Oracles, Bones And Stones – Shamanic Divination

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Author: Beth Beurkens

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Have you ever stared at the sky when it was scattered with clouds, searching for an answer to an important question?

Or perhaps you’ve sought counsel in Tarot cards, the Chinese I Ching or the Celtic Runes. These are forms of oracular guidance and problem-solving known as divination. The many forms of divination seek to find answers from sources that are hidden from daily life. They show us the “divine will” in answer to important life questions.

Changes, challenges and questions fill our lives. How we respond to them can affect us for years to come. Shall I buy this house? Is this a good location for my business? How can I increase my creativity? How do I slow down to my own natural rhythm?

The ancient world had many sacred sites and temples available for divination purposes. People journeyed there on pilgrimages, seeking advice for their problems. The Delphic Oracle in Greece is perhaps the best known.

Priestesses who possessed great spiritual power served as oracles there. They served the great mother goddess, Gaia, performing oracular divinations deep inside the earth beneath the Temple of Delphi.

The Delphic priestesses could see into the future and were in direct communication with Gaia who possessed the wisdom of the universe. When asked a question, the priestess would go into trance while holding a snake in each hand. She would speak an answer in a sacred language. Receiving direct revelations from Gaia, the priestesses were renowned for the accuracy of their predictions.

The Delphic Oracle was part of a time-honored shamanic tradition. As a spiritual problem-solving methodology, shamanism has been in use for the last forty thousand years. Shamans employ the divination tools of the drum, bones, crystals and spirits of nature.

They are able to read answers in the rustling of leaves, crackling of fire and whistling of rivers. Nature is alive and spirit-filled. The shaman interacts with nature powers and thus is able to divine weather, diagnose illness, locate lost people and solve problems for individuals and the tribe.

One of the classic techniques used by shamans in the far north is the placing of a dried caribou scapula (shoulder blade) into a sacred fire and asking the spirits for an answer to an urgent question, such as the location of the migrating herds of caribou.

The cracked and blackened scapula is then pulled out of the fire and read by the shaman, just like a map. Time and again this method works. The herds are found exactly in the place shown on the scapula. The tribe survives another winter.

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