Divination
   The acquisition of information via supernatural means; derived from the Latin divinare, meaning “to foretell” or “to discover something.” Divination may involve consulting a specialist, such as a shaman, or may—particularly in contemporary Western contexts— be conducted for oneself. Observing the meaning of dreams, the casting of lots (bones, stones, sticks, playing cards, etc.), reading patterns in nature (such as the flight of birds or the movement of the planets), and scrying (gazing at a crystal ball or into a pool of water) all mark examples of how almost any device might be put to use in divination and demonstrate the ubiquity of divination across cultures. The prophesying of future events from the entrails of a sacrificed animal (extispicy) among the Scythians, for instance, marks one specific indigenous instance of the practice. In antiquity also, Tacitus describes the use of lots from a nut-bearing tree in Germania, and although it is not clear whether the marks on them were runes, today’s Heathens use the runes in divination, attributing a shamanic connection due to the vision of the runes witnessed by the shamangod Odin, a master of seidr—and seidr itself is used in prophesy today. Similarly, Druid shamans often ascribe a divinatory role to the “Celticogham script, and there are efforts to reconstruct the practice of Awenyddion. Among many indigenous communities, shamans are considered to be repositories and seekers of knowledge, using divination to find knowledge inaccessible locally. Saami shamans watch the movements of a “frog” (sometimes a collection of interlocked metal rings) across their decorated drums as they strike them. Diviners may seek to identify the perpetrator of sorcery or the originator of some insult to other-than-human persons responsible for the presence or absence of animals for hunting. Dreams may also be treated as opportunities for divination: what a shaman dreamed could be interpreted as indicative of the likely result of any attempt to heal illnesses during the next day.

Historical dictionary of shamanism. . 2007.

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  • DIVINATION — Quel que soit l’intérêt des classifications anciennes et modernes des techniques divinatoires, il convient de ne pas donner un cadre systématique trop rigide à des phénomènes encore mal connus. Il est toujours difficile, en effet, dans les… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Divination — • The seeking after knowledge of future or hidden things by inadequate means Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Divination     Divination      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Divination — Div i*na tion, n. [L. divinatio, fr. divinare, divinatum, to foresee, foretell, fr. divinus: cf. F. divination. See {Divine}.] 1. The act of divining; a foreseeing or foretelling of future events; the pretended art discovering secret or future by …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • divination — DIVINATION. s. f. L art prétendu de prédire l avenir. La divination a toujours été condamnée par l Église. [b]f♛/b] Il signifie aussi Les moyens dont on se servoit pour deviner, pour prédire. Les Païens avoient plusieurs sortes de divinations, la …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • divination — Divination. s. f. v. Art de deviner. La divination est un art fort trompeur. Il signifie aussi, L action par laquelle on devine, Prediction. La divination se faisoit anciennement par le vol des oiseaux ou par l inspection des entrailles des… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • divination — late 14c., from O.Fr. divination (13c.), from L. divinationem (nom. divinatio) the power of foreseeing, prediction, noun of action from pp. stem of divinare, lit. to be inspired by a god (see DIVINE (Cf. divine) (adj.)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • divination — Divination, Auspicium, Auguratio, Effata, Diuinatio. Divinations et cognoissances precedentes les choses à advenir, Praescita. Divination faite par invocation des esprits trespassez, Necromantia …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Divinatĭon — (v. lat. Divinatio), 1) Weissagung, s.d.; daher Divinationsvermögen, das Vermögen, gewisse zukünftige Begebenheiten durch ein dunkles Gefühl voraus zu empfinden, od. auf Grund feststehender Thatsachen namentlich in der Politik, die zukünftige… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Divination — (lat.), Ahnungsvermögen, Weissagungskraft, bei den Römern Inbegriff aller auf die Mantik bezüglichen Erscheinungen und Institute, Prodigien, Orakel, Augurien etc. (s. Mantik); in der altrömischen Rechtssprache ist D. die richterliche Untersuchung …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Divination — (lat.), Ahnung künftiger Ereignisse, auf Grund abergläubischer Vorstellungen oder scharfsinniger Kombination aller Umstände; divinatōrisch, auf Divinationsgabe beruhend; divinieren, ahnen …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Divination — Divination, lat., mit deus, Gott, zusammenhängend, heißt die Deutung von Zeichen, durch welche nach dem Glauben der Alten die Götter den Menschen Warnungen und Winke über die Zukunft zukommen ließen. Cicero behandelte die verschiedenen Arten der… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

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