There is some evidence that, in addition to being a writing system, runes served purposes of magic. This is the case from earliest epigraphic evidence of the Roman to Germanic Iron Age, with non-linguistic inscriptions and the alu word. An erilaz appears to have been a person versed in runes, including their magic applications. In medieval sources, notably the Poetic Edda, the Sigrdrífumál mentions "victory runes" to be carved on a sword, "some on the grasp and some on the inlay, name Tyr twice." In early modern and modern times, related folklore and superstition is recorded in the form of the Icelandic magical staves. In the early 20th century, Germanic mysticism coins new forms of "runic magic", some of which were continued or developed further by contemporary adherents of Germanic Neopaganism. Modern systems of runic divination are based on Hermeticism, classical Occultism, the I Ching, it is known that the Germanic peoples used various forms of divination and means of reading omens. Tacitus gives a detailed account: They attach the highest importance to the taking of auspices and casting lots.
Their usual procedure with the lot is simple. They cut off a branch from a nut-bearing tree and slice it into strips these they mark with different signs and throw them at random onto a white cloth; the state's priest, if it is an official consultation, or the father of the family, in a private one, offers prayer to the gods and looking up towards heaven picks up three strips, one at a time, according to which sign they have been marked with, makes his interpretation. If the lots forbid an undertaking, there is no deliberation that day about the matter in question. If they allow it, further confirmation is required by taking auspices, it is debated whether "signs" refers to runes or to other marks. The Ansuz and Tiwaz runes in particular seem to have had magical significance in the early period; the Sigrdrífumál instruction of "name Tyr twice" is reminiscent of the double or triple "stacked Tyr" bindrunes found e.g. on Seeland-II-C or the Lindholm amulet in the aaaaaaaazzznnn-b- muttt, which besides stacked Tyr involves multiple repetition of Ansuz, but triple occurrence of Algiz and Naudiz.
Many inscriptions have meaningless utterances interpreted as magical chants, such as tuwatuwa, aaduaaaliia or g͡æg͡og͡æ, g͡ag͡ag͡a. Alu is a charm word appearing on numerous artifacts found in Central and Northern Europe dating from the Germanic Iron Age; the word is the most common of the early runic charm words and can appear either alone or as part of an apparent formula. The origin and meaning of the word are matters of dispute, though a general agreement exists among scholars that the word either represents amulet magic or is a metaphor for it. A few Viking Age rings with runic inscriptions of magical nature were found, among them the Kingmoor Ring; the phrase "runes of power" is found on two runestones in Sweden, DR 357 from Stentoften and DR 360 from Björketorp. Runestones with curses include DR 81 in Skjern, DR 83 in Sønder Vinge, DR 209 in Glavendrup, DR 230 from Tryggevælde, DR 338 in Glemminge, Vg 67 in Saleby; the most prolific source for runic magic in the Poetic Edda is the Sigrdrífumál, where the valkyrie Sigrdrífa presents Sigurd with a memory-draught of ale, charmed with "gladness runes", She goes on to give advice on the magical runes in seven further stanzas.
In all instances, the runes are used for actual magic rather than for divination: "victory runes" to be carved on the sword hilt, ølrunar "Ale-runes", biargrunar "birth-runes", brimrunar "wave-runes", limrunar "branch-runes", malrunar "speech-runes", hugrunar "thought-runes". The Poetic Edda seems to corroborate the magical significance of the runes the Hávamál where Odin mentions runes in contexts of divination, of healing and of necromancy: "Certain is that, sought from runes / That the gods so great have made / And the Master-Poet painted" "Of runes heard I words, nor were counsels wanting / At the hall of Hor" "Grass cures the scab / and runes the sword-cut" "Runes shalt thou find / and fateful signs" " if high on a tree / I see a hanged man swing / So do I write and color the runes / That forth he fares / And to me talks." Other oft cited sources for the practice of runic divination are chapter 38 of Snorri Sturluson's Ynglinga Saga, where Granmar, the king of Södermanland, travels to the Temple at Uppsala for the seasonal blót.
"There, the chips fell in a way that said that he would not live long". Another source is in the Vita Ansgari, the biography of Ansgar the Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen, written by a monk named Rimbert. Rimbert details the custom of casting lots by the pagan Norse; the chi
A playing card is a piece of specially prepared heavy paper, thin cardboard, plastic-coated paper, cotton-paper blend, or thin plastic, marked with distinguishing motifs and used as one of a set for playing card games, performing magic tricks and flourishes, for cardistry, in card throwing. Playing cards are palm-sized for convenient handling, are sold together as a deck of cards or pack of cards. Playing cards were first invented in China during the Tang dynasty. Playing cards may have been invented during the Tang dynasty around the 9th century AD as a result of the usage of woodblock printing technology; the first possible reference to card games comes from a 9th-century text known as the Collection of Miscellanea at Duyang, written by Tang dynasty writer Su E. It describes Princess Tongchang, daughter of Emperor Yizong of Tang, playing the "leaf game" in 868 with members of the Wei clan, the family of the princess' husband; the first known book on the "leaf" game was called the Yezi Gexi and written by a Tang woman.
It received commentary by writers of subsequent dynasties. The Song dynasty scholar Ouyang Xiu asserts that the "leaf" game existed at least since the mid-Tang dynasty and associated its invention with the development of printed sheets as a writing medium. However, Ouyang claims that the "leaves" were pages of a book used in a board game played with dice, that the rules of the game were lost by 1067. Other games revolving around alcoholic drinking involved using playing cards of a sort from the Tang dynasty onward. However, these cards did not contain numbers. Instead, they were printed with forfeits for whomever drew them; the earliest dated instance of a game involving cards with suits and numerals occurred on 17 July 1294 when "Yan Sengzhu and Zheng Pig-Dog were caught playing cards and that wood blocks for printing them had been impounded, together with nine of the actual cards."William Henry Wilkinson suggests that the first cards may have been actual paper currency which doubled as both the tools of gaming and the stakes being played for, similar to trading card games.
Using paper money was inconvenient and risky so they were substituted by play money known as "money cards". One of the earliest games in which we know the rules is madiao, a trick-taking game, which dates to the Ming Dynasty. 15th-century scholar Lu Rong described it is as being played with 38 "money cards" divided into four suits: 9 in coins, 9 in strings of coins, 9 in myriads, 11 in tens of myriads. The two latter suits had Water Margin characters instead of pips on them with Chinese characters to mark their rank and suit; the suit of coins is in reverse order with 9 of coins being the lowest going up to 1 of coins as the high card. Despite the wide variety of patterns, the suits show a uniformity of structure; every suit contains twelve cards with the top two being the court cards of king and vizier and the bottom ten being pip cards. Half the suits use reverse ranking for their pip cards. There are many motifs for the suit pips but some include coins, clubs and swords which resemble Mamluk and Latin suits.
Michael Dummett speculated that Mamluk cards may have descended from an earlier deck which consisted of 48 cards divided into four suits each with ten pip cards and two court cards. By the 11th century, playing cards were spreading throughout the Asian continent and came into Egypt; the oldest surviving cards in the world are four fragments found in the Keir Collection and one in the Benaki Museum. They are dated to the 13th centuries. A near complete pack of Mamluk playing cards dating to the 15th century and of similar appearance to the fragments above was discovered by Leo Aryeh Mayer in the Topkapı Palace, Istanbul, in 1939, it is not a complete set and is composed of three different packs to replace missing cards. The Topkapı pack contained 52 cards comprising four suits: polo-sticks, coins and cups; each suit contained ten pip cards and three court cards, called malik, nā'ib malik, thānī nā'ib. The thānī nā ` ib is a non-existent title. In fact, the word "Kanjifah" appears in Arabic on the king of swords and is still used in parts of the Middle East to describe modern playing cards.
