The earliest humans soon learned that the fertility of the soil was dependent upon the favor of the Sun, as well as that of the rains, both of which were bestowed from the heavens. On the other hand were the adverse effects of lightning, wind, and hail, as well as floods.
On the evening of July 8, 1913, "Patience Worth," who claimed to be the spirit of a seventeenth-century Englishwoman, became a spirit control for Pearl Leonore Curran, a young woman in St. Louis, Missouri.
Seeking to foretell the future through a deck of cards (cartomancy) is an old and time-honored practice and a favorite of many professional, as well as amateur, psychics and seers. The exact time and place in which playing cards originated is unknown.
Dowsing, scientifically known as radioesthesia, is the interaction of the mind of the dowser and the energy of the object of interest. Most dowsing is used to find water and minerals.
Graphology or handwriting analysis is based upon the interpretation of certain signs and symbols to be found in a specimen of handwriting. In the view of a graphologist, the complicated mental, physical, and psychic machinery known as human beings betray so much detail about themselves in their handwriting because the actual process of handwriting begins in the mind, with thought.
The I Ching or Book of Changes has been used as a method of divination for more than 5,000 years, and in spite of its venerable age, modern enthusiasts insist that it is the most sophisticated method of predicting future events ever devised. Querents approach the I Ching with such questions as "What does the future hold for me?" "Should I marry now?" and throw coins.
The Kabbalah (also Cabala, Kabala, Kaballah, Qaballah, etc.) is a mystical Jewish tradition that teaches that the elect of God shall know both Him and the universe and will be raised above common knowledge to a spiritual level where they will understand the secrets of Holy Writ and creation through symbolic interpretation. Kabbalists affirm that the elect shall discover in the ancient texts whatever they choose, and they have the right to assert that the things they discover had been in the sacred scriptures from the beginning.
In March 2002, a red heifer was born in Israel that some Jewish traditionalists, as well as Christian and Muslim fundamentalists, believe could bring about the end of the world in 2005. According to ancient Jewish teachings, it was only the ashes of a flawless red heifer that could purify worshippers who went into the Temple in Jerusalem.
Necromancy involves the evocation of spirits of deceased individuals for the purpose of divination. Some magicians believed that spirits could only be summoned during the first year of that person's death.
According to numerologists, each number possesses a certain power that exists in the occult connection between the relations of things and the principles in nature which they express. All that humans are capable of experiencing can be reduced to the digits one through nine.
Palmistry, most often associated with carnival fortune-telling booths and gypsy caravans, has been a popular means of divination for centuries. Some traditions state that the Brahmins of ancient India practiced the occult science as a means of determining the potential of their students.
Thousands of years before the contemporary era, wise men and women listened while murmuring springs and streams spoke to them of what was to be, and they looked through the brilliance of precious stones into the world of tomorrow. Trees spoke to these early mediators between the gods and humans, as did the wise serpent, the wolf, and the birds that flew overhead.
Austrian physician Franz Joseph Gall (1758–1828) speculated that different mental functions are located in specific parts of the brain, therefore becoming the first person to complete the theory of cerebral localization. In his book The Anatomy and Physiology of the Nervous System in General and the Brain in Particular, a four-volume set published between 1810 and 1819, Gall set down the principles that focused on the contours and measurements of the human head as the basis of his doctrine on cranioscopy or phrenology.
For many centuries, those who would divine the future have assisted their clairvoyant abilities by crystal gazing, known technically as scrying. This method of divination is of such vast antiquity that it would be impossible to state exactly where it originated.
Acenturies-old method of divining the future involves the interpretation of the fragments of tea leaves at the bottom of a client's cup. The first rule to follow in tea leaf or tea cup reading, also known as tasseography, is to brew the tea in a pot without a strainer in order to allow sufficient bits of leaves to enter the cup.