This is a question that every single profile on every single psychic or otherwise “get a reading” site asks. And each and every time, I’ve got a small handful that I’m like “You know, maybe people don’t wanna know that.”
But you do. Oh, you really do.
I try not to brag because frankly, I think bragging is gross. But lately, a lot of people are asking me about these things and there are actually a few that I would never list, nor would I claim I’m some kind of expert in: because there’s no way to know that, beyond well, the shit I saw happening. The best example of this kind of came up this morning: haruspication.
This one’s a rough one to even go into, because it involves a facet of spirituality most people shudder to think about and don’t want to imagine. The thing is, if you already eat meat, wear leather, or whatever: just sit down, man. If you happen to be a vegan or vegetarian…okay, I grudgingly accept you are totally within rights to bop me on the head and look down your nose. 😉
Haruspication is something I never could find a whole lot of real information about. But, there was a time when I was…we’ll say working very closely with someone. An apprenticeship of sorts, which, for the most part involved a lot of manual labor. Back when I actually knew people in person who really cared about following older traditions for the right reasons. Believe me, it’s rarer than you think.
This is one of my weird, “I don’t even know” stories- remember, I told you, MUS. (Made up shit. We’ve all got some. I guess the more polite would be “theories”, but I’ve always really appreciated MUS, because a lot of people take their theories and spew them like fact- and I can’t get behind that.)
Bearing in mind that, well, most of us really don’t know a lot about the divination practices of those who came before us. What I do know, is that most of these practices I’ve studied have absolutely doodly squat to do with heathenry. Tarot, astrology- even the runes, the way you see them, nope. Nope. Nope.
I’ve read a truly brilliant thing about lotcasting, which I’m not at liberty to discuss. But, I think that’s the only thing I’ve ever read about divination in this way that felt right and didn’t come across as a disingenuous load of shit, when it comes to heathen voices talking about this. I kind of hope the way I explore divinatory methods follows that approach and makes plain: this isn’t my belief system. Whatever the hell that is, anyway.
However, what the man I was working under was doing, very much was: a blot. He had raised a sheep, and well, he killed it, and was going to give it to Gods and kin. That’s the way of it.
I have absolutely no idea how I ended up with a sheep’s liver in my hands, but there you had it.
Haruspication is where you study the guts of certain animals as a form of divination. The bigger more encompassing term is extispicy. Heh. Exta-spicy. Just kidding. Anyway, the nuts and bolts is: an animal is sacrificed and, across a few cultures- people would take different organs and try to take a peek into the future by way of looking at what they saw there. The thing is, if there’s a primer out there for it, I sure as hell have never seen it. I mean, I know academically what you do, I know what I did, but I couldn’t tell you if there’s something out there like you see with the tarot or whatever else- I never saw a book that said, “You see that squiggly ass vein right there? That means babies. That blood blob? That means riches.”
Pardon me…but I kind of went with my gut.
A more PC form of this is using an egg. Which, I also happen to have messed around with. Like I said, I collect these methods, I study them, and I’m pretty greedy about learning. That’s why I’ll never tell you I’m some kind of authority. Marketing department may, but I will not. Because, I’m not sure anyone can be.
Anyway, it didn’t used to be this way- used to be, people who did this were held in pretty high esteem (Soooort of…mixed bag.)- it’s well known that a haruspex called Spurrina warned Cesar of his pending death. Yes, you did know that, because you spew “BEWARE THE IDES OF MAAARCH” each year, right? No? Okay, maybe that’s just my nerdy friends, but that’s where this comes from. Somebody looked at some guts and said, “Hey, you maybe don’t wanna do this.” And well, if the times were as they are now, I guess maybe Cesar went to another reader who told him it’d be okay, and so he did. I’m kidding! Anyway, Cesar’s wife said, “No, no listen! Listen, don’t go!” Cesar went anyway, and not only did he go- he mocked the whole thing, smirking as he did,
“The Ides of March have come!” snicker snicker, you loser, you were wrong! To which the seer responded with, “Yeah, but they haven’t gone.”
And then he got stabbed and a whole shitstorm ensued after. The end. (Well, not really. But I go off on a side tear about Shakespeare and history and whatever else, we’ll be here a while.)
It really wasn’t just the Romans, though- there is evidence that this goes back at least to the Hittites and Babylonians, and the reason the liver is used is because in ancient times- people thought that was where all the blood came from and therefor, where the lifespring welled up. Each part of the liver is to represent a certain god or goddess. We now know that the Etruscans used this quite a bit, and they were really probably the ones who felt like using more of the guts was the thing to do.
So, back to more modern times. I’m…about 16, maybe 17. I’m holding a liver, and there’re a few details I won’t go into, because it’s actually none of your business. I don’t really even know why this was happening, because based on everything I read- which is admittedly not much, because I wouldn’t even know where to start: this is not a normal thing. I feel weird, but, we could probably chalk it up to the fact that I’m in the woods, holding the liver of a sheep I’d JUST seen strung up and killed. I’m poking it with a big stick. I’m…really straining my brain to figure if I see anything.
Okay, okay, I remember thinking, No, no forcing. Just let shit flow through you dude.
Breathe, breathe, clear your head.
I got all serious. Kind of this zen-zone place. Ready to rock. Poke, poke. Poke. Dig into the little bag I had for the little spikey golf-ball holder looking things. Grabbed one out, went to stab it into the part I felt strongest about annnnnd……
Something in there kinda exploded and blood shot out all over my face. I turned, ran, and puked explosively in the woods nearby, while hearing the guy who’d done all this laugh his ass off.
So, what do I know about the practice of examining animal entrails to divine the future?
But not nearly as gross as another one I’ve studied. You just wait til I tell you all about spatilomancy. Stay tuned, it’s the shit!