In August of 2021, I attended a party in the forest where I live, for the survivors of the 2020 great Wallbridge wildfires. About 30 people attended but I bonded especially with a little 4-year-old girl. She had found an abandoned snail shell and asked me if it might be the home of a faery. I assured her that it was. So, over the course of the next hour, she plied me with questions about the faery. Each time, I spoke her questions into the shell, then put it to my ear to hear the faery’s responses which I repeated aloud to the child. I watched her eyes grow bigger and bigger. She was utterly convinced it was real. So, was I a charlatan or a storyteller?
Now suppose I find myself in the Kalahari Desert and befriend a Bushman who notices me talking into my iPhone and asks me if it is the home of a spirit. I tell him it is home to a spirit called, Siri. For the next hour he plies me with questions all of which I translate into English and ask Siri. I then translate her answers for the Bushman, whose eyes grow bigger and bigger. So, am I a charlatan, a storyteller or an educator?
My questions to myself then are, “How many ways does Source speak to us?’ and “How many of these do we understand?’ and “Are some of these merely pseudo-languages – which we wrongly ascribe to God?”
Every conversation needs a speaker, a modality-of-communication and a listener. We use the word, ‘divination’ when it comes to inferring God’s end of the dialogue; and, as humans, we have discovered or invented a myriad of ways to ‘plug in’ to Source. Here are some of the ways: Mathematics, Numerology, Tarot Cards, Written & Spoken Languages, Tea Leaves, Scrying, Bone-throwing, Sacred Rituals, American Sign Language, Intuition, Remote Viewing, Precognition, Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, Clairsentience, Automatic Writing, Channeling, Contacting the Higher Self, Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP), Palm Reading, Psychic Reading, Signs, Symbols, Sacraments, Hieroglyphics, Scriptures, Astrology, Dreams, Visions, Ideograms, and Archetypes. And this is just a partial list!
For each modality then, the three great questions are: “what is the source?”, “How clear is the conduit?” and “How pure am I, the receiver?”
All ‘parapsychological’ conduits are forced to navigate through the ‘asteroid belt’ of the lower astral planes and can be hijacked by discombobulated entities who corrupt the message and endanger the psychospiritual health of the recipient. The Ouija Board, for instance, as a plaything in the hands of ill-protected thrill seekers, can be the on-ramp for dark forces into the mind of the joyriders. So, all forms of divination need to be approached with care, respect and the protection of beings from the upper astral planes and beyond e.g., Angels, Avatars and Soul Mentors.
And the best way to dig into this topic is to start with some allegories and metaphors.
- Doing a sound check
On Sundays, I ‘zoom’ the Mass from my home in Healdsburg. Getting ready for the liturgy is now much more complicated than it used to be in the ‘good ole days’ when I was a priest in Kenya. Then I just needed ‘sacred vestments’; now, as well as vestments, I have to check a plethora of technical devices. To make sure that I’m ‘on the air’, I have to do what a musician friend of mine calls, ‘a check on Signal Flow.’ First, I check the clip-on-my-ear mike which is energized by two AA batteries in my pocket transmitter – making sure that the batteries still have some ‘juice.’ Then, I have to check that the receiver, attached to my computer, is picking up the message from my transmitter. I have to check that the speaker – which allows me to hear from the congregation – is plugged in and working. I have to check that my MIFI is receiving a signal from the Internet and the nearest cell towers. And I have to repeat all of these checks with the video portion of the broadcast.
If any of these components is not connected to the system or not plugged into a power source, the zoom session won’t work, and it will be just Jesus and myself saying Mass.
And that is what happens when we speak of divination: there are a whole lot of connections that need to be checked. Moreover, there is always a dance between ‘signal’ and ‘noise’.
2. Water Flow
I worked a lot, during my time in Africa, on water projects. And, like divination or dialogues with God, there are three main elements. First, the source – a) type (lake, river…) and b) condition (pure or polluted). Second, the conduit – a) type (pipes or furrows) and b) condition (rusty, leaky or pristine). Third, the consumer – a) type (cupped hands, mug, bucket) and b) condition (clean or contaminated). That’s also how divination works – Source, channel and recipient.
Initially, we were hunter/gatherers who roasted our catch over an open fire without any condiments or table ware. Now, we have domesticated thousands of kinds of foods, and invented hundreds of ways of preparing and seasoning them, plus the rituals of serviettes, cutlery, tables and chairs.
And that, too, is how divination works – data gathering (food), brain processing (cooking), experiencing (tasting), remembering (we’ve done this before) and reality (verdict – yummy! or yucky!)
This essay will continue in Part 2 with an examination of the languages of reality and the art of inference.