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Russian peasant girls using chickens for divination; 19th century lubok.
Display on divination, featuring a cross-cultural range of items, in the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, England.

Divination (from Latin divinare "to foresee, to be inspired by a god", related to divinus, divine) is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic, standardized process or ritual.


  • DIVINATION, n. The art of nosing out the occult. Divination is of as many kinds as there are fruit-bearing varieties of the flowering dunce and the early fool.
    • Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Dictionary (1906); republished as The Devil's Dictionary (1911).
  • There is a deep, ancient connection between gambling and divination.
    • Aaron C. Brown, The Poker Face of Wall Street (2006), Chapter 6, Son of a Soft Money Bank, p. 167
  • [A]spiration is a kind of divination of an enigmatic vision.
  • Criticism is properly the rod of divination.
    • Arthur Symons, An Introduction to the Study of Browning, preface (1906).

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