|Painting by N. C. Wyeth|
As a younger creature, I wished to know what life held for me. Consulting, even infrequently, psychics, readers of runes and such had two fatal drawbacks: it cost too much money and the ones I consulted must have found me unreadable. The conclusion I reached is that I was not meant to know. Such information would be far more curse than blessing, I can see that now. But once it felt intensely important to know if there would be a happy ending. In the absence of knowing what would come next, the other option was to prepare for any eventuality, which we know is not possible. For many years I described myself as "a belt AND suspenders" type. There are no guarantees.
Recently I was referred to a website as the source for uncommon words related to color. The site, The Phrontistery, meaning a thinking place, has gathered obscure, forgotten and little-used language for an array of subjects of which color is just one. Another was "Divination and Fortune-telling." Oh ho. So many untried avenues, unexplored methods by which to foretell. So many caught my attention but I think the best match would be stichomancy, "divination by picking passages from books at random." Reaching for the book closest to the keyboard, a swell volume called "Beach Beauties: Postcards and Photographs 1890-1940," I found this on the first page I turned to:
"Of course, postcards are notoriously unreliable. (is this a clue?) While they can serve as the cultural historian's dream, they are also sometimes creative works of fiction." (how to interpret this?) As the Magic 8-Ball might say, "Signs unclear, ask again later."
I don't believe there was a single category for "divination by intuition."
What awaits is information beyond our knowing and for good reasons. Hope and possibilities keep us showing up. Predictions and proclamations are highly mutable. I like to think that most doors remain open, in spite of what experts tell us, even those practiced in tyromancy, "divination using cheese." I rest my case.