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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Subject: Divination and Fortunetelling

99 Names of God Tarot

Divination deck by Anna Eva Jahier based on the Islamic 99 names of God, presented from a Sufi perspective.

A method for predicting the future, similar to tea leaf reading, wherein you interpret patterns of dust.

In geomantic divination, a figure of two dots above one dot above two dots above one dot. The word itself is Latin for “acquiring.” In a divination it means success or success is close, especially in matters of the physical plane.

A divination technique that uses pins, needles, or other pointed objects. One method of their use involves tossing them onto a flat surface and interpreting their patterns. Another method has a symbol or letter placed on each object. They are mixed in a container and one at a time is selected and its symbol is interpreted.

Divination through observation of phenomena in the sky. Examples include the interpretation of the appearance of comets (death of a famous person), images of clouds (interpreted in a similar fashion as interpreting tea leaves), etc.

Divination by observation of atmospheric phenomena—clouds, winds, storms, etc.—as well as sometimes related phenomena such as items carried by wind and rain including birds in flight. In response to a yes/no question, winds that rise and blow to the north or west are favorable, those to the east and south unfavorable. If no wind rises within nine minutes of the asking, no answer is available. Whirlwinds and dust devils are unfavorable answers. Also cloud gazing in answer to a question that involves perceiving images and symbols, and interpreting their seeming messages.

Group of eight runes in a set order. Aett is the singular form and aettir is the plural form.

A form of divination using small statues or idols. These were often on altars or attached to walls. It was believed that these household deities could speak to you and give advice.


The 16th letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, representing the letter A and meaning "fir."

Fir trees signify a higher, more powerful perspective. Consequently, Ailm gives insight and the potential for great wisdom. It is an indication that you are progressing and will shortly be able to see ahead much more clearly than before.


A form of divination. A circle of letters of the alphabet is spread out and a chicken is placed in the center. A question is asked and the bird indicates letters that form words and reveal the answers.

Divination by having a rooster strategically peck grains of food placed on letters of the alphabet.

Divination with roosters. A circle is created of small pieces of paper each marked with an alphabet letter. A kernel of corn is place on top of each letter. A white rooster is placed in the center of the circle and those letters from which the rooster pecks the corn are believed to form a message.

Divination by flower or baked goods, like fortune cookies.

Divination using flour dough. Words and sentences are written on small pieces of paper and rolled up in dough balls. Carefully mix up the dough balls nine times, and then choose one to open and read the future. The probable origin of the fortune cookie.


The 15th rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter z.

The primary meaning of the Algiz rune is protection. The sign itself looks like a splayed hand, and is reminiscent of Tyr's hand which he sacrificed in order to bind Fenris the wolf.

Divination by throwing salt.

Divination with salt or dry sand. Pour the salt or sand into a square or rectangular tray to a depth of about three inches. Hold a pencil loosely in your hand, with the point at the center of the substance. Relax, close your eyes, and state your question. Let your hand move of its own accord until it stops—and no longer than three minutes. Open your eyes and look for symbols or letters among the markings. Some common examples: “Y” for yes; “N” for no; “P” for perhaps; “X” for love. A long line for a journey; a short line for a visitor. A large circle for misfortune; a small circle for news; a triangle for success; a square for obstacles, a heart for love, a broken heart for parting a parting. Read other symbols in relation to your question.

A form of divination by grain, especially barley. According to one tradition, if it was believed that an unknown person in a group were guilty of a crime, they would all be given cakes made of barely to eat. The person who developed indigestion was guilty. What would happen if several people got indigestion, or if none did, is not discussed.

The use of wheat or barley bread to determine guilt. Suspects were gathered together, and each made to repeat, “If I am deceiving you, may this bread act upon me foul.” The loaf was sometimes rubbed with vervain, and then a portion of bread was consumed by each suspect. The guilty person who suffer severe and painful indigestion while the innocent would not be affected.

Divination by scrying in the caul around a child at birth (happens rarely and is said to be a magickal omen).


Examining the caul that sometimes covers a newborn’s face is said to reveal the child’s future.


The fourth rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter A.

The meaning of this rune is mouth, and as such usually indicates the spoken word, the taking of advice, or the acquisition of wisdom.


This is the fourth rune of the futhark. Whereas Thurisaz represents the forces of chaos, Ansuz represents order, the defenders of which, in our mythology, are the Aesir.

I know a fourth one: it will free me quickly If foes should fetter me fast With strong chains, a chant that makes Fetters spring from the feet, Bonds burst from the hands.


Divination in the intestines of a person; also called hepatoscopy.

A gruesome ancient Roman form of divination through human sacrifice. Although most commonly used to describe the interpretation of the entrails, especially the intestines, of a sacrificed man, woman or child, it also refers to interpreting screams and death spasms of the sacrificial victim.

Divination by paying attention to random signs from the universe.

Archangels Inspirational Cards

Archangel-focused inspirational deck of twenty-two cards.


A person who interprets omens to predict the future.

Divination by reading the significance of numbers; also called numerology.


A form of numerology, especially one that uses the number of letters in a name.

Divination by observing the shoulders to determine sacrificial worth.

Trance-like oracular divination performed in a magick circle.

Divination by observing the knucklebones; can accompany palmistry.

A form of divination using special dice with letters and numbers on them.


Letters, words or symbols are written on each of a dozen “knuckle-bones” (an ancient form of dice), and then cast upon the ground. The future is determined by the symbols that fall face up, and by their relative position. See also cleromancy.

A form of divination using the stars. Often mistaken for astrology. Astrology focuses on discovering trends and potentials so people can choose to enhance the good or overcome the challenging. Astromancy is predictive, deterministic, and fatalistic.


Noun: One who performs divination.

Verb: To perform a divination.

Generically used to mean any form of divination, it is technically the forms of divination that interpret natural phenomena such as the behavior of clouds, birds, the weather, and astronomical events such as eclipses.


Observation of the results of divination.


Divination from the winds.

Automatic Art
An artistic work created without conscious thought. Some people believe it is the result of a spirit working through a person. Others believe it comes from a person’s unconscious mind.

A little-known system of divination that uses axes, hatchets, or occasionally saws. Usually, this involved throwing the axe and interpreting the vibrations of the handle or blade when it landed in a solid object such as a table, a tree, or the ground. Another method is to heat the blade so that it glows, then interpret the shapes and colors seen in the blade much as you might interpret patterns in tea leaves.


Divination with an axe. Toss it in the air in an open area. If it lands with the blade in the ground, note the direction in which the handle points for the answer to your question

Barnum Statement

Description of a sentence used in a cold reading that could apply to anyone but, when given by a professional, sound as if they might apply only to you. Examples include:

 “You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing.”

“You wish those close to you would see you more for your strengths and not focus on your weaknesses, especially in your relationships.”

“You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage.”

Amateurs would simply repeat them. Professionals try to understand the concepts behind them and insert versions of them in their fake readings only when appropriate.

The first letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, corresponding to the letter B and meaning "birch."

The graceful, white-stemmed birch with its beautiful green leaves represents the Otherworld.... Beithe has always been regarded as an indicator of good fortune, luck, and change.

Divination by observing the placement of (fallen?) arrows.


