Working with Oracles: Reaching Beyond the Veil Technique
While it is an interesting and valuable line of personal research and exploration, one need not know the nature of one's oracle in order to work with it; that is, one can (to a degree) separate theory and practice in oracle work. Regardless of the personal frame of reference that one uses to filter the overwhelming amount of information one receives from the senses, intuition, thoughts, and other sources, one can apply practical techniques to receive useful guidance from an oracle. So whether one considers one's oracle to be an aspect of the unconscious, a spirit, a deity, an angel, one's higher self, an exercise in creativity, all of these, or something else altogether, there are techniques that work well in any context.
One of these techniques I call “Reaching Beyond the Veil”. It works consistently no matter what theory or frame of reference I may be entertaining at the time. In addition, the sense of mystery involved in the name helps set the tone for accessing a genuine unknown. The only framework that is needed to use this technique is a recognition that there is a resource (whatever it may be) that can be accessed through one's inner world and imagination.
The basic idea is that I inquire of and reach for an inner resource and synchronize that with a physical action, a way of bridging the inner and outer worlds. I find this technique very simple but highly effective and use it regularly in reading tarot (and within the last year, the Quareia Magician's Deck for broad/deep perspective divination). Though I use it with tarot, I have a sense this technique could work with any form of reading oracles that involve a physical object/focus—cards, stones, leaves, etc.
The name "Reaching Beyond the Veil" follows the sensation and inner image I hold during the technique. As I physically reach to draw a card I present a question to my oracle. My inner sensation and image is that the oracle is behind something like curtains, or at other times a thin membrane. I don't necessarily see the oracle but I know it is there and vocalize the question with an inner voice (and sometimes with an outer voice simultaneously to act as another bridge). I reach through the curtains or membrane and feel the sensation of my hand and arm brushing the panels of curtains or sliding through the membrane to a space on the other side. The space I reach into feels distinctly different than the side where I feel myself to be. In that space a hand reaches to meet mine and hands me an object. This object is a bundle of information that may take a specific form or it may remain ambiguous. As I use this most often with tarot, the object in my hand tends to feel like a card. The object in hand, I pull my hand back from the curtains and simultaneously turn over the card (or set of cards) I was physically reaching for. The sensation I have is that the card in I'm turning over and the object/card I received from the oracle in an inner vision are the same, that the motion of drawing a card is the same as drawing my hand back from “beyond the veil”.
If you work with oracles of any kind, give this technique a go. Experiment and see if it is valuable for you, or if it serves as inspiration for another technique. If the latter, I'd love to hear what techniques you come up with.
[image credit: theflickerees]