Exploring the World of Divination in Shamanism

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As human beings, we often seek guidance, answers, and insight into various aspects of our lives. While some may turn to religion, others may find solace in the ancient practice of divination. Divination is the practice of seeking knowledge about the future or unknown through supernatural or spiritual means. In shamanism, divination plays a crucial role in connecting to the spiritual realm and provides guidance, insight, and healing. In this article, we’ll explore the various types of divination used in shamanism, the tools and techniques involved, and how to choose a divination practitioner.

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The Role of Divination in Shamanism

The Role Of Divination In Shamanism
For centuries, shamans have used divination as a powerful tool for connecting with the spiritual realm, receiving guidance and insight, and promoting healing and balance in their communities. At the heart of shamanic practice lies the ability to tap into the unseen world and access knowledge beyond the physical realm. The role of divination in shamanism is crucial in facilitating this connection, serving as a powerful means of communication between the physical and spiritual planes. Let us explore more deeply the many facets of divination in shamanism and its importance in fulfilling the spiritual duties of a shaman.

Connecting to the Spiritual Realm

In shamanism, divination serves as a powerful tool for connecting with the spiritual realm. Shamans believe that all beings, animate and inanimate, possess a unique energy or spirit. When performing divination, the shaman taps into this energetic realm, allowing them to connect with the divine and receive messages from higher powers.

The spiritual realm is said to be the home of spirit guides, ancestors, and other entities that provide guidance and support. Through divination, shamans are able to connect with these entities and receive their wisdom and insight. This communication can come in the form of symbols, visions, or even audible messages.

To successfully connect with the spiritual realm, the shaman must typically enter a trance state. This can be achieved through various techniques such as meditation, drumming, or the use of entheogens (psychoactive substances used for spiritual purposes). Once entranced, the shaman can communicate with spirits, ask questions, and receive guidance.

It is important for the shaman to maintain a clear and focused mindset when communicating with the spiritual realm. Staying grounded and centered helps ensure that the messages received are pure and undistorted. The shaman must also have a strong level of trust and faith in the process of divination, as doubt or skepticism can hinder the connection with the spiritual realm.

Topic Sentence: In shamanism, divination serves as a powerful tool for connecting with the spiritual realm.
Main Points:
  • Shamans believe all beings possess a unique spirit or energy
  • Divination allows the shaman to connect with higher powers and receive messages
  • The spiritual realm is home to spirit guides, ancestors, and other entities that provide guidance and support
  • Trance states are often used to facilitate communication with the spiritual realm
  • A clear and focused mindset is essential for receiving pure messages
  • Trust and faith in the process of divination is necessary for successful communication

Providing Guidance and Insight

One important role of divination in shamanism is to provide guidance and insight to the seeker. Through a variety of divination techniques, the shaman is able to tap into the spiritual realm and access information and clarity that may not be immediately apparent in our physical world.

Divination Technique Description
Scrying Using an object such as a crystal ball, mirror, or water to focus the mind and see visions or symbols, which can provide guidance and insight.
Psychometry Reading the energy from an object, such as a piece of jewelry or a photograph, to gain information about a person or situation.
Divination with Runes Using a set of ancient symbols inscribed on stones or cards to gain insight into future events or guidance on present issues.
Tarot Card Readings Using a deck of Tarot cards to gain insight and guidance on personal and spiritual matters through symbolism and interpretation.
Communication with Animal Spirits Connecting with animal spirits through meditation or shamanic journeying to gain personal insight and connection to the natural world.
Interpreting Dreams Exploring the symbolism and messages contained within dreams to gain insight and guidance on personal and spiritual matters.

Each divination technique has its unique way of providing guidance and insight to the seeker. Scrying, for example, can offer a visual representation of the seeker’s subconscious mind or provide them with beneficial symbols to guide them in their daily life. Psychometry allows the seeker to understand the energy behind objects and helps them gain spiritual direction by analysing the history behind the object. Divination with runes or tarot cards offer the chance to interpret ancient symbols or archetypes, revealing the way forward in both mundane and spiritual matters. Communication with animal spirits through meditation or shamanic journeying can act as a way of receiving messages from the natural world that may provide insight on personal endeavors.

