Methods of divination can be found in every culture and country around the world. Some have even existed since the dawn of time when man sought to understand the will of the gods and the universe and to find his place among them. As mortal beings who so often fear the unknown, divination is believed to provide us with the guidance we need to navigate the path before us and avoid painful pitfalls that could make our lives miserable. Through methods of divination we seek to understand the supernatural. The word divination means to foresee and be inspired by a god, after all.

Methods of Divination: The Four Types

Methods of DivinationThere tend to be four types of divination: omens, cleromancy, augury and spontaneous. Omens can include omen texts such as data that has been tracked for years (like weather patterns) and is then used to divine or project what will happen with the weather in years ahead. Some even believe that it is this kind of divination that led to the ideas behind our modern scientific inquiry. Cleromancy, also known as Sortilege, would encompass methods of divination such as runes or sticks. You take your group of rune stones, shake them about and throw them out then depending on how they land you divine a message. This is different from spontaneous divination which would encompass something more like tea leaf readings. That is based more on the spontaneous reading rather than a more active casting of runes, though technically speaking spontaneous divination does encompass all forms of divination. Augery, the last form of divination, is a more direct form of divination such as actively studying the flight paths of birds or dowsing.

Obsolete Methods

In the modern age, many of the older forms of divination have been abandoned in favor of things that take less time and feel less obscure. Some of the methods of divination that have lasted through the centuries are tarot, scrying, and tea reading. Tea reading involves drinking a cup of loose leaf tea and then reading the shapes and symbols left in the dregs at the bottom of the cup. Tarot is one of the most popular tools. There are about 7000 different types of tarot decks in the world, and the practice stretches back thousands of years! Scrying is considered the oldest method of divination and has been recorded as far back in history as the Ancient Egyptians who used their reflections in the water to divine the future. It has evolved over time first to ink, then oil, then metal and mirrors until its current incarnation of scrying in crystals via the use of a crystal ball.

While some of the sortilage methods of divination seem as though they wouldn't be in use anymore, there are still people that use lithomancy, or stone reading, osteomancy, or bone reading, Norse runes, I Ching, and Celtic Ogham. All of these involve casting the tools out and then reading the results based on how they fall.

Popular Divination Methods:  Tarot, Astrology and Pendulum

The most popular forms of modern divination are tarot, astrology and pendulum divination, in no small part because these are often easy, inexpensive, and quick. After all, a tarot reading can be done in as little time as a minute in the morning before you get dressed to go to work! Plus the amount of time it takes to learn these methods of divination is relatively short compared to other methods. And, if the symbols and ideas in a tarot deck are intimidating you have the option of looking at the Angel cards that are similar. Pendulum divination is as simple as dangling a ring from a necklace and asking a simple yes or no question. The way the pendulum swings will answer it for you.

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