If I had known what the future held in store for me years ago, I would have alternated between locking myself in the bathroom, refusing to come out and lazy complacency. Life is a river we follow walking backwards upstream; we see where we have been but not where we are going. Uncertainty about the future, boredom with the present, and/or dissatisfaction with the past prompts an intense curiosity about what the world holds in store for us and lures many gullible souls into the world of magic and divination.
The methods employed are as creative and varied as the cultures that produced them. I recently came across the following interesting list:
- Alectromancy: by observation of a rooster pecking at grain
- Astrology: by the movements of celestial bodies.
- Astromancy: by the stars.
- Augury: by the flight of birds.
- Bazi or four pillars: by hour, day, month, and year of birth.
- Bibliomancy: by books; frequently, but not always, religious texts.
- Cartomancy: by playing cards, tarot cards, or oracle cards.
- Ceromancy: by patterns in melting or dripping wax.
- Chiromancy: by the shape of the hands and lines in the palms.
- Chronomancy: by determination of lucky and unlucky days.
- Clairvoyance: by spiritual vision or inner sight.
- Cleromancy: by casting of lots, or casting bones or stones.
- Cold reading: by using visual and aural clues.
- Crystallomancy: by crystal ball also called scrying.
- Extispicy: by the entrails of animals.
- Face reading: by means of variations in face and head shape.
- Feng shui: by earthen harmony.
- Gastromancy: by stomach-based ventriloquism (historically).
- Geomancy: by markings in the ground, sand, earth, or soil.
- Haruspicy: by the livers of sacrificed animals.
- Horary astrology: the astrology of the time the question was asked.
- Hydromancy: by water.
- I Ching divination: by yarrow stalks or coins and the I Ching.
- Kau cim: by means of numbered bamboo sticks shaken from a tube.
- Lithomancy: by stones or gems.
- Necromancy: by the dead, or by spirits or souls of the dead.
- Nephelomancy: by shapes of clouds.
- Numerology: by numbers.
- Oneiromancy: by dreams.
- Onomancy: by names.
- Palmistry: by lines and mounds on the hand.
- Parrot astrology: by parakeets picking up fortune cards
- Paper fortune-teller: origami used in fortune-telling games
- Pendulum reading: by the movements of a suspended object.
- Pyromancy: by gazing into fire.
- Rhabdomancy: divination by rods.
- Runecasting or Runic divination: by runes.
- Scrying: by looking at or into reflective objects.
- Spirit board: by planchette or talking board.
- Taromancy: by a form of cartomancy using tarot cards.
- Tasseography or tasseomancy: by tea leaves or coffee grounds.
As stimulating to the imagination as fortune-telling is, I think it is better not to know. I like to live in a present where possibilities lie in wait, where my choices and preferences bring consequences, and where all my efforts and exertions are worthy just for the doing.
Have you had an interesting experience with a fortune-teller? I would love to hear about it.
Artwork is an art card (aceo) painting done in acrylic on canvas paper.