Divination (Latin: divinare "to be inspired by a god") is an attempt to explore the unknown or the future by means of intuition, Magic or inspiration, usually through the ritual use of objects.
The art and practice of foretelling the future, discovering hidden and secret knowledge, finding the lost and identifying the guilty by using a wide range of techniques including Prophesy, conscious or unconscious use of spirit beings, organized systems, and the interpretation of Omens.
Divination has existed throughout history and in all cultures; it is simply the responsibility of a Priest, Prophet, Oracle, Shaman, Witch, Witch Doctor, Psychic, Soothsayer, or other person acclaimed with supernatural powers. Techniques fall into three categories:
- The interpretation of signs, omens, portents, and lots.
- Direct communication with the Trances through visions, Trances, Dreams, and Possession.
- Organized systems
Omens are accidental or chance signs which, when properly interpreted are believed to reveal the future, warn of impending danger, and so forth.
Prophesy relies on direct communication with divine beings or spirits to gain insight to the future, the past, or the present.
Systemized methods include, but are in no way limited to, Astrology, cards, dice, lot casting, I Ching, Palmistry, Numerology, Tasseography. Most of the techniques were devised by ancient Chaldeans, Babylonians, Romans, Greek, and Chinese.
All divination, by whatever method, follows the same pattern:
- A question is raised ranging from something very specific - such as "Should I marry this woman?" or "Will I win at the races today?" - to general inquiries such as "What will my future be like?"
- A physical mean is used to provide a connection between the enquirer and the Diviner - such as an intimate possession, to touch the seer, or to make an arbitrary choice of cards or objects, or any random arrangement of things from which he does not make a conscious selection. Or the diviner may utilize some device, such as a Pendulum or Crystal Balls, on which he can concentrate so intensely that the perception of the surroundings withdraws to the point where he is effectively in a trance. Drugs are sometimes used at this point.
Divination is not concerned with such predetermined events. The diviner can only give advice on the basis of predicting the outsome of a particular course of action, maybe suggesting an alternative; but he cannot state that any future even will definitely occur.
Every age has had its share of visionaries, Seers who seem to possess a kind of second sight that allows them to peer through the walls of time. And it is not the past or the present, it is the future that holds greatest allure for the would-be soothsayers; and not just any future, but the fascinating matter of human fate - be it the destiny of an individual, a nation, the world, or the universe.
In Babylon, supposedly god-inspired kings may have been the first prophets. In the Gilgamesh epic, believed to have been the first recorded as long ago as 2000 BC, the Demi-God ruler dreams about an upcoming fight; his mother a goddess, tells him that he and his enemy will become fast friends. And it had come to pass, just as Gilgamesh had been told in his dream.
The legendary Sumerian king Enmenduranna who was supposed to have lived before the Flood, was said to have codified the rules of prophesy. Certainly the seer's art was well developed by the time of the First Dynasty of Ur around 2500 BC. Prophecies were delivered in the name of the ruler and said to be inspired by the gods, but they were made by professional seers, who developed a number of divinatory systems involving inspection of sheep's livers and other natural objects.
Magickal procurements are easily considered as a divine occurence. If we define magick as the cause of the creation of a physical property during a period that we had no conscoiusness, then the physical property can be easily seen as a proof that the individual is divine. From a scientific standpoint, an occurence that can be used as a sign to prove divination is simply the thought that we are divine. Or that could be the only magickal proccurement that was created from a higher power. If we learn to intend the belief of divination, and the results are similar to the thoughts that occured during an occasion where you believe that you were actually divine, then skepticism may destory faith in a higher power.
Methods of divination include: