Divination is a practice that has played a focal and relevant role in the Roman culture, society and spirituality. It is important not to forget that Rome, both as a city and as a sacred entity, was founded according to precise divination rites and practices.
Divination is now considered something charlatan: the desecration of this discipline has led this practice to a merely profane sphere: in its modern and profane form is actually charlatan.
The Ancient Divination actually consisted of a complex discipline and Science that accompanied the Roman civilization, in all its aspects.
I think it may be helpful to understand, even if just briefly, the sense of the Ancient Divination as practical and precise discipline. This may also help to understand his role of support for many rituals and many activities that characterize the Traditional Roman spirituality also in the present.
The first thing to have in mind is that the Divination is connected directly to the idea of Sacred Time. The object of the Divination therefore is not to guess the future of a person. The purpose of divination, according to the traditional perspective, is to understand whether a specific action can be accomplished at a particular time (and with what result), considered a time suitable for the conduction of that action.
Hence the importance of Divination as oracular power in its public dimension, but also in the private, firstly because it was a critical component in the decision-making process related to Sacred Time defined as time frame "full" of the Divine Energy.
Divinatio derives from the word Divinare: it does not mean simply "predict", but "finding out what is pertaining to a God or a Goddess "
Gods and Goddesses are in fact inside the reality, inside the nature: they are not elsewhere, in a place separate from the world. Among the Divine World and Nature there is a link. All Nature, of which mankind is an integral part, is permeated by this spirituality. For this reason, everything that happens in the macro (Universe, Nature, World) and micro (men and women, society) dimension communicate using a single universal language of signs and symbols through which the Divine dimension is in relation to the World. Any phenomenon is not just a manifestation of mere physical events: any phnomenon is also a spiritual mode of being of the Nature, the expression of acting of the Divine in the Nature (for example in the contraction and expansion phases, expiration and inspiration).
For this reason a real augur, having this knwoledge and being an intermediary between these dimensions of the Being, has the ability to properly disclose these presences also to reconcile humanity with the divine forces to achieve Pax Deorum/Dearum.
The augur therefore must know the rhythms of life, the divine characteristics of nature, in order to correctly divining on the basis of this peculiar form of (pre-scientific) knowledge both in the reality and in the oneiric sphere (drams considered as "ritual spaces ").
Divination is expressed in various dimensions: in the field of decisions, in the identification of concordia ordinum, in the creation of carmina, in astrology, in the sacred geometry, etc ...
Divination and Science of Decisions
Divination (in its application to the "Science of Decisions") consists of two main elements. One apparently linked to random events (eg drawing of lots). The other is the inability of the individual will to affect the response. Adding the two elements follows that the decision to be taken is completely included to the Divine dimension - in its most symbolic and deep meaning - evidencing the imponderable feature of the practice of divination.
In the knowledge system implied by Divination no events are isolated and disconnected to the Sacred Time: in addition the macro and micro dimensions are closely linked. One single divination sign can describe complex events or processes within interconnected harmonic systems. The response offered by Divination is not based on a principle of cause/effect, but of analogy. The symbols representing the Present may describe some "potentials" linked to well defined time moments.
Divination tool becomes the representation of the Universe, in his sacred space and time, whose dynamics can be predicted in the practice of divination. Understanding the fate means having the ability to perceive in depth an "in progress event", that already exists with its potential consequences.
An expert in divination, an augur or haruspex, is not a magician, he/she does not predict the future: he/she has the ability to correctly read and perceive the reality, the Nature. He/she has the ability to observe and recognize the signs, to perceive the connections, to understand what forces are in action at any given time and in a given place. He/she understands the interconnections of the flowing of the Being. Every decision, every action should be done carefully, with awareness, in a state of wakefulness according to the harmony of the forces involved. If you act in harmony, your action will be successful: if lacking this harmony you will fail. Knowing the mechanisms of the interaction of these forces, it is possible to comply with these divine energies and live in harmony in the Pax Deorum/Dearum. Much of our unhappiness and our diseases in body and spirit, are due to the fact that we do not live in a state of consciousness and waking, and for this inability to follow the flow of life.
ANCIENT DIVINATORY TECHNIQUES
- aeromancy: divination by throwing granular matter in the air
- alectruomancy: divination by observing the feeding behavior of roosters
- aleuromancy: divination by flour
- ars haruspicina: Etruscan divination through observation of lightning, of anomalous phenomena and the entrails of animals
- bibliomancy. divination technique with random opening of a book
- cataptromancy: divination through the mirror
- Palmistry: divination by observation of the lines of the hand
- cristallomancy: divination by observation of a crystal
- hepatoscopy: divination by observation of the liver
- gastromancy: divination through the use of a vase
- geomancy: divination through the launch of the ground
- iatromancy: divination used to heal
- hydromancy: divination by observing water
- lecanomancy: divination through observation of a liquid in a basin
- libanomancy: divination by observing the smoke of incense
- omoplatoscopy: divination by observation of a shoulder blade of a sheep
- oomancy: divination by observation of a broken egg on fire
- ornitomancy: divination by observation of bird flight
- pyromancy: divination by fire
- Dowsing: divination with a wand
- retroscience. divination of the past
- sortes: divination technique with throw of the dice, drawing of lots or boards with letters
- sortilegus: the one who extracts the sortes