5.1 Maintain a journal of regular divinatory practice (entries at least weekly; daily is ideal) for 5 months. At the end of that five-month period, write an essay reflecting importance of daily practice; the results seen (including whether your ability to work with this symbol set has increased and why you think it has); and your feelings about the symbol set's strength and weaknesses after this period of work (minimum 1000 words).
On December 31, 2015, with a brand new year looming in the darkness, I began a 5-month cycle of journaling for divination, trance, and magical workings. The work was deep and introspective on a whole new level and I’ve learned a lot about myself and my path during this time. For my divination practices, I chose to continue working with the Greek Alphabet Oracle. I had used this system for divination in previous study courses, but it still felt fairly new to me, with a deep connection that I wanted to harness. However, despite my lack of confidence with the Oracle, it seemed like the appropriate symbol set for me to take on this journey with me. I will admit that I started out this five-month period unsure of my skills and feeling relatively new to the Greek alphabet oracle. Nonetheless, I was determined to become more comfortable and and do the work I needed to build my divination skills.
Initially, I began this journey by doing daily pulls. I would wake each morning, light some incense, and pull a single stone as a part of my daily practice. After doing the reading, I would do a brief meditation on the meaning of that symbol and how to apply it throughout the day ahead. This daily pull was a great practice for me and allowed me to better understand the symbol set and to familiarize myself with the disks I was working with. I continued to do these daily pulls for several weeks, trying to apply the symbol into my life in a mindful and meaningful way. Often, I found that the messages were positive and uplifting, telling me to that I would have a great day (Alpha – You will do everything successful). However, I also saw several omens that were much less positive. Unfortunately, because of these “negative” omens, doing daily pulls seemed more harmful than helpful for me. I am someone who has always struggled with anxiety and depression. Receiving a message at the start of the day telling me that I would lose a friend (Tau – Parting from companion) or that I will have a bad day (Omega – Difficult harvest season) put me in a very negative mindset that was hard to recover from. I would give extra offerings and say a few words asking for strength or patience, but the omen stayed in the back of my mind. It seemed to become a self-fulfilling prophecy, despite my best efforts to stay positive. When I came to this realization, I decided that I needed to try a new approach to my divination journaling.
I considered doing my daily draw in the evening instead, but as someone who works full time and has a family, my evenings are often hectic and overly busy so it seemed like I would be setting myself up for failure. Instead, at that point, I decided that I would take a step back and do a pull at the end of each week to reflect, so beginning February 6, 2016, that’s exactly what I did. I’m happy to say that this seemed to work much better for me.
With this new schedule in place, I began doing divination at least weekly to reflect. Throughout the week, if I did any ritual or magical working, I would continue to do omens as appropriate, so quite often I would still do an omen several times a week. This new plan allowed me to use the omens as a form of reflection and guidance and to become more connected and pleased with my progress instead of feeling anxious.
Overall, I believe that this continued practice has definitely helped me to improve my comfort and familiarity with the Greek Alphabet Oracle, and with divination practices in general. I now understand the meanings of the symbols and how to interpret them in different situations. Not only am I confident in my ability to use the Greek Alphabet Oracle in my personal practice, and I’m also more comfortable doing the omen during my grove’s public rituals. This development is incredibly useful on a practical level. I originally started doing divination when I was only twelve years old, working with many different symbols sets to try to find something that worked for me. I’ve explored everything from tarot to palmistry and this oracle set is the first set that I have found that I am comfortable using on a regular basis, so I’m very pleased with the results of this journey.
So, what has made this symbol set something that works well for me? First, I will say that I believe my connection to my disks is incredibly personal. Not only do they fit the hearth that I am most comfortable in, the disks themselves were made for me by Rev. Jon Drum as a gift at my ordination, so I feel an emotional attachment to them as well. Additionally, the symbols are characters that I’m already familiar with from previous education in math and science, which gave me a stepping stone to start with and continue working to build. I didn’t have to learn a new set of symbols and then the meanings that went with them. Another area that I believe aided me is my familiarity with Greek mythology. This knowledge played a large role in not only understanding the symbols themselves, but also in interpreting the messages in general. I understand who Helios is, and what it means to have him watching over you. This type of connection allows for me to feel more content with the symbol set. Finally, as someone who grew up in a rural part of Nebraska, I can deeply connect with the agricultural themes present in several of the symbols. However, I can also see how some of these benefits for me would be a challenge for someone who didn’t have a background similar to my own.
