I’ve been listening to a wonderful Podcast called deos-shadow. One could call it a non-denominational pagan show. I owe my discovery of the show to fiannaharpar.

The host has interviewed several good occult authors on the series and that’s just the side features. Deo and his wife Mandy present a realistic, level-headed view of paganism and what it’s like to practice.

The show is temporarily on hiatus because Deo’s older Mac laptop has fallen prey to the curse of the motherboard. For those curious this is a wonderful time to catch up. I strongly recommend you start with the episode #28 called, “When to Call bulls&#t”

Like most podcasts Deos-shadow has a forum site. I’m not typically active on forums anywhere because I just don’t have the time allotment to try to follow and catch up on an unending supply of threads. (Someday someone will make treaded conversations far easier to interact with)

For some reason this morning while sitting in bed (next to the most wonderful image of sleeping shimmeringjemmy, aiden_freeman, and, cute_evil) I decided to look thru the forum.

A young poster was in a class when a bomb threat went off. She decided to use a magic 8-ball for divination. Below the cut is her recollections of the rather doom-suggestive divination and my comments back to her on the nature of divination.

The short form is that I agree with her that tarot is much better and then explain why magic 8-balls and especially ouija are bad.

Quoth the poster:

I noticed the 8-ball my teacher had on his desk so I asked it:

It: My scorces say No.
Me: Magic 8-ball, Will I fail all my classes since I can’t turn these things in?
It: Yes. Definatly.
Me: Are my parents going to kill me b/c of it?
It: Yes.
Me: Are you a negative person?
It: Resoning leads me to say yes

Well, I’ve decided I prefer tarot cards.

(I responded)
I think moving to tarot is better than the eight-ball and very much better than the dreaded ouija board.

In both cases I think you’re pushing your divination in two very risky directions.

1) You are using very definite YES:NO questions. It is very possible to get the opposite answer that you’d expect by interpretting the question differently than intended.

“Magic 8-ball am I going to die?”
Answer “Definitely, Yes”
Inference: Well, eventually of course.

This goes waaaay back to an old rule from Dungeons and Dragons. “Never make a wish.”
In definite statements or yes no questions there is either wiggle room or only one obvious answer the leaves you wondering, “Why did I even ask?”

2) The 8-ball and ouija board take the responsibility of divination away from the diviner.

In both cases you enter into a feeling of “Other spirit… tell me the answer” rather than “Let me divine the answer from the signs.”

The former method always makes me leery simply because you never know who’s giving the answer. There are enough trickster gods, goddesses, faeries, etc out there.. that you really don’t even want to ask for directions to the local grocery.


For both this is really simplistic in the way I stated it. But the poster was fairly young and I didn’t want to go crazy in my response. I also wanted to avoid the Andrei-pomposity sound that I’ve been accused occurs frequently in my postings.

So, this is my general opinion on the topic. There… see, I do post on occasion 🙂

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