Divination is a part of many Pagan practices. Far from being simple fortune telling, divination is also used to uncover hidden information about the past and present, determine the outcome of rituals, and converse with spirits or deities.
Performing divination correctly requires practice in order to achieve the right mental state. Some people use herbs to help facilitate this process and sharpen their abilities.
Some of the best herbs for divination and psychic ability are:
Acacia Senegal is a thorny tree from parts of Africa, India, Oman, and Pakistan. It’s the source of an ingredient called “gum arabic” used in food, cosmetics, and magical inks.
To enhance psychic abilities, combine with sandalwood powder and burn on charcoal as incense.
2. Bay laurel
Laurus nobilis is known for containing mildly relaxant properties. According to some sources, the smoke is also capable of producing a trance state.
For divination, you can make an infusion of bay in water and drink to enhance clairvoyance. You can also add them to a dream pillow to encourage prophetic dreams, or burn them while scrying or using other divination tools to induce a visionary state.
See article: Bay Leaf: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Borago officinalis is a very helpful divination herb since it enhances psychic abilities while simultaneously guarding against confusion and deceit.
If you use divination tools, keep a vase of fresh borage flowers nearby — for best results, place them right on the table where you divine. To induce or enhance psychic abilities, drink an infusion of borage.
Agathosma betulina (not to be confused with Allium tuberosum, known as buchu in Korean cooking) is a wonderful herb from South Africa. It’s valued for its medicinal properties, but also acts as a complement to divination.
When burned as incense before sleeping, it helps bring on prophetic dreams. When drunk as an infusion, it enhances clairvoyant abilities.
Cinnamomum camphora is a relative of cinnamon, which produces a highly aromatic waxy material that’s used in fragrances, medicine, in religious ceremonies, and as an embalming material.
It has a very characteristic “cool” smell — once you’ve experienced it, you won’t soon forget it! When used as an incense, it helps enhance divinatory abilities.
It’s also used in water scrying by filling a black bowl with water, then sprinkling a few bits of grated camphor over the surface.
Taraxacum officinale is usually treated as a weed, but has a long history as a divinatory plant. Children blow on the seed heads to make wishes and see if they’ll come true, but it’s also historically been used to determine longevity, and even to tell time.
People would blow on a dandelion three times — the number of seeds remaining indicated what time it was. (This likely has a grain of truth to it. In areas where dandelions are native, mornings would be damp and dewy and keep the seeds from flying off easily. At noon, when the sun was at its highest, they’d be drier and blow away.)
You can also drink dandelion as a tea or roast the root and treat it like coffee in order to increase psychic powers.
Lavandula angustifolia is a very useful, almost all-purpose herb. One of its best properties is its ability to induce relaxation.
It’s often used as a dream herb, where it helps protect against nightmares and enhance prophetic dreams. The dried flowers or stalks can also be burned as an incense to help trigger relaxed trance states during divination.
See article: Lavender: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Cymbopogon citratus is a plant with a distinctive lemony flavor and fragrance. It’s often used in tea or as a culinary herb, and is prized for its medicinal properties.
For divination, it can be used to cleanse tools, burned as incense to relax and open the mind, and drunk as an infusion to enhance psychic abilities.
See article: Lemongrass: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Artemisia vulgaris has a well-earned reputation as a divination herb. When brewed into a tea, it helps enhance psychic powers and cleanse divination tools (especially mirrors, bowls, and crystal balls).
When burned as incense, it relaxes, opens the mind, and enhances trance states. Some people even keep dried mugwort in sachets with their divination tools as a matter of course. As a note of caution, do not drink mugwort if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
See article: Mugwort: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Sorbus acuparia is a tree found in the Northern hemisphere and known for its red berries. Historically, it was used to protect against sorcery and faeries.
It was also used to divine the weather — a heavy crop of berries meant a mild winter. If rowan trees became pale, then winter would bring illness.
Some carry charms of rowan wood to increase their psychic abilities, and the leaves and flowers make good additions to divination incense. You can also place the berries around the base of a candle during flame scrying.
Achillea millefolium is known for its umbrella-shaped clusters of small white flowers. In China, yarrow stalks were dried and used for I Ching divination.
One old method of love divination involves picking some yarrow on a full moon, and placing it under your pillow in order to dream of your true love.
It was also used to tickle the inside of the nose while reciting a charm — if it caused the nose to bleed, it meant that the user’s love was reciprocated. Drinking it as a tea is said to enhance focus and improve divination.
See article: Yarrow: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
People have turned to herbal allies for help with divination for thousands of years. These plants have a variety of properties that help calm and open the mind, make one receptive to visions, facilitate trances, and avoid confusing or deceiving images.
Start small, by using them in dream pillows or sachets, and discover how these plants can enhance your divinatory practice.