Divination with an arrow. Shoot the arrow straight up and note the direction of its flight and its position where it lands. 

The 18th rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter b.

This is a fertility rune—a rune of birth and of the family.

The 18th rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter b.

In most of the Germanic languages this rune has the meaning of "birch."... The Berkana rune is very beneficial for women and especially for women's problems.

The act of divination through the use of written text. Originally associated with use of a Bible, the only literature available in many cases, the term may be applied to any form of text. Often, there is a strong numerology influence present in the divination procedure.


A form of divination wherein a Bible or any other book may be opened at random, and the passage read indicates the answer.

Binary Response

A yes or no answer to your question.

Blue Angel Oracle

45-card divinatroy deck blending science, spirituality, angels, and fantasy.

Book T
A Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn document containing the occult attributions of the Tarot.

To divine the future by observing the flames and smoke of burning plants.


Divination by listening to thunder. 

Divination through the interpretation of smoke.


Divination by smoke, also known as Libanomancy and Thurifumia, involves observation of smoke as it rises from a fire. While you can add your own complexities, generally smoke that rises straight up the answer is positive, if it instead hangs heavily over the fire, the answer is negative. Another method it to watch the smoke from extinguished candles. If smoke moves to the right, the answer is positive, if to the left it is negative.

Caput Draconis
In geomantic divination, a figure of two dots above three vertically aligned single dots. The phrase itself is Latin for “head of the dragon.” In a divination it is positive for beginnings. It also enhances things, such as being favorable for favorable figures, and unfavorable for unfavorable ones.

In geomantic divination, a figure of one dot above two sets of two dots above one dot. The phrase itself is Latin for “tail of the dragon.” In a divination it is unlucky for most things, except when having to do with security.

A type of divination, also know as ceromancy, that uses melted wax. Traditionally, the wax would be melted in a cup or bowl, and then poured into a container of cold water, causing it to solidify. The shapes it takes, along with the movements in the water, would then be interpreted.

Divination with cards, such as the Tarot.

Divination by reading patterns on the feet; similar to palmistry.

A form of divination where small objects such as stones, twigs, runes, I Ching stalks, coins, etc. are tossed onto the ground or onto some flat surface and the results are interpreted.

Divination by gazing in a mirror (such as a black scrying mirror).


Divination with mirrors. There are two basic forms: One uses mirrors made from special metals associated with planetary lore, and the other special gazing mirrors used somewhat like crystal balls.

  • Sun Mirrors made of gold were consulted on Sundays to discover information concerning authority figures. 
  • Moon Mirrors are consulted on Mondays to help with dream interpretation. 
  • Mars Mirrors made of iron are consulted on Tuesdays in regards to lawsuits and arguments. 
  • Mercury Mirrors, consisting of a glass globe filled with liquid mercury, were consulted on Wednesdays regarding business and money. 
  • The Venus Mirror made of copper is consulted on Fridays regarding questions of love. 
  • The Saturn mirror made of lead is consulted on Saturdays to find lost objects and uncover secrets.

Consulting a reflective mirror means to focus on the question or matter of concern, asking specific questions if possible, and then letting yourself slide into a light trance to find the answers.

The other form of mirror is the Magick Mirror made of a concave clock glass painted black on the convex side. The mirror is sometimes placed on black velvet, or mounted in a convenient frame, allowing one to gaze at the unpainted side. The Magick Mirror is ideal to use as an aid in general clairvoyance


See Catoptromancy.

A form of divination that uses vessels of metals, especially brass because of its supposed anti-demonic qualities. A fluid would be poured into the vessel and the diviner, perhaps in a trance, looks into the fluid and has prophetic visions.

Cauda Draconis
In geomantic divination, a figure of three vertically aligned dots above two dots. The word itself is Latin for “acquiring.” In a divination it means positive endings and can help out with losses. It’s generally considered a negative sign.

Divination by throwing an object in the fire and determining “yes” or “no” based on whether or not the object burned.


Divination by Fire, also known as Pyromancy. Fire is the most potent of the natural elements because it causes change, and is directly linked with the Sun, and hence with the earth and growing plants. Yet, fire can also lead to disasters. Fire Gazing involves a light and spontaneous trance during which images and symbols may be seen in the fire. Fire Reading, in contrast, is more direct. After the fire has been lit, stir it, and:

  • if it burns brightly, a loved one far from home is safe
  • pale flames foretell bad weather
  • if the fire suddenly blazes up, a stranger will soon arrive
  • blue flames indicate a storm
  • showers of sparks foretell important news
  • buzzing sounds indicate storms at hand
  • sparks flying from the fire foretell a domestic dispute
  • difficulty in lighting the fire foretells hard work
  • if it lights quickly, visitors are expected
  • a very bright fire foretells rain
  • a sputtering fire foretells snow.

Divination by means of a donkey’s head.

A form of divining the name of a person guilty of a crime. The head of an ass is broiled. When the guilty person’s name is called out, the ass’ jaws move.

Divination by observing weather phenomena.

Divination by analyzing patterns in melted wax dripped on a flat surface.


Divination with melted wax. Slowly pour the wax into cold water and look for images and symbols as the wax hardens in the water.

Divination by things seen in the air. Also known as Aeromancy.

Character Divination

Divination to determine a person’s character.

Divination by interpreting writing found on papers.

See Chiromancy.


See Palmistry.

The lines of the hand are what give palmists the most material for interpretation and analysis. The interpretation of the palm lines is called chiromancy.

Divination by looking into a reflective or transparent object such as a crystal or various shapes of glass. Although crystal balls are now popular for this, in the past a piece of beryl, in reddish or pale green shades, was often used.

Divination by observing the significance of random things people say.

Divination by observing a string-suspended key, similar to the pendulum.


Divination by means of a key suspended from a thread held between thumb and forefinger—actually a pendulum—lowered into a glass jar. After a question is asked, the key will knock against the glass—one knock for yes, two for no.

Divination by throwing runes, dice, or something similar.


Divination by the casting of lots, also called sortilege, or throwing dice. Actually the common flipping of a coin is a simple variation. An early form of dice was made from actual knucklebones of certain animals. Later forms were made of clay, ivory wood, and plastic. A single dye has six faces, and each face of the dye has from one to six dots. In dice divination, three dice of the same size are shaken between your hands or in a cup while thinking of your question or problem, and the number of dots shown on the dice landing face up is interpreted.

  • Three: foretells pleasant surprises
  • Four: foretells unpleasantness
  • Five: foretells good results
  • Six: foretells a loss
  • Seven: foretells money or business troubles, injurious gossip
  • Eight: foretells criticism
  • Nine: foretells a marriage or other union
  • Ten: foretells a birth, either of a child or a project
  • Eleven: foretells of a parting, which may be temporary
  • Twelve: foretells of an important message
  • Thirteen: foretells sorrow
  • Fourteen: foretells of new friendship or help from a friend
  • Fifteen: avoid starting anything new for three days
  • Sixteen: foretells of a pleasant journey
  • Seventeen: make a change in your plans
  • Eighteen: foretells success

During the process of divination using a crystal ball, before visions appear the interior of the crystal becomes hazy, misty, and unclear. This is known as “clouding.”

