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  2. 10 Historical Divination Methods for Predicting the Future | Mental Floss
  3. Methods of Divination

While you shake the bag, ask your question 2 more times.

Now, close your eyes and grab a handful of stones. Place them on a flat surface and count the number of light stones and the number of the dark. If there are more light pebbles the answer is in your favor.

There’s method to the madness

If there are more blacks, the answer is no. Dowsing is a technique often used to receive answers to yes and no questions. The psychic or medium will use a dowsing rod or several to get these answers.

Divination: The Art of Predicting the Future - (Exploring Magic Ep.2)

There are two types of dowsing that are popular:. More commonly, diviners will use this type of divination to locate missing objects, bodies of water, or determine the energy of a room.

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Have you ever been to a fortune teller in search of answers? Are you worried about your future and want to know what it holds? When this happens to be the case, individuals seek guidance from tellers. They need to be experienced and have good intuition. In I-Ching the medium will throw coins multiple times and take note of how they land. Their pattern is then analyzed using the Book of Changes to reveal a special message. I-Ching is made up of 64 archetypes, known as hexagrams. Each one has its own interpretation, offering the user guidance for their dilemma.

The diviner needs to be very familiar with hexagram meanings and be able to read the message accurately. While this is a simple practice, there are a lot of ways the coins may fall, so it does require some learning. Lithomancy divination uses stones, crystals, or sometimes even rocks. Each piece has a meaning, so before you can use this divination to your advantage, you need to familiarize yourself with crystal and stone meanings. This knowledge will come in handy in the long run. You will then use this information to interpret the message being given to you. If you want to give this method a try, here are some tips:.

10 Historical Divination Methods for Predicting the Future | Mental Floss

The crystal that you pick is your answer. They must use their intuition to understand the answer. This divination practice revolves around numbers and their spiritual significance. Every single number — from — has a special meaning. You can use this practice to determine any of the following:. Numerology does not require any psychic abilities, making it different from much of the methods covered so far. There are many variations to consider, so for full details, we encourage you to do a little more research on this divination method.

Back in the day, diviners would use crystal balls in search of answers — this is a form of scrying. Tarot cards are a form of cartomancy. Many people believe that Tarot cards are used to predict the future. These cards offer a guideline and help the reader interpret what their clients cannot.

Unlike a regular deck of cards, Tarot cards include 22 extras. These include death, the devil, and the lovers. You can acquire an illustrated deck or an un-illustrated option. When it comes down to learning Tarot, there are endless resources at your disposal. Begin by going online and learning more about this divination practice. Tea is mixed around in a cup before being flipped upside down on a saucer. The leaves that stay inside the cup reveal a message.

This art is known as tasseography or tasseomancy , and it started being used around the 17th century. Why tea leaves? People link this beverage with herbology, which is part of the healing process. Some individuals use coffee as well when practicing this divination. The reason people seek guidance from psychics or mediums is to get answers, comfort, or healing. In ancient China, bones were used to tell the future.

During the Neolithic period, the Shang dynasty, and beyond specialists would inscribe questions on animal often cattle shoulder-blades and tortoise shells, then chisel pits into them and insert heated points. The cracks made by the heated points were then interpreted as answers to the questions—either as positive or negative omens, or with more specific meanings. Some scholars even think the meanings of these cracks formed the basis for early Chinese script, and the oracle bones, as they're now known, are definitely the oldest evidence of Chinese writing.

The oracle bones had been forgotten by history until their rediscovery around the early 20th century, when large caches were found; previously, they had known as "dragon bones" and ground up into medicine. Similar forms of pyro-osteomancy were found throughout East and Northeast Asia, and even North America , and in some cases may still be practiced by indigenous peoples.

The practice of asking a question, opening a book at random, and interpreting the first passage your eyes or fingers hit upon as an answer was once widespread among the Greeks and Romans, the Muslim world, medieval Europe, and elsewhere. The Bible, the Book of Psalms, the Koran, and the works of the Roman poet Virgil were among the books most commonly used.

Divination employing Virgil's writing even had its own name , the sortes Virgilianae. Because it's the 21st century, you can now practice it online. And you didn't even necessarily need to read the books to use them for divination—in Russia , people would tie books to the ceiling using string, and then pay attention to which way the books swung when certain names were mentioned. The direction of the swing could indicate the name of a future spouse, or girls who would marry within the year.