The benefits of guidance and insight gained through divination are many. It can offer much-needed direction when one feels lost, it can help in decision-making, and it can provide a sense of comfort and grounding during challenging times. Seeking guidance from a divination practitioner can be extremely beneficial and provide great clarity in one’s spiritual journey.

Healing and Balance

In addition to providing guidance and insight, divination is also an important tool for healing and finding balance within oneself. By tapping into the spiritual realm and connecting with one’s innermost self, divination can help individuals find answers to deep-seated emotional and physical issues.

Here are some ways in which divination can be used for healing and balance:

  • Identifying underlying issues: Oftentimes, we may not fully understand the root of our emotional or physical pain. Through divination, a practitioner can help identify underlying issues that may not be readily apparent, allowing for deeper introspection and healing.
  • Releasing negative energy: Divination can also help individuals identify and release negative energy that may be contributing to their pain or imbalance. Whether through guided meditation, chanting, or other techniques, practitioners can help individuals release blockages and promote positive energy flow.
  • Connecting with spiritual guides: Many individuals find comfort in connecting with spiritual guides and ancestors through divination. By receiving guidance and insights from these entities, individuals can gain a deeper sense of purpose and understanding, leading to greater emotional and spiritual balance.
  • Receiving validation: For those struggling with trauma or emotional pain, divination can offer validation and support. By connecting with a compassionate and intuitive practitioner, individuals can feel heard and understood, aiding in their healing journey.

Divination can be a powerful tool for those seeking healing and balance within themselves. Through various techniques and practices, individuals can tap into their inner wisdom and find the guidance and support they need to move forward on their path to wholeness.

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Common Types of Divination in Shamanism

Common Types Of Divination In Shamanism
As we delve deeper into the practices of shamanism, it becomes apparent that divination plays a significant role in connecting with the spiritual realm and accessing valuable guidance and insight. There are several methods of divination that shamanic practitioners use to gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their surroundings, each with its unique significance and purpose. Let’s explore some of the common types of divination techniques that are still practiced today, and how they are used in shamanism.


Scrying is a popular form of divination that involves gazing into an object such as a crystal ball or mirror in order to receive messages from the spiritual realm. This method has been used for centuries by shamans and other spiritual practitioners to access information beyond the physical world. Here are some common types of scrying methods:

  • Crystal Gazing: This involves focusing on a crystal ball or other translucent object until the mind enters a trance-like state, allowing messages and impressions to come through.
  • Water Scrying: This involves gazing into a pool of water or a reflective surface such as a mirror until images and symbols start to emerge.
  • Fire Scrying: This involves focusing on the flames of a fire, allowing the mind to enter a hypnotic state where messages and symbols can be seen.
  • Smoke Scrying: This involves using smoke from incense or herbs to create a misty atmosphere, then gazing into the smoke to receive messages and visions.

Scrying can be a powerful tool for accessing information and insights that may be elusive in our conscious, waking state. It requires a focused, meditative mindset, and the ability to let go of rational thought processes in order to allow intuitive insights to arise. However, it is important to remember that scrying is just one form of divination, and may not be effective for everyone. It is important to experiment with different forms of divination to find the method that works best for you.


Psychometry is a unique form of divination that involves the ability to gather information from the energy and vibrations that are present in different objects. This type of divination is also known as object reading and is often used to gain insights into the past, present, and future of a person or situation.

To perform psychometry, a practitioner will typically hold an object and focus their energy and attention on it. This object could be anything, such as a piece of jewelry, a key, or a photograph. As the practitioner focuses on the object, they will begin to receive impressions or sensations that are associated with it.

Here are some common tools and techniques that are used in psychometry:

  • Crystals and gemstones: These objects can help to enhance a practitioner’s psychic abilities and amplify the energies that are present in the object being read.
  • Incense and smudging: The use of certain herbs and smoke can help to clear and purify the energy around the object being read.
  • Intuition and empathy: A practitioner must be able to intuitively pick up on the energy and emotions that are connected to the object being read.

Psychometry readings can be an incredibly powerful tool for gaining insights and clarity into different aspects of one’s life. It can provide information about past experiences, current challenges, and future opportunities, providing guidance and comfort.

It is important to note that not all practitioners of psychometry are created equal. When considering a psychometry reading, it is always important to do your research and find a practitioner who is experienced, reputable, and reputable. Look for referrals from friends or online reviews, and take the time to feel comfortable with the practitioner and their methods. Clear communication and boundaries are also essential in ensuring a successful and positive experience.

Divination with Runes

Runes are an ancient form of divination that involves the use of symbols carved onto small stones, wood or other materials. Each symbol has a unique meaning and can provide insights into an individual’s past, present and future. Runes can also be used to receive advice and guidance from the spiritual realm.

Types of Runes Meanings
Elder Futhark Runes Considered the oldest and most widely used set of runes, with 24 symbols representing various aspects of life such as birth, death, love and strength.
Younger Futhark Runes Similar to Elder Futhark but with only 16 symbols, mainly used for divination and writing.
Anglo-Saxon Runes A set of 29 symbols used primarily for magical purposes and divination.
Medieval Runes A collection of various symbols used for divination, mainly in medieval times.

To perform a rune reading, the practitioner would typically place the runes in a bag or pouch and allow the seeker to choose a certain number of runes from the set. The symbols selected can provide insight into the seeker’s current situation and future path. Additional symbols can also be drawn for more specific questions or guidance.

Interpreting the meanings of the runes requires knowledge and skill, as each symbol can have multiple interpretations depending on its orientation and placement in the reading. Many practitioners also incorporate their intuition and spiritual connection into their interpretation of the runes.

Divination with runes can provide a unique and insightful perspective on various aspects of life, from relationships to career paths. But like with any form of divination, it’s important to find a reputable and experienced practitioner for an accurate and meaningful reading.

Tarot Card Readings

One of the most popular forms of divination used in shamanism is Tarot card readings. This method involves using a deck of cards with intricate and symbolic images to interpret the seeker’s past, present, and future.

Tarot card readings are believed to provide insight and guidance on a wide range of issues, from relationships and career choices to personal growth and spiritual development. The reader shuffles the deck of cards and asks the seeker to draw a certain number of cards from the deck, then interprets the symbolism and meaning behind each card.

In a Tarot card reading, the cards are usually laid out in a specific pattern or spread, such as the Celtic Cross or the Three-Card Spread. Each card in the spread represents a different aspect of the seeker’s life or situation, and the reader uses their intuition and knowledge of the Tarot to decipher the messages within the cards.

It’s important to note that Tarot card readings are not a form of fortune-telling or predicting the future. Instead, they are meant to provide insight and guidance on the seeker’s current situation and help them make decisions based on their own free will and choices.

Some common Tarot decks used in shamanic practices include the Rider-Waite Tarot, the Thoth Tarot, and the Osho Zen Tarot. Each deck has its own unique symbolism and interpretation, so it’s important to choose a deck that resonates with you and your needs.

Tarot card readings can be a powerful tool in shamanic practice, providing guidance and insight into the seeker’s life journey.

Communication with Animal Spirits

Animal spirits have played an important role in shamanism for centuries, and communicating with them is a powerful form of divination. This practice involves connecting with the spiritual essence of a particular animal and gaining insight and guidance from their wisdom.

There are different ways to communicate with animal spirits, but some of the most common include:

  • Observing the behavior of animals in nature and interpreting their actions as messages or omens.
  • Using animal totems, which are symbolic representations of animals that can be used to connect with their spiritual energy.
  • Using guided meditations to journey to the spiritual realm and connect directly with animal spirits.

Each animal spirit has its own unique symbolism and meaning, and connecting with them can provide valuable guidance and insight into various aspects of life. For example:

  • The wolf may symbolize leadership, intuition, and relationships.
  • The eagle may represent freedom, courage, and spirit.
  • The bear may represent strength, protection, and healing.

During a communication with animal spirits, a shaman may also use different tools or techniques to enhance the experience, such as:

  • Drumming and rattling to enter a trance-like state and better connect with the spiritual realm.
  • Herbs and smoke cleansing to purify the space and create a sacred environment for the practice.
  • Crystals and gemstones to channel their energy and enhance the connection with the animal spirit.

Communication with animal spirits is a powerful form of divination that can provide guidance, clarity, and insight into a person’s life. It is important to work with a trained practitioner who can help facilitate the communication and interpret the messages received from the animal spirits.

Interpreting Dreams

Dreams have always been a source of fascination for humans as they are seen as messages from the divine or our subconscious that require interpretation. In shamanism, dreams are considered a powerful tool for divination and gaining insight into the spiritual realm. Interpreting Dreams involves analyzing the symbols, emotions, and messages within dreams to understand what they are communicating.

Dream Symbol Meaning
Water Represents emotions and the unconscious mind
Animals May represent spirit guides or aspects of ourselves
Fire Can symbolize passion, transformation, or destruction
Death Often represents change or transformation
Flight May indicate a desire for freedom or escape

When interpreting dreams, it is important to pay attention to any strong emotions or feelings that arise during the dream. These emotions can offer clues to the message the dream is communicating. The use of dream journaling is a common practice in shamanism as it allows individuals to track patterns and themes in their dreams over time.

It is also important to take into consideration personal experiences and cultural background when analyzing dream symbols. For example, a snake may be seen as a symbol of evil in Western cultures, but in shamanism, it may represent rebirth and transformation.

Interpreting dreams is a valuable tool in shamanic divination. By exploring the symbols and messages within our dreams, we can gain deeper insight into our subconscious desires and the spiritual realm.

Tools and Techniques Used in Divination

Tools And Techniques Used In Divination
When it comes to divination in shamanism, there are various tools and techniques that can be employed to help connect with the spiritual realm and gain insight and guidance. These techniques often involve the use of certain herbs, crystals, and instruments such as drums and rattles. By utilizing these tools and techniques, shamanic practitioners aim to enhance their intuitive abilities and receive messages from the spiritual world. In this section, we will explore some of the most common tools and techniques used in shamanic divination.

Drumming and Rattling

One of the most ancient and powerful techniques used in divination in shamanism is drumming and rattling. The sound and vibration of the drum or rattle can help the practitioner to enter into an altered state of consciousness and connect with the spiritual realm.


Tool Description
Drum A handheld percussion instrument that is struck with a drumstick or hand, producing a deep and resonant sound. The rhythm of the drum can help to induce a trance state, allowing the practitioner to journey to different realms and connect with spirit guides or ancestors.
Rattle A shamanic tool made of natural materials such as wood or animal hide, filled with seeds or stones that create a rattling sound when shaken. The sound and vibration of the rattle can help to clear stagnant energy and bring about healing.

Drumming and rattling can be used for various purposes in divination, including journeying, clearing energy, and healing. The rhythm of the drum or rattle can help to shift the brainwaves, inducing a meditative state that allows the practitioner to connect with their intuition and receive guidance from the spiritual realm.

During a session, the practitioner may use the drum or rattle to set the mood and create a sacred space. They may also use the instrument to clear aura fields and chakras, removing any negative or stagnant energy that is blocking the client’s spiritual growth.

It’s important for the practitioner to have knowledge and experience in playing the drum or rattle, as well as an understanding of how to use these instruments for divination purposes. The practitioner should also be trained in how to hold space and guide the client through their journey or healing experience.

Drumming and rattling can be a powerful tool for divination and healing in shamanism. The sound and vibration can help to open up channels of communication with the spiritual realm and facilitate deep healing and transformation.

Herbs and Smoke Cleansing

Herbs and smoke cleansing is another essential technique used in divination in shamanism. Shamanic practitioners often use a variety of herbs for their healing and spiritual properties.

Here are some of the most commonly used herbs in smoke cleansing:

  • Sage: Sage is a powerful herb often used for cleansing negative energy and promoting clarity and mental focus. It is also known to aid in emotional balance and can help alleviate depression and anxiety.
  • Cedar: Cedar is known for its detoxifying properties and can help release negative emotions, purify the mind, and promote spiritual growth. It is also believed to attract positive energy and abundance.
  • Sweetgrass: Sweetgrass is a sacred herb often used for its uplifting and centering properties. It is believed to aid in spiritual connection, promote healing, and attract positive energy and blessings.
  • Lavender: Lavender is a calming herb often used to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and aid in restful sleep. It is also believed to enhance psychic abilities and aid in spiritual healing.

