Green fern, photo by Sam CoxHard truth time: Not everyone is a seer, no matter how tapped into their energy they get. That’s just reality. We all have different gifts, and while some of us were blessed with sight, others, well not so much, but this doesn’t mean that we can’t all work on our intuition.

The universe is constantly speaking to us in a variety of ways. Some people are more sensitive to that communication and are able to pick up a variety of meanings through divination or just casual observation (which can be a type of divination). For other people, they walk through life in a kind of silence where they only see standard meanings in tarot cards, and a cat crossing their path is just a cat.

Everyone can foster the ability to better listen to what the universe has to say. We can practice in expanding our awareness and trusting our intuition to help guide us. This doesn’t mean that you’re going to become a master diviner by following every suggestion here, it means that you might become a little bit better at seeing what’s gong on around you and with your practice.

These are practical steps that you can take to build your intuition that will in turn strengthen your practice. There’s no timeline on these practices. For some people, they may see better intuition in a few weeks, others it will take longer. Some people will gain deeper abilities, others won’t, and that’s ok. Similarly, not all of these suggestions will work for all people. Some folx may find some things easier to incorporate into their lives than others. Do what work for you, leave the rest.

Numbers on a mechanical calculator, photo by e y e s e e

Take note of repetition and patterns

One of the easiest things we can do is to start paying attention to the patterns around us. Repeating numbers are  something people start to notice, because we’re socialized to pay attention to them. We’re always watching clocks, looking at receipts, metres etc. And although numerology is great, these aren’t the only patterns that affect us.

We can see repetition and patterns all over our lives. We see it in colour, animals, symbols, and even sounds as we move throughout our days. Being able to take note of how often something turns up in your life is the first step. This allows you to see and assign relevance to things.

An easy way to do this to take an actual note! Start a “pattern journal” where you just note down the things that you encounter in your days that stand out to you. The call of a bird, a certain colour, anything. People’s personal symbols are different, and although there may seem to be some common ones (certain animals or plants), they may mean something completely different to the individual viewing it than to the general public.

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Books, photo by az

Move past dictionaries

If you’re in magical spaces, it’s really common to hear people ask what certain images or symbols mean. For example, “I had a dream about a duck, what do ducks mean? The first thing most people do is turn to online occult dictionaries to figure out what ducks symbolize, and this is great, as a start, but if you’re looking to becoming more intuitive, move past the dictionary.

This doesn’t mean throw them out, because they’re a good place to start, and a general knowledge of the assigned meanings to flowers, colours, animals, and so on, is always a good thing to explore, but being confined to such meanings will hold back your own understanding and growth.

Instead, when it comes to your life, start looking at your own feelings around these common symbols. Let’s say you keep running into roses, and it’s not near Valentines’ Day. You make note of this because it’s odd to see so many. If you look up the meaning of roses, you’ll find a lot of information on romantic love, but you’re not seeing anything indicating that in your own life. Does that mean that all those roses were a red herring?

No! It just means that the universe is sending you a different message.

Once you’ve identified a recurring pattern, note how you feel around it. Do you have positive feelings, or are they more worrisome? Does it feel like it is trying to remind you of something, or does it feel more anxious, like something is going to happen?

Spend some time focusing on the thing that has made its presence known in your life, and unravel your feelings towards it. As you practice this, and not relying on what an outside source says, you’ll be able better feel that energy in the moment it is happening, and then assign it to your own life. Fostering this skill can help you better use it to read other’s lives and help them as well.

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Tarot, photo by Ricardo Rosado

The tarot trick

We speak of intuition a lot when we talk about tarot. Being an “intuitive reader” is a skill that many people hope to foster. From a reader’s perspective, not everyone will get comfortable enough with the process of reading tarot to really take on this technique, but even if you don’t read tarot, this can be a useful exercise, and you can do it with an inexpensive deck.

A couple of notes on the deck. The deck needs to be a fully illustrated version of tarot or oracle cards. Even though this is the “tarot trick,” oracle cards will work just as well. The more densely illustrated the deck is, the better, but even a deck that only costs a few dollars will work. You want something where all the cards feature full scenes. A good deck for this would be the Bonefire Tarot as it features a lot on each card or Prisma Visions, but you could also just stick with the traditional Rider Waite Smith Tarot, if you are using a tarot deck.

Draw a card and just keep track of what parts of the images grab you. Let associations just come to you as they will, they don’t have to vibe with what is written in the book at all. Just spend some time with a card, feeling what you feel, noticing what you notice. Let the cards tell you a story.

This may seem like it’s easy — until you try it. If your intuition isn’t developed, you’ll likely find that you’re staring at the card, and that just naming images and feeling silly at first, but just keep at it. Soon you’ll find one that clicks, that says something more, and from that one will come another and then another.

Related: Bonefire Tarot, reviewed by Donyae Coles

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Bubbles, photo by Jlhopgood

Get in touch with the voice in your head

We all have a lot of voices in our head. They all play a role in our life. Some tell us how to act at work, some tell us what’s going on in our romantic life. Some help us get out of bed, some make us stay in bed. One of these voices is our intuition, and a lot of us let that voice get overrun by everything else. It’s the voice of our gut, our first impressions.

It’s true that you shouldn’t listen to this voice all the time, sometimes it wants you to do or say things that are not ok in polite society. Other times though, it’s telling us things that we need to listen to. Some people call this the “lizard brain” or a gut feeling. Whatever you call it, take some time to learn to hear it when it speaks, and it will help you become more intuitive.

Some people meditate to find this voice, and that is certainly something you can try if you would like. Clearing your mind and letting your thoughts flow can help you find that voice. Not everyone is “good” at mediation. I prefer a more active approach.

As you move through your day, just take a moment to listen to yourself. See what you inner voice is saying to you as you go through everyday actions. It takes practice to train yourself not to second guess this voice, because so much of our lives are spent ignoring and trying to silence it. This isn’t to say that you should act on every impulse that comes to mind, instead, stop and take note of what it’s saying.

When you’re doing a ritual, check in with it, does this action seem well placed? Does this offering feel right? When you’re going about life, what energies do I feel right now? I’m anxious, I’m happy, why?

That voice won’t be loud at first, especially if you’re not used to listening for it, but over time you’ll start to hear it more and more. As you become more use to it, you’ll be able to call it up at will, and use it for a variety of situations. This is a practice in trusting yourself, trusting your own gut feelings.

Even if you don’t follow that voice, being able to confirm that you heard it will give you something to reflect on later. For many people, this will be the hardest thing, as it’s hard to trust yourself.

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What to do with your magical intuition

As I mentioned, not everyone is going to be able to tap into their intuition to such an extent that they become a master fortune teller or something of that nature. That’s alright, divination isn’t everyone’s path! But a stronger sense of intuition helps us in other ways.

By fostering this skill, you’ll be able to get a clear feeling for what your personal guides are trying to help you with in life. It does not matter how you perceive these guides, whether as spirits, ancestors, angels, or what have you, but by honing your own intuition, you are opening your awareness to them.

It will also help you in your life outside of your practice. Better intuition means that you will be able to get a feeling for people, places, and situations before they impact your life. Building your intuition is not only a skill for magick, but also for helping you lead a more wholesome and fulfilling life on your own terms.

RelatedThe Intuitive Dance, reviewed by Alanna Wright

Image credits: Sam Coxe y e / s e e, az, Ricardo Rosado, Jlhopgood