If you are one seeking such answers and are considering consulting a shamanic practitioner for divinatory work, here are some suggestions that may help you reap the most benefit from your quest.
- Avoid “yes-or-no” questions. (“Will Xerxes ever love me?” “Will I win the lottery?”) If you ask such questions, the spirits may provide a “yes-or-no” answer and very little additional information.
- Ask open-ended questions. (“What can I do to have my best shot at that promotion?”) Open-ended questions tend to elicit more helpful information from the spirits.
- Avoid time-specific questions. (“When will the mother-ship arrive to take us home?”) Because the spirits exist outside of it, linear time, as people experience it, is meaningless to them. They are notoriously vague when it comes to specific dates. If they do mention a date, chances are good it will be inaccurate.
- Be prepared to think outside the envelope. Often the spirits make use of symbol, metaphor, multiple levels of meaning, puns, jokes, and other word play. For example, I once knew a person who asked the spirits where she should relocate. The spirits answered, “Crystal.” At first the seeker assumed this meant Crystal, Minnesota, a very fine, nearby town, but not one she was drawn to. However, as things fell out, she eventually moved to a place in the country where she could work outdoors with quartz crystals in a way she had learned from the spirits. The spirits directed her to the quality of the place she should (and eventually would) move to, not the place’s actual name.
- Ask one question at a time. This is a practical and human consideration. Multiple questions make it difficult for the practitioner to remember them all and to concentrate on a particular one. Also it may be unclear what response the spirits are giving to which question.
A skilled shamanic practitioner can help you formulate your question along the above guidelines. Also, a practitioner may be able to help you find nuances of interpretation that do not immediately suggest themselves when the spirits’ response is taken at face value.