Coffee Grounds Reading

A variation of Tasseography (also known as Tasseomancy, and sometimes Tassology), which encompasses Tea Leaf Reading. While the "technology" is somewhat different than for tea leaves, the basic principles are similar.


Suggested resources:

The ninth letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, representing the letter C and meaning "hazel."

Hazel is associated with salmon in Celtic lore.... Coll represents creativity, poetry, divination, and mediation.

Color Symbolism
The idea that colors have certain practical or mystical meanings. This concept is often used in candle magick and stone magick. It can also be used in artistic works where the artist wishes to communicate an idea without using words.

In geomantic divination, a figure of two dots above one dot above another single dot above two dots. The word itself is Latin for “conjunction.” In a divination it is rather neutral, amplifying other factors of the reading.

Divination by sieve suspended by shears or tongs, or by threads from the fingers. People would be named and the movement of the sieve would be interpreted.


A second divination performed to check the correctness of the first one; sort of like a second opinion in medical practices.

Term describing types of divination by grain. One method is to observe the appearance of cakes made for ritual consumption, especially cakes made of barley. It also is a term for looking at the dough for such cakes, looking for signs indicating future events. Some also relate this to the practice of tossing grain on the carcasses of animal sacrifices and looking for divinatory patterns in the way the grain falls.


Baking a single symbolic object into one of many food items—cakes, pancakes, cookies, muffins, rolls, etc. The person who is served that piece containing the charm determines his or her future according to traditional meanings:

  • Rings foretell marriage
  • Silver coins foretell money
  • Walnuts foretell good health

Also spelled "Crithomancy."

Divination in onions.

Crystal Ball
A sphere made of a crystal, typically quartz. The fewer occlusions and imperfections it has increases its value. Often used as a focal point for concentration with a purpose of divination.

Crystal Ball

A round ball of quartz crystal or glass used as focal point in skrying. Gazing at the ball, one enters into a trance-like state where dream like scenes and symbols are seen and interpreted. Similar aids are the Magic Mirror, a pool of black ink, a piece of obsidian.

Suggested Reading:

Crystal Screen

A technique using various practice articles, along with the crystal ball, for building basic imagery skills required for activating specific forms of ESP.

Crystal Sphere
See Crystal Ball.


Another name for crystal gazing. Anciently used any form of crystal such as a beryl. Dr. John Dee used a shiny black “shewstone” for this. Today it is common to use a clear sphere.


Divination with a Crystal Ball.


Divination by means of letters and numbers painted on a turning wheel of fortune.

Divination with finger rings.


Divination by means of a ring, such as a wedding band, suspended from a thread held between thumb and forefinger—actually a pendulum—lowered into a glass jar. After a question is asked, the weight will knock against the glass—one knock for yes, two for no.

The 23rd rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter d.
,br> DAEG is symbolic of increase and growth, and a major period of increase and prosperity is often introduced by this rune.

The 23rd (or 24th) rune of the Elder Futhark, corresponding to the letter d.

The meaning of the name of this rune is quite clear: daeg, dag, Tag, "day." ...like Jera, Dagaz is a rune of change. Jera is a rune of gentle change, whereas Dagaz is the rune of cataclysmic change.

Divination with twigs from the laurel tree, especially burning in a fire.

Death Card
Not the frightening specter that most of us expect, the card of Death [in the Tarot] is one of transition. It foretells the completion of one stage of life and the exciting beginning of a new phase.


Divination with the assistance of one or more demons.

Devil Card
With tongue firmly in cheek, the Devil of the Major Arcana [of the Tarot] shows us that a selfish devotion to material possessions and ill-conceived passions ties us down and keeps us from true happiness.

The word divination is based on a Latin word that means "the faculty of foreseeing.” The word comes from the Latin word for "divine power," or "of the gods." This indicates that the true meaning of the word divination is "to make divine."

Far from being a superstitious practice, the art of divination reveals itself as a spiritual science that seeks to discover the divine meaning behind "chance" events. Divination has existed as a tool for psychic well-being and spiritual health long before modern psychology was born, although the later science has often borrowed heavily from the former.

By stars, cards, and alphabets. These are the three most popular methods of divination that have survived into the twentieth-century. The three occult sciences governing these oracular techniques are astrology (divination by the placement of the stars), cartomancy (divination by the random fall of the tarot or playing cards), and numerology (divination by the numbers concealed in the letters of a name or the digits of a birth date).

Ritual techniques designed to gain glimpses of distant or future events.

Divinatory Response

In a divination, the answer to the question asked.


The person using a divinatory system or practice.

Divining Rods
Tools used for Water Witching or Dowsing. They are shaped like an “L” and two are usually used, the short ends of each held in loose fists by the dowser. The long ends are pointed forward, and the movements of those ends indicate the discovery of water or another goal. Some versions include a “witness chamber,” a small compartment usually near the end of the rods. When a dowser is seeking a mineral, a sample of the mineral is placed in the chamber and the rods then move in relation to the location of the sample.

Anther popular version of a divining rod is a simple, Y-shaped, forked stick. The diviner holds an end of the stick in each hand, leaving the long end pointing forward. The motion of that long end, especially up and down, indicates the location and distance of the desired substance. The shape of the forked stick makes it a small version of the Pagan Stang.


Small rectangles, divided in half, with 0 to 6 dots, known as "pips," on each side. Often available in sets of 28 pieces. Most commonly used to play games, can also be used in divination.


One who practices dowsing.

To use a divining rod to search for something, usually water or minerals.

The ability to discover underground water sources (or hidden objects or people) using a pendulum or a divining rod.

The seventh letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, corresponding to the letter D and meaning "oak."

Oak is one of the most important trees to the Celts. Duir is a word meaning solidity, steadfastness, and protection.

The 19th letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, representing the letter E and meaning "aspen."

Eadha is an indication that you have the necessary qualities to endure and overcome negative situations. Eadha encourages and protects you through life's difficult periods. It is a sign that you will ultimately succeed if you stick to the task.

The 19th rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter e. EHWAZ is a rune of physical movement, physical shifts, or new dwelling places. Its main significance is change, but a change for the better and usually an anticipated one.

Most runologists agree that this rune indicates a pair of horses.... The most obvious meaning of Ehwaz implies vehicles and control of vehicles.

The 13th rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the sound ei. To the ancients, the yew which this rune symbolizes was a powerful ally in their daily lives. It was the most important tree to the Nordic peoples, more important even than the oak, being not only the best tree for making their formidable longbows but also the tree Yggdrasil, the Great Tree which forms all the nine worlds of men and spirits in Nordic mythology. This rune has powerful associations with protection.

Eihwaz represents Yggdrasill. However, it also resembles the human spine or backbone, which supports the rest of the body. ...daring is certainly a concept linked with this rune.


Divination by water gazing. Seated with your back to the light in a somewhat darkened room, pour water in a blue bowl, ask your question. Let yourself slip into a light trance, and the water may become cloudy and symbols or visions appear in the depths. Variations include having a candle’s light reflected on the surface, or taking the bowl outside where the moon’s image can be reflected.

Elder Futhark
The German rune alphabet of 24 characters used c. 200 b.c.e. to 800 c.e.

