For a long time I had something of a love/hate relationship with divination. Or, rather, a passing fancy/general dislike for said art. Try as I might I just cannot develop an interest in either Tarot or Runes. I was given a nice set of each as gifts years and years ago and tried for quite a while to "get a feel" for them. I read, I studied, I meditated, I drew cards and drew runes and drew and drew to no avail. I made interpretations based on the words and works of others. And I went with my gut and my pineal gland and made my own interpretations. I tried and worked and tried, for years. Eventually, I got tired of trying to force something that just wasn't happening and put the cards and runes aside and went on to seek another method. Perhaps my disinclination for cards and runes makes me an atypical, or uncool, witch but I don't really care.
My next method was by pendulum. I have a pendulum that I've dedicated some time and effort towards mastering. And, given its lack of specific images and its wonderful earthiness, it should work better for me. It's a very beautiful hematite pendulum with a nice, comfortable weight to it. But, like the cards and runes, I've had a very hard time developing a relationship with it so I put it away with the Tarot cards and the Runes. I eventually concluded that perhaps this witch just isn't made for divination at all. But I was wrong.
It was, purely by accident, that I discovered my preferred mode of divination: smoke scrying. I was under the influence of my favorite herb and got lost in the smoke of an incense stick. And I started to see things, visions some people would call them. Ideas, thoughts and symbols abounded! I learned more from, say, 6 months of smoke scrying than 2 years of working with cards or runes. Alas, I no longer have the opportunity to enjoy the blessings of my favorite herb (money: it's a bitch) so I haven't been able to to see things in smoke as I once did.
I've tried scrying with the smoke of other things but they just don't work. And, call it "sour grapes" if you will but, without my favorite sacred herb I can't seem to reach that "just right" head space anyway. The smoke from the fireplace just isn't the same. It's a different kind of smoke. Not to mention the fact that our open fireplace is in the living room with the damn television which can really play havoc with attempts to get in touch with one's higher self. And the little bit of smoke that a candle produces doesn't do it for me either. I need a thick stream of fragrant smoke that lasts, uninterrupted, for at least 20 minutes. And I need my Green Goddess.
So, I'm back to where I was before: stuck. I feel the call but haven't a method. I miss my smoke, in more ways than one. I'm a Cancer by birth and a very watery person whose emotions often run away from me. What's more, I'm a bipolar Cancer so my roller coaster emotions can make my life truly hellish. Up until I started smoking and then smoke scrying water, and emotions, dominated me (and, no, water scrying isn't for me either) and I felt the absence of the other elements quite keenly. Smoking and smoke scrying really helped me balance things out; I was on a much more even keel. There's a lot less fire, earth and air in my life than there was up until this time last year. This writing is one way of trying to accept that sad, depressing and infuriating fact. For over five years I had a lot of wonderful smoky air, via the herb and incense, in my life--and now it's gone. I guess I'm whining. I'm trying not to be bitter but can't really help it as my current financial hell was not of my doing.
When I think back on those beautiful and enlightening times I can't help but smile a bittersweet smile. It's sad, but a smile all the same. I guess I'm grateful for those times. So, I'll send a "thank you" out into the universe for the years when I did have the blessings of other elements in my life. I don't get to enjoy the benefits of the sacred herb anymore and there are no more visions. But that wasn't always the case. And for that I am thankful.