When starting work with a new divination tool, it’s a good idea to take the time to prepare it for use. Even if you’re not a polytheist, you’ll want to cleanse and protect your divination tool from negative influences or energies –and if you are a polytheist, it simply means you believe those negative influences are malevolent or disruptive spirits (“Outsiders” we call them in Druidism). These steps can be used to prepare magical or spiritual tools as well…
The first step in this process is to physically cleanse the tool. For an item that’s water-proof (like a pendulum or a set of divination stones or sticks), you can simply hold the item under running water. For other things (like tarot cards, or anything paper-based), you can bury the item in salt, or pass through juniper smoke or sage smoke. If you use crystals, you can place your tool under a quartz or citrine crystal for a period of time that feels right. Another option is to bathe the item in sunlight. Whatever process you decide on, you may want to repeat it every now and then; when you feel that your readings have been off, of if you’ve moved to a new residence, or if the item was lost or handled a lot by someone else, or not used in a long time.
The next step would be to hallow the item, that is, to imbue it with a special blessing that protects it. The way I do this, is to pass it over a fire and ask Thunor to hallow it, in much the same way as I would use the Anglo-Saxon Hallowing Charm to ward my home. For example, I would pass a pendulum tool over a candle flame three times while chanting: “Thunor hallow, Thunor hallow, Thunor hallow this pendulum.”
To bless a divination tool, have a short ceremony to pay respects to the entity, or entities, in your belief system who are in charge of divination. I would offer and libate to Woden and ask him to grant me wisdom and clear sight and to bless my divination tool with truth.
Many believe that wrapping a tarot deck in a white cloth while not being used gives it a barrier of protection from negative energies/spirits. You can use this method for other divination tools as well. Plain cotton “flour sack” white towels are great for this and can be found in the kitchen-wares section of dollar stores and department stores. Cut them down to a workable size and hem up the cut edges. You could leave the cloth big too, to double as a cloth on which to lay out your readings. Or you could just make the drawstring pouch you carry the tool in be made of white cloth.
making it your own
You’ll want to get really familiar with your divination tool and imbue it with your energy. If it’s not too bulky, wear it for a while, like in a drawstring pouch around your neck or waist. Sleep with it under your pillow. If its cards, shuffle them a lot. Handle and look at each card or item in the set everyday until you know it like the back of your hand.