There are some weaknesses in this symbol set as well. There is really only a single source of information for the Greek Alphabet Oracle, which means that there are not alternative interpretations to make, or a large pool of information to use to understand or connect with these symbols. Also, it is less well known overall so if you are doing readings for others they may not connect with the symbolism on the same level as other symbol sets. I can also see how this set would be a challenge for a beginner because it does require some base knowledge to use them successfully, including the knowledge of the Greek myths and their alphabet system, as well as an understanding of agricultural cycles. Additionally, there are several omens that appear to be quite negative, giving it a poor reputation with some. However, from my experience, these negative omen possibilities make a positive omen even more meaningful.
Ultimately, when I began on this journey at the end of 2015, five months seemed like a long time, and this course seemed like a very long path to take. Today, I stand on the other side of it, and it seems like 2016 started just days ago. I know I have learned a lot about myself and my divination practices, but I also know that there is always more to learn.
5.2 Describe your method of taking an omen or doing divination in your private practice, from start to finish. Include any prayers said, deities invoked, or sacrifices made. (No minimum word count)
When it is time for me to take an omen in my personal practice, I begin by planting my feet firmly on the ground and taking a few deep breaths in through my nose and out through my mouth. This begins my movement into a light trance state and grounds me in the ritual space. I then pick up a handful of dry bay leaves in my right hand and hold my oracle bag in my left. I crush dry bay leaves in the palm of my hand speak to Apollo, saying something along the lines of “Apollo, mighty god of the Sun, poetry, and oracles I call to you now. Guide my hands, help me to see, speak through my voice. Let me hear the message I need to receive.” These words, combined with the sound of the crunching bay leaves, the texture of them in my hand, and scent of the crushed bay leaves deepen my trance and allow me to focus intently on the omen work I need to do. I then kneel on the ground, spreading my dress or robe in a fan in front of me. I reach my hand into my oracle bag and dig through it until I find the first disk that “feels” like the right one and place this face up on my dress in front of me while saying the name of the symbol and a brief meaning of it. I continue this process two more times, speaking the name and meaning in turn. After three have been pulled, I take the three symbols together to create a message general message appropriate for the working at hand. I then place the three disks on my altar until the end of my working or ritual. At the end of the rite, I record the omen in my journal and any important messages that came with them and then return the oracle disks to their bag.
5.3 Choose 5 different systems available for the work of a Seer (modern, ancient, or both). Briefly discuss the pros and cons of each system independently. Include at least one closed and one open system. A closed system is one with a defined set of symbols and a relatively fixed set of meanings (ex. Tarot, Runes, etc.) An open system is one without a fixed set of symbols and/or meanings (ex. auspices.) (Minimum 100 words for each system)
There are numerous methods of divination available to seers, both modern and ancient. For the purpose of this essay, I will be discussing five of them: augury, runes, ogham, tarot, and scrying.
Augury: One method of divination that was popular in ancient Greek culture was the use of Augury. Augury is defined as “the art or practice of divination from omens or signs”
(Farlex). In ancient Greece this frequently presented
itself as the interpretation of the sounds and movements of birds. The flight and songs of birds would be used
as omens with different types of birds meaning different things. An owl hooting may be ominous while a hawk
swooping may be a sign of victory (Halliday 247).
Animals in general had a deeper meaning in Greek society. Often certain types of animals were tied to
different deities, and so the appearance of one of these animals would be seen
as a message from a specific God, such as the owl for Athena, the doe for
Artemis, and the eagle for Zeus (Bonnefoy 128).
This method of divination can be inspirational when it works well, and
can help someone feel connected to the natural world when it seems to respond
to their requests. It also allows for
some individual interpretation based upon how you respond to the creatures you
see. However, because this method of
divination is an open system and requires an act of nature, it is unpredictable
and may take a long time to get the desired response. It may also be hard to use in places that
have less wildlife readily available.
