iPod oracle

iPod oracle

The tarot was just an innocent pack of playing cards until it started to be used as a means of divination. Deborah Taylor believes that the iPod could go the same route, and shows you how to turn your iPod or mp3 player into a divinatory tool you’ll love and use forever.

Do you have an iPod? Or an mp3 player with shuffle? Are you curious as to what the future holds? Have you ever wondered, does music hold the answer?

For thousands of years we’ve been using whatever we can to predict the future. The Tarot was originally little more than a set of playing cards, until it became something more occult.

But playing cards aren’t the only things people have used. Coins, sticks, painted pebbles, even chicken bones and groundhogs have all been used to divine the future.

And now the iPod has been elevated to this status. The idea is this: You ask a question, pop your music player on random play and take the first song that pops up as the answer.

For example, should I play the lottery this week? My iPod picks ‘Always Crashing in the Same Car’, by David Bowie. Now there’s a message about repeating the same mistakes again and again. Maybe I should spend my pound on something better.

As with most fortune telling, it’s not so good with the specific questions. For example, what should I eat tonight? That throws up ‘Bear Hug’ by The Fun Lovin’ Criminals. So, should I go and find a bear to eat?

The iPod as a method of divination first surfaced a few years back, about the time the Shuffle first shuffled onto the market. Initially it was not widely known or practised. But just before Christmas a meme was starting to spread across the internet, and it spawned. I’ve seen three or four different ones now, all of which follow the same basic principles. You ask a question, your iPod answers and you get a better understanding of the world.

Anyone who has used the Tarot knows you have to bond with your cards, but with the mp3, you’re using your music collection so you already have bonded with it. You can make those emotional short cuts to know that this song means this and that song means that. You can divine the future much faster.

You might be thinking that this all sounds a bit silly, but is it really any different to placing your trust in a set of cards? Think about it – when you’re getting ready in a morning, has your favourite song ever come on and made you feel happy for the whole day? When was the last time a playing card did that for you? When was the last time you had a rune going round your head that you just couldn’t shake?

As with any method of divination, it will work for some people more than others. It’ all about what you feel comfortable with, what works best for you.

So, will this catch on? My iPod thinks Tom Waits has the answer, ‘Innocent When you Dream’.


write for Mookychick