What the Hell is a Divination Tool?

No matter what type of psychic you go see, more than likely they use some type of divination tool. Yes, there are plenty of psychics who do cold reads, and straight up read the person (this is primarily what I do in my work as well). But even being highly intuitive, we occasionally need tools to help us see. 

Now it begs the question… what the hell is a divination tool?

The simple way to answer this is: it’s a physical device or object that enables the user to receive divine or unknown information. I’m absolutely certain you know what I’m talking about. You’ve probably seen a movie where an oracle or witch shakes a bag of bones and tosses them out on a table. They follow it up with an in-depth description of your future. This is an example of a divination tool (although I’m not sure that bones are all that common anymore).

Let me provide some clarity as to what these tools are all about and how they work. 

Tarot Cards

A traditional tarot deck has 78 cards and follows a story, starting with the Fool card - setting off in a new direction. I’m not going to describe the entire story of tarot because quite frankly I don’t know it, and I don’t follow the traditional tarot reading style anyway. Each card has specific imagery and meanings depending on the suit and number associated, so when shuffled, the reader will place an intention on the deck and draw one. Whichever card they pick provides information to the question that they asked. 

I have also seen playing cards used for divination instead of a traditional tarot deck - typically used with the same meanings as tarot, but without the major arcana (the 22 cards at the beginning of a normal tarot deck).

Being one of my personal favorites, tarot is a great divination tool for people who are empathic. If you read my post about 5 healthy habits of psychics, then you’ll understand where I’m going with this… 

Tarot is an excellent tool for people who have a tendency to bring information into their body. A way to get around this is to use a visual tool so that the reader is simply looking at the information rather than feeling the information. Looking is safer and easier on the body than feeling it. 

If you watch my YouTube videos, then you know that I use tarot frequently. The information comes from the imagery and expression on the card, however, depending on how you read, the card can have a slightly different meaning each time. 


Using a pendulum is similar to using dowsing rods, but dowsing rods are way more challenging to use and show where energy is in physical space. Pendulums are different in that they provide clear yes and no answers. Everyone’s yes and no are different, and you have to find your yes and no by asking before you can go any further and get an accurate read.

A fair warning, it might take practice to get this down, it’s not as straightforward as tarot. Having taught people how to use this tool, I can tell you that some people get it down right away, and others have to practice, practice, practice. 

Pendulums are also a great tool for timelines and quantities as well. (Practice with yes and no first before you try timelines.)

One last disclaimer about this tool, it’s more addictive than other divination tools. Getting such clear answers is powerful and also easy to abuse. If you do it too often, you will stop getting clear answers, so try not to use this for yourself too often. 


Traditional runes are a set of specific ancient Germanic symbols that have divine significance and meaning. Most of the time, the symbols are carved on stones, or small slices of wood - they’re usually kept in a bag or some type of vessel, and then drawn at random.

Similar to tarot, there are multiple meanings for each symbol, but there’s not as much imagery to go off of. Some of the symbol meanings are derived from Nordic Gods and Goddesses. You may be familiar with the God Odin or Goddess Freya. The show Vikings show how they had relationships with and worshiped these Gods if ancient mythology interests you. 

It’s also harder to derive yes’s and no’s from these symbols. I typically use these in conjunction with another tool to provide clarity. It pairs well with tarot, but I don’t use these solo. 


Remember Professor Trelawney from Harry Potter? Every time I think of this, I am reminded of that scene in the third movie. 

I’m not sure how many people use tealeaves these days, and I have never been particularly motivated to incorporate them into my practice, but here’s the gist:

  1. Let some tealeaves steep for about 3 minutes in hot water
  2. Drink the contents, but leave the leaves (that was punintentional) and a small amount of water at the bottom
  3. Give the cup to the client, they swirl it counterclockwise three times 
  4. The client gives you back the cup
  5. Flip the cup completely upside-down so all the liquid drains
  6. The tea leaves left at the bottom are the ones that you read

The reader is supposed to follow this ritual - although I’m sure there’s more you can do with it. There are traditional images that you can see in the tealeaves that have set meanings. I’m sure the rituals around this would be fun to do in person and would seem super “official.”

Then again, I’ve never practiced it myself. This is just another example of a divination tool. 

The Infamous Crystal Ball

The iconic crystal ball is probably the most well known divination tool I can think of. It’s a great prop in movies and television shows, and is the symbol that represents psychics. The style of information receiving is also similar to reading tealeaves. 

However, the movies have it wrong… when reading a crystal ball, it’s not about seeing full blown pictures of people, places, and things show up inside the crystal - it’s about interpreting the light and shadows. This is another method that I’m not keen on - the imagery is indirect and diluted compared to tarot or runes. I should also add that I do not currently know any psychics who actively use a crystal ball - it seems a little out dated in current divination practices. 

These are only a few of the most common and known divination tools, and there are so many more that I didn’t cover in this post. 

Just a heads up for anyone who’s considering using divination tools of any variety. Bias is the biggest challenge when using any of these - it can show up in your read if you don’t practice neutrality. It’s all about practice! 

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In Gratitude,

Rev. Sydney Finn