Methods of Divination and Fortune-Telling

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

Below is an A-Z list of over 50 methods of divination and fortune-telling. There are many types of prophecy in the world, so this list has grown relatively easily! Sometimes, less popular systems mainstream. Therefore, I will continue to add to this article over time.

Oh, and if you're needing help choosing a method of divination, you can check out my "Is Tarot Right for You?" post.

Divination and Fortune Telling methods and tools you should know about! Article discuses popular types which are used in psychic readings, witchcraft and spirituality. Post includes bone, pendulum, cards, tea leafs, runes, cartomancy, hand and geomancy. Ideal for beginners and seasoned fortune tellers.


Divination using 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 Abacomancer’s read the future in the earth. They may take a fox walking over certain parts of the floor 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 the same. It is still possible to practice these forms of divination as there has been a resurgence of interest in recent years.


Aeromancy is fortune-telling using the weather. Aeromancy can be practiced using thunder, lightning, rain, wind, whichever you choose. It is highly personal and requires no special equipment. You can learn more about weather divination (Aeromancy) on this website.


Apantomancy is divination using 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 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 have practiced Apantomancy. However, the meaning of signs and symbols are usually personal.

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


Most types of divination which use numbers is 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 are still popular in modern times, across the world. If you want to practice number divination, you can find out more about it on this website under Arithmancy and Numerology.


Astrology is divination using the movement of the planets and stars. Of all methods and forms of fortune-telling, Astrology is the most famous and probably the most widely practiced. Astrology dates to at least 2000BC (most likely earlier). The Mayans, Indians, and Chinese all have had their 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 have 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 is relatively easy to become an Astrologer. There are plenty of books, courses, online resources 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.


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 which 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 eats. As time progressed, diviners would lay feed in an alphabet and record the letters which the birds pecked (kind of like an ancient form of Ouija!).

In modern times, Augury is not widely practiced by diviners so will be difficult to master if you’re feeling called to it. If you wish to be an Augurer today, you will either need to go over ancient texts or invent your own personal system.


Automatic Writing is a straightforward type of divination. All you have to do is grab a pen and paper, clear your mind, then 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 is much information available on automatic writing, and it doesn’t take any special tools to get started (other than paper and pen).


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 then randomly select one, just like you would with drawing lots. Another method involved shooting arrows into the sky and interpreting how they cross paths and landed.

Belomancy is one form of fortune-telling mentioned in the bible. The Book of Ezekiel (21:21) mentions Belomancy with Haruspicy and possibly Teraphim.

Unless you can obtain a bow and arrow, Belomancy is challenging to practice nowadays. However, it is 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!


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

Bibliomancy is a method of divination and fortune-telling which uses spiritual books, the bible, journals, notes or diaries as tools for predicting the future.

Bibliomancy is a method of divination and fortune-telling which uses spiritual books, the bible, journals, notes or diaries as tools for predicting the future.

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.

Bone Reading (Osteomancy)

Osteomancy – aka Bone Reading Divination – has seen a massive surge of interest in recent years thanks to the internet and an increased interest in ATRs (African Traditional 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 which 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 than it has been in recent years.


Brontomancy means divination using thunder. Brontomancy 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.


Capnomancy is a form of fortune-telling which assigns meaning to the shapes formed in smoke from candles, fire, burning herbs or incense. 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 then Capnomancy should be a breeze.


Similar to Osteomancy (Bone Reading), 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 bone is used.

Casting charms can be made up of Casting charms which 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 is really up to you.


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 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 mintues to fully harden, then take it out and interpret its shape in relation to your question.


Chirognomy is a form of hand divination. Chirognomy 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 will find that it will heavily focus on reading the shape of the hands and finger, not the lines. Therefore, Chirognomy is very easy to master. (For more info, scroll down the page to Palmistry)


Chiromancy is a form of palm divination. Chiromancy is the art of reading the lines in order to divine the future. Fortune tellers read the palm lines in order to give predictions about the future.

Previously in Palmistry, it was line reading and forecasting which was popular (the type I love ha) but in modern times readers have taken a more holistic approach. Many modern Palmistry books look at reading the hand shape (Chirognomy) not the lines. However, you can still get books which look at line reading briefly. (For more info, scroll down the page to Palmistry)


Cledonism is when you take things which you hear to be significant. For example, while writing this post I heard the words ‘Fortune-Telling’ on TV and took this as a divine sign that I am 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 will come 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.  


Conchomancy is fortune-telling 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 obviously you will need shells. You will then assign special meaning 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.

Crystal Ball Reading

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

To read a crystal ball, you will have to clear your mind and stare into one. You may see shapes within the ball 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 is possible to learn. Although there is information out there on reading with crystal balls much of it isn’t very modern. Real quartz crystal balls can be expensive and mastering one requires a very particular psychic skill set and dedication.


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

To practice Dactylomancy, first, you need to tie a ring to a piece of string. You then will think of your question then 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. 

Dice Divination

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

Crystal ball reading is one of the most popular types of divination and is often associated with Romany Gypsies fortune tellers, like myself. However, although it is a rewarding method to learn buying real crystal tools can be expensive for the beginner to fortune telling.

Crystal ball reading is one of the most popular types of divination and is often associated with Romany Gypsies fortune tellers, like myself. However, although it is a rewarding method to learn buying real crystal tools can be expensive for the beginner to fortune telling.

If you’re using standard dice, it is 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 then 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. If there is a mix between odd and even numbers, the answer is uncertain or unclear at this time.

Dobutsu Uranai

Dobutsu Uranai is a modern type of fortune-telling horoscope which originated (and is popular in) Japan. There are 12 signs in Dobutsu Uranai and – like in other types of Astrology – you are 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.

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 predicts great misfortune but two sixes together predict happiness, success and a good family life.


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.


I am placing Etteilla Tarot as a system separate from regular Tarot. My reasons for doing this 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 which are not in regular Tarot.

In some respects, the Etteilla Tarot is like regular Tarot. Etteilla has four suits; Wands, Cups, Swords, and Coins each with ten pips, a Page, Knight, Queen, and King. Etteilla also comes with 22 Majors with some familiar faces (Justice, Temperance). However, that’s where the similarities end.

Many of the interpretations of Etteilla Tarot are wildly different to regular Tarot. For example, the 5 of Coins in Etteilla is a positive card of love whereas, in modern Tarot, the 5 of Pentacles is a card of poverty. There are also cards in the Etteilla which are not 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 the Etteilla card meanings makes the system trying to master. There is also a lack of Etteilla information in English. However, it is a super fun system to learn, and the card meanings are brutally honest. If you want to learn, lucky for you here at Divination and Fortune-Telling, we have the most substantial Etteilla card meanings in English on the entire world wide web!


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


Fortune Cookies are little edible shells with paper messages inside. Each message will contain a prophecy which 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 is not a type of divination which one can 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 are typically sold in Chinese restaurants and are popular in the West.


Geomancy is a class of divination methods which involves interpreting markings on the ground. A Geomancer may interpret marks made by animals or lines which have randomly been 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.


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


Gypsy Fortune-Telling Cards are a subset of Cartomancy. The cards in a Gypsy Fortune-Telling deck may or may not depict several things:

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

- Feelings, such as happiness or despair

- Events, such as weddings or funerals

Although they are called ‘gypsy fortune-telling cards’ I have to say as a Romany Gypsy I have never actually seen any Romany Gypsy person use these cards for divination and fortune-telling. I suspect that they are eastern European inventions.


Haruspicy is a very ancient form of divination which is thought to originate in ancient Mesopotamia. A compendium of writings from 900-600BC 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, chicken) as a means of divination. The Babylonians believed that blood contained the life force and that it 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 it's liver examined. The reader or Bārû would give their interpretation based on 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 which 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!


Ifá is a method of divination and religious system which originated in Western Africa. Ifá divination is a component of several ATRs and is practiced by priests and priestesses.


The Iching is the most well-known Chinese forms of divination in the West. The 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 is plenty of information on Iching in English. The Iching is easy to practice and can be used for most types of questions. However, there is a lot of learning involved as there are many possible ways the coins can fall.


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


Kau Cim is a type of fortune-telling which originated in China and is popular in Buddhist and Taoist temples. Known as Chi Chi Sticks in the Western world, the method involves asking a question, drawing a Kau Cim stick from a tube and interpreting the meaning concerning the issue.

Kau Cim sticks are wooden sticks which are housed in a tube. The 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.


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

I liken the system to be similar 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 will be right at home with Kipper meanings. However, keep in mind that Kipper is its system, and learning will require study time and research even if you are well-versed in other methods of Cartomancy.


Lenormand is a 36 card reading system which 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 a clover, a ship or a fox. Each of these objects has symbolic meaning, for example, a clover represents luck, and a fox symbolizes work, among other things. For reading, the cards are combined to form definition, so a fox and clover could be interpreted as representing good fortune at work.

Like in Tarot, Lenormand uses spreads. However, unlike with Tarot, there are only a few standard Lenormand spreads; a string, a 3x3, and a 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 only intend on reading yourself. You can find out how to read Lenormand on this website.


Libanomancy is divination using incense smoke. To practice this method, all that 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 which the incense has burned, and the patterns in the ash left behind as significant.


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

Lithomancy is the correct term for divination using stones and crystals.

Lithomancy is the correct term for divination using stones and crystals.

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 that 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 which you draw will guide you or may symbolize a possible outcome.


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


Mi Kayu Ura is a Japanese fortune-telling method which uses rice or beans and is traditionally performed 15 days after the new moon.


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 1400’s. Mirrors and water hold the same symbolic meaning for many people from the region; that they act as portals to the spirit world.

