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Practice of discerning the hidden significance of events and foretelling the future. Divination is found in all societies, ancient and modern, though methods vary. In the West, psychics claim innate ability to predict the future, and horoscopes, palm reading, and tarot cards are popular methods of divination. Other methods involve or have involved interpreting dreams, discovering omens in natural events, reading the entrails of animals, casting lots, and consulting oracles. Divination has long been viewed as the province of specially gifted persons, such as prophets, shamans, and magicians. See alsoastrology.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on divination, visit Britannica.com.