, Nigerian American professor of indigenous African religions at Harvard University, Jacob Olupona summarized the many traditional African religions as complex animistic religious traditions and beliefs of the African people before the Christian and Islamic "colonization" of Africa. One religious ceremony practiced in Gabon and Cameroon is the Okuyi, practiced by several Bantu ethnic groups. The function of ancient Egyptian masks, however, is better known. One tarot card collector claimed to have accumulated more than 1,500 Japan-made decks of tarot cards. The satirist, Lucian, devoted a witty essay to Alexander the false prophet. pp 31. His name means "smoking mirror," a reference to a device used for divinatory scrying. In traditional African societies, many people seek out diviners on a regular basis. They migrated to the region around the 14th century CE.  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.. "Power and Protection: Islamic Art and the Supernatural. Divination has long been criticized. p 21. Personality can also be divined using cardinal directions, the four elements (water, earth, fire, air), and yin-yang. “Power and Protection: Islamic Art and the Supernatural.” Edited by F Leoni. While some traditions have a supreme being (next to other deities), others have not. The adaptation of the Western divination method of tarot cards into Japanese culture presents a particularly unique example of contemporary divination as this adaptation mingles with Japan's robust visual culture. Each attempt to reveal glimpses of an individual's destiny, productive and inhibiting traits, future parenting techniques, and compatibility in marriage. Gods were either self-created or evolved from spirits or ancestors which got worshiped by the people. Basic Yoruba belief involves ritual practices such as singing, dancing, drumming, spirit possession, ritual healing, respect for ancestors and divination. For pseudoscientific attempts to find water or other things, see, Leoni, F, C Gruber, and P Lory. Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. The core principle that meaning derives from a unique occupied position is identical to the core principle of astrology. 2016. pp 26-27. “Power and Protection: Islamic Art and the Supernatural.” Edited by F Leoni. An upturned mouth may be cheerful, and a triangle eyebrow may indicate that someone is strong-willed. Fortune-telling, on the other hand, is a more everyday practice for personal purposes. pp 13, 16-17. 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. They have replaced indigenous African religions, but are often adapted to African cultural contexts and belief systems. Most African societies believe in several “high gods” and a large amount of lower gods and spirits.  Traditional African religions embrace natural phenomena – ebb and tide, waxing and waning moon, rain and drought – and the rhythmic pattern of agriculture.  The practice culminated in the appearance of the illustrated “Books of Omens” (Fa’lnamas) in the early 16th century, an embodiment of the apocalyptic fears as the end of the millennium in the Islamic calendar approached. Leoni, F, C Gruber, and P Lory. Many Aztec gods, including central creator gods, were described as diviners and were closely associated with sorcery. Edited by F Leoni.". According to Gottlieb and Mbiti: The environment and nature are infused in every aspect of traditional African religions and culture. Some African religions adopted different views through the influence of Islam or even Hinduism.. , Attempt to gain insight into a question or situation, "Divining" redirects here. They were more numerous than the oracles and did not keep a limited schedule; thus, they were highly valued by all Greeks, not just those with the capacity to travel to Delphi or other such distant sites. , 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.. Most religions can be described as animistic with various polytheistic and pantheistic aspects. Examples include social behaviors such as the respect for parents and elders, raising children appropriately, providing hospitality, and being honest, trustworthy, and courageous. Generally 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 then complete a set of complex events to interpret symbols encountered throughout the journey to foresee the coming year. Lugira, Aloysius Muzzanganda. The practitioner needed to be skilled enough to apply the individual dream to general precedent while appraising the singular circumstances. Both crescents are held out in one's palms and while kneeling, they are raised to the forehead level. The divination method of casting lots (Cleromancy) was used by the remaining eleven disciples of Jesus in Acts 1:23-26 to select a replacement for Judas Iscariot. " While these differences exist, Japanese tarot cards function similarly to their Western counterparts. Despite the doubt surrounding individual seers, the craft as a whole was well regarded and trusted by the Greeks, and the Stoics accounted for the validity of divination in their physics. Seers used many methods to explicate the will of the gods including extispicy, bird signs, etc. Neither force would advance until the seer revealed appropriate omens. “Power and Protection: Islamic Art and the Supernatural.” Edited by F Leoni. In this state, depending upon the region, drumming or instrumental rhythms played by respected musicians (each of which is unique to a given deity or ancestor), participants embody a deity or ancestor, energy or state of mind by performing distinct ritual movements or dances which further enhance their elevated consciousness. Particular divination methods vary by culture and religion. Some castings are done using sacred divination plates made of wood or performed on the ground (often within a circle). p 17. Names can also lend important personality information under name classification which asserts that names bearing certain Japanese vowel sounds (a, i, u, e, o) share common characteristics. 2016. Even when performances are associated with ritual and belief, aesthetics and theatricality are never ignored. An African understanding, The List: The World's Fastest-Growing Religions, "US study sheds light on Africa's unique religious mix", Ian S. Markham,(A World Religions Reader. Two men hold this chair by its legs before an altar, while the incense is being burned, and the supernatural agent is asked to descend into the chair. 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. Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. 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. Edited by F Leoni. It is seen that it is in the chair by an onset of motion. In the modern era, it has been dismissed by the scientific community and skeptics as being superstition; experiments do not support the idea that divination techniques can actually predict the future more reliably or precisely than would be possible without it. , Dream interpretation, or oneiromancy (‘ilm ta’bir al-ru’ya), is more specific to Islam than other divinatory science, largely because of the Qur’an’s emphasis on the predictive dreams of Abraham, Yusuf, and Muhammad. “Power and Protection: Islamic Art and the Supernatural.” Edited by F Leoni. According to Clemmont E. Vontress, the various religious traditions of Africa are united by a basic Animism. 2016. Infobase Publishing, 2009. Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. She is known for healing the sick, cheering the sad, bringing music, song and dance, as well as bringing fertility and prosperity. , In Islam, astrology (‘ilm ahkam al-nujum), the most widespread divinatory science, is the study of how celestial entities could be applied to the daily lives of people on earth. Ancestor veneration has always played a "significant" part in the traditional African cultures and may be considered as central to the African worldview. The defining line between deities and ancestors is often contested, but overall, ancestors are believed to occupy a higher level of existence than living human beings and are believed to be able to bestow either blessings or illness upon their living descendants. According to him, the belief in spirits and ancestors is the most important element of African religions. The characters on the table are then traced and these are said to be written by the god who possessed the chair, these characters are then interpreted. These diviners are initiated and trained in Iha (divination) of either Ominigbon or Oronmila (Benin Orunmila). Monotheism does not reflect the multiplicity of ways that the traditional African spirituality has conceived of deities, gods, and spirit beings. Japanese tarot cards are created by professional artists, advertisers, and fans of tarot. The face is the most commonly analyzed feature, with eye size, pupil shape, mouth shape, and eyebrow shape representing the most important traits. , 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. The first one was as a compendium of ancient cosmic principles. , Personality typing as a form of divination has been prevalent in Japan since the 1980s. It was upheld by prophetic tradition and relied almost exclusively on text, specifically the Qur’an (which carried a table for guidance) and poetry, as a development of bibliomancy. . Some would also say that Gideon also 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; rather, he is communicating with God. Olupona rejects the western/islamic definition of Monotheism or Polytheism and says that such concepts could not reflect the complex African traditions and are simplistic. Oracles could answer more generalized questions, and seers often had to perform several sacrifices in order to get the most consistent answer. Leoni, F, C Gruber, and P Lory. Personality type is increasingly important for young Japanese, who consider personality the driving factor of compatibility, given the ongoing marriage drought and birth rate decline in Japan. The “science of the sand” (‘ilm al-raml), otherwise translated as geomancy, is “based on the interpretation of figures traced on sand or other surface known as tetragrams.” It is a good example of Islamic divination at a popular level. , An import to Japan, Chinese zodiac signs based on the birth year in 12 year cycles (rat, ox, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, cock, dog, and boar) are frequently combined with other forms of divination, such as so-called 'celestial types' based on the planets (Saturn, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Mercury, or Uranus). , Some researchers, including historical ethnolinguist Christopher Ehret, suggest that certain monotheistic concepts, such as the belief in a creator god or force (next to other gods, deities and spirits) are ancient and indigenous among peoples of the Niger-Congo ethnolinguistic family (of much of West Africa and Central Africa) and date to the beginning of their history, in a form substantially different from the monotheism found in Abrahamic religions.  Since, the practice of Japanese tarot has become overwhelmingly feminine and intertwined with kawaii culture. Communicating with God through prayer may in some cases be considered divination; both are open, typically two-way conversations with God. However, divination became viewed as a pagan practice by Christian emperors during ancient Rome. , Traditional African medicine is also directly linked to traditional African religions.  