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Divination – the Attempt to Gain Insight into something by a Process or Ritual

By Yolky D Egg

Divination* (from Latin divinare “to foresee, to be inspired by a god”, related to divinus, divine) is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of a standardized process or ritual.



Diviners ascertain their interpretations of how a querent should proceed by reading signs, events, or omens, or through alleged contact with a supernatural agency.

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.

If a distinction is to be made between divination and fortune-telling, divination has a formal or ritual and often social character, usually in a religious context, while fortune-telling is a more everyday practice for personal purposes.

Particular divination methods vary by culture and religion.

Divination is often dismissed by sceptics, including the scientific community, as being mere superstition. It is considered a sin in most Christian denominations and Judaism.

Forbidden in the Bible and in the Quran

Chicken Divination

Peasant girls using chicken for divination. Russian lubok, XIXth century.

The attitude of the Bible toward divination is decidedly ambivalent. On the one hand, verses like Deuteronomy 18:10-12 clearly forbid any acts of divination, describing them as something detestable to God.

On the other hand Exodus 28 gives members of the priestly class the authority to perform divinatory rituals inside the temple. Divination appears to be condoned in several places in the Hebrew Bible such as the chastisement of Noah, the journey of the sons of Jacob to Egypt, and the selection of a king by Samuel.

It appears not so much that divination is forbidden in the Bible, but its use was restricted to people whom God appointed. Divination by members of other religious sects, for example in the context of witchcraft and necromancy, is forbidden.

In the Quran, divination is described in Surah Al-Ma’idah (The Table) as an abomination: “O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination; of Satan’s handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper.”

Forbidden in Christianity and Western Society

Divination was considered a pagan practice in the early Christian church. Later the church would pass canon laws forbidding the practice of divination. Soothsaying and forms of divination were widespread through the Middle Ages.

In the constitution of 1572 and public regulations of 1661 of Kur-Saxony, capital punishment was used on those predicting the future. Laws forbidding divination practice continue to this day.

Divination in Ancient Greece

Both oracles and seers in ancient Greece practiced divination. Oracles were the conduits for the gods on earth; their prophecies were understood to be the will of the gods verbatim.

Because of the high demand for oracle consultations and the oracles’ limited work schedule, they were not the main source of divination for the ancient Greeks. That role fell to the seers.

Seers were not in direct contact with the gods; instead, they were interpreters of signs provided by the gods. Seers used many methods to explicate the will of the gods including animal entrails, bird signs, etc.

The disadvantage to seers was that only direct yes-or-no questions could be answered. Oracles could answer more generalized questions, and seers often had to perform several sacrifices in order to get the most consistent answer.

For example, if a general wanted to know if the omens were proper for him to advance on the enemy, he would ask his seer both that question and if it were better for him to remain on the defensive. If the seer gave consistent answers, the advice was considered valid.

Because the seers had such power over influential individuals in ancient Greece, many were skeptical of the accuracy and honesty of the seers. Of course the degree to which seers were honest depends entirely on the individual seers. Despite the doubt surrounding individual seers, the craft as a whole was well regarded and trusted by the Greeks.



Questions About Divination


Carol asks…

Please read the detail. Do you agree with me about psychics and money?

On Yahoo Answers, just as it is in everyday life, most of those who ask psychics for readings only want their needs pandered to and are willing to pay for the pandering. There are many who will pander for cash or points. Some true psychics and many not. In watching and participating I’ve seen this as a constant pattern. Therefore, I would say it is those who seek through remuneration and build the false house of cards in which they wish to abide, buttress the view of many none believers that divination of any kind is false.

Suzi Q answers:

Yes Terry~ Most people only wish to be pandered to~ and when given a good reading by a sensitive, they usually say it was a bad reading because they are not being told what they wish to hear.
Pity~ they could do much with the information from a good reading!

