Alternative Divination Methods for the Secret or Poor Magician

Very simple ideas for those who can’t use tarot, runes, or other methods whether it’s because they just suck at reading, can’t afford tools, live with oppressive persons, or any other reason.

I have a similar post for spirit communication.

I like to use anything I can get my hands on as a divination method. I’ve done pretty much all of these myself, some often when I feel the need to divine but don’t have my regular tools on hand.

Quick tip: you can cast or draw anything. A handful of plain rocks thrown on the ground, pull a bottle cap from a bag, etc.

Playing cards
Paint samples from the hardware store (they’re free)
Fortune Cookie Fortunes in a box (mine are in my wallet)
A collection of quotes from books, films, etc
A box of jewelry charms
Geomancy (cast rocks or stones)
Cast minerals/tumbled crystals
Nail polish bottles
Grab a random makeup object from a bag (they have very interesting names)
A bunch of tokens (rocks, buttons, etc)
Strips of colored paper
Colored pencils or crayons
A deck of TCG cards such as Magic: the Gathering or Pokemon
Scryfall MtG Randomizer
Random Pokemon Generator
Any dice or dice app
Color and type of die can have meaning as well
Any Random Generators
Random Word
Many more random generators, you can google them easily, even apps on your phone.
Cloud shapes
Raw rice
Raw beans
— Before cooking, add seasoning or oil to water and scry the shapes
Auto Drawing/Writing
Ouija board
Bibliomancy/Stichomancy (open a book and choose a passage)
Shufflemancy (shuffle your music library and play a song)
Art scrying (look at abstract art and scry the images)
Scry the shapes of leftover food like tea leaves
Stir food youre making and scry the herbs/bubbles

There’s infinite ways to divine.
As long as you give something meaning, anything can be used for divination purposes.
“Can I use —” yes.
“Even — ” yes.

You could open a can of soup and splatter it in the parking lot behind a Taco Bell at 3 in the morning and read the shapes all you like — I’m only slightly joking, but my point is you can make anything divination if you so desire.

“How do I read these?”
Easy! What does it remind you of? That’s it.

Let’s say a cloud shape looks like a dog. What qualities does a dog remind you of? Loyalty? Filth? Whatever it is, that’s what it means for you, then. You could also look at if the dog is barking, or sitting, or whining, or looks demonic, etc. You can have multiple meanings to something, as well, you’ll just have to intuit or go by gut instinct which interpretation of your personal meaning is forefront in the reading. Confidence is also key. It will cement meaning not only you, but signs will tailor to your preferred meanings.

For books or quotes, you can look at it in our out of context. What were the characters going through? Or perhaps, it’s better not to think of the characters and simply read the passage as if it’s someone speaking to you.

Also think about what feelings does it give you. Happy, sad, angry, contempt? Your emotions and instinctual reaction can help shape a reading. A song that reminds you of your high school days could be telling you about the past. A song you listened to that reminded you of an old crush could be a reading about love regardless if the song itself is about love.

“I can’t get tarot bc my family thinks it’s evil” or the “I don’t have time to study runes” don’t have to limit you when you have everything else around you at your disposal. These methods can be discreet, it’ll just look like you’re playing with hobbies or researching or memeing. It’s also a lot less “evil” to outsiders when you pull a nice quote from a box than reading tarot, and you can make it sound light-hearted and not serious at all as if it’s a silly quirk you have.

It’s important to emphasize that magic isn’t about accumulating expensive tools, most magic is intended to use what you already have available to you. This includes when I say “rocks” and other trinkets I mean literal gravel from the ground or random things in your home. Bottle caps, can tabs, coins, bread ties, toothpicks, etc.

You don’t need to know numerology or research everyone else’s playing card meanings or aura color interpretations and such, either. If the number 2 reminds you of a couple in love, then make it mean that when you divine. If it reminds you of being poor because it’s a small number, make it mean that. Your divination method is yours.

I hope this gives you ideas for both outside the box thinking as well as relieves the pressures and of divination reading.



Speaking of coins. I was never good at the 4 penny divination, but maybe someone else will have better luck.

  • I’ll add tarot card apps that are free. I saw random generator, but not this sorry if it’s a repeat.
  • My (favorite) pendulum is made from a rock and a thick black string/cord
  • Runes can be made from pretty much anything. Random rocks/stones for example.
  • Sorry if it’s a repeat, but pull a book off a shelf and do some bibliomancy.
  • Make your own tarot deck, draw or use images from online. Remember though before you do anything with them that could earn you a profit (like using them on a YouTube video), that copyright exists.

I didn’t mention tarot apps or diy cards, runes etc since I wrote it for those who can’t use them for whatever reason. A list of those apps would be nice to share though. But yes you can DIY any method you want and there are apps for lots of occult things. Print or draw cards, use rocks painted with 4 colors and different numbers for Tarot-Runes, etc. It’s not an exhaustive list by any means, just something to cultivate creativity as not to crutch on traditional methods. Like I said, there are infinite ways to divine and there’s multiple ways to use any method.

Coins and sticks can be used for I Ching. Different coins can have different meanings, you can draw them from your wallet, cast them on a table, the front and back don’t have to yes/no they can be life/death, earth/divine, and any other dualities if you use multiple coins.

I made “runes” with alchemy symbols, myself. You can use any symbology or script including Greek, Latin, Russian, or any others. Goetic seals, angelic sigils, planetary signs, and more. Even fictional ones, borrow LotR languages, use Pokemon types, etc. if you can use more obviously esoteric methods.

You don’t have to diy just tarot cards either. You can make your own oracle deck, draw your own symbols. It’d be ineffective to have an Oracle deck if you live with people who could mistake it for tarot and call it evil, but you can make them with card stock or cardboard or leaves and tree bark. Pressed flowers, as well. Make square quilted patches of cloth. I have Oracle decks I made based off video games and Oracle decks made with my own original symbology. I have a Hanafuda deck for divination as well. You can use board pieces, scrabble tiles, card game decks, or a bag of mixed nuts. Hiding it as though it is a hobby can be key for those who cannot be open about their practice.

More or less if you can’t use traditional methods of divination it doesn’t have to limit you if you use creativity.


I find this topic to be incredibly fascinating and also rather amusing. It’s literally just randomization and sets of stuff to randomize. Fiction divination is a bit different but technically speaking I’d say it’s still that. Fiction divination is a fucking trip and not advised for the easily put into the cookoo box.

The interesting part to me is that I’m pretty sure it wasn’t always like this in my experience. I personally find fiction divination to be pretty effortless, but before I started to intend to take notice of synchronicity and intend to sense the future, it was all quite mundane, but maybe it just seemed that way. I can look at my library now and see patterns, so there’s that.

If you need a low-key method and can keep a dream journal, dream magick is insanely effective divination. It seems to require a level of skill to get more targeted results with it, but it is much easier for your mind (or other things) to create images/sounds/etc and sequences that convey divinatory meaning in a very direct and literal way in the dream state where magick makes experience completely malleable.

I might have to start incorporating some of these practices into my lifestyle, mostly just for fun and amusement at how reality synchronicities itself all over the place all the time with absolute indiscretion. I feel like at first I was very skeptical and only very occasionally saw synchronicity, and then I went ultra deep and saw it everywhere, literally everywhere, and then I tried to pull back from that, and it goes back and forth as I find a good balance and learn to not read too much into things with my limited conscious mundane mind and instead allow the magick to arise without getting in its way.

Yeah but really though, pull a book off the shelf, open to some page and read something, do it with divinatory intent and that will likely do something, and isn’t that amazing.


is using a primitive version of what we use in palo mayombe with the chamalongos, I love knowing that there are no borders or skin colors for magick