Influence from further east can explain why the Mamluks, most of whom were Central Asian Turkic Kipchaks, called their cups tuman which means myriad in Turkic and Jurchen languages. Wilkinson postulated that the cups may have been derived from inverting the Chinese and Jurchen ideogram for myriad; the Mamluk court cards showed abstract designs or calligraphy not depicting persons due to religious proscription in Sunni Islam, though they did bear the ranks on the cards. Nā'ib would be borrowed into French and Spanish, the latter word still in common usage. Panels on the pip cards in two suits show they had a reverse ranking, a feature found in madiao and old European card games like ombre and maw. A fragment of two uncut sheets of Moorish-styled cards of a similar but plainer style were found in Spain and dated to the early 15th century. Export of these cards, ceased after the fall of the Mamluks in the 16th century; the rules to play these games are lost but they are believed to be plain trick games without trumps.
Four-suited playing cards ar
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water
Scrying known by various names such as "seeing" or "peeping", is the practice of looking into a suitable medium in the hope of detecting significant messages or visions. The objective might be personal guidance, revelation, or inspiration, but down the ages, scrying in various forms has been a prominent means of divination or fortune-telling, it remains popular in occult circles, discussed in many media, both modern and centuries old. There is no definitive distinction between scrying and other aids to clairvoyance, augury, or divination, but speaking, scrying depends on fancied impressions of visions in the medium of choice. Ideally in this respect it differs from augury, which relies on interpretations of objectively observable objects or events. Clairvoyance in other words, is regarded as amounting in essence to extrasensory perception. Scrying is neither a single, clearly-defined, nor formal discipline and there is no uniformity in the procedures and independently have been reinvented or elaborated in many ages and regions.
Furthermore and authors coin terminology so arbitrarily, artificially, that no one system of nomenclature can be taken as authoritative and definitive. Terms in use are Latinisations or Hellenisations of descriptions of the media or activities. Examples of names coined for crystal gazing include'crystallomancy','spheromancy', and'catoptromancy'; as an example of the looseness of such terms, catoptromancy should refer more to scrying by use of mirrors or other reflective objects rather than by crystal gazing. Other names that have been coined for the use of various scrying media include anthracomancy for glowing coals, turifumy for scrying into smoke, hydromancy for scrying into water. There is no clear limit to the application of such terms and media. Scrying has been practised in many cultures in the belief that it can reveal the past, present, or future; some practitioners assert that visions that come when one stares into the media are from the subconscious or imagination, while others say that they come from gods, devils, or the psychic mind, depending on the culture and practice.
There is neither any systematic body of empirical support for any such views in general however, nor for their respective rival merits. The media most used in scrying are reflective, translucent, or luminescent surfaces or objects such as crystals, stones, or glass in various shapes such as crystal balls, reflective black surfaces such as obsidian, water surfaces, fire, or smoke, but there is no special limitation on the preferences or prejudices of the scryer; some prefer shimmering mirages. Some close their eyes, notionally staring at the insides of their own eyelids, speak of "eyelid scrying". Scrying media either suggest images directly, or else they distort or reflect the observers' vision confusingly, in the manner to be seen in crystals or transparent balls; such fancies have long been satirised by sceptics, for example in Hamlet III.ii: Alternatively the medium might reduce visual stimuli to thresholds below which any clear impressions could interfere with fancied visions or free association.
Examples include plain shadow or darkness. One class of methods of scrying involves a self-induced trance, with or without the aid of a medium such as a crystal ball or via modern technology such as a smartphone among other things; some say. Many practitioners say that the scrying medium serves to focus attention, removing unwanted thoughts from the mind in much the same way as repetition of a mantra, concentration on a mandala, inducing the relaxation response, or by hypnosis. Once this stage is achieved, the scryer may begin free association with the perceived images; the technique of deliberately looking for and declaring these initial images aloud, however trivial or irrelevant they may seem to the conscious mind, attempts to deepen the trance state. In this state some scryers hear their own disassociated voices affirming what they see, in a mental feedback loop. Practitioners apply the process until they achieve a satisfactory state of perception in which rich visual images and dramatic stories seem to be projected within the medium itself, or in the mind's eye of the scryer.
They claim that the technique allows them to see relevant images within the chosen medium. Nostradamus practised scrying. Divination is mentioned in chapter 44 of the Book of Genesis. A silver chalice or cup is deliberately planted in Benjamin's sack when he leaves Egypt to be used as evidence of theft, it is revealed the cup belongs to Joseph, the vizier of Egypt, whose steward claimed was used for drinking and divination during the course of his accusation. This is mentioned to reinforce his disguise as an Egyptian nobleman. Though divination is forbidden according to the Torah, the time of Joseph preceded the Hebrew nation an
Astragalomancy known as astragyromancy, is a form of divination that uses dice specially marked with letters or numbers. As with dice games, the "dice" were knucklebones or other small bones of quadrupeds. Marked astragali of sheep and goats are common at Mediterranean and Near Eastern archaeological sites at funeral and religious locations. For example, marked astragali have been found near the altar of Aphrodite Ourania in Athens, suggesting astragalomancy was performed near the altar after about 500 BC. Known as cleromancy, the practice of contacting divine truth via random castings of dice or bones stretches back before recorded history; the Metropolitan Museum of Art displayed bone "dice" used by the Shona people of southern Africa. They have been in use for thousands of years, remain extant. Since astragalomancy is a form of sortition, numbers are scrawled into the dice; the diviner casts the dice, resulting in a random sequence of numbers. The diviner interprets this sequence according to certain rules – rules specific to his/her religion.
Astragalomancy is considered the twin of pessomancy – another act of divination which uses colored or marked pebbles as opposed to numbered dice. These pebbles are either drawn from the bag at random; the interpretation of the colors or symbols relate to issues such as health, communications and travel. The Dalai Lama is reported as using the mo, balls of dough in which have been placed pieces of paper with possible "choices" written on them, to help in making important decisions. Tibetan divination has long featured the mo in making everyday decisions, too. There are books written by various lamas on interpretations for the casting of dice. Occultopedia.com Skeptic's Dictionary
Alectryomancy is a form of divination in which the diviner observes a bird, several birds, or most preferably a white rooster or cockerel pecking at grain that the diviner has scattered on the ground. It was the responsibility of the pullularius to keep the birds used; the observer may place grain in the shape of letters and thus discern a divinatory revelation by noting which letters the birds peck at, or the diviner may just interpret the pattern left by the birds' pecking in randomly scattered grain. In another version, the observer tethers the bird in the center of a circle, around the perimeter of, marked the alphabet, with a piece of grain at each letter. For each grain the bird pecks, the observer writes down the letter; the observer replaces each grain as the bird eats it, so that letters may be repeated. The sequence of letters recorded will contain a message; this form of divination is related by the random selection of letters. Alectryomancy is sacrificing a sacred rooster; the use of the sacred rooster through alectryomancy may be further understood within that religious character and defined as the cockfight or cockfighting with the intent of communication between the gods and man.
Roosters were used for predictions in different parts of the world, over the ages different methods were used. The most common and popular form of this divination based on the observation of a rooster eating corn scattered on letters; this practice was used when the moon was in Aries or Leo. A circle of letters was traced on the ground and laid out with some sort of grain placed on each letter. Next a rooster a white one, was let pick at the grains, thus selecting letters to create a divinatory message or sign; the chosen letters could be rearranged to make an anagram. Sometimes readers interpreted them. Additional grains replaced those taken by the rooster. We do not know how long ago this form of mantic arts had been practiced, but can date it back to at least 300 A. D. with evidence given by a Syrian Neoplatonist philosopher from Arabian origin. According to legend, the magician Iamblicus used this art to discover the person who should succeed Valens Caesar in the empire, but the bird picking up four of the grains, those which lay on the letters "T h e o," left it uncertain whether Theodosius, Theodorus, or Theodectes, was the person designated.
Valens, learning what had been done, put to death several individuals whose names unhappily began with those letters. In Africa, a black hen or a gamecock is used, which within such a religious practice and belief "to foresee, to be inspired by a god" may be referred to as a sacred cock or sacred vessel. An African diviner sprinkles grain on the ground and when the bird has finished eating, the seer interprets the designs or patterns left on the ground. Another method of alectryomancy used less was based on reciting letters of the alphabet noting those at which a cock crows. Letters were recorded in sequence and these letters were interpreted as the answer to the question chosen by seers. Alectryomancy was part of a entrenched tradition among the Romans, where the chicken is used for all sorts of divination with the belief that the animal is a soothsayer. For this reason, the chicken figured prominently in public policy since no major decision was made without using the animal in divination rites.
