Divination at its most basic is the art of obtaining information through ritual or observation. It is amusing to note that with such a broad definition scientific research is a form of divination. Traditionally though, divination is more closely associated with the search for less exact information. It's often used for determining the will of the gods or the spirits of the land. Divination can be used to help making difficult decisions or commune with the dead. It can even, though unreliably, be used to predict the future.
Spirits and the FutureEdit
Methods of divination can be divided into two different groups; methods that attempt to gain knowledge of the spirits of the land and methods that attempt to gain knowledge of the future directly. Divination through the spirits of the land is considered to reliably yield accurate information about the state of the world and of the short term future. Divining the future directly has been known to yield accurate information but is generally considered unreliable.
Many of the methods used in the real world are used on Aua as well, with varying degree of success. Whether a method is reliable or not does not seem to have a major impact on how widespread it's use is. In fact, a few methods generally considdered useless are still listed as official methods of divination in some countries.
As a general rule, divination through blood and through action have proven to be largely ineffective. This includes, but isn't limited to the following methods:
- Cartomancy- cards
- Extispicy - animal entrails
- Gyromancy- making ones own self dizzy and falling on letters in a circle to predict the future
- Haruspicy- livers of sacrificed animals
- Spirit board - planchette or talking board divination
One of the more important requirements for divination to be succesful is that the diviner doesn't interfer with the medium used for the divining. That's why methods such as Ouija boards, or Gyromancy aren't considdered reliable. Similarly, by killing an animal and poking around inside it, the diviner is interfering with the medium studied. It should be noted that multiple seers practicing Cartomancy may result in accurate divinations.
A second important requirement for succesful divination is life, or motion. It is important that the studied medium is in some sense alive. It needs to be able to react in some way to events in the world around it. This is yet another reason why cutting up a goat and looking at its entrails isn't a reliable method for divining anything.
A couple of methods for divination stands out as more reliable than others:
For all of the above mentioned methods it is important not to interfer with the studied medium. The diviner should not scare the birds, not disturb the water and not poke around in the fire.
Other than the traditional methods mentioned above, new methods of divination have appeared. Typically they are closely related to studying things occuring in larger cities or at centers of consumption, such as shopping malls. Some of these methods are: