Dream-worker Robert Moss defines divination as the art of "provoking an omen." The practice is based on the curious fact that reality always seems ready to open itself like a book to those paying attention. Diviners are readers, poring over patterns, decoding the positions of the planets, a lay of cards, steeped tea leaves; sequences of coin flips, a spread of bones and stones; even a random image generating website, all in order to gain insight or guidance or to make meaning.
As dedicated students and practitioners of the art of divination--an art which has shaped the genesis and development of Heartward Sanctuary from the start--we are currently offering several kinds of readings to members of the public. Each is a unique expression of this age-old, uniquely human practice. Readings take place in person or virtually.
I Ching reading - 30 min
Mahhjong reading - 45 min
Bonecasting - 90 min
Based on the millennia-old Book of Change, I Ching readings are good for gaining perspective on a question or issue of one's choice. Receiving a hexagram (symbol + associated phrases) from this classical Chinese oracle is akin to tuning into the gnomic wisdom of a venerable grandfather: his messages are resonant, blunt, sometimes oblique, even cantankerous at times, but always worthy of reflection.
A folk style of divination, Mahjong readings uses the tiles from the famous Chinese board game (much as European tarot cards are related to playing cards). A Mahjong spread takes a fairly fine-grained look at a specific question or possible course of action, with an eye toward present influences, obstacles and likely outcomes. This is a down-to-earth, practical style of divination that's a favorite of ours when it comes to practical matters.
Bonecasting is more intimate and intricate, and requires a special word of explanation. This is an age-old divination method with roots in the earliest human cultures; versions of bonecasting are in current use among dozens of cultures throughout the African continent especially. Our version is a unique interpretation that has grown out of our studies and life experience, as has our ever evolving set of bones and stones.
In terms of what a bone cast looks like: following an invocation to the ancestors and benevolent spirits, the diviner(s) asks the client to reach in and grab an assortment of objects from the box. S/he then tosses or spreads them out onto the divination mat. Querent and diviner spend the next hour-plus jointly exploring the terrain formed by this configuration of objects. Every individual piece comes with strands of meaningful narrative waiting to be followed and woven into a greater whole. There may be knots to be untied or frayed ends to tend. Always there are places of intersection asking for particular attention.
The process functions as a sort of practical and emotional triage or summary of current concerns: it allows 'what's up' to get out and onto the table together with indicators of the kinds of psycho-spiritual dynamics underlying the concerns. At the same time, the process points the way to ritual interventions to address and adjust the underlying dynamics.
Depending on the specifics of the cast, recommendations for ancestral work, herbal healing, or personal ritual may be suggested. These form the response to the divination's call, and clients are advised only to make this 'call' if they are open to following through with a response. Again depending on the specifics of the cast, one to three follow-up sessions are generally recommended for best results.
Please note: Because bonecasting sessions are conducted jointly by Jonathan and Julia, scheduling is more complicated than for other sessions types and availability more limited. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time.