A team of five-people—one male- and four female-presenting people—at the Getty Museum have taken a crack at using a medieval divinatory method to get some answers about their day-to-day lives. They followed every step of the process, including fasting and ritual purification, and the answers they got in relation to both their near and long-term questions seemed to surprise them. Take a look:
The strictest definition of fasting implies refusing all nutrients; however, art historian and food scholar Christina Normore has argued that medieval fasting simply omitted animal products. Considering that about half of the days on the medieval calendar were “fast” days, it’s very likely that medieval Christians relied on a plant-based diet on these days, while animal products were reserved for feast days. With this in mind, our fast consisted of a vegan diet for the three days leading up to our divination.[…]
We all gathered in the manuscripts study room, a beautiful, naturally lit space with ample dice-rolling room. The book awaited our arrival, propped gently on foam. Each of us took a turn, first stating our question aloud, and then rolling the three dice. The dice were arranged in descending order. Then our fortunes were read aloud from a translation by Dr. Faith Wallis. The book was touched only by Rheagan, who is trained in safe handling of parchment.[…]
The whole process, here, is super interesting, from the decision to attempt this at all, to the historical and anthropological interpretations of what it would have meant to “fast,” in this era, to the necessary reinterpretations of the symbolic language used by the theologians and diviners who put this book together. Though the claim that it “worked” for them is sketchier in some cases than others, the physical, mental, and ritual processes of the Getty team are well worth a read, and I highly recommend reading through it.
The full article can be found at the Getty Blog, here: “We Tried Medieval Divination—And It Worked.” Thanks to Mediapathic for the heads-up.
Songs played while writing this included: Weezer’s “Only In Dreams,” and The Electric Hellfire Club’s “Wired In Blood.”
And if you like divination, keep watch for another Tarot interview, here, soon, and take a look at this week’s edition of the Technoccult News.