Thomas asks…

what do you think about dice divination?

heres an excerpt: ”

place three dice of the same size either in a cup, or in your hands. Shake them vigorously and allow them to fall onto a flat surface. Add the numbers that appear on the upper surfaces of the dice:

Three: The smallest number that can appear. Pleasant surprises in the very near future.
Four: Unpleasantness of some kind may occur.
Five: Plans will come to fruition; a wish will be granted.
Six: A loss of some kind is forecast.
Seven: Possible difficulties in business, money troubles, gossip and so on.
Eight: Expect criticism.
Nine: Marriage; unions.
Ten: Birth, either of a child or new project.
Eleven: A parting, which may be temporary.
Twelve: A message of importance will soon arrive.
Thirteen: Sorrow.
Fourteen: Friendship; help from a new friend.
Fifteen: Begin no new projects for a few days.
Sixteen: A pleasant journey.
Seventeen: A change in plans may soon be necessary.
Eighteen: Success, a wish will be obtained. This is the best.
there are also other variations including 1 and/or 2 dice.
its akin to casting lots, or rolling bones

Suzi Q answers:

I have watched you ask questions a few times now about this
and although I had heard of it , I wasn’t really sure how it would work
so thank you for clearing that up for me and I will be sure to try it
strange how it is used in the bible , yet divination is condemned
its all good

John asks…

Is it a spirit of divination?

The first time I knew there was something special about me I was nine years old, it was 1994, I remembered the phone ringing and as soon as it did a thought came to my mind, “Uncle Donald is dead.” I answered the phone and it was Dad, he asked to speak to my mother, soon after he spoke to my mother he broke the news to both John and I.

I’ve lived with this all my life and it has tormented me every since because I cannot understand, I do not know where this power comes from and at that it is a weak power nonetheless. I cannot foretell what’s going to happen to me tomorrow or pick the winning lottery tickets, it’s a weak power that can only warn me when there is some type of catastrophe that is going to happen in my life and those around me, it warns me sometime to take action before it happens.

The next time it happened I was in Las Vegas with the family. John and Aaron told me to hide from Kennedy in the hotel room and I did as they said, Kennedy came in the door, “Where is Damian?” John replied, “We don’t know.” I was hiding under the table and in an instant I was hit with a feeling of guilt and remorse and something said, “You’ll never see her again.” I instantly came out from underneath the table to show her I was there.

It happened again years later when I was going to Cleveland with my grandparents, something said, “Drive the car or there will be a wreck.” I told Grandpa I was going to drive and he allowed me. After we crossed the bridge into Cleveland a Cadillac barreled down the wrong side of the road and I swerved as quickly as possible averting the impending doom that awaited us.

There are many more stories I’m sure I’ve forgot but those three stand out in my memory. It’s a though a hand has always guided my life preventing misfortune and enabling fortune in other cases, always warning me.

Now in the November of 2008 I had that same feeling the night before all the events that led to my diagnosis of schizophrenia happened. I had this enormous feeling that many will retort as being the delusion of a mad man. But on the day before everything I had this feeling that I was going to be visited by aliens. It filled me with an enormous amount of happiness, I don’t know what for. I had the feeling that I was to be blessed with something divine. It was as if that date was destined for something magnificent to happen. Well, that night passed without anything significant happening. The next morning I felt an incredible joy that I cannot explain in any form, I was beyond cloud nine in my emotions. I listened to Radiohead all day, did a few errands, went to my Mom’s house, a typical day except for the incredible joy I felt.

The next day my computer started popping up with information on the Illuminati, mind control, and a video produced by Retinal Logic called “How to Operate Your Mind” with Timothy Leary. I was bedazzled by the videos on mind control and the Timothy Leary video entranced me. This led to my psychosis, the point before full-blown schizophrenia. I stayed up both night and day watching these videos.

Two days later I was offered a job at a major defense contractor office in Tampa. I was to work in the cyber intelligence division. At this point, I believed that I was being contacted with this position in order to be trained as an Illuminati agent.

I could go on and on about the things I did while under this spell of schizophrenia and it would be entertaining but for the sake of brevity I will tell you that I believe the same thing that has warned me in the past and guided me took a different position and rammed me into a world of insanity. I do not know how this thing works but it can work for you or against you. In my case, it worked both for me and against me. I mean, I am well taken care of now and I am very thankful for that, but I wish there had been an advanced notice of what was going to happen in this case.

Myra Stone answers:

The Holy Spirit is God.

