Setian Divination

Don Webb V°
March 4, 1998
Quoted from the Xepera-L mailing list

The Tarot are not my divinatory system of choice, but I think my remarks might show how a Setian would make a somewhat different use of divinatory systems. You are all free to try the following ...

The use of a Divinatory system requires four things to be of use to the Awakened Black Magician. Firstly it must reflect a Sovereign viewpoint, that is to say these are Symbols that apply to the questions of kingship, not when the crops need to be harvested. Secondly the system must be usable within a rational and ordered life. Thirdly the questioner must be of great emotional maturity. Fourthly, the system must have uses in sorcery.

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Let us consider the idea of war. Now if you asked a general to write down the categories of war, he might write battles, logistics, strategy, civil affairs, morale, and so forth. If you asked a physician, her list might be shell shock, limb loss, field surgery, and the like. The lowly private might have boredom, mud, death of friends, and fear. Now each of these is a complete map of war that serves the person doing the mapping. It reflects their needs, their observations and their wisdom. The Setian looks for a system designed by rulers, for rulers -- whether it would be Crowley's Tarot deck, the Runes, the Ogham and so forth ...

If you choose to read the Divinatory system to aid/manipulate your friends, you impose upon them three things. Firstly a viewpoint of a class to which you are becoming a member. Secondly awe and respect for that class. Thirdly wisdom beyond (but tempered by) your own. This moves them toward change and you toward status.

If you use the Divinatory system to help yourself out of a jam, by checking for which areas to aim your Will at, you are imposing three things upon yourself and your surroundings. Firstly you are imposing rules for an idealized world that you would rather work in. Secondly you are allowing your dilemma to move you toward the Judgment/Control aspect of your being. Thirdly you are alleviating the stress of chaos by a meaningful method, rather than say a bottle of Old Grandpa. This Divination attunes you to the Divinatory system and the world to you.

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If you use the fullness of ideas expressed in the Divinatory system as a map showing where your true core self stands, you are imposing three things on yourself. Firstly you are separating your self from the universe by the simple act of reminding yourself that you are the center of it. Secondly you are making yourself aware of blind spots in your Initiation. If you can't see how a certain world is important as another, it reflects a lack of balance, that needs to be corrected by Willed action, or will be corrected by the universe in her usual sweet and loving way. Thirdly it reminds you of the Deeper work that needs to be done -- making your own map of the Cosmos, so that you can affect it with utter precision now, and after your death. This later exercise in Objective Consciousness is very hard.

I hope that as Setians Play with the Divinatory systems, you draw your Attention to these nine ways of its Working often, so that you begin to unlock more than the average occultist who would like to add the Divinatory system to a collection of other neat, but ultimately useless toys.

Now I would give the following exercise to someone who wanted to learn the Setian use of the Tarot.

First ask yourself these questions:

  1. How does my current situation reflect possibilities for my development?
  2. How have my weaknesses contributed to my being where I am? How can I use getting out of where I am to get where I need to be?
  3. What will the real impact of my current situation be in six days, six months, and six years?
  4. How many factors are governing the current situation?

Second write down the answers in your magical diary.

Third do an Invocation:

Oh Self that I seek to Become, open your mysteries to me. Rejoice in steps to overcome that which hinders me, bless my serenity in accepting that which I must suffer to change me, and energize my magical curiosity that I may know the difference. Let my view extend beyond time and space! Hail, my Self-to-Be!

Fourth put the cards and read them according to the methods you have seen used. A good historical understanding of the system is very important as well as common reading skill.

Fifth write down the reading and your interpretation of it. Be brutal with yourself.

Sixth look for other patterns, things like who the cards remind you of, noises in your room, other synchronicities. Note them as well.

Seventh, now pick up the cards you don't like, put down cards in their place for the reading you would like to see. Think about how you would need to change the things in your life to move toward this pattern. Keep the cards out where you can study the pattern every day for four or five days, during this time you can make a few more changes. At the end of that time say another invocation, "From the Future you come!" Leave the cards out in the Dark that night. Then begin working to make your Willed prediction come true.

Eighth, write down your successes and failures.

Ninth, every six or seven months review your progress. Are you becoming more accurate with your predictions? (If not, try a different system.) Are you becoming better at bringing about what you want? (If not, examine your life very carefully.)

This procedure reflects a Setianized use of an existing occult technology. It is, of course, much harder than the occult world would teach you, it is also more useful.


Don Webb
High Priest

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