Are you using any divination system? Which one? Or maybe you know something that has not been mentioned in this entry? Post your thoughts in comments. I use the I-Ching and the Pendulum. But the ones I do the most are tarot reading and the pendulum. I never knew there were so many different systems! The divination through thunder sounds especially interesting.
I really want to check it out, but monsoon season has long since passed. Anyway, great article. Thanks :.
This website contains links and references to products and services that may include affiliates, sponsorships, or other business relationships in which Reiki Paths and its author may receive compensation from referrals or sales actions. Psychic Development Simplified Psychic Development Simplified is a complete guidebook to psychic development.
The Essentials of Magick A universal guide to the essential basics of magick. The Art of Seeing Clairvoyance manual, this book will teach you how to develop and use the psychic ability of clairvoyance. How to choose divination system that will suit you Tags: March 27th, Related entries How to draw protection symbols Premonitions, precognition — would you like to know the future? Subscribe and stay updated! RSS Mail Twitter. A State of Mind. Disclosure This website contains links and references to products and services that may include affiliates, sponsorships, or other business relationships in which Reiki Paths and its author may receive compensation from referrals or sales actions.
Today, however, scholars no longer restrict the word to the root meaning. Divinatory practices and the beliefs undergirding them are greater in scope than discerning the will of the gods and the fatalistic view of the human condition that inspired so much of early Mediterranean religious thought. In some societies, in fact, divination is a practice to which many persons frequently resort, but never in terms of discovering the will of the gods. The idea of a godly providence controlling human affairs in such societies is unusual, although humbler spirits are often thought to intervene in troublesome ways.
While divination is most commonly practiced in the modern Western world in the form of horoscopic astrology, other forms were and continue to be of equal importance for other cultures. Divination is universally concerned with practical problems, private or public, and seeks information upon which practical decisions can be made; but the source of such information is not conceived as mundane , and the technique of getting it is necessarily fanciful. The mantic divinatory arts are many, and a broad understanding can emerge only from a survey of actual practices in various cultural settings.
A short definition, however, may be offered as a preliminary guide: divination is the effort to gain information of a mundane sort by means conceived of as transcending the mundane. Though the act of divination is attended by respect and the attitude of the participants in the divinatory act may be religious, the subject matter of divination like that of magic is ephemeral—e. Divination is a consultative institution, and the matter posed to a diviner may range from a query about a few lost coins to high questions of state. The casual or solemn nature of the matter is normally matched by that of the diviner in terms of attitude, technique, and style.
Where the diviner is a private practitioner, the elaborateness of the procedure may be reflected in the fee. In contrast to the worldly motives of some diviners, the calling of diviner-priest was seen by the ancient Etruscans in Italy and the Maya in Mexico as sacred; his concern was for the very destiny of his people.
Divination has many rationales, and it is difficult to describe the diviner as a distinctive social type. He or she may be a shaman private curer employing psychic techniques; see shamanism , a priest , a peddler of sorcery medicines, or a holy person who speaks almost with the voice of prophecy.
Ifa divination system - intangible heritage - Culture Sector - UNESCO
To assert that European religious beliefs have remained the same throughout the Common Era would be to ignore the impact of modern science and secularization. The extent to which a practice such as divination should be called a corollary of the beliefs entailed and the extent to which the opposite might be true i. Among the great cultures, the Chinese tradition has given the broadest scope to divination; yet there is no single Chinese religious cosmology, or theory on the ordering of the world, comparable to those of the Mayan, Sanskritic Hindu , or Judeo-Christian traditions, from which the variety of popular practice can be seen to derive.
Sometimes, as with the flourishing business of astrology in Christian countries since the Renaissance, the metaphysical transcendent presuppositions of mantic practice may have been muted in order to minimize conflict with official religious and scientific doctrines. Generally, however, the philosophical underpinnings of divination need not be deep or well worked out, but, where they are, they will afford clues to fundamental beliefs about man and about visible or invisible nature. Some traditions of divination—such as astrology, geomancy divination by means of figures or lines , or the Chinese divinatory disciplines—are so old and established that it is virtually impossible to discover their original contexts.
