12 Tools for Divination: Fortune-Telling Objects for Deep Insight

tools of divination

There’s a lot of different spiritual or “magical” things you can use to learn about yourself–or the future.

For example, a few months ago, I downloaded an app to learn tarot. To be honest, I didn’t get very far but something stuck out at me. In the first lesson, the writer portrayed tarot NOT exclusively as a psychic tool but as a tool to learn more about ourselves. They described how each card represented a stage in the human journey we all go through. From the fool card symbolizing the naive excitement of new beginnings to the death card forecasting the end of a situation.

With that, I began thinking that many divination tools can be seen in a similar light.

Even if we don’t believe they can “tell the future,” we can use them for self-introspection. They can give us guidance or comfort and provide meaning in the tough situations we sometimes go through as humans.

And that’s where I came up with the idea for this post.

Although I haven’t used most of the tools mentioned in this post, I’ve been reading about them for over a decade. I’ve learned that different tools work for different people. And, even if we don’t use them for “reading” our future, we can learn a lot from them about the human experience.

So whether you use these to gain knowledge about the future or your personal life, here are your spiritual tool options.


12 Tools for Divination for Deep Personal Insight

Before we list the tools for divination, we should talk a little about the ritual surrounding the use of them. Most readers and experts agree that you should try to have a clear mind before using any spiritual tool. Some prefer to meditate ahead of time for this reason.

You should also say a prayer or intention before using your selected object. This is to protect yourself from any negative energies. If you don’t believe in that, it can still help you set the stage for your reading.

After a session is finished or between readings, you should also cleanse the deck, set or whatever it is. Maybe be done through sage smoke, water, sage sprays, moonlight or intention depending on the object.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s look at 12 objects you can use to gain deep insights.

#1 Tarot

Tarot is probably the most popular divination tool. The tarot was a pack of playing cards used for games in the mid 15th-century. However, today it’s most known as a tool used by psychics to tell the future. More recently, it’s become popularized as a self-discovery tool in younger generations.

There’s a lot to learn about every tool, but that’s perhaps multiplied in the tarot. The deck is made of 78 cards, each with a different name and image. The deck is split into 2 sections: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana.

The Major Arcana has 22 cards which represent spiritual lessons. The Minor Arcana has 56 cards and they more specifically detail the troubles we face in normal, human life. When someone does a reading, these cards are shuffled and then picked off the top to put into a spread.

There are many spreads you can use that are specific to situations and some are more generalized. Each spot in the layout represents a different thing. For example, a simple layout would be past, present and future. Others have spots for “love” and “career” and “health.”

When read together, the layout tells a story. The reader uses their intuition along with the symbols on the card and the traditional meaning of the card to gain knowledge. Since there are so many cards, the messages can be more detailed. Some readers also have different messages when the cards land upside down, meaning there’s even more to study. That also means tarot can take longer to learn the basics of than other forms of divination.

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You can choose the traditional Rider-Waite tarot deck or you can buy other versions illustrated with different symbols.

#2 Angel Cards

Angel cards are similar to tarot cards in that you pull them and place them in a layout that tells a story. However, the images and names of the card are completely different.

The most well-known angel cards are created by Doreen Virtue. However, since creating many decks and teaching people how to use them, Doreen claims to have found god and denounces anything to do with her past work. Regardless of that, they are still available to buy and work just as well (sorry, but they do, Doreen).

If you’re intimidated by tarot cards, angel cards can be a good place to start because the meanings are often more gentle. Decks typically some with a guidebook you can use to look up the meaning of the cards. Unlike tarot, each angel card deck will be completely different with different meanings.

#3 Fairy Cards, Unicorn cards, etc.

Still on the card theme, there’s an endless list of types of divination decks you can buy. They run from fairies to unicorns to leprechauns and things I probably have no idea even exist.

Similar to angel cards, they are placed in a spread with each spot symbolizing something different. They also typically come with a guidebook to help your intuition with the meanings.

#4 Affirmation Cards

Affirmation cards aren’t typically thought of as a divination tool, but I thought I’d add it here anyway. That’s because you can use them in a similar manner if you’re reading yourself.

For example, if you believe you can pick up a card from any divination deck and get a message from it, why not an affirmation deck? The benefit of an affirmation deck is that you get a message you can repeat along with it. I’ve been having bad days before and pulled an affirmation that was exactly what I needed to hear.

If you don’t know what affirmations are, they are short phrases you can repeat in your head, out loud or write down. Over time, the belief is that these messages will sink into your brain and cause you to change your actions. For example “I’m a healthy, whole, creation of God” may feel awkward, but over time, you may actually feel healthier. The actual research on whether this works is divided, but you can try it out yourself to see if it works.

#5 Runes

Celtic runes have been used for fortune telling for hundreds of years. They look like small stones with symbols carved in. These symbols are actually and alphabet instead of depicting actual events.

Similar to cards, each rune has their own meaning that can be interpreted based on where it lands in the spread. Layouts are typically 3, 5 and 9 runes spread out. When a reader picks the runes, it’s called “rune casting.”

Since each has their own meaning, and means different things upside down, it can take a long time to learn. Similar to other rules, a reader uses their intuition and the traditional meaning of the symbol to develop a story of deep insights to tell the person (or themselves).

#6 Crystal Ball

The crystal ball is probably the thing that comes to mind when someone mentions “psychic” or “fortune teller.” But is it possible to really see pictures in a crystal ball?

How you use a crystal ball is called “gazing” or “scrying.”

It’s typically practiced in a low-lit room with a candle nearby. This is said to help create the right shadows and lighting to gaze. When you’re ready, begin staring into the ball with your mind focused solely on it (not your thoughts).

