Name and briefly describe three methods of divination or seership techniques appropriate for use within the context of an Indo-European culture. (minimum 100 words each)
1. Runes. A Germanic-based divination system, it derives from the Germanic alphabet that dates back to about 50 AD (tracing it earlier is very difficult and possibly bad scholarship). We have no direct and obvious reason to believe that Runes were used for divination at any point, though some can point to the
Voluspa for a single passage of interest, while others can point to Tacitus for an explicit statement of "casting lots" that are carved. Of course, that doesn't stop them from working as a medium of communication with the divine. In general, the Elder Futhark is used in divination, and the symbol set is one that would be readily understood by the Germanic deities. Each letter represents a word, and there are poems that also give meanings. Numerology, when connected with Runes, is bunk; I have yet to see any convincing evidence otherwise.
2. Ogham sticks/disks. A favourite of Druids everywhere, the Ogham sticks (or the disks our own Archdruid likes to use) are made from the Ogham alphabet of Ireland, dating to about the second century AD. We have more evidence that divination was done via Ogham than we do about Runes, but the evidence still doesn't tell us much. One key example is when determining the sex of a fetus that is mentioned in the
Book of Ballymote. Ogham was primarily confined to Ireland (one reason I do not use it). This particular system of divination is very much like the Runes in structure and form, with each letter representing a tree, as well as a colour, number, and many other things.
3. Dream interpretation. A fine example in Celtic myth and legend of divination is dream interpretation. The ritual involved the slaughter of a white bull, and the seer would wrap himself in the bull's hide, and sleep for two days. When he awoke, the answer to his question (or a description of the past, present, or future) would be clear to him. Another example (from farther afield) is that of the interpretation of Baldur's dream by the witch that Odin raises from the dead. The chilling Eddic poem describes her interpretation of a dream Baldur had. Unfortunately, the dream
itself was not related, but we see quite clearly that dreams are considered something important, and even prophetic.
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