Incarnation means embodied in flesh or taking on flesh. It refers to the conception and birth of a sentient being, the material manifestation of an entity, god or force whose original nature is immaterial. In its religious context the word is used to mean the descent from Heaven of a god, deity, or divine being in human/animal form on Earth. In the Bahá'í Faith, God is not seen to be incarnated into this world and is not seen to be part of creation as he cannot be divided and does not descend to the condition of his creatures; the Manifestations of God are not seen as an incarnation of God, but are instead understood to be like a perfect mirror reflecting the attributes of God onto this material world.. Buddhism is a non-theistic religion, it denies the concept of a creator deity or any incarnation of a creator deity. However, Buddhism does teach the rebirth doctrine and asserts that living beings are reborn, reincarnating as devas, demi-gods, human beings, hungry ghosts or hellish beings, in a cycle of samsara that stops only for those who reach nirvana.
In Tibetan Buddhism, an enlightened spiritual teacher is believed to reincarnate, is called a tulku. According to Tulku Thondup, there are three main types of tulkus, they are the emanations of buddhas, the manifestations of accomplished adepts, rebirths of virtuous teachers or spiritual friends. There are authentic secondary types as well which include unrecognized tulkus, blessed tulkus, tulkus fallen from the path. Logos-Sarx-Schema uses to explain incarnation of the Son of God; the incarnation of Christ is a central Christian doctrine that God became flesh, assumed a human nature, became a man in the form of Jesus, the Son of God and the second person of the Trinity. This foundational Christian position holds that the divine nature of the Son of God was united with human nature in one divine Person, making him both God and man; the theological term for this is hypostatic union: the Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son, became flesh when he was miraculously conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary.
Biblical passages traditionally referenced in connection with the doctrine of the Incarnation include John 3:1-21, Colossians 2:9, Philippians 2:7-8. In Hinduism, incarnation refers to its rebirth doctrine, in its theistic traditions to avatar. Avatar means "descent, alight, to make one's appearance", refers to the embodiment of the essence of a superhuman being or a deity in another form; the word implies "to overcome, to remove, to bring down, to cross something". In Hindu traditions, the "crossing or coming down" is symbolism, states Daniel Bassuk, of the divine descent from "eternity into the temporal realm, from unconditioned to the conditioned, from infinitude to finitude". An avatar, states Justin Edwards Abbott, is a saguna embodiment of Atman. Neither the Vedas nor the Principal Upanishads mentions the word avatar as a noun; the verb roots and form, such as avatarana, do appear in ancient post-Vedic Hindu texts, but as "action of descending", but not as an incarnated person. The related verb avatarana is, states Paul Hacker, used with double meaning, one as action of the divine descending, another as "laying down the burden of man" suffering from the forces of evil.
The term is most found in the context of the Hindu god Vishnu. The earliest mention of Vishnu manifested in a human form to empower the good and fight against evil, uses other terms such as the word sambhavāmi in verse 4.6 and the word tanu in verse 9.11 of the Bhagavad Gita, as well as other words such as akriti and rupa elsewhere. It is in medieval era texts, those composed after the sixth century CE, that the noun version of avatar appears, where it means embodiment of a deity; the incarnation idea proliferates thereafter, in the Puranic stories for many deities, with ideas such as ansha-avatar or partial embodiments. While Avatars of other deities such as Ganesha and Shiva are mentioned in medieval Hindu texts, this is minor and occasional; the incarnation doctrine is one of the important differences between Vaishnavism and Shaivism traditions of Hinduism. The translation of avatar as "incarnation" has been questioned by Christian theologists, who state that an incarnation is in flesh and imperfect, while avatar is mythical and perfect.
The theological concept of Christ as an incarnation, as found in Christology, presents the Christian concept of incarnation. This, state Oduyoye and Vroom, is different from the Hindu concept of avatar because avatars in Hinduism are unreal and is similar to Docetism. Sheth disagrees and states that this claim is an incorrect understanding of the Hindu concept of avatar. Avatars are true embodiments of spiritual perfection, one driven by noble goals, in Hindu traditions such as Vaishnavism. Mainstream Islam rejects the doctrine of the incarnation of God in any form, as the concept is defined as shirk. In mainstream Islam God is one and "neither begets nor is begotten". Mainstream Judaism rejects any doctrine of an incarnation of God and rejects any concept of an incarnation of God in any form. However, some Hasidim believe in a somewhat similar concept. Menachem Mendel Schneerson, a prominent Hasidic leader, said that the Rebbe is God's essence itself put into a body of a tzadik. Serer religion rejects any notion of an incarnation or manifestation of Roog, called Koox among the Cangin.
