It's not like counting sheep, honey.
More like counting shadows.

Divination is the practice of obtaining knowledge of the future, past or the unknown by supernatural means.

Description[edit | edit source]

Divination allows a person to foresee the future, or gather insights into future events, through various rituals and tools. This practice also allows to perceive or learn about the past or a distant event in the present, and to find answers to various questions. It seems like most witches are able to perform at least some sort of divination and some are even able to perceive things directly, without the need of external support.

Divination as a set of rituals[edit | edit source]

Magic is defined art and occult science and as such, can not be based merely on feelings and tricks for immediate action. Over the centuries witches have used, invented and mastered countless divinatory practices, inherited from the previous pagan religion or adapted according to their own purposes by reading the entrails of animals up to the use of drawings and allegorical schemes such as tarot cards, or interpreting signs and omens from the animal kingdom and the spirits of the dead by means of the dark art of necromancy, accessible only to a few. These divination practices have become so popular that they have become part of folk magic and games made for trivial reasons, such as to discover the face of the future husband or the exact location of a treasure.

Cup of Venus[edit | edit source]

Dollie Trask practicing divination using the Cup of Venus under Mercy's supervision

A ritual object, a glass with a shape reminiscent of the female belly or an inverted triangle used mainly for amorous divination practices. Its name comes from classic mythology, where Venus is the Roman goddess of the issues related to sexuality and the amorous sentiment. Once the glass is filled with water, an egg is broken and the yolk immersed in the glass. Depending on the movements of the yolk and the sensations it causes, the inquirer will be able to predict the face of the future lover. It is also possible that the face may appear for a moment in the same yolk, as a face surrounded by a halo. Spiteful witches can also decide to make the yolk take on the appearance they prefer, resorting to Glamour to cast illusions in the inquirer's mind.

Clairvoyance[edit | edit source]

Main article: Clairvoyance

Perhaps the most useful and immediate, as well as more interesting and mysterious powers of divination that a witch can boast in her repertoire. Clairvoyance is a sophisticated ability that appears to reside in the eyes of a particularly gifted witch, which are known as Seers, for the particular affinity they have with this gift, which will bend to their wishes with ease.

Pyromancy[edit | edit source]

Locating people and objects by invoking the sacred witch-fire. When found, the witch-fire will turn white hot.

Psychometry[edit | edit source]

Main article: Psychometry

Intuition and perception at high levels, indeed supernatural. Rather than use tools and various trinkets, psychometry relies on the sensations and feelings of the witch, who cleverly uses to her own benefit the information obtained through sensing.

Prophecy[edit | edit source]

Tituba's vision

Significant predictions and visions of the future, especially important events. It is described as the greatest power to have, but the hardest to live with. Prophecy is a rare and unique gift of Divination, gifted people with this power are known as Prophets or Seers. Even the witches are wise connoisseurs of arcane secrets, they must require a ritualistic spell in order to obtain information from the future. While the cunning ones like Petrus and Tituba, are very powerful and skilled at Divination as they are able to foresee important and major events, such as the Great Terror's aftermath.

Notable Examples[edit | edit source]

To Be Improved

  • Mary Sibley's psychometric abilities from earliest episodes
  • Tituba's necromancy
  • The Hags passion for stirring a large cauldron and bring up visions on the seething water surface
  • Mercy's divination to find out Dollie's future husband appearance by using the cup of venus
  • Petrus' divinatory skills throughout several episodes
  • Mary Sibley's clairvoyance ritual (that should be deepened in Clairvoyance page)
  • Countess Von Marburg spell to discover a wayward witch to use in her plan by using bees in a jar
  • mentioning the tarot cards Sebastian was looking at while waiting in Mary's boudoir
  • mentioning Shaman and/or Sooleawa ability to divine the future and the possibility to alter a witch vision by means of shamanic practices.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Almost every witch has used a form of divination at least once on the show, which implies that all witches have a degree of psychic power. While some magic practitioners, such as Petrus the Seer, are more attuned with the psychic vibrations of the universe and can foresee events with their 'Inner Eye', other witches must resort to external methods to tap into their psychic nature, but their success varies. 
  • The spell with egg yolk used by Mercy Lewis with her companions comes from English folk magic of the time and is also mentioned in the actual transcripts of confessions during the Salem Witch Trials. Similar rituals are present in England, Italy, and Africa as the egg is an ancient symbol of fertility. 
  • By touching the Malum, John Alden was able to unleash a quick session of visions, showing lands and corpses decimated by the plague, foreseeing the future of Salem once the Grand Rite would have been accomplished. 

See Also[edit | edit source]

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