Consecrating my bamboo skewers for I Ching readings

What I Do before Divination Part 1 – Invocation

Posted on October 11, 2017

This post is the first part of a series on practices that I do when performing metaphysical work.

Today’s post is about invocation. I say an invocation before any sort of divination and the best part of doing this is that it takes literally a few seconds.

My Beliefs as a diviner

Before I go into the details of an invocation and on how to pick one out, I think I should explain my beliefs as a diviner.

For myself, I believe that there is something larger than all of us on the planet, whether you would like to call it the collective unconscious, the Divine or a particular deity, that is willing to give us guidance. As a diviner, I will be able to use certain divination tools to translate such guidance for the seeker.

There must be some sort of method that allows me to transcend the mundane and reach out to the divine. An invocation helps with that.

(By the way, even if you do not believe in the woo, an invocation can still help you with your divinatory readings! Please continue to read on.)

What is an Invocation?

An invocation, an incantation that is used to invoke a deity or the supernatural, is a perfect way to start off any sort of divination. An invocation allows me to petition the Divine or a deity for their guidance, sort of like a “hello, please help!”.

It makes perfect sense to start off a reading with a short invocation, even if you do not believe in the woo-woo stuff! There is a difference between the self that goes on to do the mundane things in life and the self that is contemplative and reflective. As you perform your readings while saying your invocation, it slowly will act like a switch to remind yourself to slide into that latter self, whether it is the self that is aware and conscious of deity or the self that can reflect on the cards better.

For my practice, I always say an invocation to announce to the universe that I was ready to send out my intentions and receive anything that it chooses to give back to me. This invocation will also serve to protect myself while I deal with any possible malignant energies that may interfere with the reading.

So, how should you go about picking an invocation?

Picking the invocation

Picking the invocation you will use firstly requires knowing the intention behind saying the invocation. After figuring out your intention, you have to find what is appropriate

Types of Invocations

Benebell Wen, the writer of the Tao of Craft, dubs the first invocation you usually say as the “Reception Invocation”. To be specific, this is the invocation I’m referring to in this post. She defines the Reception Invocation as “a method of using words and thought to clear a channel from the collective unconscious through the personal unconscious and into the present personal consciousness so that the practitioner can be open and receptive”.

She also includes other invocations in her book, such as the Consecration Invocation and other invocations that come from other sources. A Consecration Invocation not only cleanses any item you choose but helps to consecrate (i.e. bless or purify in the magical/religious sense) the item. She provides a write up of the invocation she uses for this case.

There are other invocations known for calling upon different entities — but for today’s purposes, we will concentrate on the Reception Invocation, which is to petition the Divine.


Sometimes, picking the invocation you will use is very intuitive. It could be a mantra that you’ve been using all your life, or it could be something that inspires you. It could be something you wrote down and know for a fact that it is something that brings to surface your deeper self.

Sometimes, for someone like me who is methodological and want to make sure I cover all my bases, it can be difficult to trust instinct. What I will say is to come up with a list of phrases that you believe may resonate with your belief system. Such phrases can come from the Bible, Buddhist mantras or the Wiccan belief. Try to find a phrase that matches your intention, which in this case, is to petition the Divine. After that, use the different invocations you’ve selected when you perform your divination or metaphysical work.

Pay attention how you feel when you say each of those phrases; did you feel a tingle in your head when you said it? Trust your gut and go with whichever invocation feels right at the moment. There is no rule that limits you to only one invocation! Like I previously mentioned, the invocation depends on your intention, and more than that, it depends on how you feel. You will know it when it feels right.

My Reception Invocation

All my life, I have heard my father utter the phrase “Na Mo Amituofo”, meant to honor the Amitabha Buddha. I have also heard my aunts say “Na Mo Guanshiyin Pusa”, for the Bodhisattva Guanyin. I am currently exploring Buddhism as well, so these were the phrases that I have narrowed down to. So far, they both have felt right for me. I can feel my breathing go slower and my mind becoming more receptive to the universe when I say these invocations. It has come to the point where I yell out the mantras while I have nightmares to banish those demons away (and they actually work most of the time 😉 )

I have also thought of using the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” as it is special to me (I have made a video on my feelings relating to this mantra), but I was not sure if it has the same intention as a Reception Invocation. The Tao of Craft mentions this as an invocation that amplifies energies and some quick googling online explains how it is a mantra of the Compassionate Bodhisattva. I will have to do more research to see what intentions this mantra is best for.


I Ching and Tarot reading

Even if you do not believe in the woo, an invocation can bring you to the right mindset for divination. If you are in the woo, an invocation can help you connect to the Divine.

I also believe there is no “right” invocation and I encourage you to find out what works for yourself. There is no need to pick one “best” invocation and stick with it; all of us grow and change. Even for myself, I’m still exploring and doing research on what is best for me.

I’m very interested in what people actually do before divination! Please let me know what kind of invocations you use or any pre-divination practices you perform in the comments below! I will love to discuss it.

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