What is Divination?

Divination, from the Latin divinare; meaning to foresee, predict, foretell or to prophesy; also related to the Latin divinus, meaning divine or ‘to be inspired by a god‘. 

By definition, Divination is the practice of ‘seeking knowledge of the future‘,  by attempting to ‘foretell future events‘, or discover hidden or forbidden knowledge by occult or supernatural means. In ancient Greece the seers and oracles were channelers of the divine through the practice of divination.

There are quite literally hundreds of methods of prediction that fall under the category of divination. Since the dawn of human civilization, we have sought after signs, to predict the future, and guide us onto the correct path to take in life. The “Diviner” does this by reading cards, animal totem signs, current events or omens in the sky like comets, meteor showers and eclipses of the sun and moon, or even through contacting the supernatural. 

Practically any object that can show two or more states, like dice, dominoes, cards, coins, etc, can be used in Divination by Readers. A scrying mirror, smoke, water, illucid drugs or gasses, even Reiki and other energy modalities are used by Oracles and Seers. Readers can only answer questions with a ‘yes or no’, were as an Oracle could answer questions with either a more general statement, or even a very specific answer or action to be taken.  A seer was used by battle Generals in the days of old, as to attack an enemy or hold ground and defend.  Whatever was told by the seer was always considered valid.

History of Divination

Casting lots was used by the 11 remaining apostles of Jesus after Judas died, as a means of divination in selecting a replacement.

In the year 692, in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Council in Trullo created laws to eliminate Pagan and Divination practices by prohibiting any form of ritual that predicts the future. By 1572, violators of this now public law, if they were convicted, suffered capital punishment.

Throughout Mesoamerica divination was seen in almost every religion. The ancient Aztec Gods were considered to be diviners, their practice closely resembled sorcery. The Olmecs of Ancient Mexico practiced divination by scrying in the reflection of dark waters, mirrors even the casting of lots as in ancient Egypt and Israel. The use of hallucinogenic plants like peyote, jimson weed, Ayahuasca and morning glory are still used today in many Central and South American cultures.

In contemporary Japan, Divination is done with the use of Japanese tarot cards, the I Ching, Chinese astrology and physiognomy – reading the body as a means of identifying traits. 

The High Priest and Priestess in the Serer religion of Africa, and the Yoruba of West Africa, can divine the future for both medicinal and religious purposes, in a way such as an oracle does. 

What is divination magick?

Divination is an extremely important tool for any practitioner of Magick. Whether a Witch, a Wiccan, an Oracle, Sage, Wizard, Witchdoctor, Medicine Man or Medicine Woman; Divination is used to predict and direct one’s “fate”.  By using the Diviner’s predictions, or readings, we can imagine the influences, probabilities, and energies channeled, to correct or modify our actions.

Once you have become aware, even self-aware of your situation, or direction in a particular matter, you have already changed the outcome.

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