As someone who regularly engages with divination—the channeling of divine information for practical application in the mundane world—I am feeling really excited for the upcoming Omen Days.
Omen Days are intercalary days. Intercalary days are the days leftover after the solar calendar is calculated and manipulated into our current modern yearly calendar. This is how the Omen Days earned the alternative moniker of Days Out Of Time. These days begin on 26 Deccember and go until 6 January, and they happen every year.
You may notice they begin just after Christmas, and there are 12 days total. You may also have made the connection that these days have yet another name: The 12 Days of Christmas. Yes, those 12 days of Christmas … the ones with the True Love bearing extravagant gifts like leaping lords, dancing ladies and various and sundry birds.
In ancient Brittany and Wales (1) these Omen Days are an opportunity to practice divination for the year ahead. Each day represents a month of the coming year, with the 26th representing January, the 27th, February, and so forth.
There are various ways of divining information on these Omen Days. Many people look to the Natural World for augury; divining meaning from the flight patterns of bird, symbols in bark or icicles, or anything else that catches the eye and sparks an inner knowing or understanding. Others practice visualization via meditation or scrying. Still others use their favorite divination tools to channel information. There are infinite possibilities, and all are valid as long as they have significance for the person using them.
Here is a simple practice for engaging with the Omen Days, if you feel inclined to give it a go this year. It's one of my favorites, but, then, I do love my tarot cards.
You will need:
a deck of Tarot or other oracle cards (or even runes)
a journal (physical or digital)
an open mind and heart
How it works:
In your journal, write down the names of each month of the year on 12 separate pages. (This will ensure you have a whole page for each month. If you know you tend to be wordy, or have very large handwriting, then leave more pages for each month.)
Beginning on 26 December, draw one card (or rune) each day for the full 12 days.
Write down the name of the card (and draw a sketch of it if you're feeling artsy) that corresponds with each month. Then make some notes about what data you are receiving from that card as an omen of what to expect for that month. Some people may receive data around energetic themes. Some may get more specific information around potential events or experiences. You may get very broad impressions or very detailed and specific information. Data may come to you in images, words, sounds, smells, feelings, or your own special cocktail of input. Try to resist the temptation to edit or justify the omens you receive. Just write down whatever comes to you. You can make sense of it later if that feels important to you. The important thing is just to record your initial unfiltered transmissions.
On the 7th, go through and re-read the whole year's worth of omens. Notice if there are any complementary themes, or if you can sense a cohesive story emerging. Don't worry if you can't. It doesn't always work out so neatly as all that. But when it does, it can be a powerful and beautiful thing, and can provide even more insight for navigating the year as a whole.
As the year unfolds, return to your journal to see how your omens are reflected in the actual events of each month. You may even choose to make notes in your journal at the end of each month reckoning your omens with your actual experiences.
I'll be observing the Omen Days this year. I find it's a really powerful way to help me forge and maintain a connection of awareness and conscious engagement with my place in Time as it is unfolding around me. It also is a great opportunity to strengthen the divination muscles, which, like any muscle, can become less effectual with lack of use.
May your omens be bright and hopeful when it serves you, and may you find the gifts in the darkness when they show up on your doorstep. (And they always do. This is how