APRIL 19, 2021 BY CORY THOMAS HUTCHESON READ TIME: 7 MINS
When you imagine someone “fortunetelling,” what images come to mind? For a lot of people, it’s a crystal ball or a stack of tarot cards. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with those methods when handled with care and thought, but as many witchy folks know, divination goes well beyond what so often gets portrayed by Hollywood. For those inclined towards folk magic, the tools of prognostication and metaphysical diagnosis are often both a bit strange and incredibly commonplace. That’s because divination is so commonplace in North American folk magical practices, and therefore it makes use of commonplace objects. Diviners, however, often use those objects in uncanny and unusual ways, which renders them powerful tools for gaining insight into worldly (and Otherworldly) problems.
Below I offer an exploration of a variety of folk magical divinatory methods making use of common objects. What you find here is drawn from the pages and practices of American folklore (a subject about which I am deeply passionate, as evidenced by my rather massive book on the subject). No matter who or where you are within North America, chances are there are similar practices around you and within your own communities if you look for them.