Divination and Oracles

Drawings from Tui bei tu, a Chinese prophecy book. This book, written by astronomers and historians Yuan Tiangang and Li Chunfen during the Tang Dynasty, contained 60 drawing with preceding poems that made predictions for the era and was likely based on the I Ching, also known as The Book of Changes. At the front of the book, the following is written:

“When examining the future, please know that the past may have been clear as a bright moon, but the future may be dark and black. Be cautious.”

The book was later deemed forbidden in the Song Dynasty but remained popular with the public. Source: World Digital Library

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Tables showing occult correspondences of “seven rulers of the earth,” celestial spirits of the planets. The second chart shows how to recognize them in geomantic divination, and the correspondences to help with interpretation of the reading. From Theomagia, or, The Temple of Wisdome, John Heydon, 1663. Source: The Getty Alchemy Collection


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Diagram from Crystal Gazing And The Wonders Of Clairvoyance by John Melville, 1896, that’s supposed to represent a β€œnaturally” adept practitioner, unfortunately referencing phrenology. A reminder that occult sciences are not immune to the insidious effects of white supremacy. Source: archive.org


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A chart of characters used in Geomancy, a divination method that uses markings on the ground or tossing handfuls of earth, sand or rocks. These characters are identified in the arrangement and charts help interpret the meaning. From The Book of the Magi, Francis Barrett, 1896. Source: Wellcome Library


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The Apparatus of Ceremonial Cystallomancy is a white-magic divination tool that you gaze into, similar to the Mirror of Solomon. The crystal is mounted in a frame, made of polished ebony, ivory, or boxwood. The engraved candlesticks must be brass. From The Book of Black Magic and Pacts, A.E. Waite, 1910. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind


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The Prophecies of Paracelsus is a book with 32 prophecies, each with a woodcut full of symbolism to expand on it. The prophecies are cryptic and vague, with much allegorical symbolism, and can be easily reinterpreted to apply to any situation. Source: Wellcome Library


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The Prognosticon, or The Divining Disc of Pergamon, is a bronze amulet, found in Asia Minor in 1899CE, that was used by ancient magicians of Pergamon to tell the future. The disc seems to use a combination of magic systems, bearing characters from King Solomon amulets, Greek letters, Egyptian hieroglyphs and planetary symbols.

While the Prognosticon’s divination system is unknown, one theory is that the user was meant to gaze into it’s design, in order to enter an altered state of consciousness for divination. Some believe, that by merely possessing an amulet with its symbol, your insight, intuition, and imagination will be enhanced, and replicas of the artifact have been made for consumers. Image: Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, CC-BY-NC-SA

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This Chinese astrology book, made 1597, was for the purpose of military divination, to guide commanders in their battles. The 6 volume book has 15 categories: sun, moon, constellations, stars, wind, clouds, fog, rainbows, rain, thunder, frost, five planets, time of the day, astrological talismans for casting spells, and magic arts in Taoist witchcraft.

The book was classified material, only for the imperial court, because astrology was banned for private use at the time, and carried the threat of severe punishment. From: National Central Library

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The Golden Wheel of Fortune is a divination tool, used by occultist Cagliostro. To tell your fortune, place it face down & prick the back with a needle. Read the message of the marked number. The messages are related to the typical concerns of divination: money, sex, relationships, and health.

From A Handbook of Cartomancy, Fortune-telling and Occult Divination, 1889

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