Runes: Another method of divination is known as “Runes” or “Futhark.” The Futhark is the runic alphabet consists of 24 letters from Northern Europe during the third to ninth centuries CE
(Lo). These letters were used as a writing system
for hundreds of years, evolving century after century as the language
changed. The letters are still used as a
method of divination in modern practices.
Each letter symbolizes something different, ranging from the cattle of
Fehu, to the God of Ansuz (Hauge). Individual letters are written or carved into
disks, stones, or some other medium.
They are then placed into a container of some sort and drawn
individually for interpretation. Runes are a system that is relatively
easy to find information on, and the symbols are diverse enough to recognize
them. However, different translations
and evolutions over time have made it so that there may be different
interpretations of the runes and their meanings.
Ogham: A method of divination that was derived from the ancient Celts is ogham. Ogham was originally a writing system that is believed to have been used from the fourth to the tenth century CE
(Irving). The divination system is based on the
twenty-five letters of the ogham alphabet, typically carved into sticks, disks,
or stones similar to the runes of Northern Europe. Each of these letters represents a specific
tree or plant, such as Beith, the birch tree, which can symbolize new
beginnings or Muin, the vine which tells us to loosen our inhibitions (Whittaker). These lots are then drawn from their
container and individual messages are interpreted from the inscribed symbols. Ogham
gives a unique connection to the plant spirits of nature, and the Celtic
knowledge of them. Unfortunately, I believe that many of the ogham symbols look
very similar, making it a challenge to remember them by sight. This can definitely be disheartening,
especially during the learning process.
Tarot: Tarot is a deck of seventy-eight cards divided into four suits. It was first seen in Italy during the 15th century and is believed to have been introduced from Islamic traditions. It was further adapted by French occultists, who tied the meanings of the cards to the Kabbalah. Arthur. E. Waite, member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, developed the first fully illustrated deck
(Gabby). From there tarot has continued to evolve and
change throughout the years and has developed into various decks. There are
numerous adaptations in modern tarot that give it diversity and flexibility to
work for many different people on many different paths. The assortment of imagery can help lead the
seer to the meaning of the card and help them to connect with a specific
deck. Each symbol on the card has
significance and can make interpretation easier for people who learn
visually. However, the deck is made up
of seventy-eight cards with different meanings so it can be a challenge to keep
them all straight. Also, tarot cards are
typically made of paper products, so they can be less useful during outdoor
rituals that may involve winds or rain.
Scrying: Scrying is defined as “to foretell the future using a crystal ball or other reflective object or surface”
There are many different types of scrying throughout history, including
using bodies of water, oil, reflective surfaces, mirrors, and crystal
balls. Many different Indo-European
cultures had their own use and method of scrying just as diverse as the
cultures themselves. Ancient Greeks at the temple of Demeter in Patrae would
lower a mirror into a fountain, make offerings and give prayers, and then use
the reflective surface of the mirror to divine messages (Thomas 64). Scrying was also used in ancient Persia.
“Bahar-i-Danish”, or “Springtime of Knowledge” describes a method of divination
also using a mirror. The mirror would be
coated in ink and the reflections in the surface were used to divine any
knowledge (Thomas 57).
Scrying does not require a specific set of tools and can be performed in any
reflective surface, a fire, water, etc.
This flexibility can be quite advantageous. Unfortunately, there is also no set
definition for interpreting what you see, so it may be a challenge to
understand the message in the reflection or vision without practice.
5.4 Choose 3 of the systems discussed in 5.3. For each of these systems perform 3 divinations. (These divinations may be book assisted.) Discuss the results of these divinations and your impressions of the various systems. (Minimum 1000 words)
Over the past five months, I spent most of my time working with the Greek Alphabet Oracle. However, I did also do a few workings with runes, tarot cards, and ogham. It was interesting to see some similar messages between all four methods of divination, as well as the differences.
I was initially skeptical about working with runes because I have no real connection to northern Europe or Norse mythology. However, I have a small set of wooden runes, so I decided it would be good to try to work with them.
