Magic, Spells & Potions

Metal Magic: Tin Casting Divination

Metal Magic: Tin Casting Divination

When I was but a squirt in Germany, it was quite common on New Year's eve to enjoy the good ritual of melting tin in a ladle over an open fire and then dropping the liquid metal into a bucket of cold water. You would then fish it out and divine the year ahead by the shape the tin has taken. These tin divination pieces were also held to be good luck charms for the whole year and I knew people who collected them; others melted them down and used them again; others still threw them into a river or the sea as a part of the ritual.

Now that doesn't sound very Christian, does it? But then, many traditions are not; they are much, much older than that and the casting of the tin is an example of that.

Melting metal is immensely old and a very pivotal skill humans developed, hundreds of thousands of years ago. There is still immense magic in melting metal and shaping it into something, by design or by accident - if there is such a thing :-) In some traditions of magic, to this day the ritual dagger or athame has to be made by hand by the person who will come to use it; this can go as far as having to collect the ore yourself to make the blade for the dagger.

Melting tin or lead or pewter in a ladle over a candle flameInstead of tin, you can use lead for the casting divination; do bear in mind that lead is very poisonous so don't wear the resulting charm on your skin or lick it at any length or for any reason! It is also possible to use candlewax instead of metal for this divination although you don't end up with such an intriguing artefact at the end of it.

Pewter is also a good source of easily meltable metal; you can find it cheaply in the shape of tankards and such in flea markets.

Either way, divination by casting metal is fun and quite special. It doesn't have to be reserved for New Year's eve either; it can make for an interesting addition to a birthday party or you can do it at any time.

There are some general safety tips on tin casting divination.

  • Boiling metal is very hot. It will burn stuff. Display common sense and have a bucket of cold water handy.
  • You can use an old cooking pot (which shouldn't be used for cooking anything other than metal afterwards) or a metal melting ladle. If you use a kitchen ladle, don't use one with a plastic handle and make sure the handle is isolated. Wear oven gloves.
  • Small piece of tin or metal for metal casting divinationDon't pour great quantities of boiling metal into cold water. No good can come of it!!! We're talking small pieces here, the size of half a matchbox or smaller.
  • Stand back from the water bucket when you drop in the hot metal. Obviously!
  • Fish out your metal shape with care and check before you touch it that is has cooled down enough.
  • If you're doing this in a group, do one at a time or else you won't know whose artefact is whose!

In Germany, tin, lead and similar melting sets are sold with the advice to not give them to people under the age of 14 without parental or adult supervision.

So that is that bit - the physical part.

Now to the magical part of our metal and tin divination primer.

  • You want to be reasonably stress free and in a good state. Meditate on the beauty and bounty of the Universe before running the divination with metal. People who do this with demons in mind produce demonic shapes - curious, isn't it ... ;-/
  • Ask for a blessing from your guardian angel or your favourite saint, friend or deity before you cast the tin.
  • When you have the object, hold it in your hands and meditate on it. Turn it through many different angles; what looks like a bunny rabbit from one point of view may remind you of a sacred mandala when turned a different way.
  • If you are Sanctuary enabled, you can transfer the artefact into energy and have a lot more fun with it there; you can also seek further advice on the messages and ideas the artefact is generating.
  • Carry it around with you for a day or two and consult it once in a while. New or additional insights and ideas often emerge after you've slept on it a couple of times.

You can choose what to do with the object next. You can keep it as a good luck charm if that feels right; dispose of it; and if you didn't like it at all, send it back by melting it down again and repeating the process. Yes, that's our choice as folk of a measure of free will; we can reject "a fate" and help create a different one. That's what magic is for after all!

I really like metal divination; I also like making magical objects from metal, and metal casting divination is a step towards that as well.

Enjoy, live long and prosper,


March 2011

Tin casting divination example - metal casting to predict the future gave me a magic lamp!Here's an example of a little metal divination artefact which happened spontaneously whilst I was casting some metal for artwork and which reminded me of the metal casting divination from my youth.

The minute I saw it I thought of Aladdin's wonderful magic lamp - this really is a little oil lamp, it even has the stand and the small hole in the snout for the flame to emerge. It's hollow and oil proof - what are the chances :-) ?

This really cheered me up, it's a lovely little artefact and how good is it to have your own magic lamp charm for moments of magic failure?




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