How to Choose a Method of Divination

Do you want to know how to choose a method of divination? Don’t worry, lots of people wish to practice fortune-telling but often struggle to select the one that is right for them. There are so many types to choose from and they’re all so interesting!

Remember, there’s probably no one single type of divination that’s right for you – there are likely several! Don’t worry about choosing the wrong method of divination. The worst that can happen is that you’ll get possessed by demons…

I’m of course joking, but seriously, if you do commit to the ‘wrong’ type of fortune-telling (for you), then don’t fear – there are plenty of other methods to choose from.

The key to choosing a method of divination is to try as many as you can. In my 27 years of being on earth, I’ve probably dabbled in about 30 divination methods, but would call myself an active participator in only about 6 (apantomancy, Tarot, Lenormand, crystal ball reading, dream Interpretation, and Oracle cards).

How to Choose a Method of Divination

Although there are no downfalls to trying everything, there are a couple of questions you should ask yourself when trying to select the right type of divination for you. The following fifteen tips will ensure that you discover your dream method in record time so you can start divining ASAP.

Can it Provide Me with What I’m Trying to Accomplish? 

The first thing you must consider when choosing a method of divination is whether or not it can provide whatever you’re setting out to achieve. For example, do you wish to predict the future? Do you want to provide people with holistic advice? Do you want to read on specific questions or on general life areas?

Usually, most would-be diviners wish to learn how to predict the future. A divination method such as Lenormand is perfect for this, because a Grand Tableau Spread will allow you to look into 36 life areas at once. Lenormand is ideal for making detailed, accurate predictions for both specific and general readings.

By contrast, a divination method such as Oracle cards is designed specifically for advisory types of readings. Oracle cards give advice on which course of action to take, but won’t necessarily tell you where those steps will lead.

How Long Does it Take to Perform? 

Some methods of divination can be performed in record time, such as dowsing or Poe divination. Quick types of divination answer a straight yes or no question, so if this is all you require, they’re ideal.

However, other methods of fortune-telling can take a very long time. Apantomancy or brontomancy, for example, can take an undisclosed amount of time because you’re waiting for God, the spirits, and the universe to send you specific signs. How much patience you have should be a factor in selecting the right method of divination for you.

Is the History a Pro or Con? 

Throughout history, there have been hundreds and probably thousands of ways to divine. Most types of divination (such as belomancy) were once super popular but have now fallen out of fashion. In modern times, these methods of divination are not widely practiced, the information on them is slim, and they lack supportive communities where you can get tips and advice.

Another possibility is that you don’t like forms of divination that lack a rich history. Some divination tools, such as ouija boards and dobutsu uranai, are relatively recent inventions, and this may be a turn-off to you if you like your divination methods to have a more colorful past.   

How to choose a divination method for beginners
A lot of people are attracted to divination methods that use crystals. One of the reasons for this, is because crystals are aesthetically pleasing. Crystals also have a long history as spiritual objects.

Therefore, when choosing a more ancient type of divination, you must ask yourself if there’s still enough information on them for you to learn. When selecting a more modern method of reading, you need to consider if the lack of history bothers you or affects your faith in the system. This brings me to my next point:

Is it in Line with my Beliefs? 

Part of discovering which method of divination is calling you is deciding whether or not you actually believe it’s possible to divine the future or solutions to problems in the manner the tool provides.

Some people don’t like methods of divination that have no room for error. Therefore, a strictly yes or no form of fortune-telling (such as Poe) isn’t going to be right for you. I personally fall into this camp, and if you do as well, you’d be better off finding a divination tool that can provide some wiggle room, such as Tarot.

Another thing that may be important to you is the system’s history (as discussed above). If having a colorful past is of significance to you, you have to believe in the backstory of the divination tool. For example, many people question the authenticity of ogham as an ancient form of prediction. Do you feel like a complete sucker when telling a method’s backstory? Does it make you feel weird? These are important considerations, as they may impact your level of belief in the system, and therefore your ability to perform readings.

Finally, there may be some moral considerations you have around a type of divination. Because they don’t believe in using animal products, many vegan diviners steer clear of bone reading and instead opt for something like charm casting. Although there are plenty of companies out there that source bones humanely, you might feel weird about using bones in your practice. The right form of divination for you is going to be based on your personal preferences.

Does it Have to be Pretty?

It’s no coincidence that some of the most popular methods of divination, such as Tarot or runes, employ the use of pretty divination tools.

Although I’m not encouraging shallow behavior by recommending that you go for a form of fortune-telling based entirely on looks, there’s something special about having attractive divination tools. It’s fun and exciting when those Tarot cards you’ve been eyeing up for months appear in your letterbox. Looking good can add to a divination method’s appeal.

However, there are types of divination that don’t require beautiful tools (such as cledonism), but which still get the job done. Having a shiny crystal ball or gold-edged Tarot cards may not be a major priority to you, but if it is, be honest with yourself before you commit to learning a system.   

How Much Money Can I Spare?

You honestly don’t need fancy reading cloths, herbs, or any other non-essential – practicing divination doesn’t have to cost you a fortune.

That being said, some types of fortune-telling tools and systems can become rather expensive. Quartz crystal balls cost hundreds of dollars. If you want to practice Ifa, an initiation into an ATR can cost thousands. If you’re low on cash, some methods of divination will unfortunately simply be out of your budget.

How Much Time Do I Want to Devote?

Some types of divination can be mastered very quickly. For example, I learned how to read Lenormand in only 2 days – and I don’t just mean I learned a few keywords. I was proficient enough to perform readings for seekers I’d never met only 48 hours after learning what Lenormand even was.

By contrast, there are other divination systems such as astrology that I’ve been dipping in and out of for over 13 years. I feel like there are so many components to Astrology that it’s not the type of thing you can just pick up over a weekend.

As a general rule, the more aspects there are to a method of divination, the longer it’s going to take to learn. I’ve also found that more popular types of fortune-telling seem to take a very long time to get your head around, because there’s always something new to learn due to so many educators getting their bit in over the years and constantly evolving the system.

If you feel that you don’t have the time to learn every single interpretation of a system (or if you’re impatient like me), an info-heavy method may not be right for you.

However, some methods of divination can be mastered quicker if you personalize them. For example, if you develop your own way of interpreting symbols, you can apply this to crystal ball reading, bone throwing, dream interpretation, Oracle cards, etc. 

Is it Highly Requested? Do I Care?

A little tip here for professional readers: there are some methods of divination that are more popular than others, so this can work in your favor. If you learn something like dream interpretation and get to the top of Google for the search term ‘dream interpretation London’, you’ll be away laughing. It’s worth your time learning systems that are highly requested if you want to divine on a professional basis.

However, it’s sometimes a good thing to go against the grain. At one point, I was probably the only Lenormand reader within a 3-hour drive. Then, almost overnight, Lenormand became super popular and the method blew up. Suddenly, I was receiving requests for Lenormand readings left, right, and center. Sometimes it pays to be different.

I’m not saying anyone should learn a form of divination just to make money, but learning anything will be an investment for any professional reader. Therefore, this is obviously something you should consider if you know that one day, you’ll be incorporating it into your professional reading practice.

Is There Information Available in English?

Or any other language you wish to learn in, for that matter? For me, learning how to read Etteilla was extremely difficult, because I had to sit online with Google translate and a French dictionary; there was simply no information on Etteilla available anywhere in English, either online or in print. It took months just to obtain and be able to understand the information in English, and while I’m grateful for the opportunity, it was a lot of hard work and effort.

While it’s rewarding when you truly work for knowledge, if you’re a newbie, I don’t recommend going down the road of translating books and articles to learn a method of fortune-telling. Master something in a language you’re familiar with first, then move into more ambitious territory at a later date if you wish.

How Much Research is Needed? 

Sometimes, there will be information available in your first language but which is few and far between. You might have to buy lots of new books, join communities, or piece together nuggets of information from around the internet.

Although there’s far more information available on Lenormand than there was when I started, that information can be a little hit-and-miss. It’s hard to know for sure whether you’re being told the right things. This is why I periodically run Lenormand courses on Divinerism, so that my readers know they can get quality Lenormand information without having to play guessing games online.

Which fortune telling method should you choose?

When choosing a method of divination, you have to take into account the level and quality of information already available out there. Otherwise, you could be in for a lot of hard work and hustle before you’ve even begun.

Is There a Community?

For some people, the community aspect is very important. Communities can help you to grow and develop as a reader. Facebook groups and forums dedicated to your chosen method of divination can be a place where you go for support and advice from other readers. Being part of a community allows you to connect with people who have similar goals and interests.

For instance, I have a Facebook page where diviners can learn and are asked to give their opinions on symbols, card spreads, and more. 

However, finding a community might not be a priority for you for several reasons. You may not feel as though you need other people in order to learn a method of divination; you’re self-taught and proud. Alternatively, you might be the type of person who doesn’t want to socialize with others and doing so makes you feel awkward. This brings me to another important point:

Do I Have to Touch People?

There are some types of fortune-telling (phrenology, palmistry, etc.) that require you to get up close and personal with your seekers. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like to be touched (or doesn’t like to touch others), you must take this into account when choosing the right method of divination for you.

You may also wish to one day practice a method of divination professionally and consider doing email or distant email readings. Wanting to one day read online? Or do you already read online and can’t always touch your clients? If you’re reading in a business capacity, you need to consider the pros and cons of each type of fortune-telling. How much skin-to-skin contact you need with your seekers should come into the equation.  

Is this Method of Divination Religious in Nature?

There are some methods of divination that are naturally religious in nature, such as Ifa divination. These types of divining aren’t something you can just pick up from a book and learn. They’re passed down by other initiates of the spiritual traditions they’re a part of.

There are also some fortune-telling methods that are popular in temples, especially in the likes of China, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Japan. These types of divination, such as o-mikuji and kau chim, can hypothetically be practiced outside these places, but their religious and ceremonial significance is what makes them special. Just because a form of reading can be done outside of a religious context doesn’t mean they should be.

Is this Method of Divination Practical?

Not all types of divination are practical. It’s not easy to sacrifice a goat to the gods and interpret the shape of its liver (haruspicy). Obviously, these things must be considered when choosing the right type of divination for you.

You might also live in a part of the world that makes a particular method of reading difficult. For example, if you live somewhere far away from nature, apantomancy could get a bit boring. Or maybe the country in which you reside has consistent weather year in year out, meaning something like aeromancy would be practically out of the question. These are things you must look at honestly in your quest for your perfect method of divination.

Does it Match my Skillset?

If you’re new to prognostication, you might not yet know what your skills are. However, you can usually get a general idea just by doing some light research into the divination method.

While every type of divination requires some level of intuition, some also require a lot of study. Memorization may not be your thing. By contrast, you might love the intellectual approach, and if this sounds like you, a divination method with a lot of information (like astrology or Tarot) would be ideal.

With some types of divination, you must have strong intuition and be able to read between the lines. Something like Lenormand or dream interpretation can be symbolic or literal, and you must be able to separate the thoughts in your head from your intuitive voice.

With some types of reading, you may or may not work with spirits, so whether you can or can’t do this may not matter to you. However, other types of divination work exclusively with spirits (necromancy). Is mediumship your thing? Do you have the skills needed to talk to spirits? If not, are you willing to learn? These are all things to consider when deciding if you want to take up a particular method or not.

Closing Thoughts on How to Choose a Method of Divination

My final tip for how to choose a method of divination is to ask yourself this: “Does it feel right for me?”

You will know if a divination method is right for you based on how drawn you are to the method. You’ll notice that, throughout your life, you may have had an underlying interest or fascination with the system.

Once you begin practicing a form of divination, if it’s right for you, you’ll take to it like a duck to water. At times, learning will feel effortless, and you won’t feel intuitively blocked when trying to perform or progress with that divination method. That’s not to say it will always be easy or that there won’t be one or two things you’ll get stuck on, but the difference is that you’ll rise to any challenges you face because overcoming them will be enjoyable. 

That’s all for how to choose a method of divination! Did this post help you to choose the right divination method? Are you new to fortune-telling, or are you a seasoned practitioner who is looking for something different? Let me know in the comments below!

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Animals in Divination

There are animals in divination. No matter the method of divination. No matter the fortune-telling tools used. Animals and animal symbols are an essential feature.

In fact, animals for a the key to learning multiple divination methods quickly. If you can master animal symbolism, you can master fortune-telling.

Why Learn About Animals in Divination?

Just the other day, I was talking to one of my students about divination and fortune-telling and they were super interested in what they could do to speed up the learning process. It seems that everyone wants to know if there are any fast or quick ways you can master the art of divining. 

Get-spiritual-quick questions have always been somewhat taboo. Of all industries, spirituality (and especially divination) seems to be at the forefront of the “takes years to learn” brigade. Students and seekers are often discouraged from asking questions and seeking help from teachers who believe that spiritual development can be achieved in any less than a million years’ time. 

However, anyone who’s trying to convince you that learning how to divine takes forever is full of shit. 

I’m not afraid to admit to you that I’m one of those teachers who believe that divination is something you don’t have to donate insane amounts of study time to. 

Divination shouldn’t be so boring and soul-sucking that you lose interest. 

My Story with Animals in Divination

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a diviner, not just a reader. Divination is very much a part of my lifestyle, and I communicate with my spirits and interpret omens constantly. Divining is my life and I am abnormally dedicated. The difference is, however, that unlike many other teachers, I still believe there are things you can do to ramp up your development and divination skills. 

Lisa Boswell divination and animals
My cat, Mushu, watches over me as I write about animals and divination.

Being raised in a Romany Gypsy household means that I’ve been involved in the wonderful world of fortune-telling my entire life, even as a child. I’ve seen many diviners come and go. Even just spending time in the divination industry as an adult means that I’ve observed many readers teach and be taught. And I can categorically say that there are quick, effective, easier ways of doing things, just as there are slow, boring, difficult ways of doing things. An example of a long way to learn goes like this:

Let’s take a diviner who we’ll call Tee. Tee wants to learn any and every method of divination there is, but first tries to learn how to interpret dreams. She skips off into the sunset (or onto Amazon online) and orders herself “The Big Book of 100,000 Dream Meanings”. She plunks herself down and tries to memorize every. Single. Entry. She eventually loses interest and the book ends up on her shelf, periodically brought out when the urge re-emerges. Tee gets stuck in the ‘meanings’ cycle, never to truly learn the art of dream interpretation. 

Where Are Your Going Wrong in your Divination?

Tee made an error that so many diviners do. They waste their time trying to learn signs and symbols they’re never going to use. However, there’s an easier way, and no joke, it involves learning how to interpret animals. 

Animal symbolism is a lightning-bolt way to add to your symbolism practice. Animals are the one subject you’ll see again and again in pretty much every method of divination. If you can learn how to become a master at interpreting the animal kingdom, you can apply this knowledge to all your readings. 

As a dream interpreter, I can tell you that 90% of every dream I’ve ever interpreted has involved an animal. Most Oracle card decks (especially ones without the little white books) depict animals. There are animals on Tarot cards. Many of the signs of the zodiac can somehow be linked to myths and legends involving animals. 

Divination Methods which Use Animal Symbolism

If you learn how to interpret animals, you can apply what you have learned to (but not limited to): 


As I said, the vast majority of dreams that people have are either ‘typical’ dreams (falling, running, swimming) or dreams involving animals. It’s very common to dream about animal attacks, being chased by an animal, animals changing size and shape, and owning baby animals. 

Bone Divination

Animals are important in bone divination for two reasons. First, diviners select their bones based on how they interpret certain animals. Need a bone that represents freedom and lack of restriction? You might select a bird’s bone, if this is how you interpret birds. 

The second way that bone throwers use animal symbolism involves how they interpret readings. The meanings they assign to their animal bones (and how the bone falls) will be significant to the seeker. So, if their bird bone is obscured by an animal bone that symbolizes restriction, this can represent a time when the seeker experienced a lack of freedom. 


Ceromancy is an unusual method of divination that involves interpreting the shape of melted candle wax. To perform ceromancy, you ask a question, light a candle, and let it burn until there is a largeish pool of wax. You then pour this wax into a bowl of cold water. Once the melted wax has set, you remove it and interpret its shape. And, if you know how to interpret animal shapes, you’re already halfway there!


There are 36 cards in the divination system of Lenormand. Of those thirty-six, eight of them (SnakeBirdFoxBearStorkDogMiceFish), or arguably nine (Rider) is an animal. If you know animal symbolism before you begin to learn how to read Lenormand, you already know a quarter of the deck meanings. 

Crystal Ball Reading

Like bone throwers, crystal ball readers use animal symbolism in two ways. First, if they see animal shapes, they can interpret the shapes and colors they see in their crystals. The second method is a little trickier. 

Most crystal ball readers interpret messages they receive through their psychic abilities, in much the same way mediums do. The crystal ball is used merely as a prop for putting the reader into a meditative state and keeping them there. This is how a large percentage of diviners read their crystal balls.

The messages appear based on the reader’s understanding of symbolism. For example, if I was performing a crystal ball reading and a hare popped into my head, I would know the following message was going to take place at nighttime because, for me, hares = midnight! 


Believe it or not, if you’re out and about, you can use clouds as a tool for divination. Moreover, you can use (you guessed it) animal symbolism in your interpretation. Think your boyfriend may be cheating on you and you see a snake in the sky? You can imagine what that means… 

Animals in fortune telling Tarot, Lenormand, bone reading, oracle cards, crystal balls
Animals feature heavily in fortune telling. This is especially true in methods of divination that use cards such as Tarot, oracle cards and Lenormand.

Oracle Cards

 You’ll find that there are many pretty cool Oracle card decks out there, especially ones without instruction manuals. You’ll also discover that many of these decks contain animals! 

Imagine purchasing a beautiful self-published deck that you’ve been eyeing up for ages… only to learn it doesn’t come with instructions. If you already know animal symbolism, you’ll probably be okay, because I bet many of the cards in that deck have a furry friend or two. Know the animal meanings? You can now design your interpretations! 

Tea Leaf Reading

Tea leaf reading is a method of divination that tends to rely heavily on symbolism. Obviously, Tea leaf reading involves interpreting the shapes and markings in teacups, which often appear as animals. 

Tarot Card Reading

Of course, animals play a vital role in Tarot, and it’s very rare to find any type of Tarot deck that doesn’t feature any animals. On the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, you’ll find plenty of animalsbirds, and mythological creatures

Casting Divination

Like bone divination, you select your charms for charm casting based on your understanding of animal symbolism. In fact, for casting, you can design your own system entirely on animal symbolism and never have to learn any meanings for any other subject. 

For example, your dog charms may represent your friends. Your donkey charm can represent your work. Your fish can represent your finances. You can pretty much cover every single life area based on how you interpret animals.


Apantomancy is a method of divination that involves interpreting signs and omens you come across in your day-to-day life. Believing magpies are bad luck is an example of apantomancy. 

Often, the behavior of an animal in real life will have an effect on how you interpret it and what it means as a sign or symbol. The belief that seeing one magpie is bad luck actually stems from the fact that magpies are monogamous (they pair up young and mate for life). To see one magpie on its own usually means that its life partner has been killed. Therefore, the lone magpie is a bad omen – Hence, the “one for sorrow, two for joy” belief.

Closing Thoughts on Animals in Divination

That’s all on Animals in Divination! How did you find this post? Do you think that it is useful to learn the symbolic meanings of animals for your fortune-telling practice?

If you would like to share your thoughts below in the comment section, I am all ears!

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62 Methods of Divination

What are the different methods of divination? What are the different types of fortune-telling? Which kinds of psychic reading tools were practiced by diviners in both historical and modern times? If you’d like to know the most common and uncommon, both easy and hard methods of predicting the future, look no further! 

Below is an A-Z list of 62 methods of divination and fortune-telling. There are many types of prophecy in this world, so this list has grown relatively easily! Sometimes, less popular systems become more mainstream, so I will continue to add to this article over time. 


Methods of Divination: Overview

The first thing to note, is that these methods of divination appear in no particular order. All entires are alphabetical. However, I have grouped each system into one of the following ten subsets:

  • Body parts
  • Bones, shells and animals
  • Cards
  • Casting and lots
  • Crystals
  • Fire and burning
  • Random patterns
  • Signs and spirit
  • Sky and stars
  • Words and numbers

Please also keep in mind that this is not a complete list. I have been working on this list of methods of divination for the last few years. I will add to it as time goes on. If there is a method which has not been included, you can write a comment in the comment section at the bottom of this post and I will add it to the list.

Finally, some of these methods of divination are reflective of the times. Some may appear to be pretty disgusting to us, but try not to be judgemental. People of the time had their reasons for adopting a particular fortune-telling tool.

Methods of Divination Using Body Parts

systems of fortune telling using the body

Far back into history, humans have obsessed over their own bodies. Some of the first objects d’art were so-called Venus Figurines. Venus figurines – small statues of faceless women, often depicted nude (see photo). While our ancestors probably did not use these artefacts as divination tools, they most likely did have religious and ceremonial uses.

It is very difficult to say how and when diviners began using their bodies within methods of divination. What is known, is that palmistry was used by diviners in ancient Babylon, India, and China.


Chirognomy is a form of hand divination, and is the practice of reading someone’s personality based on their hand shape, fingers, etc.

As there are many readers who prefer to practice a more holistic approach to reading, chirognomy is currently the most common form of palmistry. If you buy a modern palm reading book, you’ll find that it focuses heavily on reading the shape of the hands and fingers, not the lines themselves. Therefore, chirognomy is very easy to master. (For more info, scroll down the page to palmistry.)


Chiromancy is another form of palm divination – this time, it’s the art of reading the lines in order to divine the future. Fortune-tellers read these palm lines in order to give predictions about the future.

Previously in palmistry, line reading and forecasting were the most popular, but in modern times, readers have taken a more holistic approach. Many modern palmistry books look at reading the hand shape (chirognomy) rather than the lines. However, you can still get books that look at line reading. (For more info, scroll down the page to palmistry.)


Dactylomancy is a Greek term that translates as ‘finger divination.’ Traditionally, dactylomancy is practiced using a ring. However, technically, any form of divination that uses the finger could count as dactylomancy, but most people know dactylomancy as the type of divination that uses rings.

To practice dactylomancy, you first need to tie a ring to a piece of string. You’ll then think of your question and lift the string so that the ring is suspended in the air. Finally, you will interpret the sway of the ring as being a yes, no, or maybe. 


Moleosophy is a system of divination that assigns special significance to moles. The shape or body part on which a mole appears is interpreted as symbolizing good fortune or bad luck in that area. For example, a mole on the face is often called a beauty spot or beauty mark because it’s considered to be a sign of beauty.

Birthmarks are also interpreted as part of moleosophy, and are said by diviners to be particularly noteworthy.


Palmistry is divination by reading someone’s hand. Today, Palmistry is certainly one of the most popular methods of divination.

While the earliest instances of palmistry can be dated back to India, for as long as there has been recorded history, humans have attached spiritual significance to their hands. Some of the earliest forms of art are hand stencils.

Palmistry can be separated into two main branches: chirognomy and chiromancy. Chirognomy is the practice of reading someone’s personality based on their hand shape, fingers, etc. Chiromancy is the art of reading the lines to divine the future. Fortune-tellers practice the former while holistic readers practice the latter. However, many readers practice both.

If you want to practice palmistry, good eyesight (or glasses) is a must. Already an astrologer? Then you’ll learn the basics of palmistry (mounts, fingers) relatively quickly, as the planets correspond to different parts of the hand. I should say that not having good eyesight and a lack of astrological knowledge can be worked around, but they certainly do help. You can learn about the palmistry mounts and palmistry mounts between the fingers on this website.


Phrenology was once classed as a science, and involved reading someone’s health, character, and temperament based on measurements taken of their skull. Originating in Great Britain, the system has fallen out of favor in recent years.   

Methods of Divination Using Bones, Shells, & Animals

systems of divination using bones, shells and animals

After body parts, it is only natural that humans would take to using animals in their divination. There are probably as many methods of divination using animals as there are any other system.

Below, I have outlined some of the fortune-telling tools which, one way or another, use animals, shells, or other animal produce. However, the vast majority of divination methods use animal symbolism in one way or another. For example, there are animals in oracle cards. So, in a way, all methods of divination could fall under this animal section.


Augury is the practice of divining the future based on the movement of birds. Birds have been given special status by humans throughout history, possibly because many cultures have believed that birds are messengers of the gods. Therefore, because they fly between our world and heaven, they should know things that man does not!

There are several methods of augury. One form of augury involves birds in flight. Diviners would watch the way birds were flying and interpret their movements, interactions, speed, etc.

Another type of augury consists of interpreting the actions of birds on the ground. A diviner would ask a question, throw some corn, and interpret the way the bird ate. As time progressed, diviners would lay feed in an alphabet and record the letters that the birds pecked (a bit like an ancient form of ouija!).

In modern times, augury is not widely practiced by diviners, so this will be difficult to master if you feel called to it. If you wish to be an augurer today, you’ll either need to go over ancient texts or invent your own system.

Bone Reading

Osteomancy – aka bone reading divination – has seen a massive surge of interest in recent years thanks to the internet and an increased interest in traditional African religions.

Perhaps one of the most ancient forms of divination to include the use of tools, bone casting has been around for thousands of years. It has been practiced in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and everywhere in between. The symbolism of each piece of bone used is dependent on the culture of the diviner and the traditions they follow. 

As bone reading is becoming popular, more and more teaching blogs and articles are springing up online, making the art easier to learn in recent years than it once was.


Conchomancy is a fortune-telling method using seashells. Placing a seashell on your ear and analyzing the sound counts as conchomancy. You can also use seashells in casting divination.

If you want to use shells to cast with, you will assign special meanings to each shell based on its type, color, etc., then cast and interpret them as you would casting charms. Because shells are easy to obtain, conchomancy is accessible if you want to give it a try.


Haruspicy is a very ancient form of divination thought to have originated in ancient Mesopotamia. A compendium of writings from 900-600 BC known as The Bārûtu contains instructions on the practice of haruspicy. The Bārûtu is one of the most significant and earliest known mentions of the method in detail; however, the texts are said to have been based on even earlier writings.

Haruspicy involves analyzing the entrails (mainly livers) of sacrificial animals (goats, sheep, chickens) as a means of divination. The Babylonians believed that blood contained the life force and that this originated in the liver, hence the liver’s special status. They separated the liver into different domains and assigned each a god/goddess. During an important event, an animal would be sacrificed and its liver examined. The reader, or Bārû, would give their interpretation based on the size, shape, color, and texture of each liver area.

Along with Mesopotamians, the Greeks were well-known for their practice of haruspicy. In the Bible, the book of Ezekiel (21:21) mentions haruspicy, belomancy, and possibly teraphim together.

Many spiritual religions involve animal sacrifice, even in modern times, but haruspicy as a divination practice has died down. There are texts on ancient religions that look at the subject of liver divination, so you could learn if you’re willing to dig deep into history. However, due to the effort, time, animal killing, and animal cruelty laws in many countries, I advise you to look for another type of fortune-telling unless you like a serious challenge! 


Nggam is a Cameroonian method of divination that interprets the movement of crabs or spiders. While it’s possible to come up with your own system and ‘rules’ using the movement of spiders or crabs, this is not true for Nggam. Unless you’re willing to travel to Cameroon to learn directly from the Mambila people, practicing Nggam is going to be difficult, if not completely impossible.  


Plastromancy is a type of divination that involves burning the shell of a turtle and interpreting the burn makes or cracks made as a result of being exposed to the heat.


Scapulimancy is a type of osteomancy (bone divination) that uses shoulder blade bones (scapulae). In ancient times, the shoulders of sacrificed animals were examined, and messages from the gods/spirits were deciphered from any shapes or markings found.  

Methods of Divination Using Cards

cards as divination tools Tarot, oracle, lenormand

It is official – fortune-telling cards are ‘in’. At the time of editing this post, Tarot cards have seen a revival. Cards have mass mainstream appeal because they are both pretty and practical.

There are several different types of card systems which you can use to predict the future and gain advice. If you do not find a system you are familiar with below, it will probably fall under the heading of ‘Oracle cards’.

Etteilla Tarot

I’m placing Etteilla Tarot as a system separate from the regular Tarot. Firstly, they are not the same thing. My second reason for doing so is because Etteilla is not very popular in modern times. The Etteilla system is also hard to master with regular Tarot cards, and there are cards in this system that aren’t in regular Tarot at all.

In some respects, the Etteilla Tarot is like regular Tarot. Etteilla has four suits: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Coins. Each has ten pips, plus a Page, Knight, Queen, and King. Etteilla also comes with twenty-two Majors with some familiar faces (Justice, Temperance). However, that’s where the similarities end.

Many of the interpretations of Etteilla Tarot are wildly different from regular Tarot. For example, the Five of Coins in Etteilla is a positive card of love, whereas in modern Tarot, the Five of Pentacles is a card of poverty. There are also cards in Etteilla that aren’t found in decks today, such as Chaos and Birds & Fish. In addition to these challenges, Etteilla cards are always read with reversals, which have their own unique meanings. There are 156 interpretations to learn in Etteilla compared to the 78 of modern Tarot.

The vastness of Etteilla card meanings makes the system very trying to master. There’s also a lack of Etteilla information in English. However, it’s a super fun system to learn, and the card meanings are brutally honest. If you want to learn, luckily for you, we have the most substantial Etteilla card meanings in English on the entire world wide web here at Divination & Fortune Telling!

