Divination or spiritual readings are a major part of indigenous spiritual practices. And it has even become more popular among modern-day practitioners who aren’t connected to a traditional spiritual system. Many people consult diviners to gain vital information about their lives from a spiritual perspective. And this practice is growing in popularity as more people return to indigenous spiritual practices.
As a diviner, I wholeheartedly embrace and advocate spiritual readings. They can help us understand the roots of our problems. They can also help us find amicable solutions when others fail. They can give us peace of mind and fill us with a sense of hope.
In some systems like Ifa, a West African traditional religion born in Yorubaland, Nigeria, regular, consistent readings are a part of the practice. It is typical for devotees and initiates to get ebo (sacrifice) readings every 11-17 days in this system. However, these are general readings designed to help practitioners align with their destinies. While practitioners can ask questions during such divination sessions, the point of an ebo reading is to help you avoid or overcome pitfalls. Investigative style readings are more appropriate for question and answer sessions in this regard.
On the other hand, some traditions like Haitian Vodou devotees only get readings when they have a serious life issue. It is not common for the average person to frequently consult a Manbo or Houngan to check on their lives. Though, in other diasporic traditions like Santeria, it is common for adherents to frequently consult with a diviner for everyday life issues. Practices in other systems can range anywhere from regular weekly or monthly readings to once in a blue moon.
Other people who don’t practice within a system may perform daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc., readings. Some practitioners engage in self-divination through tarot and oracle cards, pendulums, osteomancy (bones), etc. In contrast, others only seek out a diviner whenever they need spiritual clarity.
WHEN TO GET A SPIRITUAL READING
I am often asked by newcomers to traditional spiritual systems, “how often should I get a spiritual reading?” or “when should I get a spiritual reading?” Obviously, there is no definitive right or wrong answer to these questions. Timing for spiritual readings is a subjective matter and ultimately should depend on your circumstances.
However, I tend to be conservative when it comes to getting personal readings or assisting my clients with readings. I don’t believe in becoming a divination “junky,” so to speak. I feel that anything done in excess can be hazardous to your overall well-being. And that definitely includes spiritual readings.
I think it primarily depends on your status as a spiritual practitioner when it comes to this subject. If you are a devotee or initiate of a particular system, your divination schedule will typically look different than that of a non-devotee or non-initiate. Likewise, it depends on the system you practice within regarding divination regularity and other factors that impact your life.
DEVOTEES & INITIATES
If you are a devotee or initiate of a specific spiritual system, in general, I recommend that you follow the guidance of your priest or priestess. It is especially important to do this until you get a feel for what works for you and what you need in your daily practice. As you continue to practice, you should check in with yourself to assess your spiritual needs. If regular, consistent reading schedules don’t fit your lifestyle or budget after some time, try an alternative plan until you find your rhythm.
On the other hand, if you are a high-profile individual or have a demanding lifestyle, daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or at least monthly readings may best suit your needs. High-profile public figures like celebrities, politicians, etc., sometimes get spiritual readings daily or weekly because they have so many eyes on them. Some of them even have private diviners who only work for them. These individuals tend to deal with more physical and spiritual attacks than the average person. Therefore, they need a higher level of spiritual knowledge to maintain the integrity of their spiritual and physical well-being.
If you are an entrepreneur, leader, public-facing professional, etc., it is incredibly beneficial to get spiritual readings performed at least monthly. The same guidelines apply to such individuals as it does to high-profile people. As the saying goes, “the higher the level, the higher the devil.”
In general, I recommend getting readings for the following reasons if you are not a devotee of a spiritual system:
- Complicated concerns
- Major life events
- Regular check-ups
It may be time to get a spiritual reading if you are dealing with a complicated concern such as a health, money, or love problem that can’t be resolved through other intervention mechanisms. If your issue isn’t budging after your best efforts or if you just intuitively know that it has spiritual origins, divination is generally the key to your answer.
It is also critical to get spiritual readings before making major life decisions that can significantly alter your life, like:
- Getting married
- Starting a business
- Buying a house or car
- Selecting a roommate
- Accepting or quitting a job
- Making a large investment
- Establishing a close friendship
- Moving to another geographical location, etc.
Getting divination before major life decisions such as these can save you a lot of time, money, energy, and heartbreak in the long run. A good diviner can help you make the most effective decision so that things run smoother in your experience. I recommend getting two or more readings from different diviners regarding certain decisions like marriage. This is a serious decision that can impact so many areas of your life – it is best to be well-informed.
And finally, it is a good idea to do regular spiritual checkups even if you are not a practitioner of a spiritual system. In this regard, it’s like getting an annual physical exam just to ensure that everything is working in proper order. You may choose to do this once or twice a year, depending on your needs and lifestyle.
LIVING EVERYDAY LIFE
Regardless of whether you practice within a system or not, I don’t advise getting or performing divination for every single life issue. We are meant to live our lives with minimal spiritual guidance regarding mundane concerns like picking out the right toothbrush, choosing the right shampoo, deciding whether you should work out, etc. It’s okay to pull a tarot card or two every day for general guidance or inspiration. However, it is not healthy to divine for monotonous or routine things like “what should I have for breakfast?”
When you need help making decisions for every little thing in life, you create a state of spiritual co-dependency that malevolent energies feed off. This sort of co-dependency can drain and deplete your sense of security, confidence, and autonomy. It can put you into an almost child-like state of mind, which is not beneficial for any competent, capable adult. The Divine has given us the gift of reason, logic, common sense, and the ability to connect with our Higher Self without constantly consulting a divining tool or a diviner.
The answers to all of life’s questions lie within us. Though sometimes, they can become muffled to the point that we can’t hear or understand them. This is when divination is valuable and, in some cases, very necessary. But divination should always serve as a tool of enlightenment and empowerment. Thus, you should get a spiritual reading whenever you need to gain wisdom to help you take responsibility and authority over your life. It should never be used as a tool to make you weak or co-dependent.
Learn more about divination in African Traditional Religions in this episode of the The African Spirit Reintegrated and Reimagined: