Is Divination Dangerous? Origins, Risks, and How to Protect Yourself

Telling someone's future is a part of divination. There are dangers to every form of fortune telling.
Telling someone's future is a part of divination. There are dangers to every form of fortune telling. | Source

Reading the Future: Just a Game?

Fortune-telling and talking with the spirits are two elements of divination that have been around since the beginning of time, it seems. Today, most people believe divination is just a game. A fun thing to do on Halloween to scare yourself and your friends. Maybe something to pull out at a party when everyone's drunk and carefree. But is divination just a game? Or does it have deeper implications? Could it be real...and if so, is it dangerous at all?

We will take a look at the following:

  • The definition of Divination
  • The origins of tarot
  • The origins of spirit boards
  • Other forms of divination
  • The potential dangers
  • How to protect yourself

What is Divination?

The word divination means to divine or to tap into the spiritual world for answers to life's questions. Many use divination as a means to see the future or perhaps to validate the past. Some people participate in divination for fun or entertainment, while others do it for a living. In fact, divination dates back centuries to ancient times. The Bible speaks of soothsayers, wizards, and witches, people who were able to tap into the other side to receive messages from the supernatural. This practice continues to this day in various forms and all over the world, ranging from the layperson reading messages in clouds to the professional tarot reader and crystal ball gazer.

A fortune teller reads a woman's cards.
A fortune teller reads a woman's cards. | Source
The Witch of Endor is a soothsayer mentioned in the Bible.
The Witch of Endor is a soothsayer mentioned in the Bible.

Origins of Tarot Cards and Ouija Boards

Most of us picture a card reader when we hear the words divination or fortune telling. The practice of reading one's cards isn't as old as some other forms of divination but it is a popular one stemming from quite a few centuries ago, as far as research suggests. The first known deck of tarot cards dates back to the fifteenth century in Italy. It was originally a simple card game but began to be used as a means to divine by those involved in the occult and fortune telling as early as the eighteenth century in various places in Europe. The tarot cards were powerful in that they had pictures and numbers, each with the ability to be assigned a specific archetype or message. Many sacred occult symbols are at the forefront of the Tarot major and minor arcana. Fortune tellers and occultists took note of this and began using the cards for spiritual, divinatory purposes.

Tarot cards come in various sizes and are adorned by different types of artwork. A few of the classic decks include the Rider-Waite and Lenormand decks, still in use and popular today. You can get a tarot deck for almost any style or preference today, including but not limited to: Hermetic, Steampunk, Fairies, Angels, Egyptian, Witch, Gilded, Oceanic, Hello Kitty and more. While tarot cards seem relatively entertaining and harmless, they are also a door to the occult and should be taken seriously. Even if the cards have a fun, light-hearted theme, do not take it for granted.

Ouija Boards are believed to date back to ancient times in Egypt, China, Rome and other places throughout the world. This form of divination stems from the concept of automatic writing. Automatic writing is used to contact the other side by opening oneself up to allowing a spirit to write through your hand. With the Ouija Board, this makes writing very easy as the letters and numbers are already written on the board so all one has to do is point using the planchette. The danger in using the ouija board is that you are allowing a spirit to use your hands and energy in order to speak to you. This opens you up to spirit attachment and possession, particularly if you are just using the Ouija Board as a "game" and are not aware of the risks.

Ouija Boards are another form of divination used to speak to the other side, and they are probably the most dangerous. There are thousands of stories on the internet about people who play with the ouija board only to have spirits haunt them thereafter. Some even say people can become possessed by whatever spirit came through the Ouija Board. As a teenager, my friends and I made a homemade Ouija Board out of cardboard and used a small shot glass as the planchette. We had no idea what we were doing and brought a malevolent spirit into the house that called itself Z. Years later I discovered I wasn't the only person who'd had an experience with a spirit named Z that had come through the Ouija Board. This spirit also refers to itself as Zozo, Zuzu, and other Z related names. Whether this is the same spirit or multiple spirits attached to the Ouija Board itself, one thing is for sure - it is dangerous and will try to stick around if you let it.

The concept of the Ouija Board dates back to ancient times. It was never a child's game.
The concept of the Ouija Board dates back to ancient times. It was never a child's game. | Source

The Potential Dangers of Divination

There are potential dangers to divination that aren't advertised to the general public. To those who have ever played with an Ouija board, perhaps you are aware of the potential consequences...perhaps not. Either way, these risks exist and every time you participate in divination of any kind you are taking a risk. To gaze into a crystal ball, lay out a deck of tarot cards, or throw a set of runes on the table means you are opening yourself up to the spiritual world. You are like a light in the darkness, like a flame to the moths. The beings on the other side can see you more easily when you are participating in these practices. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it can be if you're not protecting yourself.

