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Seeds

In Greek mythology, Psyche must sort seeds to win back the love of Eros, Aphrodite’s son. Aphrodite sets this almost impossible task as a means of keeping Psyche and Eros apart. But Psyche succeeds, because an army of ants comes to her rescue, dividing the seeds that Aphrodite had mixed together: wheat, poppy, and millet, among other grains. In the process of separating the seeds, Psyche sifts through her own reality and learns what she needs to save and what she needs to let go.

As a symbol in the Pscyhe and Eros myth, seeds have a metaphorical significance that resonates in the divination methods I’ve created as well. Seeds represent life in its embryonic form — the potential for a new crop — while at the same time embodying the fruit of the harvest. It is said that this is why the priests of ancient Greece unveiled an ear of corn at the climax of the Eleusinian Mysteries, a sight reported to cause enlightenment in initiates.

Sorting Seeds
Sort through kernels of grain to gain access to your own inner wisdom.

Anywhere private • Anytime • Sitting • Sensation, Sight & Movement

Tools and Ingredients
• 1½-2 cups of mixed seeds (7-10 different seed types, depending on the size of the seeds)
• A flat countertop or table

Just as Psyche sorted seeds to harvest the insight she needed to gain back her lover, so we can sort kernels of various grains to access our own intuition. From my experience, the process of pushing seeds into orderly piles induces a light trance state during which inner wisdom more easily rises to the surface of the mind.

Steps

  1. Formulate your question.
  2. Clear a space for the divination. I clear a fairly large space on a kitchen counter or dining room table.
  3. Locate the seeds you will use. Make sure you have 7-10 distinct varieties: grains, legumes, dried beans, lentils, rice kernels, split peas, grass seeds, even birdseed. One warning: If you intend to give your seeds to the birds when you’re done, avoid rice, since it expands in a bird’s stomach, often with fatal consequences.
  4. Pour and mix the seeds on the table or counter.
  5. Ground and center.
  6. Remind yourself of your question.
  7. Sort the seeds mindfully into their different types for 10-15 minutes. This will not be enough time to complete the sorting.
  8. After a few minutes of focused attention, notice your mind wandering into a light trance. Let yourself become mesmerized by the repetitive motions of your hands and eyes.
  9. Move deeper and deeper into the kind of receptive trance state that allows your inner guidance to arise.
  10. After 10-15 minutes, interpret the oracle, perhaps with the help of Free Association.

My Experience
In my experience, once you have attained an altered state of mind, the process itself becomes paramount, not the goal of separating the seeds. When the process engages you fully, your trance state deepens and frees your mind to function more creatively — usually on an unconscious level — in looking at your query. This kind of divination offers an especially useful practice for people whose oracular preferences tend to be sensory and movement-based as well as those who enjoy open-ended divinations.

Growing Seeds
Plant a seed that represents your question, and nurture it until it sprouts.

Anywhere • Anytime • Sitting or Standing • Movement & Sensation

Tools and Ingredients
• A small flowerpot or paper cup
• Potting soil
• Seed(s)

Gardening is a highly magical activity. Water, sunlight, and nutrients from the soil transform tiny seeds into food or flowers — the proverbial bread and roses that we all need for a good life. Gardening also offers a truly grounding pastime, since it connects us directly with the earth.

As an oracular method, sowing seeds allows us to literally plant a question. I thought I had created this divination myself. But in my research I discovered that the ancients recognized the resonance between planting and questioning. They created an oracular technique called cromniomancy that used onion sprouts.

Steps

  1. Formulate your question.
  2. Choose your seed variety.
  3. Collect your tools and ingredients.
  4. Ground and center.
  5. Fill your small flowerpot or paper cup with potting soil.
  6. Plant your seed(s) mindfully. Open yourself as you do so to any feelings, thoughts, or sounds that you notice, especially while your hands are in the dirt.
  7. Once you’ve finished planting your seed(s), meditate for 10 minutes with the flowerpot or paper cup in your lap.
  8. Interpret your oracle, perhaps with the help of Free Association.
  9. If you receive no immediate answer, tend your seed’s growth until it sprouts. Be mindful each time you water the soil and notice if any insight comes to you.

My Experience
When planning a Growing Seeds divination, I often consider what kind of flower, herb, or vegetable would best represent my oracular issue. This choice frames my question in a specific way, helping me understand what my question actually involves. Watering the soil and tending the seed’s growth every day allows me to connect repeatedly with the source of my intuition, until my seed finally sprouts along with my oracular answer. If the seed doesn’t come up, I begin the process all over again with a different type of seed, and as a result, with a different approach concerning my question.

Sprouting and Eating Seeds
Germinate a seed that represents your question, and take the answer into your body.

Anywhere • Anytime • Sitting or Standing • Movement & Sensation

Tools and Ingredients
• A jar with a perforated lid.
• Seeds that produce edible sprouts.

When you intend to digest your oracle literally, a convenient and fairly fast way is to germinate seeds that produce edible sprouts — such as commercially available alfalfa seeds and mung beans.

Steps

  1. Formulate your question.
  2. Choose the seed variety for your preferred edible sprout.
  3. Collect your tools and ingredients.
  4. Ground and center.
  5. Put the seeds in the jar.
  6. Pour water over the seeds. Open yourself as you do so to any feelings, thoughts, or sounds that you notice.
  7. Meditate for 10 minutes with the jar in your lap.
  8. Rinse the seeds once a day, pouring water into the open jar and back out through the lid.
  9. Be mindful each time you rinse the seeds and notice if any insight comes to you.
  10. When the sprouts are ready, eat some of them slowly, opening to further insight, and literally taking the answer into your body.
  11. Interpret your oracle, perhaps with the help of Free Association.

My Experience
Checking the seeds every day allows me to connect repeatedly with the source of my intuition, until my seeds finally sprout along with my oracular answer. If the seeds don’t germinate, I begin the process all over again with a different type of seed, and as a result, with a different approach concerning my question.

Eating your oracle can become the first step toward the change you want to create in your life or alternately, a commitment to yourself to take action concerning your issue. Eating your sprouted seeds, like any other ritual with food, results in a form of communion. It will affect you, even change you. So be aware of the subtle clues to your transformation in the days following your divination.

Graphics Credits

  • Seed Card, © 2009, Linnea Vedder Shults. All rights reserved.
Copyright / Terms of Use: Contributors retain the copyright to their work; please do not take art or words without the author's or artist's permission. Other graphics and reference materials are used and attributed as per the Fair Use Provision of The Copyright Act and individual terms of use.


MatriFocus Cross-Quarterly
is a seasonal web journal (zine) for Goddess Women and others interested in Goddess Lore and Scholarship, Goddess Religion (ancient and contemporary), Feminist Spirituality, Women's Mysteries, Paganism and Neopaganism, Earth-based Religions, Witchcraft, Dianic Wicca and other Wiccan Traditions, the Priestess Path, Goddess Art, Women's Culture, Women's Health, Natural Healing, Mythology, Female Shamanism, Consciousness, Community, Cosmology, and Women's Creativity.

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