In a single day, you may come across dozens of foods that belong to a worldwide cornucopia of divination tools, foods whose familiarity belies their mystical properties.
Onions – The humble onion is rich in both vitamins and symbolism: we peel away the translucent layers of the onion, just as we peel away the discarded layers of our lives. The old European tradition of cromniomancy uses onions for spiritual guidance. Cromniomancy is easy to try at home; next time you’re faced with a vexing dilemma, such a choice between two romantic interests, carve their initials on two separate onions. Whichever sprouts first is the one for you.
Tea leaves and coffee grounds – Try searching the residue left after a drink of coffee or tea for symbols, letters, or faces. Do you see any familiar patterns? Generally, the closer an image is to the rim of the cup, the sooner the event will happen. You might make out things that don’t immediately make sense, or that seem only like half the answer. Tea leaf reading can be open ended, making it an ideal practice for experienced readers, and challenging for the novice.
Coconuts – In the West African system of Obi divination, coconuts are a tool of divination. Yes or no questions can be instantly answered by flipping a few chunks of coconut shell. Based on the way the shell fragments land, up or down, you’ll find out what the spirits think of your situation. In places where coconuts are hard to come by, Obi practitioners substitute cowrie shells.
Burning herbs – Burn a fresh bundle of sage, lavender, or thyme, if you needed a little spiritual wisdom. Not only do these herbs smell fabulous when burned, but their smoke rises in curling tendrils, that are perfect for gazing and divining. Each herb has its own spiritual significance; lavender is an herb of restful sleep, and sage is the best for aura cleansing.
Fruit – For the skilled psychic reader, ripe fruit is the fertile womb of a plant; life giving, sweet and feminine. According to folk practice, fruits with peels and rinds, like apples and oranges, can be used for divination by swirling a peeler around the surface to make one long ribbon. Toss this peel over your shoulder, and read the shape it falls into. Also, each fruit possesses its own properties, spiritually speaking.
The Pros and Cons of Food Divination
If fruits and vegetables can be used for divination, why don’t they get as much attention as, say, the Tarot?
While foods are generally easy to come by in your local supermarket, they’re considerably less straightforward as a divination tool. Divination by coconut or onion is the clearest, because it gives yes or no answers. But when you’re faced with complex situations, a divination tool such as the Tarot will give more nuanced and complex answers.