While doing my divination work, I was also simultaneously working on my journal for trance and magical workings. I created a continuing trance and magical exercise to work my way through the story of the Odyssey. During this week, I used the runes after completing my Odyssey Week 2 trance work. This was a guided meditation that lead me to speak to the elders in a city square. They told me that I was doing noble work, but that it would be a difficult journey with setbacks and stumbles, but that I can find the light I’m looking for. After I listened to their messages and leaving the meditation, I drew three runes to solidify the messages I received. I pulled:
1) Hagalaz – Initially, I was disappointed to see hagalaz as my first pull. It’s the rune that means “hail” and that did not seem like good way to start. However, as I continued to read, I see that hagalaz can also symbolize the transformation from something bad into something good. It can also mark the beginning and the end of things, which seems appropriate for the journey I was undertaking. It seems in line with the trance work I had just completed.
2) Raido – Raido signifies a time of respite and says that you need to put yourself in the right place to allow energies to flow. It shows that you can obtain your goal if you put in the work. Again, this seems to be in line with my working.
3) Uruz – The final rune I pulled was Uruz. Uruz speaks of fortitude and action, and the power of the universe. This rune says that you are strong enough to keep focused on the path you’re on, and to be successful.
Summary: What started out looking like a painful omen seems to speak true to the working I had completed. The path I’ve chosen will be difficult and have challenges on it, but that if I keep doing the work I will have the strength to be successful.
During my Odyssey Week 4 trance work I again chose to use runes as my method of omen. I entered trance through drumming and made offerings to Poseidon. After the trance work was completed, I pulled three runes.
1) Raido—Raido came up again in this pulling, showing me that if I’m in the right time and place and I can obtain my goal. This was a nice, repeated message from last week.
2) Wunjo – Wunjo is a very promising omen, signifying joy and happiness. This also shows a state of harmony and balance. It was nice to see such a positive message after a working that I was unsure about. As a follower of Athena, working with Poseidon doesn’t always come easily, so to receive a message that signifies happiness was a pleasant surprise.
3) Berkana – Berkana symbolizes growth and the start of new adventures. It is a message of new beginnings and rebirth. It seemed like a fitting omen to receive near the beginning of my trance and magical work journey.
Summary: This omen again tells me to continue doing the work in order to be successful on this new journey, and ultimately it can lead to happiness.
Life had been overwhelming and frustrating for a few weeks. I decided to create a sigil to aid me in making some positive changes in my life. After the sigil was created and energized, I pulled three rune stones as the omen for the working.
1) Raido – Raido seemed to be my trusty friend throughout my work with runes. This shows that if I put myself in the right place, things can be successful. It also shows of the importance of having a solid foundation to build upon.
2) Algiz – Algiz is the rune of protection. It says to be alert and aware of your surroundings. Algiz also reminds you that there are hazards ahead, but that you have the power to move forward.
3) Uruz – Uruz speaks of action and power. It says to use your strength to stay focused and you can achieve your goals.
Summary: Looking for positive changes, this omen was interesting. Raido again tells me that if I do the work and have a good foundation, then I can be successful. However, the message also shows me that I need to be a bit cautious and protective of myself, while staying focused in order to get the changes that I want. I’d say that this omen shows that my changes can happen, but it will take cautious, focused work to do that.
Overall, I will say that I was pleasantly surprised at how similar runes are to the Greek Alphabet Oracle. While the symbols are different, the energy and method of working with them are quite familiar. I believe I could develop an understanding of this divination method with continued practice, which was a definite surprise for me.
Tarot is the divination method that I probably have the most experience with. I bought my first tarot deck at 12 years old and have tried to work with it off and on since that point almost twenty years ago. However, it’s not a system that I ever felt confident with.
For the past few months, we have been in the process of trying to buy a new house. It hasn’t been the easiest process, and so I did a magical working to try to help move this process forward. With this working, I did what is called the “decision maker” spread, that uses four cards, symbolizing 1) you, 2) the unknown, 3) known, and 4) the action you should take. I pulled the following cards:
1) High Priestess – The high priestess speaks of intuition and insight, telling you to trust your instincts and do what you think is right. This represents me, so I believe it is telling me to do what I think is right.
2) Justice – This card represents the “unknown” and represents clarity, fairness, and harmony. It also signifies the law, which is interesting because we later found out that the house we are trying to purchase had a lien against it that had to be cleared by the seller before we could continue.
3) Page of Cups – The Page of Cups is in the spread for the part of what is “known”. This card represents naivety and daydreaming. It expresses the need to have some fun because you are being too serious.
4) 6 of Cups – The final card I pulled for this spread was the 6 of Cups, which is the action that should be taken. This card represents the restoration of harmony, and says to not spend too much time looking backwards, but instead focus on the future.
Summary: Ultimately, this spread showed me that my instincts are right, but that eventually things will work out in balance and that I need to keep looking at the future and not take things so seriously. It’s a message that probably should have known, but sometimes seeing it in “writing” helps it become more real.
We took a family trip to Colorado to show my son for the mountains for the first time. When we arrived, I gave offerings to Hermes to thank him for our safe travels, and to the Earth Mother to thank us for her gifts and beauty. I did a simple three card draw as an omen for our trip.
1) 9 of Wands – The first card I pulled was the 9 of Wands, which represents being burdened with concerns. This card told me to calm down and not get too overwhelmed with everything. It was a good message to receive at the start of our vacation.
2) 3 of Pentacles – The second card I pulled was the 3 of Pentacles, which says that people appreciate you and your efforts. This message essentially says to keep doing what you’re doing.
3) Queen of Cups – The final card I pulled was the Queen of Cups, which is a card of compassion and love. This was such a blessing to receive from the Earth Mother that I was moved and a bit emotional.
Summary: Overall, this message felt like a message to relax and enjoy my vacation. It showed me that the work I’m doing is good and that I should continue to do it, with less stress. It was an excellent trip for me and my family and this omen reflects that well.
In April, I was doing some healing work for several family members who were struggling with different health issues. It was a hard working for me to do because of how much those involved mean to me, but it was important for me to try to help them the best that I could. I then pulled an omen to review the work I had just done.
1) Queen of Wands – The first card that I pulled for this omen was the Queen of Wands, which symbolizes positive energy and getting the work accomplished.
2) 2 of Pentacles – The second card was the 2 of Pentacles, which expresses balance and changes. These changes may not necessarily be positive, but they will bring balance.
3) 8 of Wands – The final card was the 8 of Wands, which symbolizes excitement, but also says to be patient and wait for the results of your work.
Summary: This omen seemed to signify that I had done good work, and that it would allow for positive changes, however, that I needed to be patient for the results of that work to be evident. I think that it was reassuring to see the cards reflect that I had done everything I could to be helpful.
Overall, I think working with Tarot can be a lot of fun and give a very deep message in your omen. However, there are so many cards and symbols that it can be quite overwhelming to try to work with them and remember what each symbol represents.
The final method of omen that I chose to work with was the Ogham. Ogham is probably the method that I am the least familiar and comfortable with. I don’t have a strong knowledge of Celtic mythology or even the symbols used in Ogham, so it was a bit of a challenge to work with from the beginning.
In February, my grove did an Imbolc rite to honor Brighid and to induct a new member into our grove. For this ritual, I pulled three ogham sticks as an omen.
1) Gort – The first symbol was Gort, or Ivy, which represents friendship and healing. This ogham shows us how to keep moving forward when things are challenging. It’s a fitting message for the end of winter when things are still cold and dark.
2) Huath – The second symbol was Huath, or Hawthorn. Huath is a symbol of purification and protection. It shows that things may be slow now, but that they will be prosperous in the future. Again it shows us the potential of Imbolc and the spring ahead.
3) Coll – The final symbol I pulled was Coll, or Hazel. Coll is a message of intuition and sensitivity, and shows that you should follow your intuition.
Summary: This omen to me says that building new friendships will help us to keep moving forward through the darkness of winter into the new growth of spring. It tells us to keep using our instincts to grow and build, and that we will be successful.
During this time, work life was not going well as they tried to restructure my position and role within the company I work for. I did a magical working to try to create positive work changes and to give myself strength during this challenging time. I then pulled the following omen:
1) Huath – The first ogham I pulled was Huath, the Hawthorn. This symbolizes the purification and protection of yourself, and the potential for prosperity in the future. It shows that things can improve, but that I need to protect myself in the process.
2) Eadha – The next ogham was Eadha, the Aspen which symbolizes healing and the conquest of fear. This ogham says that there is trial to go through, but that it will end in a positive way.