Over the centuries such practices have survived many changes and have become perennial attempts to answer recurring questions about the human condition. Established long ago in the hieratic priestly discipline of primitive theocracies, such a tradition still bears the marks of the specialists who worked out its systematic techniques.
Since the practice is now observed only as a folk or popular tradition, however, it would be rash to suppose that any legitimate philosophical tradition undergirding divination survives. Systematic studies of geomancy are recent, and the literature of astrology is as perishable as it is massive. Babylonian astrology, from which later forms are derived, arose in an agrarian Mesopotamian civilization concerned with the vicissitudes of nature and the affairs of state.
The mercantile, seafaring, and individualistic Greeks absorbed the mantic system of the collectivistic floodplain civilization of Mesopotamia, elaborated on it by adding the horoscopic discipline, and transmitted it through Hellenistic, Egyptian, and Islamic science to Europe. Various priests and scholars have made their contributions to the system; yet there also is a clear correspondence between the general character of a culture and the uses it finds for divination.
That is, the worldview implicit in the divination system itself may reflect the historical rather than the current context of use. It requires only practical understanding to consult a Ouija board or use a forked stick to decide where to drill for water. Hence, people of very different beliefs may adopt the same practices, and a full correspondence between practice and belief can be expected only where both have developed in the same cultural context.
By its very nature, however, divination tends to develop as a discipline, becoming the tradition of an organized body of specialists. This is because the means to which diviners must resort generally set them apart. That is the case even among such peoples as the Zande of the Nile-Congo divide in Africa, where the resort to divination is frequent and the most common techniques utilized are recognized to be within the competence of ordinary individuals.
Few societies are as enthusiastically given to divination as the Zande, who routinely employ it to explore their thoughts and who will not consider any important undertakings without oracular confirmation in advance. Among the Zande, the ordinary person could be considered a divinatory specialist. Elsewhere, divination is reserved for special crises, and a recognized expert must be consulted to guarantee an authentic answer.
As schools of dramatic art range from those relying on explicit technique to those teaching intuitive identification with a role, mantic skills range from the mechanical to the inspirational but most often combine both skills in a unique, dramatically coherent format. An intermediate class, interpretive divination, allows a less rigid classification, since many divinatory disciplines do not rely strongly either upon inductive rigour or upon trance and possession.
Inductive divination presupposes a determinative procedure, apparently free from mundane control, yielding unambiguous decisions or predictions. Interpretive divination requires the combination of correct procedure with the special gift of insight that sets a diviner apart. The intact contents are then collected in water, and the diviner withdraws into a darkened corner to bend over the receptacle and read the signs of the eggs. His recitation then interprets the origin and nature of the disease. Intuitive divination presupposes extraordinary gifts of insight or ability to communicate with beings in an extramundane sphere.
The diviner, bound and cloaked, is no sooner placed in his barrel-shaped tent than the tent begins to shake with astonishing vigour and to fill the air with monstrous noises, and this continues with great effect until, all of a sudden, the communicating spirit makes its presence known from within the tent and undertakes to answer questions. It is difficult to explain away the phenomena of spirit possession as products of deliberate instruction.
SUMMER / AUTUMN 2013
The cosmological and psychological conditioning that affects divinatory practices within a cultural tradition will influence in a similar fashion all its religious practices. Greek divination was eccentric in that sanctuaries were located apart from the centres of political power see oracle ; the Etruscan system, on the other hand, was concentric, focused at the summit itself.
Rome, however, never allowed divination to become the central preoccupation of society as it had been for Etruria, nor did it become an autonomous force in society as it had been for the Greeks. In this, Rome represented a balance that is more congenial to modern Western thought. Throughout the ancient Mediterranean world, with the notable exception of Egypt , divination was tied to expiation and sacrifice : fate was perceived as dire but not quite implacable , and the function of divination was to foresee calamity in order to forestall it.
In trans-Saharan Africa, religion centres on expiation and sacrifice, and divination is a pivotal institution, but the Mediterranean notion of fate is not developed. Instead, the trouble of a person is attributed to witchcraft , sorcery , or ancestral vexation—all of which are believed to be arbitrary and morally undeserved. Divination is employed to discover the source of trouble in order to remove it, whether by sacrifice, countersorcery, or accusation and ordeal.
