As I hope we all know, divination is always to be taken with a good sized grain of salt, and a full spoon of common sense, and later chased with a gulp of humor.

We are supposed to obtain those items before we learn any method of divining.

With the increasing popularity of the Tarot and other divination tools, there’s a growing need for techniques to obtain spiritual answers directly by ourselves, but there’s also a need for a system of checks and balances, so as not to make fools of ourselves by providing “bad” info, or by dressing good info to fit our personal designs.

Divining is a lot of fun, and we don’t burden it with too many dark warnings.
Who wants to hear about those?
Well, hopefully we all do, if we want to have fun divining, without causing harm to others, and ourselves.

The brief words that follow address negative situations that are uncommon, but they are all based on real life events.

We all have heard of the abuses of some African Diaspora house where some priest was divining the need for costly ceremonies at the end of the month, not in order to avert any real dangers, or to obtain any real benefits, but just to pay rent.
The odd possibility of priestly self-delusion still doesn’t help that priest’s image at all.

More recently I’ve heard of someone whose cards were full of words against the boyfriend of a female seeker, which the male diviner found attractive. Obviously this was wrong, but was the diviner unconscious of this conflict, or just deaf to any ethics? It looks grayer than the case above, but still doesn’t look clean.

In Wicca we don’t charge for ceremonies, and we keep financial involvements to a bare minimum, usually as a “fruit cake-ish” exchange that comes and goes around, often in the form of altar necessities like incense, etc. On the other hand, we can still be affected by emotional conflicts, and they are not always as obvious as the above examples.

We can find ourselves doing divination without proper ethical safeguards.

I’m not talking just of the obvious checklist: choosing the right location and time, divining only when we are properly centered, or when the weather is calm.

After checking all those boxes, we still need to think about what we are doing from an ethical perspective that includes our, hopefully healthy, egos.

Any divination in which we are invested on the results in any way, is always suspect of our possible subconscious or even conscious manipulation. That’s why readers go to other readers.

Trancing helps us with this, by taking our personas out of the equation to some degree. Asking our Gods or our Helping Spirits to be there assisting us is essential. Keeping a daily connection with Deity is of the greatest help in all spiritual matters. This cannot be stressed enough.

When in a group, any divination by one person regarding another needs to be checked for conflicts of interest, and for red flags, ranging from silly prankster humor to real abuse of trust.

Red flags:
People gossiping about others, always out of real concern, of course, but not concerned enough to check their sources, or seek others’ views on the subject.

When our emotions take over our rational functions and prevent us from checking our sources or hearing others’ voices, we may be in need of a long break, and in some cases, we may even need some professional mental help.

Gossipy character assassination is bad enough by itself, and can become very destructive in a group. Now, when this is compounded with a “proof” by a self-serving or tainted divination, then the drama escalates fast.

If we are doing divination on someone without their permission, and without telling them the result, yet we are going around telling others about our “shocking findings”, this already falls on the zone of the unethical, even defamatory, depending on which “facts” were read and then spread.
Common sense would tell us that this is wrong even when the info is in jest and not serious. We should listen to it.

Professional diviners are aware of these pitfalls, but unseasoned beginners can be very tempted to use divination as a weapon for purely mundane games, unconsciously or even consciously.

Hopefully we can outgrow some of these issues, as we deepen our connection to Deity.

The practice of keeping a divination diary, like any other type of magickal diary, can help us to spot unconscious patterns, biases and unconscious manipulations, and can help keep us honest, and keep our divinations ethically grounded and fun.