For Centuries, People Have Used Sticks As A Means for Psychic Divination
For thousands of years, people around the world have used sticks to perform divination. There are stories in the Old Testament about casting lots with sticks as well as some from Iceland since the time of Erik the Red. The Chinese also have an ancient tradition of divination with sticks. Sometimes, runes — ancient symbols — may be carved or painted upon the sticks. Some people believe that this can actually increase their potency. Another form of stick-based divination uses divination rods which are still well-known today.
Divining rods — sometimes known as a dowsing rods — uses sticks that are usually forked. Commonly, they are used to detect underground water sources though they can have other uses as well. In a typical scenario, a forked branch is cut by the person intending to use it. Hazel trees tend to be favored. Sustained and frequent contact between the person and the stick is believed to be required to get the device to work correctly. Psychic energies have to be aligned so that the stick can sense the water it is used to seek.
The Chien Tung or Chinese Oracle is another method of diving with sticks. Small bamboo sticks are collected and will have numbers carved on them. They are put into a container which the user will shake until one stick pops free of the others. This single stick is used by a reader to interpret an answer to a question. Versions of Chien Tung may contain 60 or 78 sticks. Many sets of these sticks are very beautiful with artistic enhancement. A chart or booklet containing many prophetic fortunes typically accompanies the set. When a reader becomes experienced, they can align themselves with the powers of the Chien Tung and become proficient interpreters of the sticks.
When runes are carved onto sticks, there is also a chart explaining meanings that correspond to each rune. Great care is advised in working with runes as they are believed to carry psychic energies. Therefore, quiet surroundings are recommended so that a casting commands the full attention of the reader and querent without outside interference.