The mind is turned to past events or hidden motives of the present time, however, and not to the future—that would be to borrow trouble. The function of divination needs to be understood in its motivational context. It is not enough to say that information won from the diviner serves to allay uncertainty, locate blame, or overcome misfortune. Divination is motivated by the fact that information, whether spurious or true, will please a client.
Unless one assumes that the information is usually accurate, one would expect clients to be displeased and subsequently skeptical. A careful assessment of the kinds of information that divinatory systems are required to yield is thus in order. The two main kinds are general information about the future and specific information about the past as it bears upon the future. The first kind of information is yielded by horoscopic divination.
It is usually so general that it cannot be properly tested. If such information were really specific, the prediction could interfere with its own fulfillment, acting as a warning or breeding overconfidence. Indeed, it is common in trans-Saharan societies for a troubled client to consult a series of diviners until one of them seems convincing. Again, many systems of divination have a double check built into them: the question is posed first in the positive and then in the negative, and the oracle must obviously without manipulation answer consistently.
The chances are actually even that any oracle will fail to do so, yet the credibility of such oracles seems not to be lost. Ethnographic studies do not confirm this, suggesting instead that what a client seeks from the diviner is information upon which to confidently act and, thus, public credibility for that course of action. Consistent with this motive, the client should set aside any finding that would seem to lead to doubtful action and continue the consultations until they suggest a course that can be taken with confidence.
Clients seek out a diviner when they are unsure how to behave—when there is illness, drought, death, or the fear of death; when there is suspicion of malevolence, theft, or breach of faith; when dreams or other symptoms are disturbing or the signs of the time seem bad. Divination serves the purpose of circumscription, of marking out and delimiting the area of concern: the nature of the crisis is defined, the source of anxiety is named.
Concern becomes allegation, bafflement decision.
- Nomination file No. 00146.
- Worcester County (Then and Now)?
- Voodoo Dolls in Magick and Ritual.
- Divination Systems.
- Course Excerpt: Divination Systems.
- A Quick Disclaimer….
The diviner may function as a stage manager, speeding up the action, rejecting false moves in advance, or indicating the secret fear or the hidden motive. Where divinatory practice is a recognized resource, the individual who ignores it is considered arbitrary, and one who heeds it needs no further justification. In this sense, the ultimate function of divination is the legitimation of problematic decisions. Because dramatic effect is important, divination takes many forms and employs a wealth of devices. In a general way, it may be said that inductive divination employs nonhuman phenomena, either artificial or natural, as signs that can be unambiguously read.
The prime condition is that the signs appear to be genuine, not manipulated. Interpretive divination commonly combines the use of nonhuman phenomena with human action, employing devices so complex, subtle, or fluid that the special gifts of the diviner seem required if the meaning is to be known. It is here that divination takes its most characteristically dramatic forms.
Intuitive divination usually places little reliance upon artificial trappings, except for dramatic effect. Excellent performers may exhibit gifts that in a different context would have made them effective actors, writers, or political leaders. Where diviners can produce other voices, they can generate the impression that the gods or spirits are speaking. To speculate that inductive divination from natural phenomena must be very old—i.
In fact, there is little evidence that preliterate peoples viewed nature as a system, and this is particularly true in respect to astral observation. Divination from the skies is concerned preeminently with the future but presupposes a concern with cycles of time and history. Quite distinctive attitudes were taken toward the celestial clock by the ancient Mayan astronomers and those of Mesopotamia, and distinct but related forms of astrology were developed in the Western, Indian, and Chinese civilizations.
Associated with the observation of the heavens is the reading of signs in the weather and the movement of birds. The interpretation of lightning as a decipherable message from the gods—not simply as an outburst of divine anger—was brought to the level of a pseudoscience by the Etruscans. Winds and clouds, being suited to less exact observation, invited interpretive rather than inductive divination. Weather phenomena were also conceived of as having a special status relative to humanity, in that rain, drought, and natural disasters are forces that people seek not simply to read but to control.
Augury , the art of interpreting omens, is the attempt to discover divine will in phenomena of animate nature. In Mesopotamia , augury was associated with sacrifice and perhaps developed from it.