However, the reincarnation of the ancient Serer saints and ancestral spirits, called Pangool, is a well held principle in Serer religion. These Pangool act as intermediaries between the living world and the Devine
The Serer religion, or a ƭat Roog, is the original religious beliefs and teachings of the Serer people of Senegal in West Africa. The Serer religion believes in a universal supreme deity called Roog. In the Cangin languages, Roog is referred to as Kokh Kox, etc.. The Serer people are found throughout the Senegambia region. In the 20th century, around 85% of the Serer converted to Islam, but some are Christians or follow their traditional religion. Traditional Serer religious practices encompass ancient chants and poems, veneration of and offerings to deities as well as spirits, initiation rites, medicine and Serer history; the Serer people believe in a supreme deity sometimes referred to as Roog Sene. Serer tradition deals with various dimensions of life, death and time, ancestral spirit communications and cosmology. There are other lesser gods and supernatural spirits or genie such as the fangool Mendiss, a female protector of Fatick Region and the arm of the sea that bears her name. Roog is neither the Lord of creation.
Roog is the embodiment of both male and female to whom offerings are made at the foot of trees, such as the sacred baobab tree, the sea, the river such as the sacred River Sine, in people's own homes or community shrine etc. Roog Sene is reachable to a lesser extent by the Serer high priests and priestesses, who have been initiated and possess the knowledge and power to organise their thoughts into a single cohesive unit. However, Roog always available to them. In Serer, Roog Sene is the lifeblood to which the incorruptible and sanctified soul returns to eternal peace after they depart the living world. Roog Sene sees and hears everything, but does not interfere in the day-to-day affairs of the living world. Instead, lesser gods and goddesses act as Roog's assistants in the physical world. Individuals have the free will to either live a good and spiritually fulfilled life in accordance with Serer religious doctrines or waver from such doctrines by living an unsanctified lifestyle in the physical world.
Those who live their lives contrary to the teachings will be rightfully punished in the afterlife. For the ordinary Serers, they addressed their prayers to the pangool as they are the intermediaries between the living world and the divine. An orthodox Serer must remain faithful to the ancestral spirits as the soul is sanctified as a result of the ancestors' intercession between the living world and the divine; the pangool have both a historical significance as well as a religious one. They are connected to the history of the Serer by virtue of the fact that, the pangool is associated with the founding of Serer villages and towns as a group of pangool would accompany village founders called "lamane" as they make their journey looking for land to exploit. Without them, the lamane exploits would not have been possible. In the religious sense, these ancient lamanes created shrines to these pangool, thereby becoming the priests and custodians of the shrine; as such, "they became the intermediaries among the land, the people and the pangool".
Whenever any member of the lamanic lineage dies, the whole Serer community celebrates in honour of the exemplary lives they had lived on earth in accordance with the teachings of the Serer religion. Serer prayers are addressed to the pangool who act as intercessors between the living world and the divine. In addressing their prayers to the pangool, the Serers chant ancient songs and offer sacrifices such as bull, goat, chicken or harvested crops. There is no hell in the Serer religion; the immortality of the soul and reincarnation is a held belief in Serer religion. The pangool are canonised as holy saints, will be called upon and venerated, have the power to intercede between the living and the divine. Acceptance by the ancestors who have long departed and the ability to intercede with the divine is as close to heaven after one passes over. Rejection by the ancestors and becoming a lost and wandering soul is as close to hell in Serer Religion; each Serer family has a totem. Totems are prohibitions as well as guardians.
They can be plants etc.. For example, the totem of the Joof family is the antelope. Any brutality against this animal by the Joof family is prohibited; this respect gives the Joof family holy protection. The totem of the Njie family is the lion. Both men and women can be initiated into the secret order of the Saltigue. In accordance with Serer religious doctrines, for one to become a Spiritual Elder, one must be initiated, somewhat reserved for a small number of insiders in the mysteries of the universe and the unseen world; the Xoy ceremony is a special event in the Serer religious calendar. It is the time when the initiated Saltigue comes together to predict the future in front of the community; these diviners and healers deliver sermons at the Xoy Ceremony which relates to the future weather, economics, so on. It is a special event which brings together thousands of people to Holy Sine from all over the world. Ultra orthodox Serers and Serers who "syncretise" (converts to Islam or Christianit
Intercession of saints
Intercession of the saints is a doctrine held by the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. The practice of praying through saints can be found in Christian writings from the 3rd century onwards; the 4th-century Apostles' Creed states belief in the communion of saints, which certain Christian churches interpret as supporting the intercession of saints. As in Christianity, this practice is controversial in Islam. Advocates of the doctrine say that Jesus' parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19–31 indicates the ability of the dead to pray for the living; the intercession of the dead for the living is shown in 2 Maccabees 15: 14-17. "And Onias spoke, saying,'This is a man who loves the brethren and prays much for the people and the holy city, the prophet of God.'" According to the Epistle to the Romans the living can intercede by the living. "Now I beseech you, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.
Jesus’ mother was there, Jesus and his disciples had been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” When God was displeased by the four men who had invented Patriarch Job what he had done, God said to them: "My servant Job will pray for you, I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly." Moses says to God "forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now." The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked." The elders of the church can intercede for the sick people. "Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven." Intercession of the living for the dead is seen in 2 Timothy 1:16–18.
"The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus. The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest well."On the basis of Christ's intercession for believers, present at the Right hand of God, it is argued by extension that other people who have died but are alive in Christ may be able to intercede on behalf of the petitioner Aquinas quotes Revelation 8:4: "And the smoke of the incense of the prayers of the saints ascended up before God from the hand of the angel". Both those for and against the intercession of saints quote Job 5:1. Roman Catholic Church doctrine supports intercessory prayer to saints. Intercessory prayer to saints plays an important role in the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches; some Anglo-Catholics believe in saintly intercession. This practice is an application of the Catholic doctrine of the Communion of Saints, it is understood that some of the early basis for this was the belief that martyrs passed into the presence of God, could obtain graces and blessings for others.
A further reinforcement was derived from the cult of the angels which, while pre-Christian in its origin, was heartily embraced by the faithful of the sub-Apostolic age. According to St. Jerome, "If the Apostles and Martyrs, while still in the body, can pray for others, at a time when they must still be anxious for themselves, how much more after their crowns and triumphs are won!"The Catholic doctrine of intercession and invocation is set forth by the Council of Trent, which teaches that "...the saints who reign together with Christ offer up their own prayers to God for men. It is good and useful suppliantly to invoke them, to have recourse to their prayers and help for obtaining benefits from God, through His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, Who alone is our Redeemer and Saviour."Intercessory prayer to saintly persons who have not yet been canonized is practiced, evidence of miracles produced as a result of such prayer is commonly produced during the formal process of beatification and canonization.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: 956 The intercession of the saints. "Being more united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more in holiness.... They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus.... So by their fraternal concern is our weakness helped."In the wake of modern biblical studies which have renewed Catholic teaching since Vatican II, Catholic scholars have reinterpreted invocation and intercession of the saints, with a critical view toward the medieval tendencies of imagining the saints in heaven distributing favors to whom they will, instead seeing in proper devotion to the saints a means of response to God’s activity in us through these creative models of Christ-likeness. With the exception of a few early Protestant churches, most modern Protestant churches reject the intercession of the dead for the living, bu
In religion and folklore, Hell is an afterlife location, sometimes a place of torment and punishment. Religions with a linear divine history depict hells as eternal destinations while religions with a cyclic history depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations; these traditions locate hell in another dimension or under the Earth's surface and include entrances to Hell from the land of the living. Other afterlife destinations include Heaven, Purgatory and Limbo. Other traditions, which do not conceive of the afterlife as a place of punishment or reward describe Hell as an abode of the dead, the grave, a neutral place located under the surface of Earth; the modern English word hell is derived from Old English hel, helle reaching into the Anglo-Saxon pagan period. The word has cognates in all branches of the Germanic languages, including Old Norse hel, Old Frisian helle, Old Saxon hellia, Old High German hella, Gothic halja. All forms derive from the reconstructed Proto-Germanic feminine noun *xaljō or *haljō.
In turn, the Proto-Germanic form derives from the o-grade form of the Proto-Indo-European root *kel-, *kol-:'to cover, save'. Indo-European cognates including Latin cēlāre and early Irish ceilid. Upon the Christianization of the Germanic peoples, extension of Proto-Germanic *xaljō were reinterpreted to denote the underworld in Christian mythology, for which see Gehenna. Related early Germanic terms and concepts include Proto-Germanic *xalja-rūnō, a feminine compound noun, *xalja-wītjan, a neutral compound noun; this form is reconstructed from the Latinized Gothic plural noun *haliurunnae, Old English helle-rúne, Old High German helli-rūna'magic'. The compound is composed of two elements: *xaljō and *rūnō, the Proto-Germanic precursor to Modern English rune; the second element in the Gothic haliurunnae may however instead be an agent noun from the verb rinnan, which would make its literal meaning "one who travels to the netherworld". Proto-Germanic *xalja-wītjan is reconstructed from Old Norse hel-víti'hell', Old English helle-wíte'hell-torment, hell', Old Saxon helli-wīti'hell', the Middle High German feminine noun helle-wīze.
The compound is a compound of * * wītjan. Hell appears in several religions, it is inhabited by demons and the souls of dead people. A fable about Hell which recurs in folklore across several cultures is the allegory of the long spoons. Hell is depicted in art and literature most famously in Dante's Divine Comedy. Punishment in Hell corresponds to sins committed during life. Sometimes these distinctions are specific, with damned souls suffering for each sin committed, but sometimes they are general, with condemned sinners relegated to one or more chamber of Hell or to a level of suffering. In many religious cultures, including Christianity and Islam, Hell is depicted as fiery and harsh, inflicting suffering on the guilty. Despite these common depictions of Hell as a place of fire, some other traditions portray Hell as cold. Buddhist - and Tibetan Buddhist - descriptions of Hell feature an equal number of hot and cold Hells. Among Christian descriptions Dante's Inferno portrays the innermost circle of Hell as a frozen lake of blood and guilt.
But cold played a part in earlier Christian depictions of Hell, beginning with the Apocalypse of Paul from the early third century. The Sumerian afterlife was a dark, dreary cavern located deep below the ground, where inhabitants were believed to continue "a shadowy version of life on earth"; this bleak domain was known as Kur, was believed to be ruled by the goddess Ereshkigal. All souls went to the same afterlife, a person's actions during life had no effect on how the person would be treated in the world to come; the souls in Kur were believed to eat nothing but dry dust and family members of the deceased would ritually pour libations into the dead person's grave through a clay pipe, thereby allowing the dead to drink. Nonetheless, funerary evidence indicates that some people believed that the goddess Inanna, Ereshkigal's younger sister, had the power to award her devotees with special favors in the afterlife. During the Third Dynasty of Ur, it was believed that a person's treatment in the afterlife depended on how he or she was buried.
The entrance to Kur was believed to be located in the Zagros mountains in the far east. It had seven gates; the god Neti was the gatekeeper. Ereshkigal's sukkal, or messenger, was the god Namtar. Galla were a class of demons, they are fr
Point of Sangomar
The Point of Sangomar is a sand spit located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Saloum Delta, which marks the end of the Petite Côte west of Senegal. This narrow sandbar extends south about twenty kilometers from Palmarin Diakhanor. Long threatened by coastal erosion, the fragile cord was again broken by a tidal wave in 1987, giving birth to the island of Sangomar; the gap between this new island and the point where the village of Djiffer continues to widen. The rupture in Sangomar is the result of a natural process for the past few thousand years, noticed by sailors. In 1891, it was found that the gap had widened from 25 to 30m since 1886. In the twentieth century, several breaks were reported including: 1928, 1960, 1970, etc.. The latest occurred on 27 February 1987 at a place called Lagoba. A year the gap was reported to be 1 km wide, ten years about 4 km. Several camps and buildings were destroyed; the fish packing plant at Djifer was closed in 1996. The village located 4 km north of the first breakpoint is threatened and authorities are considering the evacuation of its inhabitants to the new port of Diakhanor.
Parallel to the phenomenon of erosion, occurs a process of sedimentation: the extremity of the new Southern Island of Sangomar increases by 100 m per annum to the south and, on the opposite bank, the outskirts of the villages of Niodior and Dionewar are silting reducing traffic of vessels and contributing to the isolation of populations. All these phenomena are followed by a body established with the support of UNESCO in 1984, the multidisciplinary team that studies coastal ecosystems; the Point of Sangomar has been long described by navigators and hydrographers because of its bar and because of its strategic location downstream of the port of Kaolack, an important production center for peanuts and salt. In the mid-nineteenth century, Louis Faidherbe, the Governor of Senegal, tried to take control of the peanut producing countries and those encircling the Cayor. In May 1858, he made. To consolidate the French position, as in Rufisque, Saly and Joal-Fadiouth, a fort was built at Sangomar. In 1890, a customs post was built there.
According to Henry Gravrand, the word "Sangomar" among the Serer people, means "the village of shadows". In the Serer religion, the Point of Sangomar is a place believed to be a gathering place for pangool; the local population continue to visit this island to venerate ancestors. It is one of the most sacred places in Serer religion. Serer and Jola tradition speak of an ancient legend referred to as the legend of Jambooñ and Agaire. According to this legend, two sisters boarded a pirogue along with their parties; the boat broke in two at the Point of Sangomar. Those who survived and headed north were the ancestors of the Serer people, those who headed south became the ancestors of the Jola."Sangomar, a Serer place of worship, at Palmarin" appears on the List of monuments and historical sites in Senegal. J. Bouteiller, De Saint-Louis à Sierra-Leone. Huit ans de navigation dans les rivières du Sud, A. Challamel, Paris, 1891 Gabriela Ackermann, Frédéric Alexandre, Julien Andrieu, Catherine Mering et Claire Ollivier, « Dynamique des paysages et perspectives de développement durable sur la Petite Côte et dans le delta du Sine–Saloum », in Vertigo, vol.
7, n°. 2, September 2006 « Sites mythiques du Sénégal: Sangomar, ses merveilles et ses mystères »
Traditional African religions
The traditional African religions are a set of diverse beliefs that include various ethnic religions. These traditions are oral rather than scriptural, include belief in a supreme creator, belief in spirits, veneration of the dead, use of magic and traditional medicine; the role of humanity is seen as one of harmonising nature with the supernatural. According to Lugira, "it is the only religion. Other religions found in Africa have their origins in other parts of the world." Adherents of traditional religions in Sub-Saharan Africa are distributed among 43 countries and are estimated to number over 100 million. Although the majority of Africans are adherents of Christianity or Islam, African people combine the practice of their traditional belief with the practice of Abrahamic religions; the two Abrahamic religions are widespread across Africa, though concentrated in different areas. They have replaced indigenous African religions, but are adapted to African cultural contexts and belief systems.
West and Central African religious practices manifest themselves in communal ceremonies or divinatory rites in which members of the community, overcome by force, are excited to the point of going into meditative trance in response to rhythmic or driving drumming or singing. One religious ceremony practiced in Gabon and Cameroon is the Okuyi, practiced by several Bantu ethnic groups. In this state, depending upon the region, drumming or instrumental rhythms played by respected musicians, participants embody a deity or ancestor, energy or state of mind by performing distinct ritual movements or dances which further enhance their elevated consciousness; when this trance-like state is witnessed and understood, adherents are privy to a way of contemplating the pure or symbolic embodiment of a particular mindset or frame of reference. This builds skills at separating the feelings elicited by this mindset from their situational manifestations in daily life; such separation and subsequent contemplation of the nature and sources of pure energy or feelings serves to help participants manage and accept them when they arise in mundane contexts.
This facilitates better control and transformation of these energies into positive, culturally appropriate behavior and speech. This practice can give rise to those in these trances uttering words which, when interpreted by a culturally educated initiate or diviner, can provide insight into appropriate directions which the community might take in accomplishing its goal. Followers of traditional African religions pray to various spirits as well as to their ancestors; these secondary spirits serve as intermediaries between humans and the primary God referred to as the Supreme Deity. Most African societies believe in a single Supreme being; some recognize a dual Goddess such as Mawu-Lisa. There are more similarities than differences in all traditional African religions; the supreme Deity is worshiped through consultation or communion with lesser deities and ancestral spirits. The deities and spirits are honored through sacrifice; the will of the Supreme Deity is sought by the believer through consultation of divinities or divination.
In many traditional African religions, there is a belief in a cyclical nature of reality. The living stand between the unborn. Traditional African religions embrace natural phenomena – ebb and tide and waning moon and drought – and the rhythmic pattern of agriculture. According to Gottlieb and Mbiti: The environment and nature are infused in every aspect of traditional African religions and culture; this is because cosmology and beliefs are intricately intertwined with the natural phenomena and environment. All aspects of weather, lightning, day, sun, so on may become amenable to control through the cosmology of African people. Natural phenomena are responsible for providing people with their daily needs. For example, in the Serer religion, one of the most sacred stars in the cosmos is called Yoonir. With a long farming tradition, the Serer high priests and priestesses deliver yearly sermons at the Xoy Ceremony in Fatick before Yoonir's phase in order to predict winter months and enable farmers to start planting.
Traditional healers are common in most areas, their practices include a religious element to varying degrees. Since Africa is a large continent with many ethnic groups and cultures, there is not one single technique of casting divination; the practice of casting may be done with small objects, such as bones, cowrie shells, strips of leather, or flat pieces of wood. Some castings are done using sacred divination plates performed on the ground. In traditional African societies, many people seek out diviners on a regular basis. There are no prohibitions against the practice. Diviner are sought for their wisdom as counselors in life and for their knowledge of herbal medicine. Virtue in traditional African religion is connected with carrying out obligations of the communal aspect of life. Examples include social behaviors such as the respect for parents and elders, raising children appropriately, providing hospitality, being honest and courageous. In some traditional African religions, morality is associated with obedience or disobedience to God regarding the way a
Divination is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic, standardized process or ritual. Used in various forms throughout history, diviners ascertain their interpretations of how a querent should proceed by reading signs, events, or omens, or through alleged contact with a supernatural agency. Divination can be seen as a systematic method with which to organize what appear to be disjointed, random facets of existence such that they provide insight into a problem at hand. If a distinction is to be made between divination and fortune-telling, divination has a more formal or ritualistic element and contains a more social character in a religious context, as seen in traditional African medicine. Fortune-telling, on the other hand, is a more everyday practice for personal purposes. Particular divination methods vary by religion. Divination is dismissed by skeptics as being superstition. In the 2nd century, Lucian devoted a witty essay to the career of a charlatan, "Alexander the false prophet", trained by "one of those who advertise enchantments, miraculous incantations, charms for your love-affairs, visitations for your enemies, disclosures of buried treasure, successions to estates" though most Romans believed in prophetic dreams and charms.
The Oracle of Amun at the Siwa Oasis was made famous when Alexander the Great visited it after conquering Egypt from Persia in 332 BC. Deuteronomy 18:10-12 or Leviticus 19:26 can be interpreted as categorically forbidding divination. However, some would claim that divination is indeed practiced in the Bible, such as in Exodus 28, when the Urim and Thummim are mentioned; some would say that Gideon practiced divination, though when he uses a piece of fleece or wool in Judges 6:36-40, he is not attempting to predict the outcome of an important battle. Communicating with God through prayer may in some cases be considered divination. In addition, the method of "casting lots" used in Joshua 14:1-5 and Joshua 18:1-10 to divide the conquered lands of Canaan between the twelve tribes is not seen by some as divination, but as done at the behest of God. Both oracles and seers in ancient Greece practiced divination. Oracles were the conduits for the gods on earth; because of the high demand for oracle consultations and the oracles’ limited work schedule, they were not the main source of divination for the ancient Greeks.
That role fell to the seers. Seers were not in direct contact with the gods. Seers used many methods to explicate the will of the gods including bird signs, etc.. They did not keep a limited schedule; the disadvantage to seers was. Oracles could answer more generalized questions, seers had to perform several sacrifices in order to get the most consistent answer. For example, if a general wanted to know if the omens were proper for him to advance on the enemy, he would ask his seer both that question and if it were better for him to remain on the defensive. If the seer gave consistent answers, the advice was considered valid. At battle, generals would ask seers at both the campground and at the battlefield; the hiera entailed the seer slaughtering a sheep and examining its liver for answers regarding a more generic question. The battlefield sacrifice only occurred. Neither force would advance; because the seers had such power over influential individuals in ancient Greece, many were skeptical of the accuracy and honesty of the seers.
The degree to which seers were honest depends on the individual seers. Despite the doubt surrounding individual seers, the craft as a whole was well regarded and trusted by the Greeks; the divination method of casting lots was used by the remaining eleven disciples of Jesus in Acts 1:23-26 to select a replacement for Judas Iscariot. Therefore, divination was arguably an accepted practice in the early church. However, divination became viewed as a pagan practice by Christian emperors during ancient Rome. In 692 the Quinisext Council known as the "Council in Trullo" in the Eastern Orthodox Church, passed canons to eliminate pagan and divination practices. Fortune-telling and other forms of divination were widespread through the Middle Ages. In the constitution of 1572 and public regulations of 1661 of Kur-Saxony, capital punishment was used on those predicting the future. Laws forbidding divination practice continue to this day. Småland is famous for Årsgång, a practice which occurred until the early 19th century in some parts of Småland.
Occurring on Christmas and New Year's Eve, it is a practice in which one would fast and keep themselves away from light in a room until midnight to complete a set of complex events to interpret symbols encountered throughout the journey to foresee the coming year. Divination was a central component of ancient Mesoamerican religious life. Many Aztec gods, including central creator gods, were described as diviners and were associated with sorcery. Tezcatlipoca is the pa