I come from a noisy family. My father was half-deaf, so we learned to speak loudly in order to be heard. All six of us my father, mother, three sisters and I sang trios or quartets in the car while traveling, with the youngest kids doubling up on the melody. And at supper the child who jumped fastest with the most volume often took over the conversation. As a result, years went by before I discovered that the secret power of my song was in its silence.
As a professional singer, I incorporated this wisdom into my music well before I understood its full implications. In the last decade and a half, I have learned that stillness whether its the silence needed for inhaling or the rests between the notes not only energizes my music, but in a larger sense, can also open a space for greater understanding. If I still my voice and then my thoughts, I can listen to my intuition.
But in a world where I am bombarded with visual and auditory stimuli, I cant always stop the noise to access my inner wisdom. Besides I dont always remember to listen for the insight contained in the stillness within. In order to remind myself to check in on a regular basis, I began to look for ways to tap into the deeper layers of my mind. The result is The World is Your Oracle, a compilation of hundreds of divination methods, from ancient oracles to modern-day techniques. The excerpts published here will describe a few ways to access the deeper layers of our minds and broaden our perceptions.
In North America most of us associate divination with the occult. Traditionally the concept conjures up the image of an old gypsy woman using her deck of playing cards to tell someones fortune. From my perspective, this is an archaic (and stereotypical) understanding of oracles, one created during a time when we drew sharper distinctions between the everyday and the mysterious, the natural and the supernatural, between rationality and non-rational ways of knowing, and even between the past and the future. In my life, Ive often found the mysterious in the midst of the everyday and the supernatural within the natural; Ive used both rational and intuitive practices to discover my own wisdom; and Ive noticed that the future is often contained in the present moment, however embryonically. As a result, instead of occult fortunetelling of future events, I define divination as the active use of my intuition, employing a variety of methods for getting in touch with my inner knowing.
Over the years Ive learned that a good oracle puts me in touch with myself. It lets me discover my motivations, feelings and thoughts about the question Im exploring. And it connects me with the atmosphere or environment surrounding that question, making me aware of the water I swim in, but usually dont notice.
To receive inner guidance, all I need is to open myself to what my body/mind tells me, what my emotions display and what my unconscious knows. In this way, I can begin to hear with my inner ears and see with my inner eyes. Using these mystical senses what you might call the sense organs of the unconscious I perceive holistically, noticing relationships and patterns rather than isolating, classifying and judging what I see and hear. Once Ive gathered this wisdom, I can then use my rational mind to interpret what Ive learned.
We live in an interconnected world, a web of life. Each segment of that web reflects the whole just like fractal designs or holography. Thats why the patterns that we discover through divination give us information. They mimic the relationships of the whole at a particular moment in time.
DIVINATION METHODS Here are the oracular techniques I published in recent issues of Matrifocus:
Honoring Gaia Through Other Writings
Some people say that our society is poor in stories, that
television and movies have replaced the storytelling traditions of our
ancestors. When it comes to folk tales or other time-honored stories,
these people are probably right. But story will never die as long as there
are two people left on earth. Just listen at your next party.
Forthcoming Book: Embracing the Dragon
Description and excerpts from my forthcoming book:
Two retold myths I wrote and enjoy telling: