Common (and Uncommon) Types of Divination

When you understand the types of Divination, you set foot on the path to a better future.

When you understand the types of Divination, you set foot on the path to a better future.

Divination is the practice of seeking out knowledge of the unknown (often the future) by looking for inspiration from the forces around us.

The roots of the practice are unknown, but people have been practicing various forms of divination for thousands of years.

Some forms have become so popular that you’ve seen them represented in popular media.

But they are often misrepresented and misunderstood.

See you can recognize these common (and uncommon) types of divination in their natural form.

– Updated 10/11/2019

Popular Kinds of Divination (And Some Lesser-Known Types)

The Pendulum

We begin with the pendulum because it is one of the easiest methods to learn as it responds primarily to ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions by providing a clear and sometimes definitive answer.

You don’t need to be a diviner to use a pendulum – many people use them on their own without any training.

To use the pendulum, hold the chain and allow it to dangle without moving it.

Once the pendulum is completely still, begin to ask simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions.

In response, the pendulum will begin to move.

If it swings from side to side, it is indicating ‘no.’

A front to back movement signals ‘yes.’

Tarot Cards

Tarot cards can help guide you.

Tarot cards can help guide you.

Those unfamiliar with the practice believe Tarot cards are a method of “fortune telling,” but it is, in fact, one of the most common types of divination.

Readings drawn from Tarot cards are not a clear sign of the future but rather a guideline for the diviner to interpret according to the forces in the room.

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These guides are more akin to symbols, which are read in part according to the tarot spreads, or how the cards are laid out.

Tarot cards serve as a guide, and have been show to improve mental health, but because we all avail of our own free will, the readings are subject to change.

The cards are similar to playing cards in that they offer different suits (Cups, Pentacles, Swords, and Wands) and different numbers.

In fact, one does not need a Tarot deck to perform divination – regular playing cards are sometimes used in a process practitioners call ‘divination with playing cards’.

Tea Leaves

Whether you’re familiar with lore or simply with the Harry Potter series, you’ve likely heard of reading tea leaves – one of the most popular methods of divination.

Reading tea leaves is also known as tasseography.

Tasseography became popular among European diviners around the 17th century when the Chinese tea trade began to take the continent by storm.

Older fortune telling methods involved reading wax spatters, but tea leaves soon became popular.

You can read tea leaves on any surface or with any cup, but some practitioners use cups featuring patterns or symbols to help better guide their interpretations and achieve greater accuracy.

Tea leaves are often read using one of two methods of interpretation.

In one method, the diviner employers a set of standard symbols passed down either between generations or through books.

These symbols typical provide universal meanings though there can be variation in the individual interpretation itself.

Alternatively, tea leaves can be read similarly to Tarot cards: using one’s intuition.

With intuition, you interpret the leaves in the context of the forces at work.

Where one person may see a loyal friend, another in a different set of circumstances may seed a need for protection or even an enemy.


Bibliomancy is a form of divination.

Bibliomancy is a form of divination.

In bibliomancy, the diviner uses a book (often the Bible) to practice.

It’s a straightforward practice in principle: simply ask a question and then open the book to a random page.

The first sentence (or paragraph) will provide you the answer you seek.

But you may need to get creative depending on the type of book you use.


Cromniomancy is divination using onion sprouts.

The process begins with a ritual to present the question or topic at hand and then observing and interpreting the way they sprout.

Divination Is a Common Practice – With Uncommon Results

There are hundreds of ways to practice divination.

Whether you prefer a traditional method or connecting with an object of nature, there’s no wrong way to practice this aspect of mysticism.

This video gives addition details on the types of Divination available to you:

Do you recognize these common and uncommon types of divination?

Share your preferred form in the comments below.