Traditional African religions also have elements of fetishism, shamanism and veneration of relics. "Traditional Religion", in his. Natural phenomena are responsible for providing people with their daily needs. Tezcatlipoca is the patron of sorcerers and practitioners of magic. Among Afro-Asiatic-speakers is henotheism, the belief in one's own gods but accepting the existence of other gods; evil here is caused by malevolent spirits. "Religions of South Africa" pp. The courtly sanction and elite patronage of Muslim rulers benefited astrologers’ intellectual statues.. When there is a positive fall, it is called “Sacred poe”, although the negative falls are not usually taken seriously. Diverse traditional beliefs and practices of African people, Encyclopedia of African Religion (Sage, 2009). The West African central bank (the BCEAO — Banque Centrale des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest) has its headquarters in Benin. The religion of the Yoruba is finding roots in the Islands of the Caribbean and portions of Central and South America. 2016. Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. S. Mbiti, John (1991). In Islamic practice in Senegal and Gambia, just like many other West African countries, diviners and religious leaders and healers were interchangeable because Islam was closely related with esoteric practices (like divination), which were responsible for the regional spread of Islam. The most famous of these is the boy king Tutankhamun’s gold funerary mask, which was placed on his mummy and weighed a whopping 22.5 pounds (10 kilos).  The two Abrahamic religions are widespread across Africa, though mostly concentrated in different areas. The most common act of divination in Taiwan is called the Poe, Bao’an is not the actual name of the village, but for privacy purposes that is what it will be called. , During battle, generals would frequently ask seers at both the campground (a process called the hiera) and at the battlefield (called the sphagia). , Individuals can also assess their own and others' personalities according to physical characteristics. See more ideas about african symbols, african, symbols. 2016. 2016. 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. 2016. Leoni, F, C Gruber, and P Lory. Umewaen: Journal of Benin & Edoid Studies: Osweego, NY. The book contains a divination system comparable to Western geomancy or the West African Ifá system; in Western cultures and modern East Asia, it is still widely used for this purpose. , In Japan, divination methods include Futomani from the Shinto tradition. Traditional healers are common in most areas, and their practices include a religious element to varying degrees. , Although Japan retains a history of traditional and local methods of divination, such as onmyōdō, contemporary divination in Japan, called uranai, derives from outside sources. "Power and Protection: Islamic Art and the Supernatural. Encyclopædia Britannica. The Poe translated to English means “moon boards”. , Divination is widespread throughout Africa. Ancestors can offer advice and bestow good fortune and honor to their living dependents, but they can also make demands, such as insisting that their shrines be properly maintained and propitiated. Schielke, Joska Samuli., and Liza. , From the beginning of Islam, there "was (and is) still a vigorous debate about whether or not such [divinatory] practices were actually permissible under Islam,” with some scholars like Abu-Hamid al Ghazili (d. 1111) objecting to the science of divination because he believed it bore too much similarity to pagan practices of invoking spiritual entities that were not God. 2016. , In Islamic practice in Senegal and Gambia, just like many other West African countries, diviners and religious leaders and healers were interchangeable because Islam was closely related with esoteric practices (like divination), which were responsible for the regional spread of Islam.  The deities and spirits are honored through libation or sacrifice (of animals, vegetables, cooked food, flowers, semi-precious stones and precious metals). The Divinatory meaning of Jade: By acting unselfishly now you are storing goodwill for yourself in the future. , The disadvantage of seers was that only direct yes-or-no questions could be answered. “Negative poe” is seen when the flat sides fall downward and abruptly stop, this indicates "No". If the seer gave consistent answers, the advice was considered valid. , In 692 the Quinisext Council, also known as the "Council in Trullo" in the Eastern Orthodox Church, passed canons to eliminate pagan and divination practices. The traditional healer provides health care services based on culture, religious background, knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs that are prevalent in his community. 33, no. As such, magazines targeted at women in their early-to-mid twenties feature the highest concentration of personality assessment guides. The one edge is rounded while the other is flat; the two are mirror images.  Other scholars justified esoteric sciences by comparing a practitioner to “a physician trying to heal the sick with the help of the same natural principles.”, Divination was a central component of ancient Mesoamerican religious life. In recent times, traditional religions, such as the Yoruba religion, are on the rise. ", —— n.d. "Tantalizing tarot and cute cartomancy in Japan. “Gods, Ghosts, and Ancestors: The Folk Religion of a Taiwanese Village.” The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. Blood type remains a popular form of divination from physiology. That role fell to the seers (Greek: μάντεις).  Dream interpretation was always tied to Islamic religious texts, providing a moral compass to those seeking advice. There are generally no prohibitions against the practice. Among the ... West African masquerades, in particular, belie the generalization that in traditional African cultures there is no such thing as art for art's sake. 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