Meditation and mindfulness is a good practice to get good at gazing and turning off outside distractions. As you stare into the ball, try not to blink or look away.

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It’s said that when your mind is clear enough, a gaze will form around it. At this time, you may see pictures in the ball that could reveal information about a situation. Instead of making sense of the pictures now, continue watching and analyze later. Analyzing now could break the session.

As your images fade, the session will close out. Then, you should record what you seen and think about its meaning. It’s also work noting that some people don’t see physical pictures inside the ball. Instead, they see pictures in their minds eye but the ball helps them to focus. It’s said that seeing pictures takes a lot of time and practice.

#7 Pendulum

A pendulum is typically a pointed stone attached to a chain. When dangled over something, where the point of the stone stops is your message.

To use a pendulum, you’ll also need something to dangle it over. Some stores sell sheets with yes/no or numbers or letters etc. You could also make your own. You could also use it over a map (ex. “where should I travel?”).

Alternatively, you can use it without anything for a simple yes or no answer. When people start using a pendulum, they do exercises to figure out which way means yes and which one means no. This can be done by asking questions you already know the answer to and seeing where it lands. After learning this, they ask their question and notice where the pendulum falls.

Whichever method you choose, you need to steady the pendulum first. Then, ask your question and watch it.

#8 Tea Leaf Readings

Tea leaf readings, AKA tasseomancy, is the practice of getting messages by reading the leaves left over after a cup of tea.

So, how does it work? first, you’ll need loose leaf tea and you’ll need to make it without the bag so it can be seen in the bottom when you’re finished drinking. After making your tea, reflect on your intention or question.

As you drink the tea, think about your question. When there’s about a tablespoon left,  hold the cup in your left hand and swirl it three times from left to right. Then, flip it over onto a saucer plate. Leave it upside down for about a minute to drain. Rotate it three times and turn the cup back up.

You’ll notice the leaves are stuck to the cup in different places. Your job is to identify patterns and clusters. There’s many traditional symbols from tea leaf readings you can look at for guidance (animals, objects, numbers, letters). You also need to consider where on the cup the symbol is, since that can change the story the leaves are telling. The cup is divided into 3 sections for this purpose.

#9 Charm Readings

To do charm readings, you can either buy a whole set, or make your own which you add to over the years. They can be charms, buttons, small objects, dice or symbols, etc. It can be as few as 10 or as much as 50 and more.

After that, you’ll need a throwing surface. You can use a small box or even a tabletop for this. You’ll also need a container to “mix” the charms in before you throw AKA “cast” them. Since charm sets are more personal than a tarot deck, you’ll need to work with your own set to learn the symbolism. Take time to think about what each one means. And, each session will also probably teach you a little bit more about them. You can also read charms face side up and face side down if you want.

After thinking of your intention or question, you can cast your charms. Then, you can read them according to your own symbols and intuition. Where charms are located next to one another can also give detail to the story. Since more is up to interpretation in charm readings, it can be helpful to read about what specific readers do.

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#10 Bone Readings

Similar to rune and charm casting, bone readings can also be used to gain insight.

Bone scrying or casting needs to be done with a set of bones. You can buy bones for this specific purpose. However, some people collect their sets over years by searching on nature walks for dead animal remains. Although this method is more “natural,” you’ll also need to learn how to cure the bones. If this sounds disgusting, just buy them.

Once you have your set, there’s a few ways to use them. For a yes or no question, you can ask it and simply drop the bone onto a table. If it lands vertical, it’s a no. If it’s horizonal, it means yes.

You can also scry by dropping a handful of bones from above and looking into them to see messages, similar to how we described in the crystal ball reading section. This method is difficult and can take a long time before you see anything.

Other readers draw symbols on their bones and personalize them. This allows them to read bones more similar to how they’d read tarot or another card deck.

#11 Astrology

When you think about astrology, you probably think about your horoscope, which is based on your month and day of birth. However, astrology is actually a lot more complex than that.

People believe they can gain insight about themselves, others and the world by looking at the movements and positions of celestial objects, such as planets, sun, moon, etc.

An astrology reading typically consists of making an astrological chart that’s specific for your birth. That includes the date, year, time and location. At the exact time and spot you were born, the planets were in certain positions. This chart shows where. Based on that information, readers use their in-depth knowledge about signs and planets and houses to predict things from your personality to future events.

Many people love astrology because it tells them less about specific events and more about big picture items. This can help them find meaning in tough situations or discover hope for the future. Since there’s so much to learn about astrology, you will truly never get bored or over-educated about it.

#12 Numerology

Simply put, numerology is like astrology but with numbers. Many people will disagree with that short definition, but I think it’s a good (yet oversimplified) way to put it.

When doing a numerology reading for yourself or others, you’ll use different information depending on what you’re looking to learn. For example, you can determine your:

  • Life path number
  • Destiny number
  • Personality number
  • Soul number

Each number has different information you use to get it. All of it involves simply adding numbers or turning letters into numbers.

Let’s take your life path number for example. It shows your greater life purpose and talents, etc. You find it by adding your birth year, day and month (month in numeric form). Once these are reduced to a single digit, you have your number. Each number has a different meaning depending if it’s a life path, destiny number, etc. You also do not reduce master numbers (11 and 22).

Some numbers require you to turn the letters in your name into numbers. Certain letters are prescribed certain numbers, which you’d need to reference. Here’s a good example of what you’d do to find your numbers.

Summary on Tools for Divination

Whether you’re looking to get into spirituality, do psychic readings or just learn more about yourself, there’s plenty of tools to choose from. You can try or research a few to see which resonate with you most. With any of them, it will take a lot of time to master and build your intuition. Most readers agree that you should say a prayer or intention to protect you before using any psychic tool. Most tools should also be cleansed so its energy is clear for next time.

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