Derived from the Greek dakterlios ('finger ring') and manteia ('divination'), this term applies to a number of methods of divining the future with the aid of rings. Sometimes a ring is used as a pendulum, at other times it is dropped into a bowl of water, its position at the bottom determining the prediction or the response to a formulated question.
A Biblical Perspective:
The Scriptures clearly prohibit Divination in any form. Divination is the attempt to divine the mind of Deity through some means other than God's way. It is an attempt to understand the past, present, or future by some means other than the revelation of God. The revelation may come through various means, but ultimately any revelation apart from God is divination. God's revelation and divination are opposites.
Divination usurps the rightful place of the Scripture in the life of the Christian. It attempts to give direction and guidance to the individual. The Bible is clear on the subject. Divination, is an abomination to God. Some would have us believe the Bible endorses Divination as an art that offers mankind an understanding of his true self, an opportunity to create his or her own reality to suit his or her personal spiritual goals. The following Scripture indicates otherwise.
'When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices Divination or Sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.' - Deuteronomy 18:9-11
Scripture also calls each of us to place our faith in Jesus Christ rather than the created universe. The book of Colossians reminds the individual to "see to it that no one takes you captive through vain philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of man, according to the elemental principles of the universe, rather than according to Christ." - (Colossians 2:8)
One of the major problems with 'defining' Paganism and/or its beliefs and practices is that it is an 'organic' movement, in that it is undergoing constant change and re-evaluation from within, and as such any 'one-size-fits-all' approach to understanding Paganism will be found wanting.
Due to the very 'organic' nature of Paganism, and the many differing Paths and Traditions within it, in many cases no one definition may be universally accepted by all Pagans. Therefore, where such cases of possible conflicting and/or contradictory meanings of certain terms occur I have endevoured to give not only the generally accepted meaning, but also any major 'variations' in belief and/or practice.
Christians who believe this difference in meaning of certain key terms, beliefs and practices to be unique to Paganism need to remember that such conflicts also arise within the Body of Christ - the Church. Take for instance the differing practices amongst Christians concerning Baptism and the different attitudes towards women in the clergy.
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