When the herbs are burned, the smoke released by them is used for cleansing the energy in the space and the people present there. Smoke cleansing can also be used to cleanse objects like crystals, tarot cards, and divination tools.

In shamanism, smoke cleansing is often used as a preliminary step before diving into divination practices. It helps create a fresh and positive energy that is conducive to channeling spiritual messages.

In addition to smoke cleansing, shamanic practitioners may also ingest herbs for their healing properties or create healing salves and balms. The use of herbs in divination is an age-old practice that is still relevant today in shamanic practices.

Crystals and Gemstones

Crystals and gemstones are popular tools used in divination by many shamans. They are believed to hold unique energies and vibrations that can be harnessed to gain insight and guidance. Here are some of the ways that crystals and gemstones are used in divination:

  • Choosing the Right Stone: One of the first steps in using crystals or gemstones for divination is selecting the right one. Different stones are believed to have different properties and meanings, so it’s important to choose one that aligns with the intended purpose. For example, amethyst is often used for spiritual awareness, while rose quartz is associated with love and relationships.
  • Placing the Stone: The next step is placing the crystal or gemstone in an appropriate location. Some practitioners may place the stone on a specific part of the body or in a particular room or space. The energy of the stone is believed to enhance the divination process and provide greater clarity and insight.
  • Meditation and Focus: Once the stone is in place, the shaman may use it as a focus for meditation or visualization. By focusing on the stone and its unique energy, the shaman may be better able to connect with the spiritual realm and receive guidance and insight.
  • Interpreting the Results: After the meditation or visualization, the shaman will interpret the results using their own intuition and knowledge of the stone’s properties. Each stone may have different meanings or messages, so it’s important to have a good understanding of the various properties and uses of different crystals and gemstones.

Crystals and gemstones can be a helpful tool for divination in shamanism. However, it’s important to approach their use with respect and understanding, and to choose stones and techniques that resonate with the individual practitioner.

How to Choose a Divination Practitioner

When it comes to seeking guidance through divination practices, choosing a practitioner can be a crucial decision. Whether you’re a seasoned spiritual seeker or a curious beginner, finding the right person to guide you in your spiritual journey can make all the difference. However, with so many practitioners out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Here are some important factors to consider when choosing a divination practitioner.

Research and Referrals

Research: When it comes to choosing a divination practitioner for shamanic work, doing thorough research is key. Take the time to read online reviews, browse their website or social media profiles, and ask for any certifications or qualifications they might have. Look for practitioners who have experience working with the particular type of divination you are interested in.

Referrals: Seeking referrals from trusted sources is also a great way to find a reputable divination practitioner. Ask friends or family who have had positive experiences with shamanic work, or consult with local spiritual or holistic health centers for recommendations. Additionally, some shamanic communities may have directories or member listings that can provide information on divination practitioners in your area.

Networking: Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out and network with other individuals in the shamanic community. Attend events such as workshops or retreats, and try to connect with other participants or instructors. They may be able to provide valuable insight or referrals for finding divination practitioners who align with your needs and values.

Connection and Comfort

When choosing a divination practitioner, it is essential to prioritize connection and comfort in order to have a positive and effective experience. Here are some factors to consider:

Factor Consideration
Personality It is important to feel comfortable with the divination practitioner’s personality and communication style. Do they make you feel at ease and respected?
Worldview Consider whether the practitioner’s worldview aligns with your own. Do they approach spirituality and divination in a way that resonates with you?
Experience Look for a practitioner who has significant experience and a good reputation. Have they worked with clients who have similar concerns to yours?
Price Consider whether the practitioner’s pricing is reasonable for their level of experience and services provided. Be wary of prices that seem too good to be true.
Reviews or Referrals Read reviews or ask for referrals from people you trust who have had positive experiences with the practitioner. This can help you gauge their effectiveness and professionalism.
Intuition Ultimately, trust your intuition. If something feels off or uncomfortable, it may be best to look for another practitioner. Conversely, if you feel a strong connection or resonance with a practitioner, this can be a good sign.

