Trees have always been invested with symbolic significance, especially to us Pagan folk. (I think of the Craft names, the titles of books (i.e. The Golden Bough), and the Covenstead names related to tree species.)
We have Yule logs and stavs and bell-boughs.
But I’ve never used a tree for divination. Isn’t that odd?
Xylomancy, divination that interprets omens in pieces of wood (their shape, their position and formation on the ground, as well as appearance and movement when burnt), is new to me.
Just last spring, I tried my hand at ovomancy and found it messy and not very insightful.
Pyromancy is my style, so I think I’ll have a go at some pre-Yule-log xylomancy as the nights get colder. But like ovomancy, I have no idea how to interpret what I see.
Obviously if a branch were to fall in my path, I should expect a surprise or a sudden obstacle. If I were to employ the bark-peeling method, how would I keep subconscious human motives from altering my interpretation of signs? If I were to toss the bark on the ground, I’m faced with the same problems I had with tassiomancy and ovomancy and now xylomancy. What’s it all mean?
Knowing me, I’ll draw lines on them and they will turn into new I Ching sticks.
I may give it a try and get back to you. But I really expect that I simply go into a trance while gazing at the fire—not that this is a bad thing. It’s just not xylomancy.
B, Q, 93!
This post is part of a year-long project. Rowan Pendragon’s The Pagan Blog Project; “a way to spend a full year dedicating time each week very specifically to studying, reflecting, and sharing . . . . The project consists of a single blog post each week posted on prompt that will focus on a letter of the alphabet” (http://paganblogproject/).