The Magickal Universe

Where Magick is a way of life!

What is Divination?

Divination (from Latin divinare "to foresee, to be inspired by a god" related to divinus, divine).

The attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of a standardized process or ritual. It is an integral part of witchcraft and has been used in various forms for thousands of years. Diviners ascertain their interpretations of how a querent should proceed by reading signs, events, or omens, or through alleged contact with a supernatural agency, most often describe as an angel or a god though viewed by Christians, Jews and Muslims as a fallen angel or demon.

Divination can be seen as a systematic method with which to organize what appear to be disjointed, random facets of existence such that they provide insight into a problem at hand. Divination is often dismissed by sceptics, including the scientific community, as being mere superstition

If a distinction is to be made between divination and fortune-telling, divination is formal or ritualistic, usually in a religious context, as seen in traditional African medicine. While fortune-telling is a more everyday practice for personal purposes.

Particular divination methods vary by culture, tradition and religion. The following are some of the various forms of Divination employed throughout the world, the list is not complete and if there is a particular method of Divination you would like to see included here, please contact us. 


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AEROMANCY -  divination from the air and sky, particularly concentrating on cloud shapes, comets, and other phenomena not normally visible in the heavens.

ALCHEMY - is the practice of transmutation of base metals into precious metals (e.g., gold or silver) with the aid of an esoteric substance called the "philosopher's stone".

ALECTRYOMANCY -  is divination whereby a bird is allowed to pick corn grains from a circle of letters. A variation is to recite letters of the alphabet noting those at which a cock crows.

ALEUROMANCY -  is divination using "fortune cookies"; answers to questions are rolled into balls of dough and once baked are chosen at random.

ALOMANCY - is divination by table salt.

ALPHITOMANCY - uses special cakes that are digestible by persons with a clear conscience but are unpleasant to others.

ANTHROPOMANCY - is the long-outlawed means of divination by human sacrifice.

APANTOMANCY - is divination through chance meetings with animals (e.g., a black cat), birds, and other creatures. Mexico City is said to have been founded where Aztec soothsayers saw an eagle flying from a cactus carrying a live snake.

ARITHMANCY or ARITHMOMANCY -  is an earlier form of NUMEROLOGY where divination is made through numbers and the number value of letters.

ASTRAGLOMANCY or ASTRAGYROMANCY - is a form of divination by dice where the faces of the dice bear numbers and letters.

ASTROLOGY - is divination using celestial bodies: the sun, moon, planets, and stars. A complex subject, one that its' practitioners would describe as a science. It bears very little resemblance to the horoscopes that are printed in the daily Newspapers and magazines, and even less to the computer generated astrological text services!

AUGURY - is the general term for the art of divination and is chiefly applied to interpretations of signs and omens.

AUSTROMANCY - is divination by the study of the winds.

AXIOMANCY - is divination through the observation of how an ax or hatchet quivers or points when driven into post.


BELOMANCY - is an ancient form of divination performed by tossing or balancing arrows.

BIBLIOMANCY - involves divination by books.

BOTANOMANCY - is divination from burning tree branches and leaves.

BUMPOLOGY -  strictly a modern term, a popular nickname for PHRENOLOGY


CAPNOMANCY - is the study of smoke rising from a fire.

CARTOMANCY - is fortune telling using cards such as the Tarot.

CATOPTROMANCY - is an early form of crystal gazing that utilizes a mirror turned to the moon to catch moonbeams.

CAUSIMOMANCY - is divination from behavior of objects placed in a fire.

CEPHALOMANCY - refers to divination with the skull or head of a donkey or goat.

CERAUNOSCOPY - seeks to draw omens from the study of thunder and lightning.

CEROSCOPY, CEROMANCY - is a form of fortune telling in which melted was is poured into cold water.

CHIROMANCY - is divination from the lines on people's hands.

CHIROGNOMY - is the study of the general hand formation.

CLAIRAUDIENCE - is "clear hearing" of divinatory information. Parapsychologist generally regard as a form of extrasensory perception.

CLAIRVOYANCE - is "clear seeing" of divinatory information. Parapsychologist generally regard as a form of extrasensory perception.

CLEROMANCY - is divination by "casting lots", similar to dice but with objects such as pebbles or sea shells.

CLIDOMANCY or CLEIDOMANCY - is divination using a dangling key. see RADIESTHESIA.

COSCINOMANCY - is divination using a hanging sieve. see RADIESTHESIA.

CRITOMANCY - is the study of barley cakes.

CROMNIOMANCY - is divination using onion sprouts.

CRYSTALLOMANCY - is divination through crystal gazing. Seeing mages in a reflective medium, such as a crystal ball. What you see can shed light on the present and guide future action. The word 'scry' comes from the Anglo-Saxon 'descry', which means to see.

Scrying in shiny surfaces has been practised in every culture and time, not only by mystics and magicians, but every girl who has gazed into a mirror and performed rituals to see her lover's face, or by any man who has sought wisdom in moonlit water.

Crystallomancy differs from other forms of scrying such as tea leaves, because the images are not formed by the medium itself, but from within your psyche.

People sometimes feel that they cannot use a crystal ball or a mirror successfully because there are no concrete images on which to work. For this reason, Scryers can become anxious and actually block the natural and very vivid images cast on to the glass by the mind's eye.

CYCLOMANCY - is the practice of divination from a turning wheel.


DACTYLOMANCY - is an early form of RADIESTHESIA using a dangling ring.

DAPHNOMANCY  - requires one to listen to laurel branches crackling in an open fire.

DEMONOMANCY - is divination with the aid of demons.

DENDROMANCY - is divination with either oak or mistletoe.-

DOWSING or DIVINING RODS - are methods of divination where a forked stick is used to locate water or precious minerals.


GASTROMANCY - is an ancient form of ventriloquism whereby the voice is lowered to a sepulchral tone and prophetic utterances are delivered in a trance state.

GELOSCOPY - is the divination from the tone of someone's laughter.

GENETHLIALOGY - is divination by the influence of the stars at birth.

GEOMANCY - is the study of figures on the ground and the influence of the Earth's "currents".

GETA-URANAI - A method of predicting the weather. A geta, or Japanese wooden sandal, is kicked into the air. The way it falls predicts how the weather will be.

RIGHT WAY UP — Fine weather
ON THE SIDE — Cloudy weather
UPSIDE DOWN — Rainy weather


GRAPHOLOGY - is the analysis of character through handwriting.

GYROMANCY - is a divination procedure where a person walks in a circle marked with letters until they become dizzy and stumble at different points, thus spelling out a prophesy.



HARUSPICATION - is fortune-telling by means of inspecting the entrails of animals, as practiced by priests in ancient Rome.

HIEROMANCY or HIERSCOPY - is divination by observing object of ancient sacrifice.

HIPPOMANCY - is a form of divination from the stamping and neighing of horses.

HOROSCOPY - is the practice of casting of astrological horoscopes.

HYDROMANCY - is divination by water including the color, ebb and flow, or ripples produced by pebbles dropped in a pool.


I CHING - one of the oldest forms of divination still in existence. The I Ching is not the work of an individual but the collective wisdom of generations spanning 3000 years. It is founded on the examination of nature and humanity, and stands for the schematic, rhythmic and purposeful cosmos. 'Change not the eternal,' is the central theme, and time is identified as a vital factor in the composition of the world and the evolvement of the individual.

This system works from the premise that change is not random, and that each manifestation of existence can only transmute into something already inherent in its own nature and not into anything entirely different. This system of divination also maintains that change follows in a cyclic motion, to the ancient Chinese even death conveyed movement returning to its source, being the opposite of life, death implied the eventual return to a previous state.

The I Ching affirms that by revealing to the conscious mind what is concealed in the subconscious mind, it is possible to predict the probable future and to choose a direction accordingly, therefore we can become the masters of our own destiny and not its slaves.

ICHTHYOMANCY - is divination using fish.


LAMPADOMANCY - is divination using lights or torches.

LECANOMANCY - uses a basin of water for divination.

LIBANOMANCY - is the study of incense and its smoke.

LITHOMANCY - is divination using precious stones of various colors.


MARGARITOMANCY - is the procedure of using bouncing pearls.

METAGNOMY - is the divination using "visions" received in a trance state.

METEOROMANCY - is divination from meteors.

METOPOSCOPY --  is the reading of character using the lines if the forehead.

MOLEOSOPHY - is the study of moles and indicators of a person's character and future indications.

MOLYBDOMANCY - draws mystic inferences from the hissing of molten lead.

MYOMANCY - is the study of the prophetic meaning of behavior of rats and mice.


NUMEROLOGY - is the numerical interpretation of numbers, dates, and the number value of letters. The theory that, a name is more than just a label but the essence of, the person who bears it, is an idea stretching back throughout the years. It is on this theory coupled with the belief that numbers are a store house of magic power that the practice of divination by numbers is based.

Originally each letter of the Greek and Hebrew alpha­bets also stood for a number and therefore each word represented a number when its letters were added together. In this way a person's name could be reduced to a number and they would bear the characteristics associated with it.

Each of the planets also has its individual number and consequently the person who also bears that number is influenced by them.

A person's date of birth can also be used in the same way, and when coupled with their 'name' number can foretell of things to come for a particular year in their life.


OCULOMANCY - is divination from a person's eye.

OINOMANCY - is divination using wine.

OMPHALOMANCY - This form of divination takes two forms. One is based on the interpretation of the belly button. Its size and shape reveals the personality and fate of an individual. However as far as it would correlate to body reading, I would say that a deep "inny" would correlate to an introverted personality, and an "outy" to more of an extroverted personality.

According to Dr Gerhard Reibmann, a Berlin psychologist and author of the privately published book "Centered: Understanding Yourself through your Navel", he recommends that to tell how long you'll live, go to a private, well-lit area and carefully inspect your own navel. Then, compare what you've observed with the list of six navel types and their associated characteristics.

1) The Horizontal Navel. This belly button is oblong in shape and spreads sideways across the tummy. People with horizontal navels are complex and highly emotional. This can take a toll on their health. Average life expectancy: 68 years.

2) The Vertical Navel. Also oblong, this belly button stands on end, running up and down along the tummy. It indicates a person who is self-confident, generous, and emotionally stable. Average life expectancy: 75 years.

3) The Outty. A belly button that protrudes outward indicates an optimistic person who approaches life with enthusiasm. Average life expectancy: 72 years.

4) The Concave Navel. This belly button is bowl-shaped or inward. It belongs to a person who is gentle, loving, cautious, sensitive, and prone to worry. People with concave navels are delicate. Average life expectancy: 65 years.

5) The Off-Center Navel. An off-center belly button indicates a fun-loving, unusual individual who experiences wide emotional swings. Average life expectancy: 70 years.

6) The Round Navel. This belly button is evenly shaped and circular. It indicates a modest, even-tempered person with a quiet, retiring personality. Average life expectancy: 81 years.

According to Chinese lore, the best belly button is a concave one, rather than a protruding one, and the deeper the belly button the more children you will have. In these days of reliable contraception, the prediction relates more to the ability to have many children, rather than the inevitability.

Dreaming of your own belly button is traditionally associated with starting up a new venture with possible long-term benefits, and dreaming of someone else's navel denotes a new love affair.

According to Indian Tantric lore, the belly button is also used to diagnose health problems. Following this system, the navel is where energy is received and processed coming in from the universe.

The belly button represents fertility and it is also a reminder of the connection between the generations, in other words it connects you to your past and future. It is also seen being the "centre" of human beings.

The second form of omphalomancy is based on the umbilical cord. A Jamaican old wife's tale holds that the number of knots in the umbilical cord of a newborn baby shows how many more brothers or sisters are yet to come. It is interesting that this one has been verified and it seems to be accurate.

ONEIROMANCY - is the interpretation of dreams and their prophetic nature.

ONOMANCY is the study of the meaning of names.

ONOMANTICS - is the application of ONOMANCY applied to personal names, particularly in the sense of occult interpretation.

ONYCHOMANCY - is the study of fingernails. The next time you are getting a manicure (or a pedicure), take your time to gaze at your highly polished nail. You may be able to see your future. This unusual form of scrying was practised by the Arabs who gazed at the sun's reflection off the nail.  Diviners in Brazil prepare the thumbnail by coating it with ash and oil to provide a reflective surface for scrying when dry.  Another way of divining the future from a fingernail or toenail was to coat it with a liquid which would dry with a lacework of fine cracks and read the design of the cracks.

