Making Art of Annual Divination

I was so busy working with my Decluttering for the Samhain Soul challenge that I haven’t yet done my annual Samhain divination project.

So, I’ll be saving my big annual Divination Fest for astrological Samhain, which this year is November 6. That is the day the Sun arrives at 15 Scorpio, precisely halfway between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice.

(I did pull some cards and runes as part of my ancestral journey, but that was for a different purpose.)

My annual divination project is a look ahead for the entire year. Like many Pagans, I treat Samhain as the start of my liturgical year. It took several years for that to feel real. Collectively, American society uses January 1 as New Year’s Day. The energetic power of so many people using one day as a new beginning, and another as an occasion for a sugar binge, is quite strong. I know some people who do their annual divination on January 1, and that’s fine, too. If that day feels more propitious for you personally, just save this idea.

Last year's Midsummer divination and the image I used to represent it. "Collage" can mean just one photo, if it speaks loudly.
Last year’s Midsummer divination and the image I used to represent it. “Collage” can mean just one photo, if it speaks loudly. Don’t obsess, just do.

Before starting, gather your supplies. For this particular divinatory art project, you’ll need one or two divination systems; eight sheets of paper; colored pens, crayons, pastels or markers; glue stick; magazines.

I think lighting candles, creating sacred space, and starting with meditation are good ideas. Some people do this in groups. I have tried that, and discovered I prefer to work alone. Perhaps that was because the groups I worked with were very chatty. I need quiet for this project.

Once you have created a sacred space, begin working with your tools. Each piece of paper is for a Sabbat. I write the Sabbat name across the top of the paper, starting with Yule. I concentrate on that holiday, and draw cards or runes. I usually use a Goddess oracle deck, a tarot deck, and runes. Because I am an overachiever.

Once the cards or runes are drawn for each holiday, create a collage around their meanings. I also write the names of the cards and runes that I drew, as well as a few sentences that seem to sum things up.

I prefer to do collage, as I like the way the images seem to speak directly to my subconscious. Which, of course, is our connection to intuitive knowledge. I think drawing also would work. I get too judgmental about my drawing ability for that to be a good tool for me.

Sometimes an image will want to be included even if it does not obviously connect to anything drawn or divined. Include it. Those images almost always are relevant. Don’t be concerned if cards recur, but do notice it. That can be a clue to a major theme for the upcoming year. Also don’t be concerned if the images you’re drawn to don’t seem to exactly fit the cards or runes you drew.

Don’t think too hard about any of this. Remember that the rational mind will try to throw up roadblocks to intuitive knowledge. Allow yourself to work in a relaxed, non-judgmental way.

When you have completed a collage for all eight Sabbats, place them in an envelope or folder. I try to keep myself from looking ahead. At least, from looking ahead too much.

The woman who first told me about this ritual performed it each year with a sisterhood circle. They would give the collages to one priestess, who would be responsible for mailing them out a little before each Sabbat. I have done other ritual work this way. Last Mabon, I was in ritual which called for each of us to write a letter to our future selves. I’d completely forgotten about it and was delightfully surprised, then deeply moved, to receive and read the letter the following spring.

That’s the goal of this exercise—to send some information ahead from a time in which the past, present and future rub shoulders.

And to have some fun with it.

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