The Art of Divination

There are many different methods used in the art of Divination.

Divination is the practice of ascertaining information from super-natural or non-physical sources by use of an object or objects, or to see an event or events which are not perceptible to the untrained eye. If a distinction is to be made with fortune-telling, divination has a formal or ritual and often social character, usually in a religious context; while fortune-telling is a more everyday practice for personal purposes.
Divination takes many forms and while some of the Craft will use several different techniques, everyone will end up with one favorite or more successful way of obtaining answers to their questions. Just about anything can be used as a divination tool and over the centuries just about everything has, some examples are Taromancy (Tarot Cards), Runecasting, Feng Shui, Palmistry, Candle Gazing and the long list goes on and on.
Witches and Pagans have always been credited with having special powers, with being able to see the unseen. This is merely a result of the awareness of our ability to work with our “Spirit Guides” and all other “energy friends” -to many known as “Divine Guidance”, as well as to look within, to obtain answers to the questions we seek.

Common methods of Divination include:

– Astrology (by celestial bodies)
– Ailuromancy (by the behaviour of felines; also called Felidomancy)
– Axinomancy (is one of several obscure methods of divination using an axe or hatchet **not practiced by true Wiccans -lovers and protectors of Nature)
– Bibliomancy (by book, frequently but not always a religious text)
– Bone divination (by examining and reading bones)
– Cartomancy (by cards, e.g., playing cards, tarot cards, oracle cards and non-tarot cards)
– Taromancy (by specially designed cards: Tarot)
– Cheiromancy (by the palms of the hands; also called Palmistry)
– Crystallomancy / Scrying / Dowsing (by crystals or other reflecting objects. Pendulum also called Radiesthesia)
– Extispicy (from the extra of sacrificed animals **not practiced by true Wiccans -lovers and protectors of Nature)
– Geomancy (by earth), includes Feng Shui divination modality
– Graphology (by handwriting)
– I Ching (ancient Chinese divination method) However, as performed by some diviners with heavy reliance on an accompanying I Ching manual, this is, in effect, also a form of Bibliomancy/Stichomancy
– Necromancy (communicating with the dead)
– Numerology (by numbers)
– Oneiromancy (by dreams)
– Onomancy (by names)
– Ouija (board divination)
– Padomancy (by the soles of one’s feet)
– Palmistry (by palm inspection)
– Phrenology (by the shape of one’s head)
– Pyromancy or Pyroscopy (by fire)
– Radiesthesia (by pendulum)
– Runecasting (by Runes)
– Scatomancy (by droppings, usually animal)
– Tasseography (by reading tea leaves)
– Theomancy (by oracles, channeling)

And the list goes on …


Cartomancy is a form of fortune-telling or divination using a deck of cards. The practice of cartomancy has been observed since playing cards first came into use, around the 14th century, in Europe. Practitioners of cartomancy are generally known as cartomancers, card readers or, simply, readers. Some believe that the true origin of cartomancy dates back to ancient Egyptian times, the art being derived from wisdom given to the ancient Egyptians by the scribe-god Thoth.

Chiromancy or cheiromancy, is the art of characterization and foretelling the future through the study of the palm, also known as palmistry, palm-reading, or hand analysis. The practice is found all over the world, with numerous cultural variations.
Modern palmistry can trace its roots back to gypsy fortune tellers and Indian mystics, but often modern palmists combine traditional predictive techniques with psychology, holistic healing, and alternative methods of divination.

Cheiromancy: (Greek cheir, “hand”; manteia, “divination”)

Hands have been of recorded interest to humanity as far back as 12,000-15,000 years ago. They have been studied by our ancestors as a means to unveil and understand the self and relationships with others. They believed the unique patterns of lines and signs in the hand come into being as a direct result of the way we live. Just as a pebble thrown into the water creates ripples, so our thoughts create similar effects on our palms.
Today Palmistry is accepted throughout the world. Professional palmists can be found reading palms in every country in the world. Major magazine and books have articles on Palmistry.

Dowsing is one of the oldest and easiest divining methods. Two applications of dowsing are popular; the first is general dowsing for water (also called water witching), or standing water, metal objects, base metals, crystals, gem stones, hidden objects, minerals, lost items, or people. The second is precise measurement of exact numbers.
When dowsing is done using a pendulum, it is called radiesthesia.

Scrying is the occult practice of using a medium, most commonly, a reflective surface or translucent body, to aid perceived psychic abilities such as clairvoyance. A crystal ball set on a matte black surface is the traditional “autoscope”. The media often used to “see” are water, polished precious stones, crystal balls, or mirrors. Scrying, in this context, uses a “visual” process. There are some who believe the art of scrying is not limited to the use of “reflective” or “translucent” bodies only, but includes other media. Scrying has been used since ancient times and in many cultures, as a means of seeing the past, present, or future.
“Scrying” comes from the Old English word descry meaning “to make out dimly” or “to reveal.”

Tasseography (or Tasseomancy) is a divination or fortune-telling method that interprets symbols and patterns created by loose tea leaves or coffee grounds in a cup. The term also refers to the reading of coffee grounds, especially in the Middle Eastern tradition. The Chinese have been reading tea leaves for thousands of years. The term has also been applied to the reading of wine sediments. The term derives from the French word tasse (cup), which in turn derives from the Arabic tassa (cup).

Theomancy is a form of divination by the use of oracles or channeling. An oracle could be a person or agency considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic opinion; an infallible authority, usually spiritual in nature. It may also be a revealed prediction or precognition of the future, from deities, spoken through another object (e.g.: cards, runes, shells, etc.) or life-form (e.g.: augury and auspice).
In the ancient world many sites gained a reputation for the dispensing of oracular wisdom, and they too became known as “oracles”.
Oracle derives from the Latin verb orare, to speak.


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