Attempt to gain insight into a question or situation / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dear Wikiwand AI, let's keep it short by simply answering these key questions:

Can you list the top facts and stats about Divination?

Summarize this article for a 10 year old


Divination (from Latin divinare 'to foresee, foretell, predict, prophesy, etc.')[2] is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic ritual or practice.[3] Using various methods throughout history, diviners ascertain their interpretations of how a querent should proceed by reading signs, events, or omens, or through alleged contact or interaction with supernatural agencies[4] such as spirits, gods, god-like-beings or the "will of the universe".[5]

Display on divination, featuring a cross-cultural range of items, in the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, England

Divination can be seen as an attempt to organize what appears to be random so that it provides insight into a problem or issue at hand.[6] Some modern instruments or practices of divination for magical practices include Tarot-card reading, rune casting, tea-leaf reading, automatic writing, and water scrying.[7] If a distinction is made between divination and fortune-telling, divination has a more formal or ritualistic element and often contains a more social character,[citation needed] usually in a religious context, as seen in traditional African medicine. Fortune-telling, on the other hand, is a more everyday practice for personal purposes. Particular divination methods vary by culture and religion.

In its functional relation to magic in general, divination can have a preliminary and investigative role:

[...] the diagnosis or prognosis achieved through divination is both temporarily and logically related to the manipulative, protective or alleviative function of magic rituals. In divination one finds the cause of an ailment or a potential danger, in magic one subsequently acts upon this knowledge.[8]

Divination has long attracted criticism. In the modern era, it has been dismissed by the scientific community and by skeptics as being superstitious; experiments do not support the idea that divination techniques can actually predict the future more reliably or precisely than would be possible without it.[9][10] In antiquity, divination came under attack from philosophers such as the Academic skeptic Cicero in De Divinatione (1st century BCE) and the Pyrrhonist Sextus Empiricus in Against the Astrologers (2nd century CE). The satirist Lucian (c. 125 – after 180) devoted an essay to Alexander the false prophet.[11]

Oops something went wrong: