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 Post subject: Skeptical Divination ...
PostPosted: 03 Jan 2008, 12:49 
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Grand High Lord Admiral of Hell
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Over in this thread, jess opined/asked this:

jess wrote:
I think runes to a native would mean more to 'just be picked up' than they would to us. Knowing what the symbols mean and represent (like our A is an ox) may be all you really need to 'read' them.

...

In My Opinion, even a novice ought to be able to lay out a tarot set and get the gist of a reading, if the actual 'power' is in the tool and not the reader.

Which, In My Opinion, is a great discussion. How much of anything is in the tools and ritual and how much is in the person?


(Bold mine)

Which leads me to a great question about divination as a whole, that being:

How much of divination is foretelling the future, and how much is recognition of a pattern and interpretation thereof?

In going to Lily Dale (Spiritualist Community) with our local Secular Humanist group, one of the 'events' we attended was the mediums giving readings at the 'Message Service at Inspiration Stump'. I bring this up because, out of our group, one person got a message from an Aunt/Uncle (I can't recall which ATM) on the 'other side', but had no such deceased relative, while another got a reading which he said was so accurate it gave him chills.

In such an example, we can point to the John Edwards' of the world who are more likely performers or con men than actually able to view/hear the spirits of the dead.

But what about object manipulation? How much stacking the deck can a tarot reader do meaningfully for a specific 'client'? In rune-casting (especially in the means I use where the runes are grabbed from a bag and tossed in the air, then bounce as they hit the surface), how much of the placement is controlled by human agency. With the runes, I can recognize that the higher I hold the runestones, the more and farther they'll bounce, but that won't get them to point in the right direction any more accurately ... but one -can- see that there is a human influance to the ritual process.

I'm really interested in how much of -any- divinatory technique is in the human agency, either via the actions or interpretations of desires.

To this end, I'm willing to put my rune-casting forth as the example to be 'tested'. Anyone who wants a reading can ask for it, and I'll do it (as time allows), then post the results here, but only as long as the person for whom the casting is done is willing to give me a decenty critique as to the validity/accuracy of the results.

I'd like to get people who are skeptical as well as those who are more 'open' to divinatory beliefs, just to see if the readings are more accurate because the -recipient- is more accepting or perhaps looking to read more into the results.

Any takers? :hiding:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 04 Jan 2008, 23:45 
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Some one needs to take you up on this...

Rob? ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 05 Jan 2008, 10:33 
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Neighbor of the Beast

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IMnsHO

As all form of divination are interpretive, and all interpretation is a matter of human agency, all divination would seem, therefore to be heavily influenced by the human entity. The divination means is only a format by which to order those thoughts.

Each card/rune/stick/bone has a number of interpretations so the final reading must include a certain amount of finagling to make it fit the individual.

It is not so much where and how the divination medium is arranged/placed but how it is interpreted. Divination is pattern recognition. For those that see it as a tool for foretelling the future and believe in a spiritual universe, they may see the talent as spiritually inspired. For those that are total skeptics, they will see it as an example of cold reading.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2008, 23:08 
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HavenMage wrote:
IMnsHO

As all form of divination are interpretive, and all interpretation is a matter of human agency, all divination would seem, therefore to be heavily influenced by the human entity. The divination means is only a format by which to order those thoughts.

Each card/rune/stick/bone has a number of interpretations so the final reading must include a certain amount of finagling to make it fit the individual.

It is not so much where and how the divination medium is arranged/placed but how it is interpreted. Divination is pattern recognition. For those that see it as a tool for foretelling the future and believe in a spiritual universe, they may see the talent as spiritually inspired. For those that are total skeptics, they will see it as an example of cold reading.


Well ...

Some of the forms of divination are -very- tightly documented, giving very little leeway in terms of the interpretations to be drawn from the arrangement. Others are so widely speculative, we get into that scene in Willow as to the meaning:

From Willow
    HIGH ALDWIN: I will consult the bones!
    The High Aldwin scatters small bones across the floor. He studies them then speaks softly to Willow.
    HIGH ALDWIN: The bones tell me nothing. (he eyes Willow) But I must make a decision. Do you have any love for this child?
    WILLOW: Yes...yes I do.
    HIGH ALDWIN: The bones have spoken! Willow? The security of this village depends on you!
    BURGLEKUTT: Praise the bones!


I admit that the runes, the way I use them, are more highly variable in interpretation than if I used a 'past/present/future' or a 'celtic cross', but the runes themselves are often fairly concise with their concepts. And, in trying to break the world's social/personal concepts into 24 stones and being concise is a pretty good trick ... :wink:


Still ... Any takers?


Last edited by Hex on 06 Jan 2008, 23:10, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2008, 13:08 
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I'd love a reading, Hex, and I'll give you feedback on it as well. I've got to leave the computer in a minute here, but I'll check back tonight or tomorrow morning and make some time to write a response.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2008, 13:28 
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No worries ... I won't be able to get a reading done until tonight ...

They kind of frown on drinking at work ... :roll:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2008, 14:15 
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The Good Man of Nanking

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I'll take one, also.

Rob

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2008, 14:29 
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Cool! :toothy7:

Do either of you have any 'issue' or time-span in mind that you'd like the reading to focus on? You don't have to, but if you do, I need to know in advance ...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2008, 15:32 
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note, it's mandatory to drink when casting runes...

Now you know why Hex chose that particular divination tool... :roll: :lol:


Last edited by jess on 07 Jan 2008, 15:33, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2008, 21:03 
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'Kay ...

