October is a time of great spiritual intensity in the Pagan world. We Hedgewitches believe it is a time when the veil between this world and The Other thins, and we can more freely communicate with our ancestors who have crossed over. Though there are many methods of divination practiced by our kind, my favourite is an old folklorish method using bay leaves, a candle and a pen (or toothpick, or anything you can write with).
The method is simple. You write a question or a request on the bay leaf, burn it then spread the ashes to the autumn wind. Some like to charge the candle and the bay leaves, which is a great way to focus your energy into the objects and the task at hand. When you burn the leaves, focus on contacting someone across the veil who might be best able to address your question or request, perhaps someone you knew in life who was good at giving advice, or someone from your past who you feel has been a close kindred spirit. When you set your ashes to wind, offer a small blessing of thanks, with words or with spices or corn.
Some say if your bay leaf burns quick and bright, the answer to your question or wish is a positive one, if it sputters or is difficult to burn: negative. Others say you should wait and look for signs that answer your questions or will lead you to success in your wishes and requests. Personally, I prefer the later because that means you are actively thinking about what issues are on your mind and in your life and allowing your mind to seek answers.
I find this is a really great way to focus on certain goals, or issues that I’ve been considering over the past year, and try to gain some insight and answers as to what directions to go in next. It’s a good tradition for starting off a new year, fresh and redirected.