A Simple Prelude to Divination

Optional audio transcript

You can ask yourself many times over: what is divination? Why do we think we can predict the future? What do runes even mean? Well, I can’t answer all of that, but I can say divination is all about the paranormal, and we haven’t spoken about it to its full extent. So, what does a non-divinator, non-diviner, not a psychic person, etc., do to understand divination in the first place?

Well, I’m going to take a few guesses and a load of research and tell you what divination is, but in types. While I love talking about the whole art as a whole, it is a massive grouping of knowledge of the unknown. Some of you have a better understanding of it than I do, obviously. Some of you are just a ignorant as I am.

By the many websites you’ll see in links, divination is pretty much just understanding future events. There probably is a greater explanation, but what can divination do with the paranormal? Well, this collection of future telling is all paranormal, whether it be practiced or not.

But for today, you’ll be reading on the more extravagant side of the art, and by that I mean the ones that either can harm or just are a bit strange.

Oneiromancy 

Dreams can be a part of insight to help in telling the future. It is not supported whatsoever in the scientific field and get used to reading this sentence for many of these. This isn’t like astral projecting, where you are more meditating than dreaming. This deals with being told about the future, what to do in the future, or just experiencing it.

Of course, there are examples all over world for this section of divination. Many are in the Bible with folks talking to the Christian God. Ancient Egyptians thought that dreams were an extension to fortune telling. The ancient Greek culture was no different as they also believed in dreams carrying messages and omens.

Divination can be seen from the sky, by Glegle
Divination can be seen from the sky, by Glegle

While dreams themselves aren’t paranormal, the way they were skewed into having a message is. You might’ve read this in one of my other posts and I try to understand nightmares and uncommon dreams.

Scrying in divination

This one I added in just because of how many ways you can use it. This vast way of looking into the future is just opening your third eye, or psychic eye, via looking into something else. Most of these things are translucent in nature, but otherwise can just give a reflection. This includes, but not limited to:

  • Crystals
  • Water
  • Mirrors
  • Fire

As much as I can say fire would be the worst of these to stare into, horror movies have taught me that mirrors are more dangerous. I mean, every demonic presence with a mirror has caused nothing but trouble. Additionally, there are literal series about opening portals with mirrors. Scrying to me is a strange concept, but if it works, it works.

Furthermore, there is a massive market for scrying. You can even buy obsidian scrying balls if you have money just burning in your pocket. Also, they come with warnings as sunlight can cause them to set your house on fire.

Just use water, folks. It’s way safer.

Scapulimancy

I just have to say, I love a good Latin word when it all comes together like this one. This part of divination is just all bone. There is also pyro-osteomancy, which is future-telling with cracks in bones, but this one utilizes actual bones. Somewhere, out there, there is a group of people with a collection of bones meant to tell the future.

This started in China many moons ago. I’m assuming with how much hunting there was back in the day, bones were around. I don’t see why it would be creepy back then, but nowadays, bones are not common in Western culture.

I have multiple feather wreaths in my home because I own chickens and ducks, and even that is bizarre to some. Can’t waste a pretty feather, can’t waste a pretty… bone?

Anyways, they can be used like runes or shaken up in a bag and laid out to where images can appear. The Celtic folk have used a similar method to the latter as well.

Birds in divination

If you are in a society where bones are considered strange, try birds! Live ones, I mean. Since I do have birds and need another reason to watch them, we have bird divination, and there are many types. First, you see ornithomancy.

This type of bird insight is all about how birds act, their color, and their species. I will try this one out, as I can easily just step outside and look. There is a guide to how you can conduct this, but many are about the flight of birds, not their full actions.

While I would love for this to be more real than it looks to be, I do have other examples of birds around me. Unfortunately, the hummingbirds outside my window just like my flowers, Exemplore guide. They do bring me joy, though, so they may be on to something.

The guide also speaks of ducks. My ducks will quack at anything, so they may not be a good example. But I guess if I want luck, I’ll just bring some peas out to them.

Feather divination

This one doesn’t get a -mancy name, but it is still a real thing. I find feathers all the time in my yard. Birds lose feathers because they a molting, growing, or preening. Additionally, they can just fall out. It happens. So, much of this does not really refer to me as I could walk outside and pick one up. My birds are all different colors, though, so maybe there is some insight.

Or my flappy friends are just having a laugh at my expense.

illustration from bird feathers for divination
Macaw by Couleur

Now, I do get certain color feathers depending on who decides to molt, especially around wintertime. Lately, my Plymouth Rocks have had their time getting some new feathers. This means that most of my feathers that I’m picking up are black and white.

There is an actual meaning to black and white feathers, meaning that change is coming. I did just change jobs, so who knows if the birds predicted that, or if it’s just a coincidence.

Many different cultures have used birds and feathers in general as a form of divination, including Native Americans, Celts, ancient Greece, and at one point, during ancient Rome.

So really, divination is not just a practice

It is really a way of telling what will happen using local means. Luckily for culture, many of these items are literally everywhere (for now), so they spread far and wide. There is so much more out there to discover with divination, but this is a good start. Much like a new job, getting all the information at once can be daunting.

Divination has even more uses and some have requirements to begin. So, if you are willing, start with a bowl of water and make sure the birds you are staring at aren’t directly in front of the sun.

Because, you know, you’ll go blind.

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