(cue solemn, eerie music)

For Apsu and Mediancat, I'm just doing general readings, because ...

(... bum-bum-bum-buuuuuum ...)

I'm about to start ...

I'm hopefully going to be able to put my worksheet up in a photobucket-style format, so bear with me when we get to that part. But, in that way, you'll be able to see (hopefully) how I get form the arrangement of the stones to the overall interpretations ...

May knowledge of örlög be an aid in helping you forge a better ... :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2008, 21:41 
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And cast the runes on me too, please. Future if that's an option.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2008, 21:42 
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Hex wrote:
Cool! :toothy7:

Do either of you have any 'issue' or time-span in mind that you'd like the reading to focus on? You don't have to, but if you do, I need to know in advance ...


Not really. I'm not really interested in learning my future or solving a problem. I guess I'm thinking of this more in terms of my current spiritual path, interpreting things which I may not be focusing on at the moment, seeing if there's any real relevance to me personally, and if so maybe seeing it as an outline of where I'm headed spiritually.

It's kind of vague, but I see it kind of like music. Many people can listen to the same song and take different things from it, but sometimes it simply has no relevance.


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 Post subject: Apsu's Reading ...
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2008, 22:24 
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Okay, Apsu ...

First, let me say that this reading was kind of weird ... On my first casting, while the stones were in the air, the dog (who was not to be deterred from lying -right- next to the mat), scrambled to his feet, shoving the mat out from under the stones ...

So, I re-tried it with the same stones, and it came out dismally. While it does make some sense, I admit that I'm unsure. I've never had a dog get in the way in quite that manner, and given the fate of Odin and Fenrir at Ragnarok, well ... :wink:


On that, note that only 3 stones actually fell 'on' the mat (Ansuz: Speach/Mouth, Pertho: Lot-Cup, and Mannaz: Man(kind)), while the rest fell 'out'-side. In an odd twist, one of the runes outside (Thurisaz: Thorn) fell just outside, pointing directly to Mannaz, so, I included it. (Note: Those that fall 'out' I usually take as more general influences, but here I think that Thurisaz's influence is directed especially to Mannaz).

Now, Ansuz rests just slightly more in Hel than in Svartalfheimr, so I put the rune there, although it's a nearly even split, so both realms affect it about evenly.

Other than the Thurisaz -> Mannaz interaction, there are no other interactions of runes. All the 'greyed' runes were in the face-down or reversed position, giving the 'negative' values.

So ... What do we have in this mess?

Well, in the realm of Jotunheimr (Crisis/Tests/Change/Things that Confuse or Muddy), there sits Pertho which denotes, in this case, a lack of foresight or good change. The note of 'stagnation' here may simply mean that change really isn't going on, so there might be missed opportunities of the sort you might catch if you were paying attention. There's also a social aspect to this rune; rather than being gregarious (one of the positive aspects of this is 'joy & fellowship') which might help with noting or finding out about opportunities, you might be retreating into yourself or at least away from some things 'of the world' if you will.

The realms of Hel (Hidden Roots of the Question/Hidden or Suppressed (Instinctual) Desires/ Negative (Passive/Restrictive) Influences) and Svartalfheimer (Creative Emotional Influences/ Money Matters/ Things One Should Reflect on) seem rather different, but one of the shared things is that in those aspects of Svartalfheimer, there's also an aspect of recognition of influences of Hel. Here again, the Ansuz rune in it's reversed form has a strong social dynamic; aspects of misunderstanding, boredom, lack of clarity, and delusion all echo some of what we got from Pertho. The difference here is that it's more passive and could here bring in business or money matters (thus perhaps where the opportunities are slipping by?). But, the aspect of realization/recognition in Svartalfheimer make this potentially a 'wake-up' moment; while the reading implies that you're in the midst of this, it's not like you need be stuck there, if you can see it for yourself. And, this may very well be intertwined with Pertho's reading, given that while Ansuz does not point -directly- at Pertho, it does point toward the general area.

The realm of Vanaheimr (Promotes Growth/ Erotic Relationships/Persons of the Opposite Sex/ Balancing Influences/ Forces of Continuity, Structure & Well-being) holds the reversed Mannaz rune. Here, what we could be seeing is that one of the reasons for the malaise could simply be that, in recognizing the cycles of change and the order and structure of life, your own mortality could be influencing the way you're viewing the world, and some subsequent withdrawl and depression. Perhaps some of the missed opportunities could be because of a refusal to recognize the aging process? The influence of Thurisaz from outside could indicate that your regenerative or vital forces are being directed willfully in an effort to counter the inevitability of time? Perhaps being so wrapped up in that is adding to the aspects of blindness/ delusion (or Pertho's lack of clarity).

The influences from 'out'side seem to indicate that while you're usually a (relatively) happy, aware, creative person, this change/crisis is interfering with the usual order of things.

In a nutshell, the way I read this, is something like a "mid-life crisis". Had much of a desire to get a convertable sports-car? :iroc: :tongue3:


And, here's the worksheet with the rune's layout and brief descriptions of what's where:
Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2008, 22:25 
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Balder wrote:
And cast the runes on me too, please. Future if that's an option.


Sure ... I'll do it now ...

Mediancat, don't worry ... I've not forgotten you ...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2008, 23:00 
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:?

I'm not sure this will work over the internet, without some knowledge of the person (a good mental image, that is). I'm about to write up Balder's, and, in a similar vein to Apsu's, it's got a very low number of runes 'on' and several off, one of which directly interacts. What's the big deal? I've often got five or more runes 'on' and they often interact.

It's just odd to me ...

:dontknow:


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