Last night, I put on a white linen shift dress — one of the dresses I set aside for more formal and special ritual occasions — and did a short divination session using the Girls Underground Story Oracle. While praying to Apollon about a week ago, given that I hadn’t done divination in a bit, I nearly did divination then, but I had an idea to postpone until the 27th lunar day.
Doing formal divination is very rare for me, as I usually do what comes to mind when it fits my schedule — often on Saturday mornings when I have some more time to spend in ritual or the 7th lunar day because it is sacred to Apollon and auspicious — which means that I have legit in the past had “do divination on topic Sat MM/DD” as a scheduled to-do item in my bullet journal.
My thoughts about divination were nebulous, but they coalesced into two personal questions and one community-centric one. I like the Girls Underground oracle and have enjoyed it more the more often I have used it, especially since I tend to think procedurally and something that evokes narrative thinking rests in that general comfort zone.
The community-centric one is the one that I would like to share. As a disclaimer, this oracle is not legal or medical advice; it’s a question asked to a God by someone who rarely asks questions like this.
Let’s do this, then.
I asked, What course of action should the “Western” polytheistic revivalist communities take over the next three months to improve ourselves?
This question was important to me for three reasons:
- I’m concerned about the long-term viability of our movements, especially as someone who grew up in this space, because there isn’t another spiritual home for me apart from them.
- Asking what we can do and trying hard at it is more useful than ranting and not taking action.
- Getting in the habit of asking community-centric questions is good for developing a stable relationship between individual-focused religious stuff and community-focused religious stuff.
Of course, there was also the hidden anxiety about it, namely the part of me that kept asking myself, Who the fuck are you that you think you can ask this question? It sounds a bit self-righteous even if you don’t intend it that way. But we never move forward without assuming some level of risk, do we, especially when something is bothering oneself quite a lot?
Since it was a complex question, I was expecting that when I rolled a die to see how many cards I should draw, it would max out at 6 — and my first surprise is that the die returned 2. I would draw 2 cards. Wow. 😯
So, the answer to that question:
- She makes a rash decision or a foolish wish. (#3)
- She goes back to the beginning. (#24)
I also asked a clarifying question from the Greek Alphabet Oracle, which I often pair with the Girls Underground deck when a response leaves me baffled and moving in multiple directions, as if my brain has just opened a bag of winds that all move in competing, disruptive directions.
The clarifying oracle was Ι (iota): “There is sweat, but you will surpass everything.”
If you want my take on the above, read on. If not, have a fabulous day.
The reason I drew from the Greek Alphabet Oracle was the disquiet I felt about the first card drawn. All too often in our communities, there are accusations of rashness, and a lot of the ridicule people face is based on perceived rashness or foolishness; I was also concerned that the card was confirming my negative self-talk about even asking this question in the first place.
The Ι clarified that I should think about this in a self-development way, so instead of following that cascade of thoughts, I took a different route through this. What came to mind was the Fool from the Tarot — the idea of embarking out on a new journey and new way of life with such innocence and no discernment between hopes that are useful and ones that are not — and the transition point from that open-ended discovery process to having a real plan and procedure. I followed that thought to considering Tuckman’s stages of group development (forming, storming, norming, performing) and the perils of the forming stage, which is quite similar to that undiscerning innocence. Self-awareness is key to making the transition from such a state to analyzing and learning from it, and I think the first card points to that necessity. We could also think of this as transitioning from an “anything goes” attitude to a “let’s systematize” one. The Girls Underground oracle commentary adds that it may be time for a leap of faith, and it sometimes pays to be foolish and to take risks for things to happen.
The second card, then, is a refinement of the first, and it echoes something that I found when doing my annual draw for 2020 about going back to the beginning (in that sense, my childhood; it was a Pythagorean Tarot reading). It is impossible to move forward, again, without having self-reflection. There are a lot of things that happened early on in the “Western” (yes, paggro quotes) pagan and polytheist revivals and movements. People made assumptions about things, and we all deal with the legacy of imperialism, white supremacy, and colonialism; now is an excellent time to interrogate what we inherited “from the beginning” to see how we build a scaffolding that improves the situation. Who are the people who set the foundations of our movements in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries? What was good about them, what was problematic, and what does this mean for what we have inherited from them? How do we crown our religious ancestors/predecessors in a way that heals the damage they may have caused due to ignorance and bias, building goodness for the ones who come after us? How do we connect younger generations to the older generations of revivalists in healthy ways that account for generational differences in world outlook without devolving into us shouting at one another? If other types of things have gone awry, when did it happen? How do we trace things from the beginning to that change point, debug it, and move forward? The Girls Underground commentary gives weight to this interpretation because it also focuses on revisiting the past (or “home”) to gain perspective and grow, provided that we don’t get trapped in the weeds.
Understanding the root cause of something — for instance, what prevents us from thriving in the way we need — is the key to moving forward. It takes hard work, but in the end, the hard work will pay off. Also, while this divination focuses on the next quarter of the year, many deep(er) questions will take much more than that amount of time to reach closure.
I hope that this is useful, and if you think of a different interpretation, let me know in the comments.