Gypsy Fortune-Telling Cards

Gypsy fortune-telling cards are a subset of cartomancy. The cards in a Gypsy fortune-telling deck may or may not depict several things such as:

– Items from everyday life, such as a cat or a chair

– Feelings, such as happiness or despair  

– Events, such as weddings or funerals

Although called ‘Gypsy fortune-telling cards,’ I have to say that as a Romany Gypsy myself, I’ve never actually seen any Romany Gypsy person use these cards for divination and fortune-telling purposes, and I suspect they’re an Eastern European invention.

Kipper Cards

Kipper is a 36-card divination system that originated in Germany. Although it’s currently most popular in German-speaking communities, it’s begun to be picked up by English speaking diviners in recent years.

I liken this system to Gypsy fortune-telling cards and Lenormand. Many of the cards from both decks are like Kipper cards. If you can read Gypsy fortune-telling cards and Lenormand, you’ll be right at home with Kipper meanings. However, keep in mind that Kipper is its own system, and learning will still require study time and research even if you’re are well-versed in other methods of cartomancy.


Lenormand is a 36-card reading system that uses Lenormand cards. Like several other forms of cartomancy, Lenormand began as a card game (Game of Hope) and developed into a kind of divination.

Each Lenormand card depicts an object such as an anchor, ship, or mountain. Each of these objects has a symbolic meaning – for example, a mountain represents a problem and a ship represents travel, among other things. For reading, the cards are combined to form definitions known as Lenormand card combinations, so a mountain and ship combination could be interpreted as representing an issue with travel. 

Like in Tarot, Lenormand uses spreads. However, unlike with Tarot, there are only a few standard Lenormand spreads: the String, Square, and Grand Tableau.

Lenormand can be learned very quickly. Depending on your talents as a reader, you can get very detailed information from reading Lenormand cards, and the system is excellent for giving predictive readings or readings where your client doesn’t want to give too much away (if you read for others). I generally recommend that you learn Lenormand if you plan on readings lots of people, but Tarot if you intend on reading mainly for yourself. You can find out how to read Lenormand on the Lenormand Oracle website.


Mahjong is a card game that’s popular in China. As with playing cards, dominos, and dice, mahjong cards can be employed for divination. Traditionally, mahjong is played (or read) using mahjong tiles. However, in modern times, it’s possible to buy them in card form, and this adds to its appeal for diviners. 

Oracle Cards

Oracle cards are a form of cartomancy. While most other types of card divination are used for fortune-telling, Oracle cards tend to focus mostly on giving advice. Oracle cards are readily available online and in shops, so this is an accessible method of divination. Here at Divination & Fortune Telling, we have an article that outlines how to read Oracle cards.

Playing Cards

Yes, even an ordinary pack of playing cards can be used for fortune-telling. Many card readers read with playing cards before they move onto other methods of cartomancy (card divination).

There’s a lot of information out there about reading with playing cards, but it’s not a simple system to master. Learning with playing cards requires a better memory than reading with other types of cards because playing cards usually lack artistic flare. Playing card meanings are also a bit less flexible than, say, Tarot card meanings. However, don’t let these points put you off: playing-card divination is both fun and rewarding.


Tarot divination is a form of cartomancy (card divination) that uses special Tarot cards. Similar to playing cards, Tarot has four suits (Wands, Cups, Swords, and Coins) plus Court cards (Kings, Queens, Knights, and Pages). Unlike playing cards, Tarot cards have 22 extra cards, including Death, The Devil, and The Lovers.

Tarot card decks usually come in two types: illustrated and unillustrated. Unillustrated means that the pictures are not detailed, so a Ten of Swords only depicts ten swords. However, illustrated cards describe a scene, so a Ten of Swords in an illustrated pack might show a man lying on the ground with ten swords in his back. The most popular unillustrated deck is the Tarot de Marseilles, and the most popular illustrated deck is The Rider-Waite Tarot.

There are plenty of resources that will assist you in learning Tarot, especially my free guide, Tarot for Beginners, which will teach you everything you need to know to learn Tarot. Tarot does require a lot of commitment, but it’s also possibly one of the most useful types of divination to learn.

Methods of Divination Using Casting & Lots

cards as fortune telling tools lots and casting

Casting and lots have their similarities, but they are quite different, so I am going to explain this first.

Casting is a method of divination which involves a diviner throwing an item (usually a stone, charm, bone or crystal) and interpreting the way in which it lands. The diviner may throw down one or several items at once.

Lots are groups of objects. During a lot reading, the diviner will select one item from a group of items at random. The selected item can then be interpreted by the diviner. For example, in Greek mythology, Zeus became the God of the sky because he pulled the longest stick out of a group of lots.

I have included lots and casting in the same section because things which are casted can also be used as a lot. You can cast charms, but you can also randomly select them from a bag.


Belomancy is the correct name for fortune-telling using arrows. Throughout history, Tibetans, Greeks, Arabians, and Chaldeans all used arrows as a tool for fortune-telling.

There are a couple of ways ancient man predicted the future using arrows. One method was to put special arrows in a quiver (arrow bag), ask a question, and randomly select one, just as you would when drawing lots. Another method involved shooting arrows into the sky and interpreting how they crossed paths and landed.

Belomancy is one form of fortune-telling mentioned in the Bible. The book of Ezekiel (21:21) mentions belomancy, along with haruspicy and possibly teraphim.

Unless you can obtain a bow and arrow, belomancy is challenging to practice nowadays. However, it’s not impossible. Belomancy was frequently discussed by the Greeks in their texts, so if you’re willing to do some research, you could become a belomancer!

Charm Casting

Similar to osteomancy (bone reading), charm casting involves throwing charms and interpreting how they land in relation to each other and/or reading how they fall on a divination board. Technically, osteomancy can be called casting, but casting cannot be called osteomancy unless the diviner uses bone.

Casting charms can be made up of those that have been created specifically for this purpose (such as the Magpie Oracle), or you can create your own set using keys, thimbles, nuts, seeds, bone, or anything else you find. You can go all out and buy 9ct gold charms, or you can wait until charms make their way to you in the form of lucky finds when you’re out walking – it’s really up to you.

Dice Divination 

Dice divination is a method of divination that uses dice. You can use regular dice or special fortune-telling dice created for the purpose.

If you’re using standard dice, it’s customary to use two or three dice, not just one. Once you have your dice, all you have to do is ask your question, roll them, and take note of the answer. If all dice contain an odd number, the answer is no. If all dice have revealed an even number, the answer is yes. However, if there’s a mix between odd and even numbers, the answer is uncertain or unclear at this time.

Domino Divination

Domino Divination is similar to dice divination, but the system involves using regular dominos. Two domino tiles are pulled and the numbers of each are interpreted. For example, two blank tiles together predict great misfortune, but two sixes together predict happiness, success, and a good family life.


Favomancy is a type of divination that interprets the way beans, or sometimes peas, fall. Historians believe Favomancy to have Middle Eastern origins. It’s currently practiced in Bosnia and has historically been practiced by Islamic groups who reside in Russia.


The I-Ching is the most well-known Chinese form of divination in the West. This method involves throwing coins multiple times, taking note of how they land, and interpreting the pattern created based on the Book of Changes.

Unlike other Chinese methods of divination, there’s plenty of information on I-Ching in English. The I-Ching is also easy to practice and can be used for most types of questions. However, there’s a lot of learning involved, as there are many possible ways the coins can fall.


Poe is a form of divination popular in Taiwan, particularly in Taoist temples. The system involves asking a question and then throwing two ‘moon blocks’ on the ground. The position in which the blocks land will give you your answer, which will typically be a simple yes or no.

Kau Chim

Kau chim is a type of fortune-telling that originated in China and is popular in Buddhist and Taoist temples. Known as Chi Chi Sticks in the West, this method involves asking a question, drawing a kau chim stick from a tube, and interpreting the meaning concerning the issue.

Kau chim sticks are wooden sticks that are housed in a tube. These rods are inscribed with numbers and characters. Altogether, there are 100 sticks, each with a different number, character, and meaning. Depending on how the diviner reads them, the interpretation of each rod may be long or short.

Mi Kayu Ura

Mi kayu ura is a Japanese fortune-telling method that uses rice or beans and is traditionally performed fifteen days after the new moon.


Ogham is a type of divination that claims ancient British origin (although some historians discredit this), and which uses sticks to predict the future or gain advice. Each rod in ogham is engraved with a letter from the Ogham alphabet (which, unlike our Latin alphabet, actually is ancient in origin).


Rhabdomancy is divination using rods or sticks. Belomancy and dowsing rods come under the subdivision of rhabdomancy. 


Rune divination is a prevalent method of divination that uses runes to predict the future or get advice. The system originated in Northern Europe. According to Scandinavian mythology, the god Odin hung himself from a tree for nine days to learn the secrets of the runes.

Due to their popularity, runes are one of the most available types of divination to learn in modern times. You can also buy visually appealing sets of runes made from crystals, such as amethyst and quartz.  


Teraphim were small idols used in divination that were popular enough to be mentioned several times in the Bible, although their exact function has been lost to time. It’s possible they were either selected as a form of lots, consulted in mediumship, or both. Probably the closest you can get to teraphim nowadays is fetishism.

Methods of Divination Using Crystals

Methods of divination and fortune telling using crystals

It is quite common for fortune-tellers to believe that their crystals omit energy. Lapis Lazuli is associated with psychic development. Carnelian is associated with healing. Larimar is associated with ocean magic. It is no surprise that humans have taken to using crystals and minerals in their divination.

Crystal Ball Reading

Sometimes called ‘scrying,’ crystal ball reading is a method of fortune-telling that uses crystal balls. Crystal balls come in all shapes and sizes and can be made from actual crystals, such as quartz, or glass.

To read a crystal ball, you’ll need to clear your mind and stare into one. You may see shapes within the ball itself, or you might get ideas forming in your third eye. Reading this way takes some time to get used to but is rewarding.

Crystal ball reading is one of the most famous types of divination, so it’s possible to learn. However, although there’s information out there on reading with crystal balls, much of it isn’t very modern. Real quartz crystal balls can also be expensive, and mastering one requires a very particular psychic skillset (and plenty of dedication).


There are two popular types of dowsing. One type uses rods and is usually performed for the purpose of locating areas where there may be water or oil. Sometimes, divination rods are employed to find missing objects.

The other type of dowsing divination uses a crystal, glass, or metal pendulum as a tool. The diviner asks the pendulum a question, holds the pendulum in their fingers, and waits for it to sway. The sway of the pendulum is interpreted by the diviner to represent a yes, no, or maybe in precisely the same way a ring would be deciphered in dactylomancy. 


Lithomancy is the correct term for divination using stones. Although the term can apply to any rocks, in modern prophecy, it’s usually reserved for divination using crystal-tumbled stones such as amethyst and tiger’s eye.

The meaning of each crystal will correspond to your understanding of that crystal. So, amethyst might mean that you need to work on your spiritual development. Rose quartz could say that you will soon find love.

To practice lithomancy, all you need to do is put 10 or more crystals into a mojo bag, shake them up, ask a question, then pull one out. The crystal you draw will guide you or may symbolize a possible outcome.

Mirror Scrying 

Mirror Scrying, especially using black obsidian mirrors, is mainly associated with Mesoamerican culture. Before mirrors, scryers used bowls of water to divine the future, but the use of water never went out of fashion. Water was still being used as a form of divination by the Mayans and Aztecs when the Spanish invaded in the 1400s. Mirrors and water hold the same symbolic meaning for many people from the region; they act as portals to the spirit world.

In modern times, mirror scrying is practiced by the Huichol (Wixaritari) of Mexico and diviners across the world who possess a mirror. The techniques behind divining using a mirror are very similar to crystal ball divination, if not the same. You can use a regular mirror, but black obsidian ones are readily available online. 

Methods of Divination Using Fire & Burning 

Methods of divination and fortune telling using burning

We can never really know how long our ancestors have used fire as a fortune-telling tool. It is safe to say that probably around the time fire was invented, humans have assigned special meanings to flames, smoke, and ashes.


Capnomancy is a form of fortune-telling that assigns meaning to the shapes formed in smoke from candles, fire, or burning herbs or incense. Accessible to most, Capnomancy is performed in the same way you would interpret the shapes of clouds. Therefore, if you have a particular talent for making out shapes in clouds, capnomancy should be a breeze.


Ceromancy is divination using the shapes formed from the melted wax of a candle, and is essentially a type of candle divination. The easiest way to practice ceromancy is to solidify the wax with water.

Ceromancy is rather simple to get the hang of. Basically, you just need to ask your question, then light a colored candle. Wait a few hours for the wax to gather. Next, fill a bowl of cold water, then slowly pour the candle wax into the water. Give the wax a couple of minutes to fully harden, then take it out and interpret its shape in relation to your question.


Libanomancy is divination using incense smoke. To practice this method, all you must do is petition a spirit, light incense as an offering, and interpret the movement of the smoke as a message from that spirit. Some diviners would even take the way in which the incense has burned and the patterns in the ash left behind as significant.


Pyromancy is divination using fire. Technically, candle divination, xylomancy, and any divination involving burning fall under the more general category of pyromancy.


Xylomancy is a type of divination that involves burning wood. There are two main methods of practicing Xylomancy: creating a fire or burning wood. Because of its accessibility, xylomancy can be easily practiced in modern times.

If the matter you’re divining on isn’t too important, you can simply scorch a piece of wood with a lighter while focusing on your question.

If the matter you’re divining on is of great importance, you can create a massive fire for your xylomancy session. While building a fire, focus on your issue. As you light the fire, say out loud that you wish to receive guidance from the spirits on the matter. Stand back and watch the fire burn and die a natural death. Once the fire has calmed down, look for a stick or piece of wood that you’re especially drawn to, or which is sticking out further than the other parts.

For both of the above methods of xylomancy, you’re going to have to interpret the symbols within the scorch marks. You would interpret the scorches and scores on the wood in the same way as you would read shapes in clouds, tea leaves, etc.

Methods of Divination Using Random Patterns & Symbols

Methods of divination using tea cups and dreams

An understanding of symbolism is needed if you want to practice divination. And that goes for all systems of fortune-telling. However, there are some divination methods which rely mainly on patterns and symbols and they have made this list.


Abocomancy is a method of divination that uses dust, sand, or salt. Historically, diviners have practiced abocomancy in many places. In modern times, and in some parts of Africa, abacomancy is performed by readers rather frequently.

In Mali, Dogon abacomancers read the future in the earth. They may take a fox walking over certain parts of the ground to be significant. A grid would be divided over the affected area, and the movement of the animal interpreted.

Abacomancy and geomancy (divination using earth as a tool) are similar, if not exactly the same. It’s still possible to practice these forms of divination today, as there has been a resurgence of interest in recent years.


