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Although certain complex symbols painted on Late Neolithic pots from Shandong suggest that primitive writing was emerging in the east in the 3rd millennium, the Shang divination inscriptions that appear at Xiaotun form the earliest body of Chinese writing yet known.
In… Nature and significance Divination is universally concerned with practical problems, private or public, and seeks information upon which practical decisions can be made; but the source of such information is not conceived as mundaneand the technique of getting it is necessarily fanciful. The mantic divinatory arts are many, and a broad understanding can emerge only from a survey of actual practices in various cultural settings.
A short definition, however, may be offered as a preliminary guide: Though the act of divination is attended by respect and the attitude of the participants in the divinatory act may be religious, the subject matter of divination like that of magic is ephemeral—e.
Divination is a consultative institution, and the matter posed to a diviner may range from a query about a few lost coins to high questions of state. The casual or solemn nature of the matter is normally matched by that of the diviner in terms of attitude, technique, and style.
Where the diviner is a private practitioner, the elaborateness of the procedure may be reflected in the fee. In contrast to the worldly motives of some diviners, the calling of diviner-priest was seen by the ancient Etruscans in Italy and the Maya in Mexico as sacred; his concern was for the very destiny of his people.
Divination has many rationales, and it is difficult to describe the diviner as a distinctive social type.
He or she may be a shaman private curer employing psychic techniques; see shamanisma priesta peddler of sorcery medicines, or a holy person who speaks almost with the voice of prophecy.
To assert that European religious beliefs have remained the same throughout the Common Era would be to ignore the impact of modern science and secularization.
The structure of divination The extent to which a practice such as divination should be called a corollary of the beliefs entailed and the extent to which the opposite might be true i. Among the great cultures, the Chinese tradition has given the broadest scope to divination; yet there is no single Chinese religious cosmology, or theory on the ordering of the world, comparable to those of the Mayan, Sanskritic Hinduor Judeo-Christian traditions, from which the variety of popular practice can be seen to derive.
Sometimes, as with the flourishing business of astrology in Christian countries since the Renaissance, the metaphysical transcendent presuppositions of mantic practice may have been muted in order to minimize conflict with official religious and scientific doctrines.
Generally, however, the philosophical underpinnings of divination need not be deep or well worked out, but, where they are, they will afford clues to fundamental beliefs about man and about visible or invisible nature.
Some traditions of divination—such as astrology, geomancy divination by means of figures or linesor the Chinese divinatory disciplines—are so old and established that it is virtually impossible to discover their original contexts. Over the centuries such practices have survived many changes and have become perennial attempts to answer recurring questions about the human condition.
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Established long ago in the hieratic priestly discipline of primitive theocracies, such a tradition still bears the marks of the specialists who worked out its systematic techniques.
Since the practice is now observed only as a folk or popular tradition, however, it would be rash to suppose that any legitimate philosophical tradition undergirding divination survives.
Systematic studies of geomancy are recent, and the literature of astrology is as perishable as it is massive.
Babylonian astrology, from which later forms are derived, arose in an agrarian Mesopotamian civilization concerned with the vicissitudes of nature and the affairs of state. The mercantile, seafaring, and individualistic Greeks absorbed the mantic system of the collectivistic floodplain civilization of Mesopotamia, elaborated on it by adding the horoscopic discipline, and transmitted it through Hellenistic, Egyptian, and Islamic science to Europe.
Various priests and scholars have made their contributions to the system; yet there also is a clear correspondence between the general character of a culture and the uses it finds for divination.
That is, the worldview implicit in the divination system itself may reflect the historical rather than the current context of use. It requires only practical understanding to consult a Ouija board or use a forked stick to decide where to drill for water.
Hence, people of very different beliefs may adopt the same practices, and a full correspondence between practice and belief can be expected only where both have developed in the same cultural context.
By its very nature, however, divination tends to develop as a discipline, becoming the tradition of an organized body of specialists.
This is because the means to which diviners must resort generally set them apart.Archives and past articles from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and attheheels.com A post over at The Spearhead a few days ago brought up how men under 30 are more clued in about women than anyone other age group of men.
Several comments basically communicated the fact that men under 30 are increasingly fed up with women: Thanks for mentioning us younger guys. Fortune-telling is the practice of predicting the life, usually of a group, through mystical or natural means, and often for commercial gain.
It is often conflated with the religious practice known as divination. Find great deals on eBay for fortune telling book. Shop with confidence. News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.
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