3) Ngetal – The final ogham for this reading was Ngetal, the Reed. This ogham calls for direction and action.
Summary: This omen in general says that there is the potential for good things in the future, and that while things are a challenge right now, they will get better. However, it also says that there needs to be action to make this happen, and to not just sit back and expect it to all work out. It will take effort to be successful.
I did a some trance work in the forest, walking through the trees and and connecting to the spirits of nature. It felt like an appropriate situation to use ogham, so I made sure to take it with me on this journey. I found a quiet, clear spot in the woods where there was no snow, and sat upon the ground to pull this message:
1) Eadha – The first stone I pulled was Eadha, the Aspen which symbolizes a trial to be undergone, but a positive and healing end
2) Luis – The next stone was Luis, the Rowan. This letter symbolizes the protection.
3) Ruis – The final stone is Ruis, the Elderberry. This is the symbol of new beginnings and the cycle of life.
Summary: In general, this omen seemed to say that things are positive and healing, but to make sure to look out for myself in the cycle of life and new beginnings that are lurking ahead.
Overall, I would say Ogham was the system I had the most trouble connecting to and working with. While the method was familiar, the symbolism all seems to blend together and make it a challenge to interpret the individual messages that each letter contains. If I had more familiarity with the properties of the trees it would have been much easier, but without that working knowledge, they just didn’t hold a lot of meaning for me.
5.5 Bearing in mind that ADF has based itself upon IE studies and thought, discuss the utility, or lack thereof, of using an ancient system versus a modern system. Also discuss whether or not the system being used should match the hearth culture of the ritual (minimum 300 words)
I believe there are both advantages and disadvantages to using an ancient system within an ADF context. Using a symbology that is built from the mythos and practices of ancient Indo-European cultures gives us a direct tie to the work they were doing and the beliefs that they held. In my experience, using a system based upon Indo-European studies is a way that I am able to connect to the religion of the ancient cultures and bring them to life in a modern context. However, I also understand that this cannot be done with every method of divination. Utilizing systems based on IE culture is really only practical in some divination methods, such as different methods of scrying and the alphabet based systems of runes, ogham, and the Greek alphabet oracle. These ancient symbols give us a unique connection to the ancients and the languages that they spoke. We have worked to modeling our practices from them in some ways, and using their systems may help give us a deeper connection to their practices.
However, the alphabet oracles themselves do present a challenge in translation and interpretation necessary to use them successfully. There is potential that the information has been mistranslated through the years, and that can cause confusion and difficulty. Additionally, there are other methods of divination, such as haruspicy (divination by the examination of entrails) that would not be accepted in modern ADF practices at all.
As far as having your divination method match your hearth culture, I don’t believe that it is a necessity. In my personal experiences, it has been easiest to connect with the divination method of my own hearth culture because I am already familiar with the symbols and mythology that create the divination system. However, just because you know the background doesn’t mean it will be the system that works best for you so another system may be more beneficial for your work. Ultimately, I think the important thing is to use what you’re comfortable and not necessarily what matches your chosen hearth.
5.6 Discuss your understanding of the Seer's Guild Ethics Policy. (Minimum 200 words) (Note: The Seer's Guild Ethics Policy can be found at http://www.adf.org/members/guilds/seers/ethics.html)
I truly believe that the ADF Seers Guild Ethics policy is an important document to be familiar with as a seer. I was also pleasantly surprised at how well it aligns well with my personal code of ethics that I created as an ADF priest. The Ethics policy and my code of ethics both express the importance of respecting confidentiality and maintaining personal boundaries for those I would do work with. Both of these documents also give me the freedom to report or refer someone who I feel may hurt themselves or someone else, which is important to me and a legal requirement in the state of Nebraska. Ultimately, I believe that the Seers Guild Ethics Policy reinforces the idea of mutual respect between the seer and their clients, which is vital in a health seer/client relationship.
The Seers of ADF are expected to provide services to any member of the organization, but the Code also expresses the importance of a seer not pushing their own feelings or thoughts on the client, as well as articulating that seers have no power over the clients or their decisions. It also emphasizes the mutual respect that needs to exist between the client and the seer, which is important for both participants to have a positive experience. A seer doesn’t want to feel they are taken advantage of or being overly depended on, while a client shouldn’t feel that a seer is trying to force them into a decision they don’t want to make. Ultimately, this Ethics Policy is a strong document to show the importance of a hospitable relationship between seers and those people who look to them for guidance. I think this sets a strong precedence for what a seer should represent within ADF.
5.7 Local governments sometimes pass legislation against many activities practiced by Seers. Research the laws for Seership in your country and locality (city, county, state, province or county, if applicable, provide copies of these laws). Discuss the impact of these laws (potential and actual) on an ADF Seer. (Minimum 500 words)
I live in the city of Omaha, Nebraska. After doing a lot of research, there are no laws that I could find regarding divination in any form. There are several fortunetellers, and seers that practice in Omaha without any issues. However, there is another town in Nebraska that forbids divination and seers altogether. Scottsbluff, Nebraska has a city ordinance that claims that clairvoyance, fortunetelling and divination are unlawful acts and are prohibited
(Scottsbluff City Council).
It’s fortunate that there are not laws in Omaha that are specific to divination in the city because it gives people the opportunity to use divination as they please. Unfortunately, this also means that any seers are completely unregulated, so there is the potential for people to be taken advantage of if they don’t know the seer well.
I was also unsuccessful in locating any county laws for my county, which is Douglas County in Nebraska. I followed a research, involving online studies, and contacting the Douglas County Clerk’s Office by phone (402-444-6767) where I was passed around to several different departments before being told that all laws for the county follow any state laws that are currently in place. Douglas county gives people the same freedom to practice as a seer in whatever way they seem fit. This allows people the freedom to make their own decisions, but still doesn’t regulate these practices.
I’ve been surprised at the lack of laws that the state of Nebraska puts on seers and divination in general. With the exception of Scottsbluff, Nebraska, which is on the opposite end of the state, there are no laws that specifically define or limit divination, seers, clairvoyance, or anything else along those lines. There are certain laws regarding clergy that I can see being relevant to seers in certain situations though. Those are listed below.
Law 7: 38-2121. License; required; exceptions.
The requirement to be licensed as a mental health practitioner pursuant to the Uniform Credentialing Act in order to engage in mental health practice shall not be construed to prevent:
(1) Qualified members of other professions who are licensed, certified, or registered by this state from practice of any mental health activity consistent with the scope of practice of their respective professions;
(2) Alcohol and drug counselors who are licensed by the Division of Public Health of the Department of Health and Human Services and problem gambling counselors who are certified by the Department of Health and Human Services prior to July 1, 2013, or by the Nebraska Commission on Problem Gambling beginning on July 1, 2013, from practicing their profession. Such exclusion shall include students training and working under the supervision of an individual qualified under section 38-315;
(3) Any person employed by an agency, bureau, or division of the federal government from discharging his or her official duties, except that if such person engages in mental health practice in this state outside the scope of such official duty or represents himself or herself as a licensed mental health practitioner, he or she shall be licensed;
(4) Teaching or the conduct of research related to mental health services or consultation with organizations or institutions if such teaching, research, or consultation does not involve the delivery or supervision of mental health services to individuals or groups of individuals who are themselves, rather than a third party, the intended beneficiaries of such services;
(5) The delivery of mental health services by:
(a) Students, interns, or residents whose activities constitute a part of the course of study for medicine, psychology, nursing, school psychology, social work, clinical social work, counseling, marriage and family therapy, or other health care or mental health service professions; or
(b) Individuals seeking to fulfill postgraduate requirements for licensure when those individuals are supervised by a licensed professional consistent with the applicable regulations of the appropriate professional board;
(6) Duly recognized members of the clergy from providing mental health services in the course of their ministerial duties and consistent with the codes of ethics of their profession if they do not represent themselves to be mental health practitioners;
(7) The incidental exchange of advice or support by persons who do not represent themselves as engaging in mental health practice, including participation in self-help groups when the leaders of such groups receive no compensation for their participation and do not represent themselves as mental health practitioners or their services as mental health practice;
(8) Any person providing emergency crisis intervention or referral services or limited services supporting a service plan developed by and delivered under the supervision of a licensed mental health practitioner, licensed physician, or a psychologist licensed to engage in the practice of psychology if such persons are not represented as being licensed mental health practitioners or their services are not represented as mental health practice; or
(9) Staff employed in a program designated by an agency of state government to provide rehabilitation and support services to individuals with mental illness from completing a rehabilitation assessment or preparing, implementing, and evaluating an individual rehabilitation plan.
This law establishes that people are allowed to give guidance to people, as long as they follow their code of ethics and do not represent themselves as professional mental health practitioners when they are not. It allows for seers to help their clients, but does limit their reach in an appropriate way.
Law 5: 28-372. Report of abuse, neglect, or exploitation; required; contents; notification; toll-free number established.
(1) When any physician, psychologist, physician assistant, nurse, nursing assistant, other medical, developmental disability, or mental health professional, law enforcement personnel, caregiver or employee of a caregiver, operator or employee of a sheltered workshop, owner, operator, or employee of any facility licensed by the department, or human services professional or paraprofessional not including a member of the clergy has reasonable cause to believe that a vulnerable adult has been subjected to abuse, neglect, or exploitation or observes such adult being subjected to conditions or circumstances which reasonably would result in abuse, neglect, or exploitation, he or she shall report the incident or cause a report to be made to the appropriate law enforcement agency or to the department. Any other person may report abuse, neglect, or exploitation if such person has reasonable cause to believe that a vulnerable adult has been subjected to abuse, neglect, or exploitation or observes such adult being subjected to conditions or circumstances which reasonably would result in abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
(2) Such report may be made by telephone, with the caller giving his or her name and address, and, if requested by the department, shall be followed by a written report within forty-eight hours. To the extent available the report shall contain: (a) The name, address, and age of the vulnerable adult; (b) the address of the caregiver or caregivers of the vulnerable adult; (c) the nature and extent of the alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation or the conditions and circumstances which would reasonably be expected to result in such abuse, neglect, or exploitation; (d) any evidence of previous abuse, neglect, or exploitation, including the nature and extent of the abuse, neglect, or exploitation; and (e) any other information which in the opinion of the person making the report may be helpful in establishing the cause of the alleged abuse, neglect, or exploitation and the identity of the perpetrator or perpetrators.
(3) Any law enforcement agency receiving a report of abuse, neglect, or exploitation shall notify the department no later than the next working day by telephone or mail.
(4) A report of abuse, neglect, or exploitation made to the department which was not previously made to or by a law enforcement agency shall be communicated to the appropriate law enforcement agency by the department no later than the next working day by telephone or mail.
(5) The department shall establish a statewide toll-free number to be used by any person any hour of the day or night and any day of the week to make reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
Nebraska’s mandatory reporting laws currently state “any person who suspects child abuse or neglect is required to report”
(National Conference of State Legislatures). This statement would include seers and
require that they report any suspected child abuse or neglect. This makes seers (and all people) responsible
for reporting any abuse they suspect of a child, which is always a very
difficult decision to make for people.
However, Law 28-372 listed above also says that the same rule does not apply to the belief in the abuse of a vulnerable adult who has been subjected to abuse, neglect, or exploitation. I find this difference to be very intriguing and I’m curious as to what the reasoning is for this difference.
5.8 Discuss how you intend to use your skills as a Seer in service to ADF. (Minimum 100 words)
Divination within is something that I have found to be quite important to my personal practice within ADF. It is the tool we use to communicate with the Kindreds, to ask for their blessings, and to verify that they have accepted our gifts to them. Essentially, divination works as the tool we use to help us build a *ghosti relationship with the Kindreds. This is the reasons that I first began my journey down the path of the seer. However, this journey has grown to expand beyond my personal practice in ways that I didn’t expect. Locally, I am the Senior Druid of a small grove, and am one of the few people who are comfortable doing public omens for ritual. This is an important part of our rites and I want to be able to perform this task to the very best of my abilities. Additionally, as clergy, I have vowed to serve the folk on an international level; to work with them, and to provide services to them when I can. While I will not always have the answers they seek, I want to build my toolkit to allow me to help them find the answer for themselves. I see the role as a Seer as one of those tools that will be incredibly beneficial.
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