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The idea of divination is not quite the occult fantasy that it’s sometimes made out to be.  Science does a great deal of divination -- from predicting a sun rise in the east tomorrow morning to describing the probability of the return to Capistrano of a particular bird.  The stuff attributed to Cycles is, of course, fairly easy, but predictions of how a particular  individual might react to a Smallpox vaccination is chancy at best -- but done with little hesitation to divine the future in either a positive or negative way.

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Just as in Magic, the problem is in having sufficient information to make predictions, educated guesses, or wild stabs in the dark as to what’s on the agenda for tomorrow.  The big question is whether one kind of information is viable for predicting future events based on Causality (or even other noncausal, supernatural (?) processes).   

“Divine” after all, is, on the one hand, “of, from, or like God or a god”, and on the other, “discover by guessing, intuition, inspiration, or magic.”  We often seek to divine another’s intent -- and based on Madison Avenue’s track record, this can be done statistically for large numbers of individuals pretty well.  It’s just a matter of having the data on initial conditions and an understanding of the process(es) involved in going from cause to effect.  

For divinations which are outside the mainstream scientific Paradigms, there are some very interesting possibilities -- and the potential for a lot of scams.  In Dowsing, for example, one study showed that chance had a better likelihood of finding water in a controlled situation than 20 alleged Dowsers.  On the other hand, this same study noted that two of the Dowsers had results far beyond any statistical likelihood of success.  Dowsing was thus inadvertently shown to have validity -- provided that you had the right person doing the work.  [Dowsing, incidentally, is strongly based on spiritual as well as mental processes -- and one might even suggest it is more accurately written as “Tao-sing”, where the latter is pronounced in a roughly identical fashion.  See Tao Te Ching.]  

<http://www.witchway.net> has provided a partial list of various means of divination.  These include, with one or two additions at the bottom:  

·        Astrology:  Using the position of the planets and stars at birth and comparing them to future positions, in order to suggest trends, probabilities, and future directions.

·        Cartomancy:  Divination or fortune telling with Tarot cards, including a dozen or so, recent innovations in revising the name and sometimes the number of cards in the decks.

·        Runes:  Divination by the use of stones inscribed with Teutonic symbols.

·        Dowsing:  Divination by the use of a pendulum, forked stick or metal rod.

·    Numerology:  Divination by use of numbers and calculations.  Often used in conjunction with Tarot and Astrology.

·        Channeling boards:  Commonly called “Ouija” boards, one or more people move a lens called a “plantain” while concentrating on a question.  The letters and numbers upon which the lens “stops” on the channeling board, leads to the interpretation.

·        Graphology:  The study of an individual’s handwriting.  Also useful in deciding on the character and honesty of an individual.  (Sometimes used in modern job applications.)

·        Tea Leaves:  The pattern of tea leaves caused by the subject drinking a cup of tea, and thereafter interpreted by the diviner.

·        I Ching:  Divination using three coins or chips to create one or more hexagrams, which are then related to the interpretations of one of the 64 hexagrams in the I Ching. 

·        Scrying:  Divination by mirrors, inked water, crystal balls, or fire.

·        Palmistry:  Divination by examination of an individual's hands.

·        Geomancy:  Divination by use of marks in the Earth.

·        Prayer:  Divination by stating intentions and requesting Divine assistance.

·       Creating Reality:  Divination of the future by choosing one’s future.

One might even try resonant viewing, as a means to visit the object of your interests.

(5/26/05) As for the more formal nature of divining the future, i.e. prophecies, one might be well advised to read Allan Hardman's excellent article, Prophecies for a New Millennium, at the intriguing website, ajna. It might put things a bit more into perspective.

For Updates, see also the Halexandria Forum


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