Divination is the act of attempting to gain insight or information via spiritual means, frequently involving tools and rituals. Divination experts read signs, omens, events, and patterns displayed by certain tools via contact with spirits or spiritual sources. Divination is also frequently referred to as fortune-telling.
The most common forms of divination practices today are cartomancy, or divination through cards such as tarot, oracle decks, or playing cards, chiromancy, or palmistry, and tasseomancy, or reading tea leaves or coffee grounds, and dowsing, also known as water-witching. Divination also occurs quite frequently via the casting of lots, such as in Nigerian Ifa and Lucumi Dilogun, found among the Yoruba people and diasporic offshoots of African religions found in the Caribbean and the Americas.
Divination is often a highly nuanced and developed method of attempting to ascertain previously unknown information. Professional divination experts frequently train for years in their respective methods, if not for their entire lives.
The Mystic’s Altar carries a large assortment of divinatory tools such as tarot, oracle decks. pendulums, runes, and candles for pyromancy and ceromancy. We also carry a wide array of books on various divination techniques including the ones mentioned previously as well as bibliomancy, dream interpretation, and palmistry.
Tarot is the most popular form of divination in the United States, currently. It is a system of divination via use of a set of cards, also referred to as cartomancy. The Tarot is a 78 card deck comprised of 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 minor arcana cards that are based off of the regular playing card deck.
Tarot can be used to look at the past, present, or future, or anything, really.
Oracle cards are various decks used similarly to Tarot, but they do not accord with the standard Tarot deck breakdown of major and minor arcana.
Scrying is the practice of looking into a translucent or reflective surface such as mirrors, glass, water, fire or crystal in order to have spiritual visions. Scying has been used to divine the past, present, and future since time imemorial. Scrying is most popularly done with a crystal ball, although scrying mirrors and pools/bowls of water are also often employed.
Cheiromancy is the art of divining via the palm of the hand. This practice is found the world over and varies with each culture. Palmistry reveals the character of a person on an in-depth level, and is highly related to and influenced by astrology.
Tea Leaf Reading/Tasseomancy
Tasseography is a fortune-telling technique that interprets the patterns in tea leaves or coffee grounds. In the 17th century, Dutch merchants introduced tea to Europe via trade routes with China, and fortune tellers who had previously performed readings based on wax splatters and other milten substances began to apply this same system of divination to tea leaves. This method of divination is very popular in Irish, Welsh, Scottish, and English cultures.
Oneiromancy is divination based on dreams. This is a system of dream interpretation that is used to predict the future. Ancient peoples looked heavily into their dreams to predict the future, and the practice still survives in many modern-day religions such as Yoruba religions (Lucumi, Umbanda, Macumba, Candomble), other Afro-diaporic religions (Vodou, 21 Divisions) and modern day witchcraft religions such as Wicca. Spirits are commonly thought to communicate through dreams, and psychics place special value on prophetic dreaming.
Bibliomancy is divination done via books, most frequently the Christian Bible. A practitioner of bibliomancy will ask a question or state aloud the need for guidance or information on a subject, and open the Bible at random, allowing their finger to fall onto a passage. Through the hermetic laws of synchronicity, insight about a situation is gained via the passage.The Book of Psalms is especially popular for this purpose.
Pyromancy is the art of divination or scrying via fire. Practitioners often see shapes within the flames, applying spiritual significance to images that appear both in the flame and int he mind of the practitioner while gazing into the fire. Special woods and incense are frequently burned for this, and items as common as candles and fireplaces are employed for this purpose.
Ceromancy is divination via wax. Fortune-tellers will burn candles for spcific magical puposes, and when the candle is done burning, the wax runoff or leftovers are interpreted to give the fortune-teller a better understanding of the working and its outcome, or insight into a specific situation. This is similar to tasseography, as patterns and images are identified and interpreted within the wax.
The Runes are an ancient alphabet of Norse and Germanic people. They are commonly used for divination in a manner similar to the casting of lots, as their history is linked with the Norse Father God Odin and the power to bring that which was dead back to life.
We carry all sorts of divination tools at the Mystic’s Altar. Come in and check them out soon!