Fascinating reading on a range of ancient, living forms of divination – and clear insights, too, into what divination is all about. This is from the first page:
Whatever the form, all divinatory practices reveal the human quest for a larger context of meaning, a means by which to understand and respond to the many faces of suffering and uncertainty. Inherent in all these practices is the assumptionâ€”or faithâ€””that the world order in its totality is, could, and should be a meaningful ‘cosmos.'”
And this from the last:
Through words, gestures, sounds, and artifacts, divination rites arrest the conventional sense of time and place, providing for a moment another realm of experience, a world dense with meaning, perhaps more real than that in which one has been pursuing his or her daily life.
Remarkable how much here sounds very familiar.