Charles asks…

correct way to use runic divination reading on another being?

I have come to know a bit about the runes, for I’ve done quite a bit of readings on myself.
I have read on some sites to not do any readings on others, though I already have on my uncle.
What I wish to know is, how do I come to doing readings on others, and what is the correct way to do so? Who faces what direction? Do we each face north?
When I did it with my uncle, I had him place his right hand upon my left hand, but the runes seemed to be facing him.
So, the layout of the runes, would they be facing me?
Answers are greatly appreciated. Thank you.
lol kid… grow up.

Suzi Q answers:

The runes say, you’re a crazy bitch. I just did a reading on you facing to the upsouthsidewaysupsidedown I LOOK TRU YOUR BONES! DA BEES COME DOWN!

So watch out for those damn bees. And don’t melt into the floor, even though this is already set in your future, so never mind.

For more runic consultations call me at


Donald asks…

HEY RELIGIOUS FOLKS – don’t you wish your God would be like mine???

I have 12 – but today we will concentrate on APOLLO the GOD of ARTS ,ARCHERY, DIVINATION – a bright God who represents Harmony among civilizations and who is much more rational unlike your chaotic God! why cant your God be more about peace then punishment and killing????

humor -sarcasm-anger are welcome! I DON’T JUDGE!
(((kallan ,pangal,fuzzy rodedent))))

and of course all those who have answered!
LIZ vperfect – your giving me a stroke !!!LOL

Myra Stone answers:

Ppl ur r listen to this evil. Look ppl at his avater is of Satan.

All pagan Gods are false save urselves, praise Jehallah!

George asks…

Are tarot cards a form of clairvoyance or a non-psychic form of divination. ?

First let me say I’m not considering using tarot cards, I believe them to be an occult tool that will likely attract evil spirits, however, I’m seeking information about them because I’m starting a paranormal club and wish to explain how a psychic differs from someone who offers palm, card, and star readings. So would I be right in saying that anyone can use a tarot deck so long as they know what the cards mean? Or do they require special powers or insight to “work” (like a crystal ball).
I’m starting a paranormal group because I’m interested in the paranormal, not simply divination.

Suzi Q answers:

Well first of all, I should address your concern with tarot being an occult tool. No, tarot is a pack of playing cards and now has rather a well documented history. They were created in the mid 15th century by adding an extra suit of picture cards to the existing playing cards – the latin suits were the first to be used in Europe. The pack was commissioned by the Duke of Milan as part of the celebrations for his daughter’s marriage into the Sforza family. The new cards took as their theme, not an occult philosophy or any magical symbols but a traditional Christian triumph procession. Hence they were called trionfi, meaning triumphs, and from which we get our word trump – it was the invention of tarot that marked the invention of trumps in card games. While some of the cards look a little strange and exotic to our eyes, they were all staples of Christian art of the time.

The games of tarot spread quickly and at one time tarot was the most popular form of card game throughout continental Europe! These games are still played in many countries, albiet, usually with a French suited tarot pack.

Without an occult origin, divination with tarot cards is no different to divination with regular playing cards, tea leaves, or knuckle bones. Those 78 pieces of card with ink on them don’t know anything – if you believe in divination, then you must look to the tarot reader for the special powers that must be involved.

If you want to find out about the games, then you can find rules and images of the cards used to play them here:

Ruth asks…

What is the Criteria for a True Prophet?

A natural question to ask someone who believes in any prophet is: ‘What are the criteria for your belief in him?’ Reasonable criteria would be:

(i) evidence for his claim.

(ii) consistency in his teachings (about God, afterlife, and similar issues of belief)

(iii) similarity to the teachings of earlier prophets.

(iii) integrity: he must be a man of high morals.

The Bible lends support to our criteria. The Old Testament says of a false prophet:

1. Pretends to be sent by God.[1]

2. Described as covetous,[2] drunken,[3] immoral and profane,[4] influenced by evil spirits.[5]

3. Prophesizes falsely,[6] lies in the name of the Lord,[7] out of his own heart,[8] in the name of false gods.[9]

4. Often practices divination and witchcraft.[10]

5. Leads people into error,[11] makes to forget God’s name,[12] teaches profaneness and sin,[13] and oppresses.[14]

The New Testament says of Jesus’ criteria to identify false prophets:

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.”[15]

We learn the following:

(i) prophecy will continue after Jesus.