Aside from alectryomancy, the chicken was used to divine the future with diviners trained to read meanings in the bird's organs, skin and bone. The Roman chicken divination rituals were complex and conducted with an extraordinary level of organization unparalleled among the ancient civilizations that shared the same practice. One of the earliest forms was developed by the Etruscans, who established an elaborate ritual of alectryomancy using a hen to find answers for life's most pressing problems; the process involved a circle, divided into twenty parts to represent the Etruscan alphabet and each sector was sprinkled with corn. The bird is placed at the middle and the sequence of its pecking was recorded. Alectryomancy was used in ancient Rome to identify thieves. A rare, obsolete meaning of alectryomancy is "a divination by a cock-stone". A cock-stone or alectoria was "a christall coloured stone found in the gyzerne, or maw of some cockes"; these stones, purportedly found in a rooster's crop, were known to the Romans and were imputed with magical powers.
They were used for some sort of lithomantic divination, though the details of this use are not to be found. Page, M. Ingpen, R. Encyclopedia of Things That Never Were. New York: Viking Studio Books 1987. Alectryomancy Divination Glossary Word Info
Ornithomancy is the practice of reading omens from the actions of birds followed in many ancient cultures including the Greeks, is equivalent to the augury employed by the ancient Romans. Ornithomancy in some form has been found globally among a wide variety of pre-industrial peoples. Prophesying by birds appeared among the Hittites in Anatolia, with texts on bird oracles written in Hittite known from the 13th or 14th century, from whom the Greek practice may derive, it was familiar to the Etruscans, who may have brought it to Rome. Ornithomancy dates back to early Greek times, appearing on Archaic vases, as well as in Hesiod and Homer: one notable example from the latter occurs in the Odyssey, when an eagle appears three times, flying to the right, with a dead dove in its talons, an augury interpreted as the coming of Odysseus, the death of his wife's suitors. Aeschylus has Prometheus claim to have introduced ornithomancy to mankind, by indicating among the birds “those by nature favourable, those/Sinister”.
Ornithomancy could be spontaneous, or it could be the result of a formal consultation: the seer would face north, birds on their right — the east, the direction of sunrise — were taken as favourable. Although it was the flights and songs of birds that were studied, any action could have been interpreted to either foretell the future or relate a message from the gods. Omens from observation of the flight of birds were considered with the utmost seriousness by Romans; the practice of ornithomancy by priests called augurs was a branch of Roman national religion from before the founding of the city, which had its own priestly college to supervise its practice. The word "inauguration" is derived from the Latin noun inauguratio derived from the verb inaugurare, to "take omens from birds in flight." Since Roman augurs predominantly looked at birds for omens, they were called auspex, however they interpreted thunder, the behavior of certain animals, strange events. The phrase "under the auspices" is derived from this need for a favourable reading of the omens by the augurs.
Ornithomancy is mentioned several times in the Septuagint version of the Bible. Joseph claims that he practices it to frighten his brothers in the Septuagint Book of Genesis, but in the Septuagint text the practice is expressly forbidden. Lewis Namier introduced his prosopographical study of eighteenth century politics in England with a quotation from Aeschylus on ornithomancy: “I took pains to determine the flight of crook-taloned birds, marking which were of the right by nature, which were of the left, what were their ways of living, each after his kind”; the magpie counting song is a folklore remnant of ornithomancy. Baumbach and Kai Trampedach. 2004. ‘Winged Words’: Poetry and Divination in Posidippus’ Oiônoskopika. Chapter 11 in Benjamin Acosta-Hughes, Elizabeth Kosmetatou, Manuel Baumbach, eds. Labored in Papyrus Leaves: Perspectives on an Epigram Collection Attributed to Posidippus. Hellenic Studies Series 2. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. Open access Spence, Lewis, An Encyclopedia of Occultism, New York, Carl Publishing Group Edition, 1996.
ISBN 0-8065-1401-9 Mandelbaum, The Odyssey of Homer, New York, Bantam Classic Edition, 1991. ISBN 0-553-21399-7