Divination by interpreting the char marks on an object that has been burned in a fire.

The 15th rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter z. EOLH signifies a fortunate new influence entering your life, often through unconscious emotions or instincts,


Divination by observing the entrails of an animal sacrificed for that purpose.

Fascination Device

Crystal balls (often made of glass), crystals, cut glass, mirrors, magick mirrors (black glass), swinging pendants, crystal bowls, painted eyes, icons and images painted in flashing colors (complimentary colors placed together), spinning disks, and other devices that focus the attention but tire the vision. Sometimes a small focal object is placed above the eye level forcing one to soon close the eyes. Combined with either a hetero or an internal dialogue, their used can be very effective in hypnotic induction.

Suggested Reading:

Andrews: Crystal Balls & Crystal Bowls, Tools for Ancient Scrying & Modern Seership

Cunningham: Divination for Beginners, Reading the Past, Present & Future

The idea that certain aspects of your life—or your entire life—is beyond your personal control and that no matter what you do, certain things will happen. Also known as “destiny.”


Don’t be a victim! A common perception is that our fate—destiny—is fixed and unchangeable. The new concept of self-empowerment is that each person can "take charge" of personal life and influence it with conscious intention.

Even the horoscope is not seen as a fixed pattern but rather as a personal field of opportunities. The more you understand these opportunities, the greater your control over your personal life and the greater its fulfillment.


The third letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, representing the letter F and meaning "alder."

Alder is a water-resistant wood used by the ancient Celts to built underwater foundations for their lake dwellings is what is now known as Switzerland. Alder was the sacred tree of Bran, the Celtic god-king. Alder is a white wood, buts its sap is red, giving it a fiery energy. This energy gives strength, both moral and physical.

The first rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter F. To the Northern Europeans, this rune meant cattle. In archaic times, cattle were the measure of a man's worth.

This is the first rune of the first aett. The classical meaning of Fehu as handed down through various sources is cattle or wealth, in particular, movable wealth. The first charm I know is unknown to rulers Or any of human kind: HELP it is named, for help it can give In hours of sorrow and anguish. --Havamal

Fire of Azrael

The fire is laid of Juniper, Cedar, and Sandal. After the flames die down, it produces a clear, glowing ash which is used in clairvoyance, much as a gazing crystal is, to induce as vision, or to provide a bridge between conscious and sub-conscious.

—Fortune, D.: The Sea Priestess, 1957, Aquarian Press, London UK.

Divination by flowers.

Focal Shift

A crystal gazing procedure designed to generate a mental state conducive to ESP.


Any kind of prediction of future trends or happenings.


A term used by some astrologers in preference to "prediction," it means the plotting of the movements of the planets and interpreting them with a goal of determining potential upcoming trends.

Fortuna Major
In geomantic divination, a figure of two dots above two dots above one dot above one more dot. The phrase itself is Latin for “greater fortune.” In a divination it means food fortune, especially at the beginning of an endeavor.

Fortuna Minor
In geomantic divination, a figure composed of one dot above one dot above two dots above two more dots. The expression itself is Latin for “lesser fortune.” In a divination it means success for short term things. Also indicates that things are changing.

A person who predicts the future. This word is losing popularity as it implies a fatalistic view of life where a person is fated to experience what the fortuneteller reveals. Today, most “readers” consider themselves as interpreting what everything is leading to at this time. The conscious actions of a person, as well as new input from other people or events, could change the predicted outcome. Thus, a reader is a guide rather than a fortuneteller.

The ability to predict a person’s future. The term is often equated with divination, but there is a difference. Divination assumes that we have the ability to change and create our own futures—we can alter what may be indicated. Fortunetelling, however, implies as fixed future—fate—that cannot be improved, avoided, or changed. Although more and more people have abandoned the concept of a fixed fate—and thus use “divination” rather than “fortunetelling”—many people still use “fortunetelling” to describe all of the divinatory arts, including Tarot, Runecasting, tea leaf reading, palmistry, etc.

The entire sequence of the rune-row in its fixed order. The word Futhark is derived from the phonetic values of the first six Runes. The runic alphabet.

Future Probe Technique

A group procedure designed to access precognitive data.

Future Screen

A precognitive activating strategy emphasizing physical relaxation and imagery.

A form of divination that uses the sounds of the stomach or signs on the stomach itself.

The seventh rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter g. The god primarily associated with this rune is Odin, although some people allocate this rune to Thor. In fact, there are certain aspects of Gebo connected with marriage, contracts, and boundary markers which are indeed attributes of Thor. The element of this rune is air. Better not to ask than to overpledge As a gift demands a gift, Better not to send than to slay too many. --Havamal

Divination by observing the pattern of a person’s laughter.

Of all the ancient magickal languages, the mysticism surrounding biblical Hebrew is the best known in the West. The body of esoteric teachings concerning the Hebrew language is known as the Qabalah (meaning that knowledge which can only be imparted orally in secret, handed down from one generation to the next). In modern occultism, the term Qabalah, which originally meant Hebraic secret wisdom, has now come to mean any secret, esoteric system of thought which uses alphabet letter, color, symbol, sound, and number as the basic building blocks of its philosophical system. Thus modern writers will refer to a "Greek" Qabalah, a "Celtic" Qabalah, or even a "Wiccan" Qabalah.

The traditional Qabalistic science from which modern numerology has evolved is called gematria. Gematria is the art of substituting a number value for any given word in Hebrew and finding a corresponding meaning in any other word equal to that specific number value. Gematria is a Rabbinical Hebrew term derived from Greek roots. It is a combination of gramma (letter) and metria (measure), to denote the measurement (or counting) of the letters composing any word, just as geometry is the measure (metria) of earth (geo).

A system of divination using the sixteen geomantic figures—patterns of four lines of dots with either one or two dots in each line. In divination, four such patterns are produced by a random process, and then combined with others according to traditional methods to produce a geomantic chart.

The term Geomancy is also used to describe the observation of energy lines (ley lines) and how important prehistoric sites seemed to follow these straight lines. This work began in the 1920s by a man named Alfred Watkins. Ley lines were later connected with the "Dragon Lines" of feng shui. Feng shui is also called geomancy.

A form of divination that began by randomly making marks on the earth with a pointed stick. Today it is more common to use a pencil on paper or replace it by taking a random number of stones in the hand from a group of stones kept for this purpose. The result is a number of symbolic figures placed on a type of astrological chart and interpreted. The Geomantic symbols are often used in other magickal situations.

The seventh rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter G. The meaning of GIFU is gift, and this rune is truly a gift to gladden your heart when you see it in your runecast.

The 12th letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, representing the letter G and meaning "ivy."

The ivy can grow almost anywhere. Gort is an indication of change and progress, usually in your career.

A name, sometimes considered derogatory, for the Romany people. Also a generic term for a person or band of people who are nomadic in nature and are believed to have psychic powers, especially divination abilities, that are transmitted across generations.

An unusual form of divination. A circle would be marked out with letters of the alphabet around the circumference. The person performing the divination would stand in the center and turn round and round until he or she became dizzy and began to stumble around. Words based on the letters thus walked on are used in the divination.

