I'm a firm believer that divination - in one form or another - ought to be accessible to everyone. Insight isn't something to be guarded and hidden, but rather shared. Even if you only use it for yourself, it's a wonderfully effective way to bolster yourself against life's challenges. It's in that spirit that I chose a book to review that takes me back to my very roots as a tarot reader. Scott Cunningham's Divination for Beginners may well have been the first book on the topic I ever bought. Re-reading it again twenty years later has been a delightful retracing of the footsteps which set me on this journey.
This book's secondary title is "Reading the Past, Present, & Future" which itself teaches Cunningham's first lesson on divination: Divination is much more than foretelling future events. The art of divination, (and it is much more an art than a science, in all the best ways,) allows us to probe the unseen depths beneath the surface of any situation or aspect of our lives. Through it we tap into the 'why' of the situation, rather than remaining constrained only by the 'what' right in front of us. Cunningham's book takes us on a tour through many different methods of digging into the meat and bones of how we got where we are, and where we may be going next. Divination contains a wide and vast array of different methods of divination drawn from many different cultures and traditions - far more than just crystal balls and tarot cards! The descriptions are concise, while still equipping the reader with enough fundamentals to try their hand at everything that strikes their fancy. The book very quickly becomes a tool chest from which we can draw exactly the method any situation calls for. We find ourselves equipped with a gamut of tools appropriate for everything from fun-and-games fortune telling to deep and meaningful introspective work. Cunningham's simple, plainspoken style pulls away much of the mystery and secrecy surrounding divination while removing none of its magic. Novices and adepts alike will find in these pages a refreshing and delightful journey full of new techniques and perspectives to try out for yourselves.