The 12 Forms of Divination and How They Work

The term divination is used to describe the methods used by psychics, mediums, or individuals with the ability to foresee the future. People often seek diviners when they are going through difficult times, have lost a loved one, or need guidance and advice.

Perhaps you yourself are considering different types of divination methods to use in your magical practice. If you are gifted, you will find that some types work better than others. As you go through these practices, consider which method utilizes your abilities best. And just like anything else, remember that practice makes perfect! There are several different forms of divination that psychics can use during their practices. The type a diviner chooses depends on their preferences and abilities.

Here are the 12 most common types of divination:

1. Astrology

astrologyThis is a daunting type of divination especially if you are a beginner. It’s also one that relies less on psychic abilities. This practice of astrology relies heavily on the planets and stars. It is believed that these systems influence what happens in the human world and the course of one’s destiny.

You may be more familiar with the zodiac signs or even read about your horoscope in newspapers. If you’re serious about learning astrology, here are some tips to follow:

  • Learn the meanings of the planets
  • Learn about the zodiac signs and the houses
  • Dive into some more advanced topics like squares and aspects

There are several books and online resources that can help you master this divination. It’s great knowledge to know as you continue to perfect your intuition.

2. Bibliomancy

This method is intended to predict the future and does require some practice. A book is the main element of this divination. While many people use a Bible, any book will do (even journals and diaries).

After selecting a book, the diviner will close their eyes, open the book, and point at a phrase or paragraph (all while keeping their eyes closed). Upon opening their eyes and reading the selected area, they can interpret it as a special, significant message.

Bibliomancy takes some practice, but when this method is mastered, diviners will be able to predict the future. It’s intended to be practiced by an individual with special abilities. It’s a way to reach out into the spirit world and receive answers or make predictions.  

3. Cartomancy

deck of playing cardsCartomancy requires a deck of cards. Those participating in this type of divination are known as card readers or cartomancers. A deck of playing cards consists of 52 cards. Every number, suit, and face has a meaning that you’ll need to learn.

A form of cartomancy includes Tarot cards. The card reader will use the information provided by the cards drawn to apply it to the situation of the person they are reading, whether themselves or someone else. During these readings, the cartomancer will answer questions posed by the person being read. Moreover, they will provide insight into the past, present, or future.  

4. Cleromancy

Originally, this practice involved the use of small objects (pebbles, crystals, bones, sticks). Over time, this divination evolved to using pebbles and dice, which is what most diviners use today.

To learn Cleromancy, you’ll need 13 light colored pebbles and 13 dark colored pebbles of roughly the same size. Ask any yes or no question, place the stones or pebbles in a bag or bowl, and shake them well. While you shake the bag, ask your question 2 more times.

Now, close your eyes and grab a handful of stones. Place them on a flat surface and count the number of light stones and the number of the dark. If there are more light pebbles the answer is in your favor. If there are more blacks, the answer is no.

If you picked up the same amount of both, there is no answer, and you’ll have to try back later.

5. Dowsing

pendulumDowsing is a technique often used to receive answers to yes and no questions. The psychic or medium will use a dowsing rod (or several) to get these answers. There are two types of dowsing that are popular:

  • The type used with rods that are used to locate areas where there may be water. The belief here is that when the individual walks over water, the rod will make a spontaneous movement. This method is also sometimes used to find missing objects.
  • The second type of dowsing divination is when the diviner uses a pendulum to get answers to yes, no, or maybe questions.

More commonly, diviners will use this type of divination to locate missing objects, bodies of water, or determine the energy of a room.  

6. Fortune Telling

Have you ever been to a fortune teller in search of answers? Are you worried about your future and want to know what it holds? When this happens to be the case, individuals seek guidance from tellers. Fortune telling is the practice of predicting a person’s future, and this method is practiced all around the world.

For accurate, reliable predictions, it’s important the fortune teller understands how to use their special skills and abilities. They need to be experienced and have good intuition.  

