For centuries, throughout every country and culture in the world, people have sought the Divine's guidance on matters as simple as relationships to much more complex subjects like who would be victorious in a war. Divination is the art or practice of foretelling the future by interpreting symbols or patterns made by a specific object.
There are wide and diverse varieties of Divination methods used that are sometimes specific to a certain cultures or time periods. Each method depends on the interpretation of the symbols within the divinatory method or where an object lands to reveal an answer. I have listed several different types of divination methods below.
All types of divination work on the belief that the Divine will manipulate the object(s) in order to give the seeker a clear answer on their question. My personal belief is that this is true, but, also, that all objects used to gain guidance are also affected by our energy. A question I always get as a psychic is "How can you read me if I am not present?" All that I need to do is focus my intention on reading you. We are all connected, so in a spiritual sense, I am simply dialing your number to connect with you. This is also how distant healing works in Reiki. The practioner is simply focusing on you and the energy is sent to you.
The list below is just a small fraction of the types of methods that were and are practiced. For a more complete list visit Types of Divination.
Aleuromancy - Divination by Flour - Messages were written on paper and enclosed in balls of dough which were believe to be prophetic of future events.
Alphitomancy - Divination by Wheat or Barley Cakes - A person who was accused of a crime was presumed to be incapable of swallowing the cake or get indigestion and would then be condemned.
Apantomancy - Divination by observing objects that appear haphazardly. This is a form of divination where the seer works him/herself into a trance until and object or event is perceived and a divination method worked out. The interpretation of the object or event is dependent solely on the perception of the seer. This form of divination was used by the augers in ancient Rome.
Astrology - Divination by observing the movements of celestial bodies. - Astrology is the study of the position of the planets, sun and moon and how they relate to personality, relationship, career etc. Astrologists study the position of the celestial bodies in aspect to each other and their placement or houses. For more information see the Wikipedia article on Astrology.
Aeromancy- Divination by observing atmospheric conditions. Aeromancy uses cloud formations, comets, wind currents etc. in an attempt to the divine the future.
Belomancy - Divination by observing the flight of arrows. Each arrow is marked with a phrase and the person asks the question then shoots all the arrows. The arrow that lands the farthest away is the answer to the question.
Bibliomancy - Divination by selecting a random passage of the bible. This method can be used with any book. Simply ask a question and then allow yourself to randomly open the book to any page. Then, randomly point to any area on the page and read the passage. The passage will be your answer to the question.
Capnomancy - Divination by observation of fumes rising from poppies being thrown on live coals or from smoke. The smoke or fumes are observed and it is said that a thin, straight plume indicates a good omen whereas large plumes indicated a bad omen.
Cartomancy - Divination using a deck of cards. Reading Tarot and Oracle cards are a sub-category of this method. Cartomancy is using a regular deck of playing cards which are assigned a specific meanings. For more information see the Wikipedia article on Cartomancy.
Cleromancy - Divination by casting small objects such as beans, bones, dice, stones, etc. This method is typically called casting lots in the which the outcome is said to determine the will of God or the Divine.
Dactylomancy - Divination by means of various arrangement and positions of finger rings. One method is hanging a ring in a string and using it as a pendulum over a board with letters. The direction the ring swings indicates a letter.
Geomancy - Divination by observing the configuration of the earth's surface of the patterns made by thrown dirt, rocks or sand. The earth is thrown onto an already created board and the geometric patterns are observed and compared against a key. For more information see the Wikipedia article on Geomancy.
Gyromancy - Divination by spinning and falling on the ground. It is said that if you say a chant, spin and fall to the ground, you will have a vision. Another method is drawing a circle and marking sections by a letter. The area where the person trips or falls is the answer to the question.
Hydromancy - Divination by gazing into water in a dish, pond, lake, or puddle. This type of divination includes observing the qualities of the water such as color, ebb and flow, and even the ripples made by casting pebbles into the water. There are many methods and variations.
Oinomancy - Divination by observing the pattern of wine that is spit onto a surface. This method is also done by pouring wine onto paper or into a cloth.
Palmistry - Divination by observing the lines and bumps on the palm.
Pedomancy - Divination by utilizing the human foot. This method of divination is still popular in the Orient.
Physiognomy - Divination by facial features. This method of divination is based on the idea that there is a connection between the human body and the universe.
Rhabdomancy - Divination by utilizing a rod. Several answers are put on a target and an arrow is shot into the target. Whatever answer is pierced by the arrow is the answer to the question. Another method is taking sticks and letting them fall. Whichever direction the most sticks fall is the direction you should be heading.
Taromancy - Divination by using tarot cards. Reading Tarot Cards is one of the most popular methods of divination. Tarot Cards are 78 cards split into 4 suits (Wands, Swords, Pentacles, and Cups), with 22 Major Arcana and the rest Minor Arcana based on each suit with each card representing a certain aspect of an area of the person's life. The cards are placed in arrangements called spreads and are then read intuitively by the reader.
Tasseomancy - Divination by observing tea leaves or coffee grounds left in a cup. The tea leaves or coffee grounds make patterns in the cup which are then interpreted into symbols. For more information see the Wikipedia article on Tasseomancy where some sample symbols and meanings are given.
Kerri L. Schultz