Chickens weren't just a handy food source in the ancient world—they could also predict the future. Various divinatory methods were employed in which chickens were offered a choice of grain in a particular location or direction, which corresponded to an answer to the subject in question the parties in a battle, say, or the direction from which a future husband might come.

According to The New Encyclopedia of the Occult , one famous example of alectryomancy took place during the reign of the Emperor Valens CE , in which a group of Roman courtiers sought the name of Valens's successor. During the ceremony, a circle was drawn and divided up into segments, with each segment corresponding to a certain letter, and a grain of wheat was placed in each segment. After various arcane incantations, the chicken pecked the grains corresponding to the letters t,h,e,o, and d , which was understood to mean "Theodotus," a local official who was known to be ambitious. Sadly, Valens found out about the episode and had everyone killed—including Theodotus.

It's less clear what happened to the chicken.

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The use of cheese as a divination tool was known in the ancient world and the Middle Ages, although the details aren't very well-recorded. Some say the shapes of the holes in the cheeses were thought to hold meaning—a heart shape could indicate love, and certain holes could be read as initials. According to occultopedia. The first to mold was believed to be the ideal mate. It may be worth noting, however, that the Greek diviner Artemidorus did not feel that cheese divination was very reliable , and included cheese diviners among his list of "false diviners," alongside dice diviners, sieve-diviners, and necromancers.

The interpretation of dreams and livers was far more dependable, he felt. The swirling shapes made by pouring melted wax into water were used as a divination tool in both ancient and medieval Europe. One common method was to melt the wax in a brass container, and then pour the liquified wax into a vessel full of cold water, after which the diviner would interpret the shapes floating in the water. A related practice, molybdomancy, used the shapes in molten metal, usually lead. One 19th-century Irish book instructs women curious about the trade of their future spouse to take a small lump of lead and put it under their pillow on Midsummer's Eve.

Methods of Divination

The next day they were to heat the lead until boiling, take a pail of water, and pour in the lead—"take it out, and you will find … emblems of his trade; if a ship, he is a sailor, [if] a book, a parson … and so on. For the ancient Greeks and Romans, chance utterings weren't always just that. The art of cledonomancy, or divination from overhead words, could be practiced either inside or outside of a specific ritual.

Coming home one evening, he noticed that his young daughter Tertia looked forlorn. Why are you sad? His daughter replied, "Oh! Specific Greek oracles, such as the oracle of Hermes at Pharai, were also designed around cledonomancy. After burning incense and making offerings, those who wished to know their future would whisper a question into an ear of Hermes's statue, cover their ears, and walk away.

The first words they heard when they uncovered their ears were interpreted as the answer to their query. In Russia, divination was once a popular pastime for the days just after the New Year, known as the strashyne "fearful" days, when evil spirits were said to be particularly active. According to W. One popular practice involved "under-the-bowl songs," in which rings and other personal objects were placed in a bowl and special divinatory songs sung, with each verse corresponding to a particular fortune poverty, spinsterhood, etc.

In one version of the practice from the Kaluga province, girls started by fetching water from a well, speaking the name of a man they wanted to marry as they did so. Once home, they poured the water into a bowl, sprinkled in some oats, added their rings, a cross, and charcoal, then covered the bowl and asked someone usually a widow to agitate the water with her pinkie finger.

The group would then sing a song, and the widow would draw out a ring at the end of each verse. Ryan gives the example of a verse that foretells death:. Death is walking down the street, He carries a pancake on a plate, To the one whose ring is taken out, It will happen, It will happen soon, It can't be escaped. In midth-century Belfast, according to Oxford's Dictionary of Superstitions , women predicted the character of their future husbands using the slimier parts of a herring.

One interview excerpted in the dictionary described "a small, silvery-coloured, glutinous membrane, of perhaps an inch and a half in length, [that] lies along the under side of the backbone of the fish. A similar practice was also known in Scotland, where the Gallovidian Encyclopedia is a little more blunt: "Herring Soam, the fat of herrings. Young girls throw this against a wall, and if it adheres to it in an upright manner, then the husband they will get will also be so; if crooked, he will be crooked.