The goal of the spinning and becoming dizzy is to eliminate the possibility that the conscious mind or will are responsible for selecting the letters. Alternatively, the dizziness could produce an altered state of consciousness amenable to divination, what might be called a “divinatory trance.”

Modern Chaos magicians use a variation of this technique to send off energy for magical purposes.

The ninth rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter h. This is the first rune of the second aett: the aett of Hagalaz.... Hagalaz means "hail" and hail is a substance consisting of frozen water and air, although it is not as hard or dense as ice. Every farmer knows what hail can do to the crops: it is a destructive natural force.

The ninth rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter H. HAGALL means hail and with ISA and NIED is a primary rune of limitations and delays. This rune represents all forces outside your control.

See Haruspicy.

Ancient Etruscan method of divination by animal entrails, primarily the liver. The Haruspex was a priest who knew this valuable skill.

Divination by observing the pace of horses.


Divination with horses. If, on leaving the stables, a war horse’s left forefoot was the first to step outside, a planned attack would not be successful.

Divination by means of the stars and planetary configurations; also called astrology.

The sixth letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, corresponding to the letter H and meaning "hawthorn."

The hawthorn is supposed to bring bad luck to anyone who cuts it down. The hawthorn indicates a time of cleansing. It is time to be patient and grow inwardly.

Divination by gazing in a body of water.


Divination with water. Outside, at night, a large bowl was filled with water. Torches were placed around the bowl and incantations were made. A chaste boy or pregnant woman was seated to gaze into the water to see visions of the future.

I Ching
An ancient Chinese book also known as the Book of Changes. It presents a philosophical and cosmological system based on the idea of relationships of opposites, commonly called Yin and Yang. These are represented by a single bar (yang, masculine, odd) or a divided bar (Yin, feminine, even). These are mixed in sets of three, known as trigrams, and two sets of trigrams, called hexagrams.

The order of the symbols was switched around 3,000 years ago, making understanding the I Ching as a philosophical text more difficult. Confucius wrote a series of commentaries on it called the Shi Yi. Today, most Westerners use the I Ching primarily as a divinatory tool. The selection of trigrams or hexagrams is accomplished through the casting of lots in the form of tossing coins and counting heads compared to tails, or through the use of tossing a bunch or sticks traditionally made of yarrow, and counting the number of sticks.

Divination in the intestines of a dead fish.


Divination by idols, statues, images, or figures. Questions would be asked of the idols and the answers would be obtained through the interpretation of dreams, casting of lots, etc.


An ancient technique of sleeping in a sacred area, such as in a temple, in order to receive a divinely inspired dream. There were apparently temples to Asclepius, the ancient Greek deity of health and healing, wherein people would sleep in order to receive a cure for an ailment. It has been suggested, however, that such sleep temples included the use of hypnosis and suggestion for healing purposes.

The 22nd rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the sound ng. ING is almost always a positive rune, and only in the most negative of runecasts does it even suggest failure.

The 22nd rune of the Elder Futhark, corresponding to the sound ng. The name of this rune refers primarily to the god Yngvi Frey.... Inguz is also a fertility rune.

The 20th letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, representing the letter I and meaning "yew."

There are yew trees in Britain that are two thousand years old, making this tree a good symbol for immortality. Ioho stands for transformation and rebirth. It symbolizes what you have inherited from your ancestral past. It gives new strength and the ability to understand hidden truths.

The 11th rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter i. As the name of this rune implies, ISA signifies a cessation of activities—a freeze. All plans should be put on hold for the moment to be resumed at a more auspicious time.

Isa is the third rune of the second aett. Like the first two runes in this aett, Isa is also associated with an element—the element of ice. Water is fluid; ice is solid and static. Isa therefore represents the principle of preservation and resistance to change.

The 12th rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter J.

The meaning of this rune is harvest, and a reaping of rewards for efforts expended.

That this rune is the fourth in the aett of Hagalaz and the twelfth in the futhark is a good example of synchronicity, since there are twelve months in the year and twice twelve hours in a day. The name of this rune indicates that it has an important bearing on time and the divisions of time.

The sixth rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter K.

KENAZ symbolizes the element fire, but unlike FEHU, it is the friendly, warm, controlled flame of the torch or the hearth fire.

Most rune-workers interpret the meaning of the Kenaz rune as "torch," which has always been regarded as a symbol of knowledge.

The 21st letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, representing the letter K and meaning "sacred grove."

Rather than a single tree, Koad represents the sacred groves that were so venerated by the Celts.... Koad represents hidden knowledge being revealed, everything falling into place so that mysteries are suddenly understood.


Divination by interpreting the size and shape of the labia. The male version of this is priapomancy

In geomantic divination, a figure of one dot above three vertical sets of two dots. The word itself is Latin for “joy.” In a divination it means good health and happiness, so it is considered to be generally favorable.

The 21st rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter l. LAGAZ is a rune of intuitive knowledge and indicates you should follow your intuitions closely in the matter in question.

The 21st rune of the Elder Futhark, corresponding to the letter L. Meaning - Lake. Laguz is a powerful rune for occult work of a beneficial nature.

Divination by observing an oil lamp (common in Egypt and Greece).


Divination by flickering torches. Watching the torch flame, ask your question. If the flame forms into a single point, the answer is favorable; if into two points, the answer is unfavorable; if into three points, the answer is very favorable. If the flame bent, illness is coming. It the flame was suddenly extinguished for no apparent reason, disaster is coming.

Divination by throwing stones into water and observing the effects.

The art of divining by pouring oil on water and studying the patterns the oil forms on the surface. This is the practice alluded to when Joseph accuses his brother of stealing his divining cup (Gen. 40).

Figure 8 [on its side]. Infinity.

Divination by gazing at the smoke of incense.

Life Line
The life line is the line that wraps around the thumb and ends at the wrist. Contrary to legend, the length of the life line cannot be used to predict the life span of the individual. This is inaccurate and can do absolutely no good. However, the life line gives us a good idea of the person's life energies, and how directed the person is.

Divination by reflecting on stones, especially precious minerals.


Divination with polished stones by gazing into the surface. The preferred stone is black obsidian.


Divination by interpreting the smoke of incense, especially from frankincense. The practice dates back at least 3,500 years to ancient Babylon.


A form of divination by tables of logarithms dating back to the seventeenth century.

The drawing of lots to uncover occult information or receive divine direction occurs several times in the bible. Aaron casts lots over the two goats brought for the Yom Kippur offering to determine which will be the scapegoat (Lev.16). Lots are used to divvy up the Land of Israel between the tribes (Num. 26; Joshua 15–19). While the passage is vague, Joshua apparently used either lots of the Urim and Thumim to determine who sinned against God by taking pillage from Jericho (Joshua 7). Saul is identified as God’s appointed king by means of lots (I Samuel 10). Seaman on the ship that was carrying Jonah used lots to identify him as the source of God’s wrath toward them (Jon. 2). In the story of Purim, Haman uses lots to determine the most propitious day to attack and annihilate the Jews (Est. 3).

The use of lots for divinatory purposes faded away in post-Biblical Judaism.

The second letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, corresponding to the letter L and meaning "rowan."

The rowan tree was important to the Druids. Before going into battle, they would say incantations over fires made from rowan wood. It is not surprising then that Luis represents protection and the ability to distinguish good from bad.

Divination by gazing at the flame of a candle or lamp.


A form of divination that used knives, swords, etc. Popular in Scotland where, on July 31, it was used to make predictions for the coming year. One way to do this would be to make a circle of letters and numbers. The knife was placed in the center and spun like a top. When it comes to a stop, the letter or number it points to is written down. This is repeated until a message is spelled out.

The principal spirit involved in the Enochian workings John Dee and Edward Kelly.

The 20th rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter m.

MANNAZ is the rune of humankind. It is a rune of interdependence.

The Mannaz rune signifies cooperation between people sharing the same environment for the benefit of the whole of the tribe. Magically, this rune can be of great help in attracting support from one's peer group in a dispute.

Divination in a pearl, most likely Asian in origin.

Mayan Prophecy

The Mayan Prophecy for 2012 is a prediction that the world (at least as we know it) will end on December 21, 2012. 

Divination by examining a person’s line on the forehead; similar to palmistry.

Mirror Divination

See Scrying.

Divination by dropping melted metal into water, particularly lead.


Divination with melted lead quickly poured into cold water or onto the ground and interpreting the shapes.

The 11th letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, representing the letter M and meaning "vine."

The grapevine was introduced to the British Isles from the continent thousands of years ago. Muin indicates a release from restraints, and the ability to speak openly and honestly.

An unusual form of divination based on the observation of mice or rats (especially being overrun by them or devastation caused by them), or the sounds made by them. Usually an indicator of evil.

The tenth rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter n. Nauthiz is another rune closely associated with one of the three Norns, in this case Skuld, who rules the future.... The word Skuld relates to the Dutch and German word Schuld, meaning "debt," i.e., that which is owed.... The spiritual concept of this rune is necessity...

The art of divination through contact with the spirits of the dead; more generally, any magical operation that makes use of the souls of dead human beings. The term “necromancy” has also sometimes been used loosely to mean any form of magic of which the speaker disapproves.

Divination by examining the nervous system in a dead person or animal.

The 13th letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, representing the sound Ng and meaning "reed."

The reed grows in the shallows. Ngetal is an indication of harmony between you and the rest of the world. It signifies unity of purpose and will. It gives you the ability to adapt to changing conditions. It can also signify spiritual growth.

The tenth rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter N. One of the three great runes of delay, the counsel of NIED is one of patience.

The fifth letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, corresponding to the letter N and meaning "ash."

The ash has always been regarded as a magical tree. The challenge is to realize that things are not always as they seem.

Number Symbolism
The belief that each number has a meaning. The interpretation of individual numbers and numbers in combination is known as numerology.

Modern numerology assigns three numbers to a personal name: one for the vowels, one for the consonants, and one combining both. A birth date is also reduced to a single number in numerology. These four resultant numbers are then interpreted in light of the symbolic meanings for the numbers 1 through 9.

An ancient system with many variations that assigns numbers to each letter of the alphabet. The most common Western system sets up a grid with the numbers 1-9 at the top and the English alphabet below. Thus, A=1, B=2, C=3 up to I=9, then J=1, K=2, etc. In this way any word can become a number and numbers can be manipulated in a variety of ways. The resulting number is then interpreted according to predetermined meanings. This is most often used with the birth name, but can also be used with other words, numbers, and dates.


The study of the psychic significance of numbers, often based on numerical values assigned to the letters of a name or to the birthdate. In-depth numerology can be studied in the Kabbalah.

The 17th letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, representing the letter O and meaning "furze."

Furze, or gorse, is loved by bees and symbolizes the collecting of valuable knowledge, In many ways gorse symbolizes testing and purification. Ohn indicates that you should make use of the knowledge you already have, or acquire the necessary knowledge, to achieve wisdom and mastery.

Divination in wine.

The 22nd letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, representing the sound Th and meaning "spindle."

The spindle is a small tree that produces a hard wood traditionally used for making pegs, bobbins, and spindles. It represents the inner peace and tranquility one finds after achieving a worthwhile goal.

Divination by paying attention to the howling of dogs and wolves.

A natural event that is interpreted as having a divinatory meaning. This is in contrast to performing a divination where something is specifically done with the intent of getting the desired information.

Divination by the navel or belly-button.


A type of divination where the number of children a woman will give birth to is predicted by the shape of the woman’s navel.

The ability to perform a divination through the interpretation of dreams.


A general term for any form of divination through the interpretation of dreams. 

Divination by interpreting the letters in a person’s name; similar to forms of numerology.


Divination based upon a person’s name. The technique usually involves some form of numerology or Kabalistic gematria. 

The art of divination by using the fingernails. In practice, a young boy was used. His hands were held up to the sun and the diviner would watch the sun’s reflection on the nails. Images would appear in the glare and the divination would be based on the form of the images, similar to the reading of tea leaves.

Divination by observing the movement or pattern of snakes.

A person or object capable of bringing forth important information, especially concerning the future, from spiritual sources. The most famous oracle was found at Delphi in Greece. Oracles were known for using symbolic language rather than for giving clear answers, and many stories and myths surround the misinterpretation of oracular statements.

1) A divination or fortune often presented in metaphoric terms.
2) A place where oracles are presented, such as at Delphi.
3) A person who makes oracular statements

A system for predicting the future based on observing the flight patterns of birds. Also called Ornithomancy.

Divination by observing the pattern of birds’ flight.

The 24th and last rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter o. OTHEL is a rune of possessions and usually represents the things that money can buy, usually land or a building.

The 24th (or 23rd) rune of the Elder Futhark, corresponding to the letter o. The oldest literal meaning of this rune passed down to us from the continental Germanic source is "noble." ... The Othila rune represents the vrtue of loyalty towards one's family, tribe or village, and towards one's country.... Magically, the Othila rune can be used to invoke Odin in his aspect of wanderer and teacher.

Divination in eggs.

Divination by observing the pattern of eggs that have been burst in a fire.


Divination using a pendulum

A traditional divination system that uses the appearance, lines, indentations, marks, and raised points on the hand to describe a person’s personality—including strong points and those areas where they could improve—as well as describing potential future events.

The 25th letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, representing the letter X and meaning "pine."

The Scots Pine produces cones that are believed to contain hidden wisdom.... Peine is the twenty-fifth ogham and has been given many meanings in the past. It is said to also relate to Xi, meaning spirit, and Mor, meaning sea. Xi relates to illumination and spiritual growth. Mor relates to travel, and more particularly the mystical, intuitive, feminine side of our natures.

A simple device consisting of a weight attached to a string, chain (such as a necklace), thread, etc. and supported (usually held by the fingers) in a way that allows the weight to freely swing. The direction of the swing allows the user to answer questions for a divination, discover missing objects or things hidden from view (such as water), diagnose disease, determine compatibility between people, and make decisions. Plural: pendulums or pendula (archaic).

The 14th rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter p. This rune itself is a mystery rune, both in a magickal as well as in a literal sense. Experts cannot seem to agree on a meaning for this pictograph.... It deals with things hidden, secrets, and occult abilities.

The 14th rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter p. The traditional meaning of this rune has not been established, but various suggestions have been made, including "secret" and "chess piece." This is the sixth rune of the second aett and it is one of the most obscure runes in the futhark.... In a reading, Pertho usually has esoteric meanings relating, for example, to an initiation experience or to the discovery of a hidden aspect within oneself.

Divination by using beans.

The 24th letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, representing the sound Ph and meaning "beech."

Phogos is an indication that answers can be found by examining our own pasts. Phogos tells us that it is never too late to lean and to gain guidance from the past.

A technique used to determine a person’s character by the shape of or “bumps on” the head. Considered a valid science by many until it was used by the Nazis of the 1930s and 1940s to determine if a person was “Aryan” or not. It was rapidly abandoned and is now considered a pseudo-science.

Divination by using rose petals and leaves; Greek in origin.


Cut three roses that haven’t bloomed yet and put them in a vase of water. Ask your question and assign an “answer”—yes, no, or maybe—to each rose. The rose that lasts the longest signifies your answer.

Divination by interpreting features of the face.


Similar to palmistry, it is a form of divination that uses the shape and lines found on the sole of a person’s foot to indicate their future. 

In geomantic divination, four vertically aligned sets of two dots. The word itself is Latin for “people.” In a divination it is another neutral indicator, neither amplifying nor decreasing the impact of other geomantic symbols.


A statement that tells what will happen before it happens. 


Divination by interpreting the size and shape of the penis. The female version of this is labiomancy


A prediction, often resulting from a spiritual revelation or the belief that one has had such a revelation.


The ability to receive and transmit prophecies, often described as “the gift of prophecy.”

Divination by conjuring departed spirits; similar to necromancy.

In geomantic divination, a figure of one dot above two dots above two vertically aligned single dots. The word itself is Latin for “girl.” In a divination it means happiness and balance, but like an archetypal girl, can be fickle.

In geomantic divination, a figure of one dot above one dot above two dots above one dot. The word itself is Latin for “boy.” In a divination it means energy, but can be violent, rash, or destructive. May be good for love and war, but not much else.

Divination by gazing into fire.

Pythagorean Numerology
Name given to a system of numerology that associates the numbers 1–9 to the English alphabet in its natural order. Hence, A=1, B=2, etc. After you reach I=9, the process is cycled back to one so J=1, K=2, etc. Numbers thus obtained are used for numerological divinations.

The 10th letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, representing the letter Q and meaning "apple." Quert is related to Avalon, the "Isle of Apples." Quert relates to youthfulness and beauty.

A term used to describe dowsing or the use of a pendulum for divination. The term was created by a Frenchman named Abbe Bouly (the French version is “Radiesthesie”) in 1930.

The fifth rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter R.

The Nordic peoples identified this rune with the wagon, and as may be expected, it is a prime indicator of travel or movement.

The fifth rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter R.

R. W. V. Elliott translates this rune as "riding" or "journey," which has been the accepted interpretation in runic circles as the meaning of this rune. Riding has the more symbolic connotations of creating movement, generating motion, taking charge of situations, being in control, taking the initiative, starting a new venture, decision-making or directing a course of action.

A person who uses devices such as the runes, lots, or Tarot cards, possibly combined with psychic abilities, to reveal the most likely future events for a person or group.

Divination with sticks or rods to discover hidden objects or caches of precious substances; also called dowsing.

A form of divination similar to bibliomancy. In this case, the divination is limited to works of poetry. A book of poems is opened at random and a passage from that page, chosen by chance, is read and interpreted for a divinatory meaning.


A system of divination using the constellations or stars. 

In geomantic divination, a figure of two dots above one dot above two vertically aligned sets of two dots. The word itself is Latin for “red.” In a divination it means fierceness. Other meanings are passion and violence. It is a good sign for anything that is bad.

The 15th letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, representing the letter R and meaning "elder."

The elder is a tree of regeneration. Ruis relates to the cycles of change and the transition from one state to another.

A character of the Germanic/Scandinavian alphabet. The original meaning of the word "rune" in most of the Germanic languages is secret or mystery, In Freya Aswynn's Northern Mysteries & Magick, "rune" is used to denote any sign or "letter."

The runes are a set of symbols of Germanic/Scandinavian origin that concisely embody the most potent magical system of the ancient world. Runic characters are letters that can be used for writing, but each rune is also a vessel of natural potency. There is a rune for water and a rune for earth, a rune for hail and a rune for ice, a rune for horse, and a rune for man. There are also runes that name some of the Teutonic gods.

The fourth letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, representing the letter S and meaning "willow."

Saille represents the subconscious, feminine, and mystical side of our natures. Saille relates to intuition, creativity, and imagination.

Divination and magick by using blood in a ritualistic setting, the methods of which are often associated with vampyrism and chaos magick.

See Sciomancy.

A system of divination that uses the size, shape, and appearance over time of shadows. Also known as Sciamancy.

To predict the future by gazing at or into an object such as a crystal ball or pool of water.

The art of using the trained imagination to access visionary experiences for the imaginal realm.

Scrying Mirror
A black, highly polished mirror used in place of a crystal for scrying or crystal gazing. This is performed by focusing one’s eyes and attention on the mirror until a trance-like state is achieved whereby one is open to divination.

(Pronounced “see-ur”) A person who does a divination. During evocation, the person who is in direct contact with the entity evoked.

An old term used for an object such as a crystal ball used for skrying. Perhaps the most famous belonged to John Dee and was used by his assistant, Edward Kelly, in their operations that resulted in the writing of the Enochian language and the birth of Enochian magick.

In the British Museum’s John Dee collection, there are two devices that he owned (although their validity has been questioned). The shewstone is an ovoid crystal with a metallic frame and short, attached chain, similar to a fob for a pocket watch. The other is a black obsidian mirror that has often been mistakenly called the shewstone. It may be that Dee referred to both of these and other reflective objects as shewstones.

In December of 2004, a man wearing a long black leather coat smashed the case holding the crystal, grabbed it, and ran down several flights of stairs to escape with the shewstone. It was recovered the following month.


See Shewstone

Divination by throwing straws on a hot iron.

The 16th rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter s.

SIGEL, along with TIR, is one of the great runes of victory , and its appearance in the runecast virtually assures success.

The art of doing a divination or just making a decision by casting lots.

The 16th rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter s.

Sowulo represents the higher will or intent as well as the sense of self and self-worth. It is the highest force in the self, directing the individual's evolution along a specific path.


Alternate spelling for spatulamancy. See: spatulamancy.


Divination through the inspection of animal shoulder bones. In the “apyromatic” form, the bone is simply examined after the animal is slaughtered and interpreted. When held to light, the more transparent and clearer the bone the better. In the “pyromantic” form this bone is heated until they are cracked or burned and the patterns thus formed are interpreted. Also known as scapulimancy.


A device, typically a mirror, that is looked into for scrying.

Divination in spindles.

A type of automatic writing where the words produced appear reversed, so that a mirror must be used to read them. The implication of such writing is that the person doing the automatic writing could not possibly consciously create such writing. Therefore, it must have a supernatural source such as from a spirit.

