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Can Ancient Oracles Help You Live a More Authentic Life?

Mystical practices like reading tarot or tea leaves are meant for truth telling, not fortune telling

You ever have one of those days where everything seems to flow?

You wake up on the sunny side of the bed with a song stuck in your head, then it comes up on Pandora…

You’re thinking about a friend you haven’t talked to in awhile, and your phone dings with a message from them…

Your horoscope says it will be a profitable day, and you find an unexpected card from Grandma in the mailbox with 100 bucks in it…

On those days, everything feels connected… because it is.

According to Carolyn Elliott, the founder of WITCH Magazine and teacher of practical magic, “When you open your heart and mind and turn on your joy and gratitude, the universe will offer you beautiful synchronicities that fulfill your deepest desires for romance, beauty, and fun.”

Notice how when you are in this open, connected place you don’t feel confused, overwhelmed, or unsure about, well, anything?

The synchronicities serve as signs that ease our mind’s discomfort with uncertainty, and allow us to trust, even for just a day, that things are exactly as they should be.

Of course, on days when we aren’t feeling so connected and aren’t seeing clear signs, it’s easy to worry if we’re on the right path or making the right choices.

Is this the right guy for me?

Should I quit my job now and start my own business?

Do I need to clear the air with my friend or am I just imagining she’s mad at me?

For centuries, people have sought guidance from oracles when faced with big questions about their future.

But while mystical practices like reading tarot or tea leaves are largely believed to be fortune telling, their intended use is as tools of intuitive consultation — a way to confirm what you already know to be true.

Rather than telling you what will happen in your future, they offer a way to tune into your present, so that you can choose your own way forward.

They serve as signs to remind you that everything is connected, especially on days when you forget.

Many of those traditions continue today, and thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to learn one for yourself. Here’s the low-down on 3 different oracles you can use at home to re-awaken your own internal guidance system (i.e. your intuition) and find your way back into the flow.


READING TEA LEAVES (TASSEOGRAPHY)

Where it started: It is believed that tasseography may have originated in China and spread West as tea was introduced to Europe in the 17th Century, where it was adopted by European fortune tellers.

What you need: Loose leaf tea and a plain white mug or tea cup with a handle and saucer.

How it works: Prepare a cup of tea without a tea strainer. After savoring the tea, leave a small amount of liquid at the bottom. As you ask your question, swirl the cup several times and then turn it upside down on the saucer to drain the remaining liquid.

Unlike with Tarot or runes, where you are interpreting a sequence of fixed symbols with established significance, there are not standard symbols with tea leaves. You must identify the shapes or images you see, and then decide what they mean to you.

Some general guidelines:

The handle represents you; shapes close to the handle represent things currently affecting you.

If the leaves fall in a line, it can indicate a journey.

Uppercase letters can indicate a place, while lowercase letters can indicate a name.

Images in the bottom of the cup represent the future, while those by the rim represent the past. 


TAROT CARDS

Where it started: The first tarot decks were allegedly just playing cards, intended for use in a game similar to bridge. Their mystical appropriation started in Italy by the 18th Century and then spread through the rest of Europe.

What you need: A deck of tarot cards and an interpretative guide (The Everything Tarot Book is great for beginners, as is the website Biddy Tarot). While any deck will do, one whose imagery you resonate with is ideal.

How it works: Shuffle the cards well as you consider your question; before you pull a card, cut the deck. Cards may be pulled and arranged in a number of different spreads, or layouts, depending on your inquiry.

Before you begin to look up each card in your interpretative guide, spend a few moments examining the cards you pulled.

What does the image immediately make you think of?

How does it make you feel?

If you had to guess, what does the card mean?

Even after you’ve read about the card, let your intuition guide you to conclusions about their significance.


RUNES

Where it started: Runemal, or the art of rune casting, is a form of divination that originated with the Vikings. The runes — 25 stones engraved with the Elder Futhark, or runic alphabet — were believed to be a gift from the Norse god Odin, who first saw them as he hung upside down from the Yggdrasil or World Tree for nine days and nights.

What you need: A set of runes and interpretative guide, such as Ralph H. Blum’s The Book of Runes or The Viking Runes app for iPhone.

How it works: Sit quietly, take a few deep breaths, and hold the issue you’d like to address steadily in your mind as you pull the runes.

Like Tarot, the runes can be pulled and read in several different spreads for different kinds of questions. But pulling just one in the morning or before you meditate is an excellent way to focus your awareness for the day.

As you investigate the interpretation of your rune, pay special attention to what thoughts appear, what insights reveal themselves. These are messages from your own intuition, and the real gift of the Oracle.

“The truth is that each of us is an Oracle, and when we pray we are exercising our true oracular function, which is to address the Knowing Self within. Consulting the Runes will put you in touch with your own inner guidance, with that part of you that knows everything you need to know for your life now.”

— THE BOOK OF RUNES


Originally published at www.besteas.co

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