The complete list of divination methods
Last Updated: November 1, 2022
Hello and welcome to my ridiculous list of divination methods! As you know I adore divination, with so many varieties for so many different practitioners, you can absolutely find the best one for you. Not only this, but I hope you can learn about different methods that can complement your personal practice.
So, without further ado, here are typical methods of divination, in no particular order or hierarchy:
Something you’ll hear a lot about at BackyardBanshee.com – tarot is a form of cartomancy divination, featuring trump card themes in a major arcana and smaller life details in the minor arcana. Cartomancy isn’t just tarot, however. It can cover playing cards, Lenormand, oracle decks, affirmation decks, angel cards, and more.
You can learn more about this in our tarot articles.
Tarot readings are done by yourself or by someone else on your behalf, and whilst there is a lot of mythology regarding readings themselves, it’s a perfect divination tool to use to build on your knowledge across multiple areas, such as symbolism, numerology, colour psychology, and so on.
Runes are a language where a symbol can represent a sound or a word or a theme. Popular forms of runes include Elder Futhark, Ogham and Younger Futhark, and the majority of runes have their origins tied to Proto-Germanic culture. Each rune has a meaning and can be read in isolation or as part of a group to answer questions about your life.
You can read more about runes here.
The etymology of the word rune means “secret” so as a practice for yourself, it has plenty of mythology and history to support a beautiful divination connection to the universe.
I Ching readings
The I Ching, or Book of Changes, is an ancient Chinese text that can be used for divination. The I Ching has 64 hexagrams, which are a combination of yin and yang lines. It’s one of the oldest methods of divination in the world and is still widely used today. The hexagrams each have different meanings and can be read individually or as a group to answer questions about your life.
A pendulum is a divination tool that can be used for “yes” or “no” questions, as well as open-ended ones. All you need is a weight on a string – I recommend clear or smoky quartz crystals, but you could use a key, a pendant, a wooden rune, or really anything that suits your practice style.
Ecriture automatique originated in France in the late 19th century as a Surrealist art movement but has become a popular method of divination in recent years. All you need is a piece of paper and a pen, and allow your hand to move across the paper as you clear your mind. You may find symbols, words or sentences forming that can offer guidance or clarity on a particular issue.
Psychometry is the ability to read the energy of an object. This can be done with anything – jewellery, clothing, books, really anything that has been touched by someone else. Hold the object in your hand and allow yourself to relax, and see what images, emotions or memories come through.
The word scrying comes from the Old English descry, meaning “to make out dimly” or “to reveal.” Scrying is the practice of divining the future by looking into a reflective surface – such as water, a crystal ball, a mirror, smoke, fire, ink or even oil in your palm.
Capnomancy - Smoke Scrying
This is a form of scrying, where you use the smoke from a fire – either in a cauldron, bonfire, incense or even candles – to divine the future. You can read the shapes and symbols that the smoke makes to interpret messages from the universe.
I talk about capnomancy in depth here on BackyardBanshee.com, and I’ve been featured across different talented creators & artists’ blogs regarding methods of fire divination.
Tea leaf readings
Tasseomancy is the art of divining the future from tea leaves and is also known as tasseography. This is an ancient method of divination and one that is still widely used today. All you need is a cup of tea and some interpretation skills!
A way to boost this type of divination is to create the tea aligned with correspondences of where you would look to find insight further, such as using raspberry leaf teas if you are looking for insight into women’s health.
Crystal ball readings
A popular method of scrying, crystal ball readings is done by gazing into a sphere made of quartz crystal. The ball is said to amplify your psychic abilities, allowing you to see messages from the universe more clearly. Most depicted in the media, but it’s perfect for those who love earth elements as well as water elements too.
Astrology (charts and transits)
This is also one of the most popular modern methods that have origins way back in ancient times. Astrology deserves its own space just like tarot, as there isn’t just western astrology – there is tropical, sidereal, Chinese, Vedic, Draconic, and more. I personally adore asteroid astrology and utilise this as one of my regular readings for clients! This divination method can be used for yourself, as well as for others through birth charts or current sky transits.
But wait…. there’s more. I have written “An A to Z of Modern Divination” and this is taken directly from my glossary. The website I will update with more methods as I find more research, and as it stands here are over 90 different methods, so keep checking back to see what else I find and get in touch if you think I have missed one out!
- Aleuromancy, divining through the use of flour
- Apantomancy, the divining of messages through animals
- Anthropomancy, the divining of messages through human entrails
- Arithomancy, divining through numbers
- Astragalomancy, divining using dice or bones
- Augury, a form of Ornithomancy, is the divining of bird patterns and sightings
- Aura Reading, the divining of someone’s energy field
- Automatic writing, divining through writing autonomously and freely without thought
- Axinomancy, the divining of messages through an axe
- Belomancy, the divining of messages through arrows
- Botanomancy, the divining of messages through plants
- Brizomancy, divining through the use of the sea, tides and dreams ass represented by Brizo
- Bibliomancy, the divining of answers from books specifically sacred texts e.g. Qabalah, Bible, Quran
- Capnomancy, the divining method through smoke
- Cartomancy, the divining of playing cards or tarot cards
- Ceromancy, the divining of melted wax
- Chiromancy, aka Palmistry, is the reading of someone’s palm lines to divine messages about a person
- Clairaudience, ‘clear hearing’ where one hears messages
- Clairsentience, ‘clear feeling’ or sensing messages
- Clairalience, ‘clear smelling’ where scents bring forth messages for you
- Cleromancy, divining through the casting of lots
- Cleidomancy, the divining of messages through keys
- Copromancy, the divining of messages through feces
- Crystal Scrying, aka Crystal Ball Gazing, is the divining of images in a crystal ball
- Dactylomancy, divination through rings and fingers
- Dendromancy, the divining of messages through trees
- Dowsing, aka Pendulum Divination, using a pendulum to answer yes or no questions
- Dowsing, aka Rod Sticks, is the divining of water or other objects using a dowsing rod
- Dririmancy, divining through blood patterns or scrying with blood
- Electromagnetic Field Detection, aka Radiesthesia, the divining of EMF fields
- Encromancy, divining through oil and ink
- Favomancy, divining through seeds and beans
- Floromancy, divination through flowers and their meanings or sightings
- Frigoromancy, the divining of messages through cold
- Geomancy, the divining of messages through Earth
- Geloscopy, the divining of messages through laughter
- Graphology, the divining of messages through handwriting analysis
- Gyromancy, the divining of messages through spinning and twirling
- Halomancy, the divining of messages through the use of salt
- Hekatomancy, a form of Numismatomancy, is the divining of messages through coins appearance
- Hydatoscopy, the divining of water patterns such as through rainwater
- Hydromancy, the divining through water
- Iconomancy, a form of
- Ichnomancy, the divining of messages through footprints
- I Ching, the ancient Chinese oracle of 64 hexagrams
- Journalling for divination, interpreting automatic writing
- Jumping, the divining of messages through the random movement of objects, such as tarot cards jumping out during a divination reading
- Kymomancy, the divining of messages through waves
- Lampadomancy, the divining of messages through the use of flame
- Libanomancy, the divining of messages through incense smoke
- Lithomancy, the divining of stone or crystal formations and appearances
- Metoposcopy, is the divining of messages through lines on the forehead
- Myomancy, is the divining of messages through muscle movements (typically of animals)
- Necromancy, the divining of messages through the dead
- Nibiru, the divining of messages through the movements/transits/crossings of planets in Babylonian astrology specifically
- Numerology, a subcategory of Arithmancy, is the divining of messages through numbers
- Numismatomancy, divining through coins and their outcomes
- Oenomancy, the divining of messages through wine
- Oleomancy, the divining of oil patterns in water
- Ololygomancy, the divining of messages through the shrieks of animals
- Oneiromancy, the divining of dreams
- Onychomancy, the divining of messages through nails
- Oomancy, the divining of messages through egg whites
- Ophiomancy, the divining of messages through snake patterns
- Ouija Board, a famous game board brand as a divination board used to communicate with spirits
- Pegomancy, the divining of messages through springs or fountains
- Plastromancy, the divining of messages through turtle shells
- Poimandres, the divining of messages through sheep entrails
- Psychometry, is the divining of messages through objects that a person has touched
- Pyromancy, aka Fire Scrying, is the divining of images in fire and using fire for messages
- Querency, the divining of messages through open question to forum
- Rhapsodomancy, the divining of messages through randomly chosen passages of poetic text
- Rhabdomancy, the divining of messages through rods or wands
- Rumpology, the divining of messages through buttocks
- Seance, a gathering of people to communicate with spirits and divine messages
- Shufflemancy, a method of divining through technological shuffling of music tracks
- Sortilege, is the divining of messages through objects that are randomly chosen
- Solarmancy, divining messages through the observations of the Sun
- Spatulamancy, the divining of messages through kitchen utensils
- Tasseomancy, aka Tea Leaf Reading, is the divining of patterns in tea leaves and coffee grounds
- Tephramancy, the divining of messages through ash
- Theomancy, the divining of messages from a deity or divine sources
- Thumomancy, the divining of the soul
- Tyromancy, the divining of messages through cheese
- Umbramancy, aka Sciomancy, is the divining of messages through shadows
- Uromancy, the divining of messages through urine
- Xylomancy, the divining of messages through wood
- Xenomancy, the divining of messages through strangers
- Zoomancy, the divining of messages through animal movement and behaviour
- Zygomancy, divining through weights
I love curating divination experiences for those invested in spiritual growth with secular honest vibes. I am that witch you come to for these honest, interesting and beneficial divination experiences!
From pendulums to crystal balls to smoke and water, scrying harnesses the power of intuition and imagination to interpret symbols, and messages from the spirit world (if you work with spirits in your practice).
Astrology for your year ahead based on your age, let’s explore what is in store for you!