A Proper Gander

When I was in the US Army in Germany in the late ’60s, I was co-editor of an anti-establishment underground newspaper called Proper Gander. The title was a puckish take on the government “propaganda” to be found in the military’s official news organs, the Stars and Stripes and the Overseas Weekly. Needless to say, we were hypercritical of everything conventional about army life and offered alternative news-and-views on the rumblings of unrest that went unreported in the mainstream press.

All of which is an incidental preface to the subject of this post: What is the proper role of divination in examining the future of an individual? Is it merely entertainment of the “fortune-telling” variety, as some regulatory bodies insist we call it if we take money for its performance? Is its value limited to promoting self-understanding and character development, as many New Age thinkers weaned on Jungian psychology deem it to be? Is it a potent tool for empowerment from a life-coaching perspective? Is it a utilitarian planning device that offers situational awareness and developmental insight to individuals who are plotting their next move in life?

Those of you who have been following this blog for some time will recognize that the last of these is my preferred approach to the divinatory arts, with the next-to-last as a secondary objective. I don’t mind being dubbed a fortune-teller if it purports to mean that I attempt to look over the horizon for glimpses of emerging circumstances of which the seeker already has subconscious intimations, and that the chosen form of inquiry teases out through “occult” modes of expression. The bottom line is that the querent is given information (although I stop short of offering advice) that can be used to assess various options for responding to the possibilities and tendencies that appear in the forecast, with an eye toward reacting in the most productive manner. Consider it a self-guided rehearsal of one highlighted scenario among many hypothetical paths, with the diviner as prompter and “way-shower” who can identify sign-posts to watch for during the journey. If it’s true that we “make our own reality,” effective divination can supply the raw material with which to fashion the cloth of its figurative wardrobe.

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