Even among the barbarians, the practice of divination is not dis-regarded. There are indeed druids in Gaul, for I have met one of them myself, Divitiacus, the Aeuduan, your guest and eulogist. Divitiacus claimed to have knowledge of Nature, which the Greeks call physiologia, and he used to make predictions by means of augury and conjecture. (Cicero)
Palm and tea leaf reading, Tarot cards, astrology, Ogham, and even observing the flight of birds are well established ways of divination.
The Oxford dictionary defines divination as
"The practice of seeking knowledge of the future and the unknown by supernatural means."
Like all such dictionary definitions, the one describing divination is very concise, but what is not part of the definition, yet important to consider, are the divinatory tools mentioned above.
The purposes of that magical craft are many:
- Finding something that is lost. That could be anything from a small ring to a big car, a pet or cattle, or even a person. It could be lost because it fell out from a pocket, it could have been forgotten somewhere, or somebody stole or kidnapped it.
- Finding something hidden that does not belong to us, yet. So, it's not lost, for we didn't own it before it became hidden, but we are hoping to find it anyway. That is usually something deep in the ground, and could be water, crystals, or a treasure. Even plants or fungi that have not yet come to the surface could be divined.
All these purposes are usually covered by the dowsers, who use tools like dowsing rods, may that be two L-shaped copper wires or the old Y-shaped witching stick, or pendulums. Dowsers can either operate outside on the actual spot, or even over maps.
- Finding "the hidden agenda," in the widest meaning of that word possible. Obviously, people can have hidden agendas, and they could be good as much as they can be bad. If you meet a person and feel attracted to him or her, you might want to divine their feelings for you, their motives. The same could be done if you apply for a new job, and you would like to know more about your potential new boss or co-workers.
But again, not only people have hidden agendas, situations have them, too. Let's stick with the two just mentioned. You can divine a potential love affair, or a job, and seek the knowledge what they, or fate, or the universe - however you would like to call that - have secretly in store for you.
Each method has its own tools. For scrying, that could be crystal balls, fire and smoke, sky and clouds, the flight of birds, and, way back then, entrails of slaughtered animals to name a few. For the spreads we typical use tarot cards, runes, and of course the topic of this book, Ogam sticks.