When one participates in divination, one also opens themselves up to spiritual experiences from then on out. It is possible and very likely that some of these objects used to divine can act as doorways or portals to the other side. I have had a few people argue with me and tell me that these objects have no power, that it's only the person who has the power, but if you were to study the origins of these objects and study the old ways, you would learn that objects can have power - specifically objects from the natural world such as rocks, wood, animal bones, etc. The natural world and pieces of it hold memories, and therefore hold power. They are deeply connected to the spiritual world, just as the spiritual world is deeply connected to us. The problem is that most of us were taught not to believe in the spiritual and so then we lose our abilities to contact that other realm. Divination makes this easier for us to bridge that gap. Unfortunately, sometimes we walk over that bridge and the bridge itself is rickety or poorly made. It isn't protected from the elements.

Here are some of the biggest dangers of messing with divination without the appropriate protective measures:

  • spirit attachment that can lead to spirit possession
  • psychic vampires feeding off of your energy
  • opening a door from the spiritual world into your home
  • opening a door in your mind that makes it easier to see and communicate with the spiritual world

If you are not willing to put yourself at risk of these things but still want to participate in divination such as Ouija Boards, Tarot Cards, and more, read on to learn how to protect yourself and your home.

Use a white candle and smudge the room before and after using a ouija board.
Use a white candle and smudge the room before and after using a ouija board. | Source

If you're going to participate...Here's How to Protect Yourself

Spiritual protection is a must when using any form of divination. Just as you protect yourself in your home by locking the doors and turning on alarms, you must also protect your body and spirit from intrusion and invasion.

First of all, you must be aware of the dangers to understand how to protect yourself (see above for details). Secondly, you should cleanse yourself both physically and spiritually before performing any type of divination. You can do this by taking an herbal bath, infused herbal shower, or simply by smudging yourself and your environment with white sage, cedar, rosemary or whatever herb you prefer that has powers of purification. This serves to cleanse your aura, as well as eradicate any spiritual funk that might be lingering around you that could potentially attract the wrong kinds of spirits.

Next, you should cast a circle or some sort of barrier around the area in which you plan to divine. You can use salt, candles, rocks, sticks, whatever is practical and powerful. Lay out the circle physically, and in the meantime visualize a circle of white light being constructed as well. This white light circle will keep out any unwanted lower entities that could potentially cause harm to you or anyone else involved.

Last, when performing divination, be sure to be clear who you want to speak to, what you want from them, and be stern when you are done speaking with them that they must return to where they came from. That they cannot stay or stick around in your environment or in your energetic space. When you're done with your session, clean up the environment physically but also cleanse it again spiritually. Again, you can use smudge bundles or even use sounds such as a bell, windchimes, or singing bowls to cleanse the air.

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© 2016 Author Nicole Canfield

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Comments 5 comments

phoenix2327 profile image

phoenix2327 5 months ago from United Kingdom

I would never go near an ouija board. I've always had a bad feeling about them. I've used tarot cards on occasion but didn't realise this could open a gateway. For the for useful information and I'll be sure to take precautions in future.


Seafarer Mama profile image

Seafarer Mama 5 months ago from New England

Good tips on self-protection, Kitty.

I only feel safe using tarot cards because they seem to rely on my own internal mythology instead of outside elements. I will not use the ouija board.

At a UU church sleepover, a few people built a makeshift ouija board and engaged with it. I did not and stayed outside the circle. I just watched. My friend assured me that the space was purified and safe, but I was still reluctant. I never asked how she protected the space. Next time I'll know to ask her how she did it. There seemed to be only good energy around the space, though, and no intrusions. It didn't take place in the sanctuary, only our meeting hall.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 5 months ago

Very interesting, Nicole, I've heard of people having negative experiences with Ouija boards, but not with Tarot. I've learned something from this well-written piece. I have a friend who learned Tarot recently and it seems to have enriched her psychic experiences. I occasionally use the pendulum or divining rods, but I'm working through head chakras and have been advised not to use Ouija or Tarot. I've never seen a Ouija board used with religious texts either. I might be wary of that.


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 months ago from the Ether Author

arksys - Honestly I've never heard of anyone using the ouija board in conjunction with religious texts. So I couldn't answer your question.


arksys profile image

arksys 5 months ago from Adelaide, Australia

Very interesting... I used the ouija board when I was a teenager in boarding school with a friend. We were told to always remain polite and ask them to leave nicely. That worked for us.

One question: I have seen the ouija board work when Christians read the Lord's Prayer. I have seen it work when Muslims recite verses from the Quran... I'm sure it would work on scriptures from other faiths as well... How is it possible that no matter what you read you get connected? How do you call them?

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