Category:Divination Fortune Telling Oracles

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A beautiful antique Royal Doulton plate in faux-Delft blue decoratively displays the grand zodiacal parade in astro-inverso form, with England at the center of its world
A beautiful antique Royal Doulton plate in faux-Delft blue decoratively displays the grand zodiacal parade in astro-inverso form, with England at the center of its world

Divination, fortune-telling, reading, divining, prophesying, telling futures, seeing by Spirit, and oracular disclosure are varied names for the process by which the present or future circumstances of a person, place, relationship, or object may be glimpsed, understood, or predicted.

Some religions -- such as Judaism, Hinduism, and Taoism -- have created or endorsed institutionalized roles for diviners and prophets within their priesthood or allied to it. Other religions maintain a neutral or even a negative opinion of seership and may even go so far as to forbid its practice on scriptural grounds, relegating divination to the realm of the magical arts. Whether or not a divination is performed within the embrace of a religious tradition or as a magical art, the knowledge conveyed by its practice is generally brought forth to clients or sitters by gifted seers. Depending on the nature of their gifts, their training, or their personal inclination, their insights may gleaned by means of a tool geared for such a purpose, by direct spirit-vision, through intuition, or by skill in interpreting signs, portents, and omens from the immediate environment.

In addition to divining things to come or revealing hidden thoughts and workings, many fortune-tellers will also give character readings -- short analyses of someone's character without specific predictions of future events. The subject of a character reading may be the client, who seeks self-knowledge, but the fortune-teller may just as readily perform a character reading on the client's prospective mate. If the latter is being assessed for marital compatibility with the client, there is an element of prediction, as the reader explores the future potential of the relationship based on the two characters.

Among hoodoo root doctors many types of divination are employed, and these derive from the varied cultural traditions which have gone into the making of African-American conjure.

Palmistry examines the form and lines of the hand
Palmistry examines the form and lines of the hand
Graphology reveals secrets of the subject's handwriting
Graphology reveals secrets of the subject's handwriting
Phrenology is character analysis by means of the head
Phrenology is character analysis by means of the head
Astrology studies the native's planetary and zodiacal map
Astrology studies the native's planetary and zodiacal map
Numerology brings forth hidden meanings in the alphabet
Numerology brings forth hidden meanings in the alphabet
Bibliomancy is fortune telling from a book
Bibliomancy is fortune telling from a book
I Ching is an ancient Chinese form of divination
I Ching is an ancient Chinese form of divination
Cartomancy is divination by means of cards
Cartomancy is divination by means of cards


Personal Features

Fortune telling or character analysis may be performed by evaluating the morphology of the body, or what it immediately produces, or what may be associated with it by circumstances of birth. Among the morphological branches of divination are included phrenology, palmistry, graphology, and other readings of the human form


For more information, see Palmistry, Cheiromancy, and Hand Reading

Reading the hand, also known as palmistry, palm reading, or cheiromancy, tells the story of the sitter's life in terms of finger and palm shapes, augmented by the details of the mounds, creases, crosses, stars, rings, and grilles comprising the Heart, Head, Life, Fate, Health, and other lines.

Palmistry provides a ready evaluation of individuals, their personalities, tendencies, interests, potentialities, and destiny. Information discerned by examination of the hand includes such things as the sitter's strength and length of life, acquisitiveness or generosity, predisposition toward fame, inclination toward secrecy or gossip, artistic talents, spiritual tendencies, number of relationships, psychic abilities, and potential to have or rear children.

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For more information, see Graphology and Handwriting Analysis

Handwriting analysis or graphology, is the examination and evaluation of a person's written expression so as to assess their character. Samples of the subject's writing and signature are measured against certain standards, noting details such as the slant and size of the letters, the formation of loops, the overall regularity of the strokes, and the overall form of the letters.

Graphologists use handwriting analysis to determine a subject's compatibility with other people, to ascertain the subject's suitability for certain tasks in an occupational setting, or to obtain insights into the subject's personality for purposes of assisting spiritual growth and development.

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For more information, see Body Reading and Phrenology

Bumps, lumps, crevasses, and creases found in delineated sectors of the head denote a person's qualities, strengths, weaknesses, personality, intellect, emotion, patience, skills, and aptitudes.

The morphology and features of the skull are interpreted within the discipline of phrenology so as to yield an evaluation of the personality, predilections, and potential.

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For more information, see Astrology

Astrology, the study of the stars, is found in most cultures of the world, keyed to constellations, the planets' courses through a portion of the sky, and the equinoctial precession. Astrology marks regular and swift-moving influences, from lunar changes of sign in a few days to yearly equinoctial and solsticial points; it includes the hidden rhythms of eclipses and large-scale zodiacal ages lasting thousands of years.

Zodiac signs, planetary positions, rulerships, aspects, houses, the ascendant, and the midheaven are points of reference and insight found on natal, electional, horary, locational, medical, and other horoscope charts. One's birth or the timing of subsequent events can be correlated with the configuration of astronomical events so as to influence one's character, potential, and most advantageous relationship and career options in life.

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For more information, see Numerology

Numbers are conceived as permeating the whole of the cosmos, some believing that everything is in fact a number. Alternatively, some conceive of everything as composed of letters which may double as numerical values or be evaluated by a specialized system so as to reveal such a value.

Using ordinal, gematric, or other systems of enumeration and /or reduction applied to birth dates and names, the numerologist arrives at identifying, resonating, lucky, or essential numbers for the individual. For example, one's birth date may reveal a key number that can be compared to any other date's number and evaluated for harmonic or clashing influences. Likewise, the conversion of names, words, dream images, or phrases into numbers may reveal other names, words, or phrases with the same numbers, and these are thought to be attuned or "harmonic" to the original set of words.

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Mixing and Shuffling

Mixing, shuffling, cutting, sortilege, throwing lots, or randomly selecting objects are methods of divination that involve some means of combining and concealing, or an abstracted selection or division, later deriving or disclosing an unknown result.


For more information, see Bibliomancy

Books; shuffling pages, closing our eyes when selecting a passage, opening haphazardly to a spot and commencing to read, inserting a specific instrument into a spot within the book or employing it to point out a specific paragraph once the book is open, somehow generating numbers and referring to a particular page and paragraph of the volume so indicated, etc.

The use of a book to generate a divinatory result is age-old. From wood and bamboo to hides, parchment, or other materials; from scrolls to printed books; no format of the book prevents one from using it in this way. Quite often key texts are selected due to the august nature which they are imbued. Scripture and prognosticatory or poetic volumes seem to be those most naturally associated with, or conducive to, the oracular result.

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I Ching

For more information, see I Ching

"Yijing," "I Ching," or "Classic of Changes" is an ancient Chinese oracle book attributed to King Wen and the Duke of Jhou. The book is consulted after using 50 yarrow stalks (or in the abbreviated version, 3 cash coins) to derive the first of six sequential lines of 4 varying qualities. This is repeated 5 more times so as to compose a 6-line figure called a hexagram.

Given its age, it is not surprising that multiple standards of use for the Yijing exist, including astrological, numerological, and magical interpretations. As with any book-oriented tradition, translations, revisions, and appended commentaries have greatly affected the character of its employment.

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For more information, see Card Reading

Card decks of variable face values are shuffled, placed in a layout, then interpreted based on layout position, relation to other cards, and orientation. Suit designations often have a common aspect or element assigned to them, as do numerical rankings. Some oracle decks have no ranking features, others have numbers or quasi-suits.

Decks may be named through association with the game the cards were originally used to play (e.g. Tarocchi / Tarot), for the authors and artists of the deck (e.g. the Smith-Waite Tarot, Lenormand cards), or they may be provided with a titles similar to those given to books (e.g. the Grand Orient Egyptian Gypsies Tarot, the Thoth Tarot Deck, I Ching Cards, or the Secret Dakini Oracle).

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Obi and Diloggun

For more information, see Obi and Diloggun Divination

Rune Reading

For more information, see Runic Divination

Arabic Geomancy

For more information, see Geomancy or Earth Reading

Symbolic Recognition

Scrying and Visionary Reading

For more information, see Scrying

Cup Reading

For more information, see Cup Reading, Tea Leaf, and Coffee Ground Reading

Throwing the Bones

For more information, see Throwing the Bones

Candle and Wax Reading

For more information, see Candle and Wax Reading

Egg Divination

For more information, see Egg Divination


Spirit Boards

For more information, see Spirit Board Divination


For more information, see Pendulum Divination


For more information, see Dowsing, Doodlebugging, and Water Witching



For more information, see Psychometry


For more information, see Intuitive Reading and Clairvoyance


For more information, see Mediumship and Contact with the Dead


Dreams, Signs, and Omens

For more information see Interpretations of Dreams, Signs, and Omens

See Also

AIRR Readers & Rootworkers Who Perform This Work for Clients

The Association of Independent Readers & Rootworkers (AIRR) is here to help you find gifted, sincere, and honest spiritual guidance, successful counseling, and professional magical spell casting and ritual conjuration. Every independent member of AIRR has been certified for psychic ability, magical skill, and ethical reliability. Every AIRR psychic, reader, seer, diviner, scryer, root doctor, and spiritual practitioner has completed a year-long program of training in conjure, hoodoo, witchcraft, rootwork, making mojo hands, and casting powerful magick spells. All of our psychics have served the public professionally for a minimum of two years -- and in many cases, significantly longer. Certified AIRR Readers & Rootworkers who will perform this type of work to help you find love, money, protection, and luck are listed below.
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