I can’t imagine why the Catholic Encyclopedia allows entries to be published by people who have absolutely no knowledge of the subject. The entry on divination is a good example of this.
“From a theological standpoint divination supposes the existence of devils who have great natural powers and who, actuated by jealousy of man and hatred of God, ever seek to lessen his glory and to draw man into perdition, or at least to injure him bodily, mentally, and spiritually.”
Um, no. Those who are adept at different methods of divination suppose no such thing. There is no supposition regarding jealousy or hatred involved in it. Devils, whatever they may be, have no part in the practice of divination. The foundation of divination is scientifically sound and natural in application. Note that using a divining rod has long been an accurate means of finding water below the surface of the land and it has nothing to do with divine beings or evil spirits.
“Divination is not, as we have seen, foretelling what comes from necessity or what generally happens, or foretelling what God reveals or what can be discovered by human effort, but it is the usurpation of knowledge of the future, i.e. arriving at it by inadequate or improper means.”
No one and nothing can reveal complete knowledge of the future. We can only divine one possible future, because the future is not set. Thus the use of divining and/or scrying is to provide the seeker with information so that s/he can use it to make the best possible decisions that will impact that future. Not only are methods of divination used today adequate, they have been proven to be reliable again and again.
“This knowledge is a prerogative of Divinity and so the usurper is said to divine. Such knowledge may not be sought from the evil spirits except rarely in exorcisms. Yet every divination is from them either because they are expressly invoked or they mix themselves up in these vain searchings after the future that they may entangle men in their snares.”
Complete and utter nonsense… Divination does not belong to one group only, and it is not used for the purpose of entangling men in snares. It recognizes no ‘evil spirits’ and is used to help us make wise decisions and recognize pitfalls before they beset us. This source [CE] completely ignores the power of the mind and how it relates to psychic phenomena. Anyone can practice divination to enhance their lives, with or without divine participation.
The Book of Divination, by Ann Fiery
The Art and Practice of Geomancy, Divination, Magic, and the Wisdom of the Renaissance, by John Michael Greer
The Complete Book of Psychic Arts: Divination Practices from Around the World, by Caroline Dow
The Magic Mirror: Divination through the Ancient Art of Scrying, by John Nelson
Divination for Beginners: Reading the Past, Present & Future, by Scott Cunningham
The Llewellyn Complete Book of Psychic Empowerment, by Carl Weschcke and Joe Slate
Futuring: The Exploration of the Future, by Edward Cornish
NOTE: In these books one will not find a single reference to relying on ‘evil spirits’ or ‘demons’ in the practice of divination.
“The demon is invoked tacitly when anyone tries to acquire information through means which he knows to be inadequate, and the means are inadequate when neither from their own nature nor from any Divine promises are they capable of producing the desired effect.”
Again, the notion that demons are invoked as part of the process of divination is completely false. There is nothing inadequate in the methods of divination used today. Even children can divine through many natural venues.
“Since the knowledge of futility belongs to God alone, to ask it directly or indirectly from demons is to attribute to them Divine perfection, and to ask their aid is to offer them a species of worship; this is superstition and a rebellion against the providence of God Who has wisely hidden many things from us.”
No, it does not belong to someone’s particular god only. I know a great deal about divination and on no occasion has involvement with ‘demons’ or ‘evil spirits’ been part of it. In fact it doesn’t require the influences of any divine entity to work it. To claim there is only one form of divination and that it is theirs alone is the sin of pride. If a group wants to rely on only one source, their god, that is fine, but to attribute all others to some non-existent ‘demon’ or ‘evil spirit’ is an attempt to mislead serious seekers.
There are no claims of perfection in any form of divination. And the reference to superstition is pretty odd coming from one of man’s religions that relies heavily on it.
“In pagan times when divining sacrifice was offered it was idolatry, and even now divination is a kind of demonolatry or devil worship (d’Annibale). All participation in such attempts to attain knowledge is derogatory to dignity of a Christian, and opposed to his love and trust in Providence, and militates against the spread of the Kingdom of God.”
Sacrifice was used not only in Pagan religions, but also in early Christianity and Judaism and is irrelevant with regard to divination. If your particular religion wants to teach divination is a form of idolatry, no problem, but to suggest that others not affiliated with that specific religion use divination that is associated with a ‘devil’ is a lie intended to mislead. Divination does not oppose love of any kind and does not mitigate against the spread of any cult’s kingdom.
“Any method of divination with direct invocation of spirits is grievously sinful, and worse still if such intervention ensues; with tacit invocation divination is in itself a grievous sin, though in practice, ignorance, simplicity, or want of belief may render it venial.”
Oh, for Pete’s sake, the invocation of spirits is exactly what Christianity relies on, specifically one particular god. Some of them even rely upon the spirits of real people who have died whom they refer to as saints. Bottom line: if it is a sin for you, don’t do it.
Beware the hypocrisy of religions of man that condemn what others do but engage in it themselves and justify it by calling it prophecy rather than divination.