We find on this path of seiðr, that its main draw and tenet is the use of prophecy and divination (Spa).
There are a few ways which a Volva might use to “ken” information as to the workings of the world, both seen and unseen.
Most known is the seiðr seance, which is called “the rite of high seat”, and that form of Spa entails a Volva going into to a trance state to journey to the unseen worlds of Norse cosmology for Oracle purposes.
There is also the form of spa that uses tactical tools to perform divination; which is known as reading signs, augury, or Omen taking.
Many people who do seiðr will use The Furtharks, at times erroneously referred to as “Runes” for divination, however, I feel Bones, scrying, and nature augury are just as important (and MANY times MUCH more clear), for the use of divination as compared to the Old Norse alphabet.
I personally use Bones as well as nature augury the most as my divination tools; and although both methods takes a while to master, the information I glean from them is a very accurate and thorough in its divinatory picture. Much more so for me than the even the tarot or other man-generated imagery based divination tools; as it removes the analytical “right brain” need for translations of the associated human created symbols..
Methodology for Spa using Bones and Augury.
To read the Bones: There are two types of bone reading; one is called “freestyle;” meaning it is a collection of bones and other items thrown upon a mat with a circle divided up into directions or time correspondences.
The other is using a set of knuckle bones from a sheep, and reading them like dice. I use the “freestyle” method, and below is a wonderful web site that explains, precisely HOW this form of bone reading is done:
To understand bone reading through the use of knuckle bones (which was a form of gaming and divination used by Mongolian and Sami shamans) called Shagai, see:
To perform Augury, it is essential to spend much quality time outdoors, and within nature. Augury is often a misused word, possibly because true augury has been largely lost in detailed description as it was done in ancient history.
Augury is an ancient word, and over time has come to be used as a word for divination, often associated with the flight and behavioral patterns of birds.
It is that, but it is also more. By the study and patterns of ANY living creature in a wilderness setting, we can begin to get a understanding and the kennings of how certain events, collective situations, and dimensional time analysis effect our human lives, as we are all connected via the web of life.
Just as we learn in the world of science; an ecosystem relies on many organisms acting as a cohesive unit, therefore, what effects one organism, effects another.
When I do Nature Augury, I am not just looking for metaphysical answers to my query of what I should be aware of. I also look to the beings I am “divining” for solid proof, physical Midgard proof, that environmental, ecological and atmospheric events I feel are beginning to transpire are truly, transpiring.
I feel the best way to do that is by observing Nature and its inhabitants. (not just birds; although they are the most common animal form to use while practicing augury)
Then by taking what we collectively know of their habits and behaviors, we can begin to form a picture of what is transpiring energetically in the world around us.
By immersion in Jord’s ways as She is (via being one with the natural world) we come to the deepest understandings of “seeing” as Norse Shamans, Volva’s and Vitki’s.
There are many websites that discuss at length the purpose of augury and how to do it. I suggest if you are called to this form of spa, look into ALL living creatures habits and patterns; not just Birds!