Book Review: The Divination Handbook by Liz Dean – 4.5/5

A no muss, no fuss divination book. It covers the most common forms of divination (tarot, scrying crystal balls, tea leaf reading, and so on) and does it in a easy to understand and thorough way. I knocked it down from a 5 to a 4.5 because I question the inclusion of a chakra pendulum chart. Like, I can see it’s usage, but it’s literally the only inclusion of this sort of thing in the book.

This book is small but mighty.

Filled with images, it’s something akin to a quick starter guide you get when you buy some sort of new electronic. If you already know what you’re doing, then this info won’t be a revelation. If you’re new, it’ll give you all the information to get started and clue you in to what you might want to research next.

Each section covers a new form of divination with all the info you need to get started and includes basic spreads or charts for each divination form.

The book covers crystal tossing (as in tossing crystals on a mat and determing meaning depending on the stone, the nearby stones, and position on a mat). This book includes basic divination meanings for commonly used stones, which is very helpful if you’re just getting started. It doesn’t cover crystal grids, which I kind of expected it too, since it mentioned them in the opening pages, but I’m ok with that info not being present.

Pendulum’s are also covered. I’ve don’t remember seeing a pendulum chart using chakra before and I’m very meh about it. Like, I could see the usage for it, especially if you’re very into Western chakra work or maybe helpful even in Eastern chakra work, but… eh. I have feels about it that are a tangent for another time. Anyway, color coding or simply having the meanings written on the chart wouldn’t have changed much, but maybe I’m just being too picky.

Runes, specifically the Elder Futhark, are also covered. I have personal spiritual history with runes that kept me from using them for the last 20 or so years, so my knowledge is from the first five or so years where that connection wasn’t present. (Maybe one day I’ll tell that story, but not today.)

Anyway, the book covers the three aetts (sets) and then goes into the runes individual meanings (including inverted). I am not a fan of inversion with any kind of divination, traditional or not, unless under specific circumstances and conditions, but to each their own. The book does have a note about inversion and not using them if you choose, which is always nice to see.

The instructions for tea leaf reading are simple (a little elaborate compared to how I do it, but you do you). Honestly, reading tea leaves (or coffee grounds) doesn’t need to be complicated. The little dictionary of symbols is more elaborate than other divination books like this.

I know some things about a palmistry, but not enough to put together a reading, so I paid attention to this chapter. This gives you enough information to get started. It even discusses the difference between chirognomy (the shape of the hand) versus chiromancy (the lines on the palm). It’s a good beginner’s primer. It’s one of the larger chapters in the book.

Chapter six is about tarot cards. Like the rest of the book, it’s a great guide for those who want to try their hand at it. It includes a few basic spreads then the usual card descriptions with both the upright and the reversed. The card descriptions also include images of the card, which is handy for beginners, The cleansing methods for the deck are unusual ones that I’m actually a fan of. It’s another longer chapter, about thirty pages.

Numerology is not my thing – I’ve a learning disorder involving math. I’m aware of sacred numbers and how to calculate various personal numbers and so on. But since math isn’t my thing, it’s been decades since I really dug deep into numerology.

This numerology chapter is actually pretty good (from what I can tell) including auspicious numbers, compatibility, and a breakdown for each basic number and talks a bit about the master numbers.

Scrying with crystals was the first type of divination I taught myself. It’s my jam. This final chapter talks about recording and planning your scrying sessions. How to connect to the scrying crystal and how to choose a crystal. This chapter refers to a crystal ball, but I’ve used raw pieces of crystals and it works just fine. It’s unusual to run into crystals like amethyst in basic scrying divination instructions, but I’m totally cool with this. Of course it goes into how to scry and variations thereof. It also talks about the symbols and colors that might appear during a scrying session, which is always nice.

And that’s the end of the book. It’s a good little book for someone who wants to get into divination, but they’re not sure what kind and they want just one pretty book on the subject on their self.

Would I recommend it? Yes. It’s not going to be show anything new to people who’ve been divining for a long time, but beginners will enjoy the book. Would I buy it for my own library? Yes. I like having various divination books to compare and contrast. Plus, it’s a good little book.