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Divining Your Way - Methods of Divination

Updated on July 3, 2017

Divination is a term used to apply to virtually any form and means of discovering the events of the future. It ascertains the will of the Gods in a specific matter and clarifies the circumstances and possible outcomes. Locating lost objects, discovering the fidelity of your partner and uncovering whether you will be healthy, wealthy and wise are also part of divinatory methods.

There are many traditional means of determining the future. Over the centuries, people have come up with some creative ways to discover what will happen. The actual origin of these methods is often in doubt. Who, for example, can state with absolute certainty when weather became part of a system for divination. Even today, we utilize weather to forecast certain events.

The same applies to animals. Groundhog Day on February 2 salutes the ability of a single animal – the groundhog, to prognosticate whether Spring will be early or Winter remain for another 6 weeks. Originally, Bears acted as the weather oracle. Other animals in the past have and still include moles, are called upon to determine weather changes and possible events. In times of uncertainty, the Romans sacrificed dogs to find out the will of the Gods.

The most common means of divination are Astrology, Runes, Cards, Tarot Cards, Palmistry, Tasseomancy, Crystal Balls and Dreams. Yet, as the following list shows, the means of uncovering and determining the future and the will of the Gods is wide, varied and related, frequently, to cultural aspects.

Divination Type Description

Aeromancy Through air and weather vanes

Alectromancy By the actions of Roosters and poultry

Aliphomancy By flour, meal and bran in a bowl

Antipomancy Using the entrails of a sacrifice

Arithmancy Numbers

Astraglaomancy Using dice or gaming tokens e.g. bones

Austromancy Using the wind e.g. pieces of paper placed in a Circle

Axinomancy Using saws and other cutting edges

Belomancy Through the directions of arrows or their Marks make

Botanomancy The growth, number, shape, colour, etc. of plants/herbs

Capnomancy Watching the patterns of smoke: how it rises/disperses

Carromancy Melting of candle wax and the patterns made; also wick burning

Catoxtromancy Using glasses – a form of scrying

Cattabomancy Vessels of brass and other metals

Chartomancy Handwriting, Writing in papers

Chiromancy Lines on the hand, a type of palmistry

Cleidomancy Using a book and a key

Cleromancy To draw lots

Coscinomancy Using sieves – the residue are examined

Crithomancy Examining the texture, colour, growth of corn and grain

Crystallmancy The divining of lees from drinking glasses

Demonomancy Through the suggestions of evil demons

Gastromancy Sounds, grumblings of the belly

Geoloscopy This is a laughing matter

Geomancy Using stones and soil

Gyromancy Circles or round shapes drawn on paper or the soil

Hydromancy Using water

Ichthyomancy Using fish

Lampadomancy Related to carromancy – candles and lamps

Lecanomancy Using a basin of water – Scrying

Lithomancy Using gems and precious stones

Livanomancy Burning incense

Logarithmancy Using logarithms – invented in the late 16th century

Macharomancy Using knives and swords

Moleoscopy Using moles on the body

Oinomancy Using wine

Omphilomancy Navel gazing

Oniromancy Using dreams

Onomatomancy Using names

Onychomancy Using nails of the fingers and toes

Ornithomancy Using birds

Podomancy Using the feet

Psychomancy Using human’s souls and moral disposition

Pyromancy Fire gazing

Rhapsodomancy Divining using a book of poetry

Roadomancy Using the stars

Sciomancy Only the shadow knows

Spatalomancy Using skin, bones, excrement

Stareomancy Elemental, my dear Watson

Sternomancy Examine the area from the breast to the belly

Sycomancy Those who use his method really do give a fig

Theomancy Spiritual revelation

Therimancy A bestial matter

Tuphramancy Using ashes from the fire, when everything has gone up in smoke e.g. Beltaine

Tyromancy The coagulation of cheese – if it does not pan out, at least, you can eat it

Xylomancy Using wooden sticks or blocks

Zoomancy This one is strictly for the animals


Divination is an ancient tool for discovering what lies ahead. It embraces all the elements of the universe. The diversity of methods and tools are truly amazing and inventive. Today, the most common means are cards, runes and hands. Yet, you can turn to the past to discover how extensive the tools to uncover the future actually were.


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