Oracles & Omens

I know I said this month’s column would be about the runes, but as I began to do my research it seemed as though something just kept getting in my way.  I was lying in bed one night trying to figure out why I was having so much trouble putting my words together on this topic when it hit me…BAM….February is the time of one of the oldest and most well known divination rituals that is commonly accepted today.  Groundhog Day!

I suppose this should have been an easy choice for this month’s topic, the Goddess works in mysterious ways.  I actually live about 30 minutes from the quiet little town of Punxsutawney, home of the infamous Gobbler’s Knob and Punxy Phil.  I have never been to the actual event, but I’ve heard the tales of horror of bus rides in and out of the town and thousands of onlookers peering at the little rodent awaiting his predictions for the coming season.
If you search for the history of Groundhog Day on the web you will find countless links between this celebration and the tradition of Imbolc or Candlemas.  The prediction of the groundhog is based on the poem we all know:

If Candlemas be fair and bright, Come, winter, have another flight, If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, Go, winter, and come not again.

Hence, if the little guy sees his shadow we can expect six more weeks of winter, if not, spring is right around the corner.

This is a great example of weather divination, the foretelling of weather conditions by signs, omens or weather patterns.  Have you ever stood outside right before a thunder storm and looked up at the rushing clouds hurrying across the sky?  What type of feeling does this give you?  Do you see it as a message, do you ever think that you were meant to be right where you are at that precise moment to see those exact clouds?  Could what you are seeing and feeling be intuition or messages from the higher powers?

There is nothing quite as calming as lying down in a grassy patch and looking up at a clear blue sky and using your imagination to look for messages from the heavens.   This method of divination dates back to the Druids who not only viewed the clouds as omens from the Gods, but also considered the wind to be the breath of the Divine.  What a time that must have been.  A time before all mass produced tools were used, when people searching for answers would look to the natural occurences around them.  Perhaps that is what we need to come back to, being able to pay attention to what is really happening and letting our intuition guide us by observing what’s around, intuition.  The tarot cards don’t literally “speak” to us, they bring messages to our mind that we use our intuition to interpret.  So, whether we base our predictions on the thoughts of the old by listening to a rhyme about a shadow bringing the end of winter, or using a new spell board tool we need to remember to listen to that inner voice to fully understand the messages we are being given.