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


Moleosophy is a system of divination which assigns special significance to moles. The shape or body part 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 is considered to be a sign of beauty.

Birthmarks are also interpreted as part of Moleosophy and are said by diviners to be more noteworthy than natural birthmarks.


Necromancy is a method of divination which uses the spirits of the dead. Because there is 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 a feature in shamanism.

There are historical references to Necromancy as a ritual practice. In Homer’s Odyssey, after learning spells from the sorceress Circe, Odysseus raises spirits of the dead. Although condoned in places, Necromancy is practiced in the Bible when King Saul enlists the so-called Witch of Endor to perform a ritual to conjure the spirit of Samuel.


Nephomancy is a method of divination which involves seeing shapes in clouds and then interpreting those shapes as being signs which are 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.


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


Numerology is a method of divination using numbers. (see Arithmancy above).


O-Mikuji is a Japanese method of divination which involves randomly selecting a scroll of paper which 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.


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


Because dreaming is natural, dream interpretation is possibly one of the most ancient methods of divination. It is 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 the 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 the book. The easiest way to learn dream interpretation is to design your symbolism.


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 is an accessible method of divination. Here, at Divination and Fortune Telling, we have an article which outlines How to Read Oracle Cards.


Although spirit boards and automatic writing can be traced back thousands of years, Ouija boards are relatively new divination items. The Ouija boards which are famous of today were patented in 1890.

Despite their short history, Ouija boards have many legends and superstitions attributed to them. In popular culture, they are associated with demon conjuring, possession and poltergeist activity. Therefore, due to their demon attracting reputation, they are often avoided by those new to divination or the especially superstitious.


Palmistry is divination by reading someone’s hand. 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 later. However, many readers practice both.

If you want to practice Palmistry, good eyesight (or glasses) is a must. Already an astrologer? Then you will 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 History of Palmistry and Palmistry Mounts on this website.


Phrenology was once classed as science and involves 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.


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


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 is a lot of information out there about reading with playing cards, but it is 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 fun and rewarding.


Pyromancy is divination using fire. Technically, candle divination, Xylomancy and any divination involving burning come under Pyromancy.


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 which 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 pretty, visually appealing sets of runes made from crystals, such as amethyst and quartz.


Scapulimancy is a type of Osteomancy (bone divination) which 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.


Tarot divination is a form of cartomancy (card divination) which uses special Tarot cards. Tarot cards are similar to playing cards in that they have 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 10 of Swords only depicts ten swords. However, illustrated cards describe a scene so a 10 of Swords in an illustrated pack would 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 Smith Tarot.

There are plenty of resources which will assist you in learning Tarot, especially the part of this website which teaches How to Read Tarot. Tarot does require a lot of commitment but is it possibly one of the most useful types of divination to learn.


Tasseomancy, also known as Tea Leaf Reading, is one of the best-known types of fortune-telling thanks to in part to its popularisation thanks to the Harry Potter movies.

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

Tarot is one of the most accessible (and therefore simplest to learn) methods of divination and fortune-telling.

Tarot is one of the most accessible (and therefore simplest to learn) methods of divination and fortune-telling.

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


Teraphim were small idols used in divination which were popular enough to be mentioned several times in the Bible, but their function has been lost to time. It is 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.


Xylomancy is a type of divination which 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 is not too important, then you can scorch a piece of wood with 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 which you're drawn to, or which is sticking out further than the other parts.

For both 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 you would read shapes in clouds, or in tea, etc.

That’s it for the list of methods of divination and fortune-telling! if you’re curious what your lover (or potential lover’s) feelings and intentions are towards you, below I have a free Intentions Tarot Guide. The Intentions Tarot Guide includes tips, spreads and meanings which will reveal what your partner is feeling about you and your relationship. This guide is 100% free and downloadable on mobile, tablet and computer! 

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Art Illustration: Beginner divination and fortune telling methods and tools you should know about! Article discuses popular types which are used in psychic readings, witchcraft and spirituality. Post includes bone, pendulum, cards, tea leafs, runes, cartomancy, hand and geomancy. Ideal for fortune tellers.

Art Illustration: Beginner divination and fortune telling methods and tools you should know about! Article discuses popular types which are used in psychic readings, witchcraft and spirituality. Post includes bone, pendulum, cards, tea leafs, runes, cartomancy, hand and geomancy. Ideal for fortune tellers.

Art Illustration: Unusual divination and fortune telling methods and tools you should know about! Article discuses popular types which are used in psychic readings, witchcraft and spirituality. Post includes bone, pendulum, cards, tea leafs, runes, cartomancy, hand and geomancy. Ideal for beginners and seasoned fortune tellers.

Art Illustration: Unusual divination and fortune telling methods and tools you should know about! Article discuses popular types which are used in psychic readings, witchcraft and spirituality. Post includes bone, pendulum, cards, tea leafs, runes, cartomancy, hand and geomancy. Ideal for beginners and seasoned fortune tellers.