By prioritizing comfort and connection, you can have a more positive and effective divination experience. Remember to do your research, trust your intuition, and choose a practitioner who aligns with your needs and values.

Clear Communication and Boundaries

One important aspect to consider when choosing a divination practitioner is clear communication and boundaries. It is crucial that you feel comfortable expressing your needs and concerns with the practitioner, and that they are able to communicate clearly with you as well.

Here are some factors to consider when it comes to communication and boundaries:

Factor What to Consider
Communication Style Does the practitioner communicate clearly and effectively? Do they listen attentively and provide thoughtful responses?
Expectations Are you clear about what to expect during the divination process? Is the practitioner able to explain their approach and process to you?
Privacy Is the practitioner respectful of your privacy and confidentiality? Are they able to keep your personal information and session content confidential?
Boundaries Does the practitioner have clear boundaries and guidelines for the session? Are they able to maintain professional boundaries while still providing compassionate care?

It is important to feel comfortable with the level of communication and boundaries established by the practitioner. If you have any concerns or questions, do not hesitate to ask. A skilled practitioner will be able to address your concerns and provide the necessary support to ensure a positive divination experience.


In conclusion, divination is an essential element of shamanism, helping practitioners to connect with the spiritual realm, gain insight and guidance, and promote healing and balance. There are various types of divination techniques used in shamanism, such as scrying, psychometry, divination with runes, tarot card readings, communicating with animal spirits, and interpreting dreams.

Shamanic divination also involves the use of various tools and techniques, including drumming and rattling, herbs and smoke cleansing, and crystals and gemstones, to enhance the connection with the spiritual realm and increase the accuracy of readings.

When choosing a divination practitioner, thorough research and referrals are essential, as well as making sure there is a personal connection and comfort level between the practitioner and the client. Clear communication and boundaries are also necessary to ensure a positive and beneficial experience.

Overall, shamanic divination is a powerful way to tap into the wisdom and guidance of the universe, gaining greater clarity, understanding, and healing along the way. Whether seeking answers to specific questions or simply seeking greater spiritual insight and growth, divination can be a valuable tool for anyone on a shamanic path.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of divination in Shamanism?

The purpose of divination in Shamanism is to connect to the spiritual realm, gain guidance and insight, and facilitate healing and balance.

What are some common types of divination used in Shamanism?

Scrying, psychometry, divination with runes, tarot card readings, communication with animal spirits, and interpreting dreams are some common types of divination used in Shamanism.

What is scrying and how is it used in divination?

Scrying is the practice of gazing at or into an object, such as a crystal ball or mirror, to see visions or receive messages. It is used in divination to gain insight and guidance from the spiritual realm.

What is psychometry and how is it used in divination?

Psychometry is the practice of using an object, often a piece of jewelry or other personal item, to tap into the energy and history of its owner. It is used in divination to gain insight and guidance about a person or situation.

What are runes and how are they used in divination?

Runes are an ancient alphabet, often made of stones or bone, that are used in divination to gain insight and guidance about a situation or question. Each rune has a specific meaning and can be interpreted in various ways.

What are tarot card readings and how are they used in divination?

Tarot card readings involve using a deck of cards with specific images and symbols to gain insight and guidance about a person or situation. Each card has a specific meaning and can be interpreted in various ways.

How is communication with animal spirits used in divination?

Communication with animal spirits involves connecting with the energy and wisdom of animal guides, often through meditation or journeying, to gain insight and guidance about a situation or question.

What is dream interpretation and how is it used in divination?

Dream interpretation involves analyzing the symbols and themes in a dream to gain insight and guidance about a person or situation. It is used in divination to understand the messages and lessons that may be revealed through the dream.

What role do drumming and rattling play in divination?

Drumming and rattling are used in divination to enter a trance or altered state of consciousness, which can facilitate communication with spirits and the spiritual realm.

What are some herbs and cleansing techniques used in divination?

Herbs and smoke cleansing, such as smudging with sage or palo santo, are used in divination to clear and purify energy, create sacred space, and facilitate spiritual connection.

How can I choose a divination practitioner?

Research and ask for referrals, look for someone with whom you feel a connection and comfort, and communicate clearly about boundaries and expectations.


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