A long single branch that ends by dividing into a “Y” shape. Used by some Wiccan/Witchcraft traditions to symbolize the Goddess. Also represents duality and the vagina as a fertility symbol. Some traditions place it with the forked end up at one of the four quarters during rituals “to symbolize an alignment to the Goddess."


Divination through the observation of the four magickal elements: air, earth, fire, and water.


Divination through the observation of seeds found in bird excrement.


Divination by markings or bumps on the chest from the breast to the belly. Also practiced on the bones of this area after an animal is burned or cooked. The practice of two people breaking a wishbone to determine who’s wish will come true may be derived from sternomancy.

Divination by observing a person’s manner of dress.

The 14th letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, representing the letter Z and meaning "blackthorn."

The blackthorn is traditionally a sign of bad luck. Straif is an indication that things are happening that you cannot control.

Divination using fig tree leaves. Questions, wishes, or desires would be written on a leaf. If the leaf dried quickly, the answer was negative. If it dried slowly, it indicated success or good fortune.


Technical name for divination through the reading of tea leaves. Loose leaves are brewed in a cup of hot water. The tea is consumed and the dregs, including the wet leaves, are allowed to settle on the sides and bottom of the cup. The shapes they make—or seem to make in the mind of the tasseographer—are then interpreted.

Divination in the shape of tea leaves.

(Greek, tassos, “cup,” and manteia, “divination”) The art of divination by tea leaves.

The 17th rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter t.

This is the first rune of the third aett, which is named after it: the aett of Tyr. Teiwaz is the oldest name known for the god Tyr. The Teiwaz rune should be used in workings to gain justice or to win victory in a conflict.

Divination in ashes.

Divination by means of divine oracles.

Theosophical Reduction
In numerology, interpretations are generally based on single digits. Most words, however, end up have values above nine. Theosophical Reduction is the name given to the process of adding up the digits of a number repeatedly until you get a single digit. Thus, adding the digits of a year such as 1998 (1+9+9+8) is 27. Use the process again to get 9. You would then make an interpretation for the year based on the number 9. A few numbers (11, 22) are known as “master numbers” and have their own interpretations, so they are not reduced.


Divination by wild beasts or animals, often involving observation of their movements.

The third rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the sound Th.

THURISAZ is not only the vexing thorn which its name implies but also the glyph of the Hammer of Thor—the mighty weapon Mjollnir, protector of men and gods alike.

Thurisaz is the third rune in the first aett, and its element is fire. The traditional name of this rune is Thurisaz, which is a very ancient name for Thor and appears in literature alongside the names Wodenaz and Teiwaz. Thurisaz also means "giant."

I know a third: in the thick of battle, If my need be great enough, It will blunt the edges of enemy swords, Their weapons will make no wounds. —Havamal

The eighth letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, representing the letter T and meaning "holly."

The holly has foliage all year round. Tinne relates to balance, fair play, and right overcoming wrong. It is a sign of justice and gives strength and power.

Divination in cheese.


Divination by cinders or ashes, especially from sacrificial fires. Oblong cinders, called “coffins,” indicated a coming death. Oval cinders were called “cradles” and indicated a coming birth. Round cinders were “purses” and indicated improved finances. Cinders in the form of a heart indicated a new lover.


Divination by omens found in and on cheese. The shape and patterns of mold found on cheese were interpreted. Young women would divide cheese into pieces and write the name of a different suitor on each piece. It was believed they would marry the person whose name was on the piece of cheese where mold first developed. Possible answers to a question would be written on pieces of cheese and all of the pieces would be dumped into a cage that held a hungry mouse. The correct prediction would supposedly be on the piece the mouse first began to eat. Another form of tyromancy would find omens in the patterns and designs formed as the cheese coagulated.

The 23rd letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, representing the letter P and meaning "honeysuckle."

Uinllean is an indication that you will be able to see through situations and understand what is worthwhile and what is false. It means that you will instinctively know the right actions to take.

The 18th letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, representing the letter U and meaning "heather."

Red heather is a sign of passion, while white heather acts as a protection against acts of passion. Ur is an indication that you should find a "magnificent obsession" for yourself, something big, imaginative, and a true test of your abilities.

Urim and Thummim
A form of divination used by the high priests of the ancient Hebrews. Although the words themselves seem to translate as “lights and perfections,” several other translations are given. They may be derived from the Babylonian “urtu” (“command” or decision”) and “tamitu” (“divine oracle”). The exact nature of the urim and thummim is unknown, but it is speculated that they were either some form of dice, small images such as were found on the mummy of an Egyptian priest, or perhaps the stones of the breastplate of the high priest.

The concept of the urim and thummim being stones has been presented because the Bible indicates they were kept “in” the high priest’s breastplate (known as the “Breastplate of Judgment”), and on the breastplate were stones, one for each of the tribes of the Hebrews. However, the exact nature of this sacred divinatory tool is unknown.

The precise method of its use is also unknown, however it is believed that questions could be asked and the answer, determined by the urim and thumim and revealed by the high priest, would be in the form of yes or no.

The second rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter U.

Uruz is the rune of the Aurochs, or wild ox, and in many ways is akin to FEHU. However, FEHU represents the domesticated, predictable farm cattle, whereas URUZ represents the vital, wild force and energy of the hardy wild ox.

The aurochs was a ferocious native species of wild ox which is now extinct. The energy behind this rune is the life force of the masculine polarity, the unconscious drive for manifestation.

I know a second that the sons of men Must learn who wish to be leeches [i.e., healers]. —Havamal

In geomantic divination, a figure of four vertically aligned single dots. The word itself is Latin for “path.” In a divination it means change. Sometimes change is good, such as if you’re going on a journey or you’re looking to change places.

Wax Reading
One of two forms of divination. The first involves letting a candle burn down while letting it drip over its sides as it will. The wax leavings are then interpreted. This version has both advantages (you can choose a candle of a color appropriate to the issue, anoint the candle, etc.) and one major drawback: you have to wait until the candle burns down, a process that can take hours. The second form heats wax until melted. The diviner then uses a spoon or ladle to pour some of the wax into a bowl of cool water. The wax solidifies and the pieces are removed and interpreted. This has the advantage of speed, but requires more tools (a way of melting the wax, a bowl to hold the water) and can be very messy. In both forms, the diviner must use his or her intuition to interpret the meaning of the blobs of wax. This is usually done by looking for shapes, similar to what is done in tea leaf reading.

Wicca Oracle Cards

A vividly illustrated oracle deck built on the core beliefs and traditions of Wicca.


In certain pendulums there is a place made for the insertion of the Witness, an object (such as gold or a vial of water) or even a picture of what you will use the pendulum to find or obtain. Generically, the Witness is called a directive.

The eighth rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter W.

Another of the positive runes, WUNJO means joy and when upright will always represent joy and happiness coming into your life.

The god primarily associated with this rune is Wodan. The name of this rune is usually translated by other rune-workers as "joy" or "pasture." In the oldest Germanic language known to us the word means "perfection," according to the philologist Jacob Grimm.

Divination by observing the pattern of thrown sticks or staves.

Younger Futhark
The Norse rune alphabet of 16 characters used c. 800 c.e. and afterward. It is derived from the Elder Futhark.

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