Divination – Is it of use to us?

“I can read all about your future like an open book.” “I’ll answer all your questions.” “Entrust me with your problems, and I will solve them, no matter what they are.”

These claims were made by a fortune teller in a brochure in which she offered her services.

Many people take these claims seriously. All over the world the business of fortune tellers and psychics is flourishing. There are people who go to the fortuneteller every day or who ask her first for every major decision.

What is “fortune telling”? Do fortune tellers really know an answer to life’s questions, and can they really solve problems? Can fortune telling be useful to you?

Methods of fortune telling

According to the Brockhaus Encyclopedia, fortune telling is “the alleged uncovering of present or future connections, events, and life circumstances by means of clairvoyant or magical practices. . . Today, fortune-telling is colloquially the most primitive form of mantic practices such as palmistry and card-playing. In German-speaking superstition research, however, fortune telling is used as a generic term for all forms of the traditional arts of magical prediction.

So, fortune telling includes every form of magical prediction. Therefore, many names of these practices end in -mantie (from the Greek word manteia: “art of divination”). There are, for example, cartomancy (the art of cartomancy), chiromancy (the art of palmistry) and crystallomancy (the creation of clairvoyant abilities by fixing crystals, shiny objects or mirrors for a long time).

Many methods of divination are based on looking for omens or portents and interpreting them knows One such method is astrology. The sun, moon and stars are said to influence earthly processes and the lives of people. It is assumed that every constellation and every planet has a favourable or unfavourable influence. The astrologer prepares a “horoscope”, i.e. a drawing showing the position of the planets in relation to the other stars at the time of a person’s birth. The astrologer claims to be able to determine the character and fate of the person on the basis of this horoscope.

Chiromancy is the divination of the structure and lines of a person’s hand. There is a close connection between chiromancy and astrology. This is shown by the fact that the palm is divided into seven planetary regions and planetary mountains (the seven planets known to the ancient astrologers).

Then there are also fortune tellers who use cards, for example tarot cards, to lift the veil of the future. In this card game there are 22 “atouts” (trumps) and 56 cards designated by numbers. These cards are divided into four suits. Each suit has a fixed meaning, and each card has a special meaning. According to this fixed meaning, which can change when connected to another card while dealing, drawing or hanging up, information about the future is given.

Card reading is also related to astrology. The book How the Tarot Speaks to Modern Man explains that the fortune teller “bases her interpretation of the cards on the structure of the universe, especially the solar system as symbolized by the holy Kabbalah. The “Kabbalah” (Jewish secret doctrine) distinguishes three elements (fire, air and water), seven planets and twelve signs of the zodiac in the universe. This gives a total of 22 and corresponds to the 22 trump cards of the Tarot Game.

There are many other methods of fortune-telling based on omens, for example fortune-telling from coffee grounds (when the coffee is finished, the cup with the coffee grounds is slowly turned and reversed for a few minutes to allow forms to form; signs and figures are seen in the resulting structure and used to interpret the future) and with the help of dice or dominoes.