OOMANTIA and OOSCOPY - is the method of divination by eggs.

OPHIOMANCY - is divination from serpents.

ORNISCOPY and ORINITHOMANCY - is the study of omens associated with birds, particularly birds in flight. see APANTOMANCY

OVOMANCY - is another type of egg divination.


PALMISTRY - is the broad field of divination and interpretation of the lines and structure of the hand. Reading palms like interpreting the cards or casting a horoscope is one of the ancient methods of divination that has survived and is as popular today as it ever was.

Palmistry however differs from other methods of divination in that it is completely personal as no two hands, like no two fingerprints, are identical.

There are two sides of palmistry, chirosophy which deals with the lines on the hand and chirognomy in which the shape of the hand and fingers are analysed. Both are closely connected, with Astrology and the different areas of the hands and fingers are associated with the planets.

PEGOMANCY - concerns itself with spring water and bubbling fountains and the omens contained therein.

PHRENOLOGY - is the long practiced study of head formations.

PHYLLORHODOMANCY - is a means of divination whereby one slaps a rose petal against the hand and judges the favorability of the omen by the loudness of the sound.

PHYSIOGNOMY - is the study of character analysis through physical features.

PRECOGNITION - in an inner knowledge or sense of future events.

PSYCHOGRAPHY - is a form of mysterious writing having a divinatory nature.

PSYCHOMETRY - is the faculty of gaining impressions from a physical object and its history.

PYROMANCY and PYROSCOPY - are forms of divination by fire or flame, often assisted by substances thrown onto the flames.


RADIESTHESIA - is the general term for divination using a device such as a divining rod or pendulum. Other forms include "table tipping" which was practiced at the White House in the 19th century, the Ouija board, automatic writing (or superconscious writing), and scrying.

RHABDOMANCY - is divination using a stick or wand. These methods were forerunners of the divining rod.

RHAPSODOMANCY - is a means of divination using a book of poetry whereby the book is opened at random and a passage read.

RUNES - an Oracular system of divination and magic! The Runes are simple, earthy symbols rooted in the natural world and as such can be touched and related to by anyone who is willing to ally themselves with them. They can be viewed, like any other ideograph, like a frozen symbol of an actual state or concept. They stimulate the imagination and help us to understand and perceive our relationship to others and to the world; thereby allowing us to cause change.


SCIOMANCY - is divination using a spirit guide, a method generally employed by channelers.

SCRYING - is a general term for divination using a crystal, mirrors, bowls of water, ink, or flames to induce visions.

SIDEROMANCY - is the burning of straws with a hot iron, the resulting figures having divinatory properties.

SORTILEGE - is the casting of lots and the assessment of omens indicated.

SPODOMANCY - is divination using cinders or soot.

STICHOMANCY - is another form of throwing open a book and selecting a random passage for the purpose of divination.

STOLISOMANCY - draws omens from the way people dress.

SYCOMANCY - is performed by writing messages on tree leaves; the slower they dry, the more favorable the omen. A modern variation is to write on slips of paper (always including one blank) and rolling them up. They are then held in a strainer over a boiling pot; the first to unroll will be answered.


TAROT - another complex subject, with many practitioners, and few true seers! Almost everyone who consults this form of divination wants to know about potential futures, interactions with loved ones, and ways in which to deal with problems and dilemmas. The Tarot persuade not only the Client, but Consultant too, to look deeper and more carefully at every aspect of a given situation.

The Tarot has a multi-dimensional quality, where one can deal with the apparent mundane, material concerns, as well as the not-so-apparent spiritual aspects - and all that exists in between. A true 'Seer' is able to synthesize this information and guide the Client towards success.

TASSEOGRAPHY - is the reading of tea leaves that remain in a tea cup once the beverage has been drunk.

TEPHRAMANCY - is divination by ashes obtained from the burning of tree bark.

TIROMANCY - is a type of divination using cheese.


XYLOMANCY - is divination from pieces of wood, either from their shape when collected or their appearance while burning.

Sources and Resources

Terra Sphere Book of Shadows (1998)