boards (Ouija Boards)-
Typically used during a seance, a tear or heart shaped piece of wood is placed on a board with letters, numbers, symbols and some common words on it, then touched by everyone in the circle around the board. Sold as a game, or custom made. Supposedly works to communicate with the spirit world. Many stories highlight the more “evil” intentions around the board. Historically however, there is no evidence connecting these types of tools to ancient practices of pagan witches or diviners. It is a very modern tool in that respect.

Tea Leaves-
Drink a cup of tea, then tip the cup over onto the saucer to drain the dregs of the tea out. Look at the pattern of tea leaves and view them. Supposedly will tell the future of the person that drank the tea. Based on shapes and patterns in the remaining leaves at the bottom of the bowl or cup.

Vision Quests- (A Form of Deep Meditation)
A Native American tradition that induces visions, vision quests and sweat lodges are reported to lead to many types of seeing, from future to past to Otherworld.

Wind Listening- a form of Austromancy
A meditative trance in a secluded area. Listen for what you may hear on the wind.

Wind Watching- a form of Austromancy
This method utilizes observation of the wind and it’s effects on objects, such as tree, animals, clouds, the ground etc.

Additional Methods of Divination
Channeling – Also called Spirit Talking. A channel is different from a psychic, in that when one channels they do not interpret the information or energy being received from spirit. It is given to the client just as it is received from spirit. Not all psychic’s are channels, but all channels are psychic.

As with most things, there are different levels of channeling, each depending on the mission or purpose of the individual in this incarnation. For instance, someone may be in this existence to perform the service of Divine healing. Therefore they are a healing channel. In their own way, they channel the energy from the divine directly into the body of their client. They may pick up on energy patterns that they in turn attempt to interpret, but this is different from channeling. This is using psychic senses that are sensitive to subtle energies. How that energy is felt and interpreted is up to the healer.

I’ve come to understand that not every psychic is a channel. Not every channel is a multidimensional channel. Each level of channeling has with it a responsibility and accountability to spirit both incarnated and not. Each level has access to information that is both sacred and restricted. The deeper or higher the information the more it can be misused or misinterpreted. Access to this information therefore is available to the individual themselves and those who have karmically achieved accountable access to that information over time. That time could be over lifetimes, or I believe it can be achieved in a single lifetime. But I’ve discovered I’m unique in that belief.

From this perspective it’s important to note that not everyone can tap into your personal Akashic records and Divine information for you. This data is extremely important, sacred and restricted. Be wary of psychics claiming to be Akashic Readers. Psychics can pick up on energy that you have already pulled from your personal akashic files and implemented into your life. Even if you don’t realize you’ve done this. But they cannot access the records themselves. Channels, can access this information because they have proven through their previous lifetimes that they understand the value and importance of these records. They’ve earned the right, through knowledge, deed and wisdom. If you think about the impact this information may have upon your and your life, this requirement makes a lot of sense.

In general there are four levels of channeling.

  • The 1st level of channeling taps into the higher consciousness of the individual channel. Their own divine mind and knowledge. It’s from this level that Healing Channels make their connection to Divine healing energy which is prevalent at all levels of existence. A healing channel raises their energy vibration and reaches out into the ethereal to make the connection. At the same time, a message has been sent to the highest Divine level of energy which sends energy “down” to make the connection with the healer. Think of it as a meeting of energy half way in between the journey.
  • The 2nd level taps into the ethereal realm where communication with Spirit guides or spiritual teacher(s) of the client, or the channel them self can occur. At this level of connection a channel can use their personal psychic ability or abilities to their fullest potential. If they are Clairaudiant, they can clearly hear spirit talking to them and deliver the message as it’s given to them.
  • The 3rd level taps into a higher level of the ethereal where communication with the Soul Group or Divine Messengers can occur. Many refer to these Divine Messengers and the Angelic Kingdom (spirits that have never incarnated throughout the Divine Universe in any form). Similarly the channel uses their ability to its fullest potential to receive and deliver messages without need of interpretation.
  • The 4th level taps into the highest level of the Divine Universe, where communication with the Divine Conscious Mind itself can occur. It is in this level of channeling that multidimensional channels can be used by the Divine as tools for spiritual communication.

There are two forms of “conventional’ channeling” or what is better defined as multidimensional channeling. The most commonly known is trance channeling. When the channel goes into deep trance and allows a spirit or spirits to communicate through them. In some cases a spirit can also manipulate the physical body, such as walking, drinking or moving in varying ways.

And semi-trance where the channel doesn’t fully release the physical for spiritual use, which allows them to interact with the spirit world and physical world simultaneously. I’m a semi-trance channel and can better speak to that experience. But there are varying aspects to full trance channeling to be noted.

Depending on the agreements between channel and spirit, a channel may:

  • allow one specific spirit to communicate through them (think of channel JZ Knight who channels Ramtha)
  • allow a specified group of spirits to communicate through them (think of Kevin Ryerson who was depicted in Shirley MacLaine’s Out On A Limb.)
  • make an agreement with one specific spirit who will act as a gatekeeper and grant permission to any spirit who may want to communicate through the channel. (I only have personal examples here, but hopefully you get the idea).

As a semi-trance channel I can control who I allow through to communicate with a client or group. I act as my own gatekeeper so to speak. But it appears there are at least 2 spirits who work through me during a session. A Native American Woman and a Tibetan Monk.

While conducting a session I feel lifted spiritually and physically. The physical aspect is as if I’ve walked into a room that has some type of anti-gravity device. There’s a physical sensation of being lighter than air or not weighed down in any form. My conscious mind feels as if it expands and the perception of sight moves into physically seeing energy through my physical eyes and not just through the mind’s eye.

I have more control over what is spoken in the first 10 minutes of a session; but as the energy flows, there is a shift from ‘me’ to ‘spirit’. When this begins to happen I lose time and memory. 30 minutes can go by and it seems like only a few seconds have passed. After a session I remember very little of the start of the communication and none of the end.

My clients have told me that my appearance changes to varying degrees. Many have told me later that the deeper into semi-trance I went, the more it appeared as if my face moved from me, to that of the Native American woman. Others have reported seeing the Tibetan Monk, which may explain my great admiration for the Dalai Lama.

Many have reported seeing feather wings, some times white, sometimes they’re the same color as my hair. But in all these descriptions, the wings start out at rest and deeper into the session, the wings open and rise up. I’ve always found this interesting because I have muscle spasms in my shoulder blades from time to time, that the only way I can describe the sensation is that it feels like I’m fluttering my wings. But this is an entirely different topic about past lives, so we’ll save that for some other time.

During the entire process, most multidimensional channels I’ve talked with describe a similar experience to mine. There is an overwhelming sense of peace, caring and compassion. As if your soul has been held in the hands of the Divine while you have allowed spirit to communicate through you. As if you are being protected, nurtured and rewarded all at the same time.

Additional Reading:
If you are interested in learning more about your own personal abilities and how to develop them, I recommend the following reading list to get started. You will also find additional resources to continue your learning and study in some of these articles.


On Monday night (May 21,  2012), Paul Cagle, Sushi and I sat at our round table for The Ænigma Project and held a discussion about Spirit Communication and Psychic Tools. If you missed the show you can still listen to this episode on The Ænigma Project’s Blog. Or on the show’s broadcast Archives on Tenacity Radio – 2012-05-21-Spirit Communication

© 2012 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Spring’s Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

3 thoughts on “Forms of Spirit Communication

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