Divination Thursday – Looking Back on Past Lives

Ankhie has been pouring through Karen Harrison’s MOST excellent new book The Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook   looking for passages to excerpt only to find herself, many (too many) minutes later still absorbed in the “Herbal Materia Magicka” and so taken with all of the entries that she can’t seem to limit herself to choosing just one. Seriously, my friends, this is a book  that you will want to own.

Still, choices must be made. Oh poor, poor Ankhie!

So, moving in  a different direction entirely and remembering that it is Divination Thursday (or was, back when such distinctions seemed to matter) I have selected  for you a sort of inversely related excerpt – Karen’s spell for “Recalling a Past Life” :

Recalling a Past Life

To discover the primary karmic lessons with which we came into this lifetime, we utilize the occult principles of Scorpio, which rules Pluto, with the karmic comprehension that those energies in a Past Life Ritual.

Spend the day lightly fasting on a Saturday, a day whose energy is very useful for understanding karma. When evening falls, gather your ritual materials:

  • Incense burner
  • Incense charcoal
  • Past Lives Incense (see Formulas for Manifestation of Goals in appendix e, Formulas and Recipes*)
  • matches
  • two purple candles and candleholders
  • journal
  • pen
  • divisionary tool such as a crystal ball or scrying mirror (optional)
  • Past Lives Oil (see Formulas for Manifestation of Goals in appendix e, Formulas and Recipes*)

Arrange your altar with an Incense burner, charcoal, Incense, and matches close together to one side on the surface of your altar. Place one of your candles in a holder behind you so that when you light it, it does not reflect in your crystal ball or scrying mirror (if using) place the other on your altar in the center behind the crystal ball or scrying mirror (if using). Place the journal and pen within easy reach of the altar so that you can jot down information as it comes to you.

Cast your circle in your usual way or, using your breathing, surround yourself with light and peace. Anoint your candles (one on the altar, the other behind you) with your Ritual Oil, then light them. Light your Incense charcoal from the altar candle, let it ignite most of the way across, and then place it on insulating sand in your Incense burner. Place some of your Incense onto an Incense charcoal and allow the smoke to waft into the air. Ground yourself with your breathing and connect your energy field with that of the earth. Anoint your Third eye (the spot just above and between your eyes on your forehead). Breathe in the scent of your  Incense and Ritual Oil. Allow yourself to relax into a light trance state while gazing at the candle flame on your altar. When your body is completely relaxed and your mind is clear, blow out the candle on your altar and shift your focus to the crystal ball or scrying mirror. If you are not using a scrying device, you can let the altar candle continue to burn and return your eyes  to the flame periodically to refocus yourself.   Visualize an ancient leather-bound, parchment-paged book on the surface of your scrying tool or visualize it in front of you. As you gaze at the book, it slowly begins to open and the pages begin to turn by themselves as if by an invisible hand. Ask yourself what lesson you are here to learn, what karmic balance you are here to redress or enforce. Keep
concentrating on this question until the pages stop turning and a dim light illuminates the parchment page.

At this point, you may see the words and be able to read them, you may see static images or view a montage or “movie,” you might hear the answer directly inside your head, or you may simply gaze at a page that has no words or words in a written language that  you currently do not under-stand. Write down the information you acquire; emotions you are feeling; names you receive; and any impressions of geography, clothing style, architecture, foliage, or time frame that you have during this experience. Be very
observant of any dreams you have during the next three nights, as they will contain additional information and even the key to the information that you witnessed on the page.

During the same working or at another time when you wish you get more information, you may use some of the imagery, names, time sense, or clues to obtain more details. It is important that after doing a working of this type that you do two things: (1) eat a light snack to re-center and securely anchor yourself into your present-day body, and (2) act on any insights you receive that will help you to balance, resolve, and initiate the karmic lesson(s) you came into this lifetime to carry out.


* Formulas for Manifestation of Goals
These Incense formulas are a combination of Planetary energies utilizing herbs, resins, and essential oils well suited for their goal as  indicated by the name of the Incense. You are encouraged to alter them to suit your thoughts, intuition, and taste. I have noted the  Planet associated with each ingredient to give you a feel for why that particular herb, resin, or oil is being used. If you wish to create  a Ritual Oil from any of these formulas, simply use the essential oil rather than the herb, or omit that ingredient entirely if it  is not available as an oil or if it is an essential oil that should not be used on the skin.

Past Lives

  • one part crushed poppy flowers (Moon, Pluto; subconscious, past lives)
  • one part myrrh resin (Saturn, Pluto; karma, unconscious mind)
  • one-half part cinnamon (Mercury; memory)
  • one part jasmin oil (Moon; subconscious)
  • one part water lily oil (Moon; subconscious)

Runic History – Divination Thursday

Many years ago Ankhie and her best Bestie decided to make their own runes. Their knowledge of  runic history and use were limited, but they were young and underemployed and feeling bored and crafty – so they voyaged to a small, stony beach, north of the city where they lived among nasty yuppies and other free-roaming pests, and scoured the shoreline for flat stones smoothed by the restless tides. There were plenty to be found, and so they filled their satchels and scampered away before a gimlet eyed neighbor called the law. They weren’t doing anything illegal, but they were, in those days, often unsavory looking. So with metallic paint pens (gold for Bestie, silver for Ankhie) and a rune book they marked the  stones for casting. Best Bestie – being skilled with a needle – sewed black velvet bags for their new magical treasures. All was good.

Time passed, things changed, Ankhie and her Bestie found themselves living very different lives very far away from each other. But each retained love of the other in her heart and many joyful memories to ease the pain of separation. And, of course, the runes – tangible evidence of  times spent together.

Years later, when Ankhie and Bestie were reunited, they talked about that day on the beach and the magical runes. Strange thing though. Ankhie had noticed that she had one rune in her bag with gold writing on it. She had it still. Bestie smiled. She had a silver scripted rune in her velvet bag.  Each had held in her possession all those years, the other’s rune of happiness. Awwwww…

Now for a little Runic History from Edred Thorsson and the Runecaster’s Handbook:

Runic History

In the most exoteric historical sense, the runes represent an “alphabet” used in an unbroken tradition by the Germanic peoples from ancient times to as late as the early twentieth century in remote areas of Scandinavia. This continuous tradition went through many transformations, however. It is important to realize that the runes, although a system of symbols (a metalanguage), do not constitute a language in the usual sense. Any natural language (e.g. English, Russian, Japanese) theoretically could be written in runestaves, though historically the runes were never employed outside the Germanic group of languages, i.e they were never used by the Celts or Finns.

The oldest runic tradition is that of the twenty-four stave or Elder Futhark. The system may have begun as early as 200 B.C.E., but certainly was in use by the first century C.E. (the oldest inscription found to date is the Meldorf brooch, which dates from about 50 C.E.) In Scandinavia this system continued in an unbroken stream until around 800 C.E. when it was systematically reformed into sixteen-stave or Younger Futhark. Within the time frame of the Elder Futhark (beginning as early as 450 C.E.) an extended twenty-eight stave futhorc was developed in Frisian and Anglo-Saxon territories. This system continued to be expanded and extensively represented in more diverse media (in manuscripts) until around 1050. Also within the formal tradition of the twenty-four stave futhark there was a South Germanic runic tradition that flourished in the sixth centuries C.E., especially in Bavaria, Alemania, and Thuringia.

In Scandinavia the vigorous sixteen-stave futhark system, which had begun at the dawn of the so-called Viking Age, was slowly being corrupted by the southern European alphabetic system. The runestaves were taken out of their distinctive futhark order and put into an alphabetic one. The alphabetic reform was more or less complete for most exoteric purposes by about 1300. However, the rune poems show that the esoteric tradition of the futhark order survived into the fifteenth century.

Knowledge of the runestaves as a writing system all but died out everywhere except in Scandinavia, where it continued to be an alternative utilitarian script (especially for carvings) among clerics, merchants, and farmers. Eventually runelore was only preserved in the most remote interior areas of Scandinavia.

Divination Thursday – “Egyptian Divination Purpose & Method”

Today, Ankhie offers you an entertaining excerpt from the mighty magical, Ancient Egyptian Divination and Magic – a book that is always on my desk!

*Fair warning – DO NOT go putting paint in your eyes or invoking deities that you are not completely familiar with! Ankhie is here to tell you that’s a bad idea!

The Egyptians practiced divination for two purposes: to inquire about the present and obtain useful information to make changes to a situation, and to beg or threaten for answers and assistance from a god to make desired changes to current circumstances. Thus the magician compelled the god(s) to do his or her will.

The primary methods used in ancient Egyptian divination were trance; mediumship; fire, water, and oil scrying; dream and dream interpretation; and oracles. The following is an outline of the preparations required once a divination is planned.

  1. First, prepare yourself. It is stated in papyri that the magician must be pure for three days, and specifies celibacy and “purity from every abomination.”
  2. Locate a secret place to divine. this is defined as a dark, clean recess. It is specified often that the recess face east or south.
  3. Gather all required divination tools. Commonly, the tools were: natron-water to purify the location, a new white lamp (or a lamp without red color; a vessel or bowl can be used instead of the lamp), a clean linen wick, lamp oil or kerosene, vegetable oil to pour in vessel or bowl, frankincense, natural ink to write magical symbols or words of power onto the linen wick, *eye-paint to place into your eyes to assist in seeing invoked deities, and, at times, a crude brick to set the lamp upon.

Magicians usually practiced divination in secret, at night or at dawn. It was thought that at these times the psychic currents were strongest.

  • Place the *eye-paint into your eyes when you are ready to inquire of the lamp in any lamp-divination.
  • *Invoke a specific god, or say a spell over the lamp. If you use eye-paint, you will see the god standing behind the lamp.
  • Depending upon the divination purpose and script, repeat the spells either seven or nine times.
  • If an answer is not forthcoming, threaten that the god’s lamp will not be lit, and will be filled with fat instead of oil.

The script is recited seven or more times so that the conscious mind can concentrate on the work at hand. A trance state is induced. For this reason, it is very important that you follow the script specifications to obtain the best results. Depending upon the script, a god may or may not be invoked.  One reason for a god not to be summoned is that the god Souchos dwelled in the liquid oil of the lamp.

There are a number of gods that may be invoked. The Leyden Papyrus tells us that the word “compeller” within the script refers to the invoked god who compels the (other) gods to do the magician’s will. One of four gods was usually invoked: Anpu, The Opener of the Ways, Tehuti, Chief Over the Mysteries, Pshoi, A Graeco-Egyptian god of Destiny, or Khons,  a Moon god called upon in Moon divination. Any deity to whom you feel attuned with can be invoked. While it seems true that Egyptian scribes recorded and tested excellent scripts to be used “as is” without alteration, you may achieve the best beginning results by working with gods and goddesses that appeal to you.