(ii) beware of false prophets.

(iii) the criteria to identify a false prophet is his fruits, that is his works or deeds.[16]

As stated earlier, Muhammad claimed unequivocally, ‘I am God’s Messenger.’ If a person evaluates his claim on the above criteria, he will find it meets the criteria completely.

In Islamic doctrine, all prophets constitute a spiritual fraternity of brothers with a single ‘father,’ but different ‘mothers.’ The ‘father’ is prophethood and unity of God, the ‘mothers’ are the different Laws they brought. Emphasizing the spiritual fraternity of all prophets, Prophet Muhammad said:

“I am the closest of all people to the son of Mary (Jesus). The prophets are paternal brothers, their mothers are different, but their religion is one.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)

All prophets are ‘rays’ from the same ‘Lamp’: the central message of all prophets throughout ages was to dedicate worship to God only. That’s why Islam views denying a single prophet as equivalent to denying them all. The Quran states:

“Indeed, those who deny God and His messengers, and wish to separate God from His messengers, saying: ‘We believe in some but reject others’ and want to pursue a path in-between – it is they, they who are truly denying the truth: and for those who deny the truth We have readied shameful suffering. But as for those who believe in God and His messengers and make no distinction between any of them – unto them, in time, will He grant their rewards [in full]. And God is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.” (Quran 4:150-152)

Denying the prophethood of Muhammad is tantamount to denying all prophets. The prophethood of Muhammad is known just like the prophethood of Moses and Jesus is known: the numerous reports of their miracles that have reached us. The Book brought by Muhammad (the Quran) is fully preserved, and His Law is complete and applicable to today’s world. Moses brought the Law and justice, Jesus brought grace and flexibility. Muhammad combined between the Law of Moses and the grace of Jesus.

If someone were to say, ‘he was an imposter,’ others are more fit to be charged with this accusation. Hence, denying Muhammad is denying one’s own prophets. If a reasonable person looks at two bright stars, he must acknowledge both are stars, he cannot say to one, ‘Yes, this one is a bright star,’ but deny the other! Doing so would be denying reality and a lie.

Make a table of all the prophets you believe in. Start from the first one to the last one you believe in. Answer the following questions:

What is the evidence I believe he was a true prophet?

What was the mission of the prophet in his own words?

Did he bring a Law? Is his Law applicable today?

What scripture did he bring? How is its content and meaning?

Is the scripture preserved in the original language it was revealed in? Is it considered a literary authority, free of internal inconsistencies?

What do you know of his morals and integrity?

Compare all the prophets you have listed and then answer the same questions about Muhammad. Then ask yourself, ‘Can I honestly take Muhammad out of my list because he does not meet the criteria as other prophets?’ It will not take too much effort to discover that the evidence for Muhammad’s prophethood is stronger and more convincing.

A skeptic need consider what is so unusual about Muhammad’s claim to be a prophet? When did God declare an end to prophecy before him? Who decided that there would not be any more divine communication with human beings? With no evidence to block divine revelation, it is natural to accept a continuity of revelation:

“Indeed, We have sent you with the truth, as a bearer of glad tidings and a Warner: for there never was any community but a Warner has [lived and] passed away in its midst.” (Quran 35:24)

“And We sent forth Our messengers, one after another: [and] every time their messenger came to a community, they gave him the lie: and so We caused them to follow one another [into the grave], and let them become [mere] tales: and so – away with the folk who would not believe!” (Quran 23:44)

This is true especially when the truth was perverted by Jews and Christians, the Christians claiming Jesus was the son of God and Jews calling him an illegitimate son of Joseph the Carpenter. Muhammad brought the truth: Jesus was God’s noble prophet born of a miraculous virgin birth. As a result, Muslims believe in Jesus and love him, neither going to the extreme like the Christians, nor disparaging him like the Jews.

Myra Stone answers:

True prophets are not made of men, but of God ….

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* Symbols and some text taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia




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