7. I-Ching

i-chingIn I-Ching, the medium will throw coins multiple times and take note of how they land. Their pattern is then analyzed using the Book of Changes to reveal a special message. I-Ching is made up of 64 archetypes, known as hexagrams. Each one has its own interpretation, offering the user guidance for their dilemma.

The diviner needs to be very familiar with hexagram meanings and be able to read the message accurately. While this is a simple practice, there are a lot of ways the coins may fall, so it does require some learning.  

8. Lithomancy

Lithomancy divination uses stones, crystals, or sometimes even rocks. Each piece has a meaning, so before you can use this divination to your advantage, you need to familiarize yourself with crystal and stone meanings. This knowledge will come in handy in the long run.

For example, rose quartz may mean that you’ll find love soon. You will then use this information to interpret the message being given to you. If you want to give this method a try, here are some tips:

  • Place 10 crystals in a mojo bag
  • Shake them
  • Ask a question and pull one out

The crystal that you pick is your answer. Sometimes the answer is not straight forward, which is where diviner’s special abilities come in. They must use their intuition to understand the answer.  

9. Numerology

numerologyThis divination practice revolves around numbers and their spiritual significance. Every single number – from 1-9 – has a special meaning. You can use this practice to determine any of the following:

  • Your course in life
  • What your lucky numbers are
  • Major life challenges coming your way

Numerology does not require any psychic abilities, making it different from much of the methods covered so far. To learn about your client’s life (or your own) you will need to make a few calculations involving your name and birth date numbers.  You can check out our numerology number meanings guide for more information on this.

There are many variations to consider, so for full details, we encourage you to do a little more research on this divination method. It’s a great option for anyone who wants some guidance in life.

10. Scrying

Back in the day, diviners would use crystal gazing in search of answers – this is a form of scrying. This ancient practice requires psychics to investigate water, mirrors, or crystals that would allow them to enter a state of mind where they’re able to see spiritual visions.

This is a special divination method, and there is more than one way to practice it:

  • Crystal Ball. You’ll most likely associate this with an elderly woman looking into a crystal ball. In reality, crystal balls have been used for thousand of years, by all walks of life. Psychics and mediums use them all the time to see visions that foretell the future or to commune with the spirit world.
  • Fire Scrying. This method is exactly what it sounds like – staring into flames of a fire. People with psychic or special abilities will receive visions this way.
  • Water Scrying. The last type of scrying involves water. You may use a large body of water like a lake while some people use a bowl. Mediums will use water to interpret visions seen.

11. Tarot

tarotFortune tellers use tarot cards to look into someone’s past, present, and sometimes future. Tarot cards are a form of cartomancy. Many people believe that Tarot cards are used to predict the future. However, this isn’t always true. These cards offer a guideline and help the reader interpret what their clients cannot.

Unlike a regular deck of cards, Tarot cards include 22 extras. These include death, the devil, and the lovers. You can acquire an illustrated deck or an un-illustrated option. When it comes down to learning Tarot, there are endless resources at your disposal.

Begin by going online and learning more about this divination practice. While it requires a lot of practice and commitment, it’s a useful type of divination to learn. You’ll not only be able to seek answers yourself but help hundreds of people obtain understanding and guidance.  

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12. Tasseography

Tea is mixed around in a cup before being flipped upside down on a saucer. The leaves that stay inside the cup reveal a message. The diviner’s job is to interpret the pattern of the tea leaves. This art is known as tasseography or tasseomancy, and it started being used around the 17th century.

Why tea leaves? People link this beverage with herbology, which is part of the healing process. Some individuals use coffee as well when practicing this divination.  


Every single one of these divination techniques are powerful ways to tap into someone’s life or your own. The reason people seek guidance from psychics or mediums is to get answers, comfort, or healing.

With the many different types of divining tools available to you, it can be difficult to know which one to start. Begin with the one that appeals most to your interest. Use your intuition to lead you to the right method.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so whatever form of divination you take part in, know that it will take some time to get it right.

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alissa monroe

Alissa Monroe is a self-proclaimed “psychic junkie” with over 10 years of experience in the world of psychics, tarot, and spirituality. Her goal is to help people find happiness through spiritual enlightenment and self-discovery.