Geomancy is a class of divination method that involves interpreting markings on the ground. A geomancer may interpret marks made by animals or lines that have been randomly drawn by themselves or their seeker (the person getting the reading). It was once common to employ geomancy when deciphering the meaning of a dream.


Because dreaming is natural, Oneiromancy, or dream interpretation, is possibly one of the most ancient methods of divination out there. It’s only human nature to have a dream and then wonder what the significance is behind it.

Assigning spiritual significance to dreams has been practiced throughout history. The Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose IV claimed that a sphinx visited him in a dream and told him he would become king if he unearthed it from the sand. In the Bible, Joseph was made second in command to the pharaoh thanks to his dream interpretation skills.

Although it seems easy, interpreting dreams is a somewhat tricky fortune-telling method to master, because most would-be interpreters try to memorize every symbol from a book. However, the easiest way to learn dream interpretation is to design your symbolism.


Tasseomancy, also known as tea leaf reading, is one of the best-known types of fortune-telling thanks to in part to its popularization due to the Harry Potter franchise.

Tea leaf reading involves interpreting the shapes of loose tea leaves as they appear in a cup. You can buy special fortune-telling equipment, but you don’t have to; just a regular teacup and tea leaves are fine. However, it’s best if you use real tea leaves and not tea from tea bags.

Tasseomancy is relatively accessible and easy to practice. However, it does require a bit of knowledge of symbolism, so in that way, it’s similar to dream interpreting, crystal ball reading, and other symbolic forms of divination.

Methods of Divination Using Signs & Spirit

Methods of divination using mediumship and spirits
I practice Apantomancy and speak to my ancestors on a daily basis.

It could be argued that all divination methods use signs or messages from spirit. Without some type of spiritual communication, your readings do not mean anything special. However, there are some divination methods which are highly focused on spirit communication and they have made this list.


Apantomancy is a divination method which uses things you come across by chance, usually animals. In general, you would interpret the things you see as being a sign from the spirits, the universe, God, or gods/goddesses.

Many beliefs about what certain symbols mean have made their way into mainstream consciousness. For example, if you believe that black cats crossing your path is bad luck, you’ve practiced apantomancy. However, the meaning of signs and symbols is usually personal.

Apantomancy requires no special equipment and can increase your psychic development. You can learn more about apantomancy divination on this website. 


Cledonism is when you take things that you hear to be significant. For example, while writing this post, I heard the word ‘fortune-telling’ on TV and took this as a divine sign that I’m on the right path with this post!

Cledonomancy should not be confused with so-called ‘clear hearing’ or clairaudience. If you’re clairaudient, you have the ability to hear spirit using your psychic senses. By contrast, a cledonomancer will hear things in real life, such as words spoken by people, something on TV, or a significant song that comes on the radio during a crisis.

Cledonism is in a class with apantomancy in that it can be a form of seeing/hearing signs from Gods and the spirits. Cledonism was popular among the ancient Greeks. In Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus hears thunder after asking for a sign and takes this as a mark of approval from Zeus. 

Ifá Divination 

Both a religious system and method of divination, Ifá originated in Western Africa. Ifá divination is a component of several traditional African religions and is practiced by priests and priestesses.  


Necromancy is a method of divination that uses the spirits of the dead. Because there’s usually some ritual component involved, necromancy is also classed as a type of magic or witchcraft.

Technically, one could argue that any spirit communication is necromancy. Necromancy, therefore, has its roots in Paleolithic times. However, necromancy is often distinguished from natural mediumship due to its ritualistic nature, so they may or may not be as old as each other. Necromancy is also a feature of shamanism.

There are historical references to necromancy as a ritual practice. In Homer’s Odyssey, after learning spells from the sorceress Circe, Odysseus raises the spirits of the dead. Although not condoned in some places, necromancy is actually practiced in the Bible, when King Saul enlists the so-called Witch of Endor to perform a ritual to conjure the spirit of Samuel.


Although spirit boards and automatic writing can be traced back thousands of years, ouija boards are relatively new divination items. The ouija boards that are most famous today were patented by Hasbro 1890.

Despite their short history, ouija boards have many legends and superstitions attributed to them. In popular culture, they’re associated with demon conjuring, possession, and poltergeist activity. Therefore, due to their demon-attracting reputation (however false this idea), they’re often avoided by those who are new to divination or especially superstitious.

Methods of Divination Using the Sky & Stars

Methods of divination and fortune telling using the sky

There is something in human nature which drives us to check our horoscope. Even those of us who do not believe in fortune-telling are quick to flip to the back of magazines and read their entry. This innate drive, which is in us all, is why divination methods which use the sky and stars are eternally popular.


Aeromancy is fortune-telling using the weather. You can practice this method using thunder, lightning, rain, or wind – whatever you choose. It is highly personal and requires no special equipment.


Astrology is divination using the movement of the planets and stars. Of all the methods and forms of fortune-telling, astrology is probably the most famous and widely practiced. It dates to at least 2000 BC (and most likely earlier) – the Mayans, Indians, and Chinese have all had their own systems of astrology. The modern system of Western astrology has its roots in Mesopotamia.

If you want to master astrology, the first thing to learn is the meanings of the planets. Once you’ve done this, you learn about the signs of the zodiac and then the houses. Finally, you can eat up more advanced stuff like aspects, squares, etc.

It’s relatively easy to become an astrologer, as there are plenty of books, courses, and online resources out there, and you can even track the movement of planets on the internet. You can access your birth chart in seconds using an online calculator and begin to predict your future. You can find out more about astrology planetary correspondences on this website. 


Brontomancy means divination using thunder. This natural method of divination is pretty much a cross between divination using signs (apantomancy), divination using the weather (aeromancy), and divination using sound (cledonism). According to diviners, to hear the sound of thunder is a message of approval from the gods.

Dobutsu Uranai

Dobutsu uranai is a modern type of fortune-telling horoscope that originated (and is popular in) Japan. There are 12 signs in dobutsu uranai, and like in other types of astrology, you’re assigned your sign based on your date of birth. Also like other systems in astrology, your sign is said to tell you a lot about your personality.

The 12 signs in dobutsu uranai are based on animals: lion, sheep, koala, panther, wolf, cheetah, monkey, tiger, pegasus, elephant, raccoon, and fawn. As well as the standard 12 animals, some diviners also assign colors to their clients, as this can give a more detailed horoscope.


Nephomancy is a method of divination that involves seeing shapes in clouds and interpreting those shapes as being signs of spiritual significance. For example, you may know the form of an anchor and take this as a message that your life is about to get more consistent.  

Methods of Divination Using Words & Numbers

Systems of fortune telling using numbers and words

You can practice divination with a pen and a piece of paper. By using a quick equation, you can work out if your relationship is likely to last thanks to artihmancy. Or, you can tap into your subconscious through the use of automatic writing. As long as you can read and write, these methods of divination are open to you.


Most types of divination that use numbers are usually known as numerology. Technically, numerology is when you assign spiritual significance to numbers, and arithmancy is when you analyze those numbers. However, when people talk about number divination, they usually refer to it as numerology. The Assyrians, Babylonians, and Greek systems are known as gematria or isopsephy.

Arithmancy and numerology are relatively easy to practice and learn because they’re still prevalent in modern times all across the world. If you want to practice number divination, you can find out more about it on this website under arithmancy and numerology.

Automatic Writing

Automatic writing is a straightforward type of divination. All you have to do is grab a pen and paper, clear your mind, and let the words flow out of you. Some practitioners claim that during automatic writing, they channel messages from spirits, their true selves, and even otherworldly beings. There’s much information available on automatic writing, and it doesn’t take any special tools to get started (other than paper and pen).


