Questions & Context

It would probably be a better idea to make this a full article on the divination page, but I just wanted to make a comment about an article written by my Cartomancy Sensei, Camelia Elias. In a post to twitter this morning, she wrote:

“All questions are good and have great value, but if you never make the effort to ask difficult, inspiring, invigorating, piquant, or downright quirky questions will soon find that your divination stales, that your cards don’t ‘talk’ to you anymore.

Likewise, if you only ask deeply involved questions, you will find that your divination will come across as convoluted and completely attached to your verbosity.”

Sensei’s article covers a very important topic for those who work with Cards, Horary Astrology, Prashna, Geomancy, AstroNumerology, YiJing, Chiromancy, or any form of divination where a set of symbols has specific meanings, and more importantly, where the symbols have multiple meanings that are filtered by the question the sitter brings to the table. It’s easy to get lost in the mental sifting of meanings and forget to find the story that the signs are telling. In other words, the question defines the context or domain, and the symbols’ relevant meanings gravitate to the answer – the story.

The subject of her article is, however, how the story may change radically if the question is ordinary or extraordinary. She shows how within the same context, the same card may do something different, or play a different role in the diviners story, according to the qualitative nature of the question itself.

This is why, for example, the Ace of Spades can be your worst enemy or your staunchest ally. It’s the question that defines the context and attracts the correct message, not the “traditional” meaning of the card. In Astrological Charts, Saturn can stop you in your tracks, but in certain contexts, it can elevate you to the greatest heights. All the planets are always heroes and villains simultaneously; it’s up to you to determine which role they are playing in the story presented to you. We work with principles, not people’s opinions of the symbols personalities.

So I heartily suggest that anyone who is involved in the craft of divination, or even has a passing interest in the “Mantic Arts” read Sensei’s Article here – it’s one of her best.