The Mantic Arts and More
The mantic arts are vast and loosely defined as using objects and symbols to divine an answer or the future. Mantic arts have been used over thousands of years to predict, guide, settle disputes, and deal with personal issues. In the past, people used whatever objects were at hand to practice the mantric arts.
There are over three hundred known mantic arts; below are the ones I have experience with.
The casting of lots, bones, runes, dice, coins, or any object that has differing sides for divination.
This may be one of the oldest and widest forms used in the mantic arts. I have made my own set of “lots” from shells and rocks, and I also have purchased a set of runes and I Ching sticks, all of those are used in astragyromancy. To use them, you cast the objects and then divine them from the symbols they reveal.
I call this book divination and it is one of my favorites. Bibliomancy is defined as using a sacred book to get answers. Typically, it is defined as using the bible; however, I use bibliomancy with any book of my choosing.
Stand in front of your bookshelf and use the pause to clear your mind and focus on a question or topic. Then wave your hand across the bookshelf and say “reveal” as a command.
Move your hand across the bookshelf and feel for the book that is wanting to reply. This is much like running your hands over a card or rune. When the book replies, loosely hold the spine in your hand and thumb across the pages, gently blow on them, and let them fall open where they may. That is where you will see your message. I rarely have been disappointed in the messages given to me when I use this form of divination, and it is often a clearer message than what I get from the tarot cards.
Cartomancy is divination using cards. This includes, but is not limited to, the tarot and regular playing cards. Cartomancy is about what the symbols and images on the cards invoke in your intuition and then divining meaning from them that is useful to you or another person.
For this exercise, you will need a deck of tarot cards. If you are buying one, find a deck that speaks to you. Ask if you can open the box or if there are open boxes so you can look at the cards and get a feel for them.
Study each card in detail. As you look at them, write down what the symbols invoke in you. Does the Fool look like he is in danger or is he having a good time? What does the white rose on the Death card’s flag mean to you? Journaling about such details is the best way to put the symbols into your memory for later use.
I have two main ways I lay out the tarot. For personal use, I normally use a three-card draw. If I want more information or I am reading for someone else, I lay out four rows of four cards. The first card in the top row going across is the past, the next is the present, then future outlook, and possible outcome. I typically read this row to the client first, separate from the rest of the spread. This row usually contains their most pressing concerns.
When I read the entire spread, the top row becomes the past. The second row is present concerns, the third row is how it is turning out currently, and the last row is the possible outcome.
This is scrying by crystal ball. When I divine by crystal ball, it usually involves trance with my eyes open. I get in a trance then open my eyes to see what the crystal ball reveals. I used to get into a trance while staring at the ball but that produced cloudy results for me. So I changed methods when reading for someone else.
Sometimes for myself, I use the crystal ball to take me into a trance. For this method, I hold the crystal and focus on it with my eyes open and begin to shift my consciousness. Then I close my eyes and continue to focus on the crystal ball while seeing it with my clairvoyance and travel deep down into the crystal until I arrive in a trance state.
In dactylomancy, a tripod is placed on a basin or board that has the alphabet on it and you place your fingers on the tripod and the tripod moves by itself to spell out the answer. In other words, you use a Ouija board.
Over the years, many good and bad things have been written about the Ouija board. It is stunning to think that it was promoted to the public as a child’s game in the 1960s, but it has been around much longer than that. What most fail to remember is that the board is like a séance, and like a séance, it needs to be done properly or things go wrong.
To begin, ground center and shield the entire room and everyone in it. The board needs you to be specific about who you want to speak to. It is important to tell the board that no one else but who you seek may enter the open space and use the planchette or anyone else in the room. Otherwise, it may cast into someone else sitting in the room who may not be prepared. I watched that happen one night as a spirit began to present in a person in the room while two other people had been expecting a reply. As sentry, I saw it happening and stopped it by interrupting.
The use of the Ouija board takes patience as spirits do not typically come forth in mere moments. When they do come forth, spirits come to anyone open to receiving them, even when a person is not aware they are open. This can leave an individual with an unexpected and unwanted experience, which is why specifics are recommended. It is also advisable to have one person sitting outside of those gathered, the sentry, to watch everyone in the room and take notes of what the board reveals. The other important, and most left out, part of using a board is to close when done. You need to send all spirits happily back to their realms, then ground and center. It is advisable to check in with everyone afterward to see how they are feeling. You are looking to see if any residuals have been left behind.
The Ouija board is a serious skill and should be taken seriously for all involved, especially the spirit being called forth. A spirit should only be called forth with consent, consideration, and respect.
Hydromancy is divination by water in its many forms. This includes scrying in a bowl, rain, the seas, or any form of water. I and some I know will immerse themselves in water to divine or trance. I have used hydromancy with drinking water, in the shower and bath, with a hose, even a basin of wash water.
Water is an amazing element that is cleansing, transformative, and restorative. Scrying in a dish of water is much like using a crystal ball. You get into an altered state and then look deeply into the water for a reply.
Lampadomancy and Pyromancy
These are divination by looking into a flame. This can be any flame, including from candles, a fire, or a torch. For this skill, you trance on the flame with your eyes open as with a crystal ball.
Lynchomancy is divination with three lighted candles set up in a triangle. I use this form of divination for meditation and trance. As I light them, I name each candle: purity, clarity, and focus.
I use lynchomancy to divine with the three Fates. I name each Fate as I light the candles. Then I sit back and trance with them to get the information I require. To divine with the divine feminine, I name each candle the maiden, mother, and crone before dropping into a trance. Such divinations have taken me to see Cerridwyn, the Goddess Danu, and more.
Oneiromancy is dream interpretation. Although many of us interpret our dreams, oneiromancy is the use of dreams to divine one’s future or needed guidance. This mantic art falls under dreamwork (see chapter 8). It also includes the hypnopompic and hypnogogic states of dreaming, where substantial information is received for one’s betterment and guidance. What I call psychic or spiritual dreams are included in this mantic art.
The mantic arts are about using an object to divine information, and they can be quite effective. However, there are many other psychic skills the psychic can use, including the kinetic skills and automatic writing. These are advanced psychic skills rather than divinatory, so let’s take a closer look at them.