Bibliomancy is divination using books. To practice bibliomancy, all you must do is ask for guidance, open a book, and read whichever page or paragraph you feel drawn to; this is your message.

Typically, you would use a religious or spiritual book such as the Bible or even The Egyptian Book of the Dead. However, don’t overcomplicate bibliomancy; any book will do just fine.


If you make judgments of someone based on their handwriting, you’re practicing graphology. Although it still counts as a form of divination (and many consider it a pseudoscience), graphology has now evolved into the science of graph analysis.

Fortune Cookies

Fortune Cookies are little edible shells with paper messages inside. Each message contains a prophecy that may or may not be relevant to the seeker. For example, “hold your tongue and open your ears” would be the type of statement you could find inside a fortune cookie.

One could argue that using fortune cookies isn’t a type of divination one can truly practice. However, I will say that there are people who go out of their way to get fortune cookies for the sole purpose of obtaining advice in the same way they would hunt down their daily horoscope in the newspaper! Therefore, in some respects, fortune cookies can count as a method or tool of divination.

If you wish to receive a prophecy from a fortune cookie, they are easy enough to obtain; they’re typically sold in Chinese restaurant by restauranteurs. Fortune cookies are popular in the West.


Numerology is a method of divination using numbers. (See arithmancy above.)


A Japanese method of divination, O-mikuji involves randomly selecting a scroll of paper that has a pre-written prophecy on it. O-mikuji scrolls are available to visitors at many Japanese temples and shrines, and you can receive one after donating. The message you receive could be viewed as being fortunate or unfortunate; it just depends on your luck on the day.

Closing Thoughts on Methods of Divination

I hope that you enjoyed this list of methods of divination. Hopefully, you found something new!

How do you feel about this list of methods of divination? Did it surprise you? Did I include everything you would have expected? Or, was there a method you would like to see included? Feel free to share your thoughts with your fellow diviners in the comments section below!

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Methods Of Fortune-Telling With Cards

What are all of the different methods of fortune-telling using cards? Would you like to know how you can use cards for divination? What are all of the similarities and differences between all of both common and uncommon methods of cartomancy?

As you probably already know, the correct name for fortune-telling using cards is cartomancy. Cartomancy is divination using cards. If you’re new to cartomancy, you may not have decided yet which method of cartomancy is right for you. Alternatively, if you want to learn another way of card reading, you might be looking for options. 

Below you can discover more about the different types of cartomancy. I hope this list helps you to make an informed choice about which method of reading is right for you. 

Methods of fortune telling with cards - Tarot Cards


Tarot is one of the most popular methods of fortune-telling with cards. It is pretty easy to purchase Tarot cards as they are available in most book stores and new age shops. Therefore, Tarot is often where most diviners begin their cartomancy journey as it is pretty easy to get started with Tarot reading.

There are seventy-eight cards in a Tarot deck; twenty-two of which are what are known as the Major Arcana and these include cards such as: The Fool, The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength, The Hermit, The Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Tower, The Devil, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement, and The World

Other than The Major Arcana, the other fifty-six cards of Tarot are known as The Minor Arcana. The Minor Arcana are further divided into four suits (Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles). Each of the four suits has cards numbered Ace to Ten and four Court cards. For example, the suit of Pentacles has cards numbered from Ace to Ten plus a Page of Pentacles, Knight of Pentacles, Queen of Pentacles, and King of Pentacles. 

Tarot is an excellent divination system for answering specific questions. Diviners read cards in spreads, and you can adapt a spread to serve pretty much any purpose. You can ask Tarot questions about your career, business, friendships, love life, the sky is the limit. 

If you’re just getting started with cartomancy, then Tarot is an excellent place to start because it is an accessible system and there is lots of information available on Tarot. However, because there are lots of Tarot card meanings to learn, it can take some people years to master the system. 

Methods of fortune telling with cards - Playing Cards Cartomancy

Playing Cards

You can use regular playing cards for divination. You do not require any special decks to divine with playing cards; just a regular deck will do. Sometimes, fortune tellers refer to playing card divination as just ‘cartomancy.’ 

As with Tarot, many diviners begin their cartomancy journey learning how to read playing cards. Reading fortunes with playing cards used to be a rather prevalent form a card reading, but it has fallen out of favor in recent years, possibly because of other systems (Tarot, Lenormand, and oracle cards) have more visually appealing decks. However, there are some pretty fine looking playing card decks currently on the market (such as the Alice in Wonderland one pictured).

Oracle Cards

Oracle Cards

In some countries, oracle card divination surpasses Tarot for popularity. As with Tarot, oracle cards are readily available for purchase in mainstream bookstores (such as Barnes and Noble or WHSmith). The vast majority of people who have an interest in spirituality have dabbled in oracle card reading. 

Unlike other methods of cartomancy, there is not a standard system for interpreting oracle cards because all oracle card decks are different. For example, one deck may include a card called Love Yourself and another deck might contain a card named after the planet Mercury. 

Oracle cards are typically used by diviners to answer self-help styled questions. For example, instead of asking your oracle cards a predictive question such as, “When is John coming back”? You would ask, “What steps can I take to get over John”?

Because they are easy to buy, a lot of diviners start with oracle cards, but they do pose their challenges. Every time you purchase an oracle deck, you have to start again with a new system; this can be off-putting, and many people do not delve too far into serious oracle card study. 

Kipper Cards

Kipper Cards

A lesser-known (and not very popular) method of cartomancy is Kipper divination. In some countries (such as Germany) it is easier to purchase a Kipper deck than it is in others. 

In recent years, there was an effort by the cartomancy communities to boost the public awareness of Kipper and bring it into the mainstream. New Kipper decks were designed and published by Tarot artists, and publishers translated books into English. 

Sadly, however, Kipper does not appear to have ‘caught on’ as a popular method of cartomancy. I am unsure why this is, but from what I can gather it is because the number of available decks, books, and instruction is off-putting to many diviners. Also, the system does not really provide anything which other card systems do not – if diviners want advice, they turn to their oracle cards, if they have specific questions, they turn to Tarot, and if they want to make predictions they start reading Lenormand cards.  

Lenormand Cards


Lenormand is another lesser-known, but a brilliant methods of fortune-telling with cards. While it is rare to find Lenormand cards for sale in bookstores or mind, body, spirit shops, sometimes you can get lucky. The vast majority of Lenormand readers purchase their decks online. 

A Lenormand card deck has thirty-six cards which are named after everyday objects such as mice, scythe, clouds, man, and woman. Each of these cards has a meaning which is parallel to its symbolism. For example, in Western culture, snakes are symbolic of enemies and temptation – this is also the interpretation for the Snake Lenormand card. Therefore, if you are already familiar with symbolism Lenormand will be easy for you to master. 

Lenormand is the ideal system for reading predictive styled readings. It is very, very easy to perform general readings with Lenormand, and most readings are done using a Grand Tableau spread. Each position of the Grand Tableau looks at different areas of your life, including everything from letters you will receive to who you’re going to fall in love with next. 

That’s all for the methods of fortune-telling with cards! You can discover how to read Lenormand cards on this website. In fact, you can learn the basics of Lenormand card reading by grabbing my free Lenormand for Beginner’s guide here

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What are all of the different methods of fortune-telling using cards? Would you like to know how you can use cards for divination?
Illustration What are all of the different methods of fortune-telling using cards? Would you like to know how you can use cards for divination?