It is said by some that one of the important ways a witch's skill may be evaluated is by his or hers ability to predict or see, this again brings us to the issue of the off the shelf oracle and its effectiveness.
There are available on the market now as many different ways to "predict" and as many oracles as there are religions in the world, all are valid and some are beautiful works of art but they are only as effective as the person who is using them.
The art of prediction like all forms of traditional working is a thing that has to be nurtured and cultivated, it is not as simple as opening a box of cards, giving them a shuffle and reading out the appropriate meaning, the skill is derived from one being able to look beyond the symbol,any oracle is not definitive it is only a series of clues for the investigator to follow.
Here I will give a example.
Many years ago, a Friend of mine gave me a Tarot reading for the year ahead, twelve months of misery and disaster in his eyes, thankfully my wife was present and was able to counter my"what is the point" attitude, and this is what happened.
We did another reading, the cards were virtually identical to the previous reading however, T has a pure insight and an absolute ability in such matters, the same cards revealed a very different future to the one predicted previously, fifteen years on and I still remember that fruitful year that brought with it a new job , a change of address and the birth of my eldest daughter, almost exactly as she had predicted.
I have never really been drawn to the Tarot until quite recently, I find myself learning here as with other aspects of my craft, faith in your prediction is again an issue although I am surprised at the accuracy that I am achieving at my novice level.
Just to add here, I once found and got back in touch with a very dear Friend through a set of tarot cards, not in the obvious way either, they were a set I had acquired because the artwork and motifs therein appealed to me on many levels, on familiarising myself with them I came upon the image of a man who was un mistakenly my estranged Friend, I was able to track him down through the artist and we are thankfully still in touch, no mystery there really only fate.
Some of the many overlooked oracles around are those free ones, the signs and methods that abound within our own universe, scrying for example, I knew of an old traditional witch that would use an egg in a saucer with accurate results, fire is a proven one for another Friend of mine, I personally like the wild signs but as with all things they are changeable..
Nature will provide the clues and symbols to predict and see the possible future, these can be and are to be learned and the method is once more to be able to look beyond, when a Raven would fly over our house I once would know that it was foretelling of an illness within my family, Ravens now nest near by, they still give the clues but now you have to listen to them a little better, it would be foolhardy to expect trouble as we are now blessed with regular Corvus activities, and they fly over us three or four times a day.
Many of the animal behaviours can be directly due to weather systems or the onset of a storm or even a dry spell, many though are auguries, these creatures are hard wired into the cosmos and no person has told them otherwise, it pays to listen to them, as well as people all over the world have found out, toads in Italy for example, left an area two weeks before the onset of an earthquake.
The recent dark moon has passed, it was a wild one with us and the local creatures were there to announce the arrival of the wild hunt, all the animals I met that evening gave me the signs, and fabulous the chase was.
In order to predict any possible future it is important to (like the toads) hook up to the multiverse, from the cards to the stones, from sticks to the natural world, the pictures are there but they are only keys to the doors of your perception, not flashing screens telling of a distant future, the true aim here would be to become like the seers of legend, and to not rely on anything but your ability, to train your mind and expand the belief you have in your own skill.
Reach out with your feelings(There speaks the voice of another wise man), sense and feel the world.
One last note on Prediction, and that is common sense and honesty, practice will show you that it is easier to tell when you may be barking up the wrong tree, when you are leading your fortune telling and not really looking, don't try to fit any reading to what you desire, let it flow through you not from you directly
The mystery will be solved by the seeker of the truth, and seek you must.