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pantodragon

Divine divination!

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Talking about divination often seems rather like Winnie the Witch talking to the Little Ordinaries i.e. non-magical people, but so what?

A couple of recent divinatory experiences:

Last night I got home to discover that my BT telephone landline was out of order. I had no sooner made the discovery than the doorbell rang. The caller was a stranger, an old man. The purpose of his call is not relevant to this story, but during our conversation he told me of his wife’s health complaints.

Since the caller and my discovery about the faulty line happened almost simultaneously, I was pretty sure that the two events were related from a divinatory point of view i.e. the caller had “told” me something about the fault. However, I couldn’t work out what it was the caller was “telling” me. I then did what I often do under such circumstances and stuck a pin in a book, hoping to get clarification. (The book I used was Phillip Reeve’s Larklight, a children’s fantasy novel, one which I know well --- it is often preferable to use a book one knows well.) The word that came up was “hurrying”. Well, I was feeling somewhat harassed --- I hate and loathe the palaver one has to go through with telephone faults etc --- and so I took this as a suggestion to calm down: interpreting signs and portents will not work unless one is calm and detached.

I didn’t entirely take this advice for there followed the usual questions that one asks in such situations, such as: is the telephone fault in my house or is it with the line? Will I report the fault now or wait until tomorrow? I was fretting as one often does under these circumstances, but although it’s a bad habit, it is a bad habit I am getting out of, for I have learned that if I wait, situations will often resolve themselves without my intervention or ideas will come to me through a sign or portent as to how to proceed etc, etc.

For example, it occurred to me that if the fault was with the line, then other people would already have reported the fault to BT and that therefore there was no need for me to do anything. So I asked for advice by sticking another pin in the same book as before. The sentence selected by this method was: “Even Myrtle could not ignore for long the alarming creaks and complaints that issued from the old ship’s timbers……”. The interpretation was clear. One reads the message as: “Even BT could not ignore for long the complaints….” i.e. the message confirmed that the fault was with the line and that it had already been reported to BT by other customers and that therefore I need do nothing.

Further, this message said exactly the same thing, but in a different way, as my earlier caller who told me about his wife’s health complaints i.e. the fault has already been reported, “complained” about, to BT. I also realised that the first pin-in-a-book message, “hurrying”, was also telling me not to be in too much of a “hurry” to report the fault to BT.

So, three ways of saying the same thing. Neat.

The outcome? I woke up next morning having completely forgotten about the telephone problem. But the phone rang mid-morning. The fault had been repaired.

*********************

The second experience, a weather forecast using signs and portents:

Towards the end of June just before going to bed, I took a turn round the garden. Looking up I noticed a mackerel sky. It rather took me by surprise for, I thought, I don’t remember seeing such a very mackerel sky for a very long time. This made me realize that the mackerel sky was being pointed out to me, or highlighted, as significant. In fact, it was a sign, a portent. It was, in fact, a weather forecast. (It could have been interpreted as something entirely different under different circumstances, but in this case I knew intuitively it was a weather forecast.) “Mackerel”, of course, are fish, and the element of fish is water i.e. the message was that rain was imminent. Next day it was bucketing down and the rain lasted right through until the following day.

Life has become so much easier since I learned how to do divination! So, like I said in an earlier post, why do weather forecasting or telephone troubleshooting the hard way when you can do it the easy way by divination?

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Stick pins in a book, make arbitrary interpretation, do nothing, phone line gets fixed anyway. What was the chances of that?

The only thing supporting this irrational ritual is your own confirmation bias.

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Stick pins in a book, make arbitrary interpretation, do nothing, phone line gets fixed anyway. What was the chances of that?

The only thing supporting this irrational ritual is your own confirmation bias.

Fortunately I didn't need to go to the trouble of sticking a pin in a book to predict your response.

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