The Fine ART of Fortunetelling combines 2 of my most favorite things - Art and fortunetelling or divination. Divination comes from the Latin word 'divinare' which means to foresee or to be inspired by god(s). It's a way to gain some insight into a question or curiosity by using some age-old method to visualize or foresee future events or maybe just to really see what is in your life at the moment. It's a systematic method that takes seemingly random information and tells a story that in turn can provide some insight into the querent's situation or problem. The person doing the 'divining' interprets how the person with the question should move ahead by reading signs, symbols, visions, or omens using one of these tangible methods.
After researching this, I have come to the conclusion that you can add the suffix -mancy to just about any word and come up with a way to 'foretell' the future. The suffix -mancy, means "divination by means of." It is also related to 'mania' - madness or frenzy. Of course, most people are familiar with the word cartomancy, which means telling fortunes with playing cards. But the words ending in the suffix '-mancy' probably form a list as long as I am tall. Just a few examples; alectryomancy is a form of divination using a bird; gyromancy was done when a person would walk in a circle that was marked with letters until they became dizzy and fell down or stumbled on certain letters, spelling out a prophecy; tephramancy gets its messages in ashes; onychomancy from the study of fingernails in the sunlight; axiomancy from an ax or hatchet; critomancy from barley cakes... well, I'm sure you get the idea. Go ahead try it. How about saltomancy, divination using salt! Oh, oops already been done - alomancy - sounds better using the Greek prefix.
The other thing this tells me is that the ability to tell the future or see beyond what is right in front of us may be an ability in itself and people can use whatever method works for them, the method is just a tool and each person may feel comfortable with a different tool (not unlike an artist.) Some people use a screwdriver to put in a screw, while someone else (me) might be more comfortable using a butter knife. Both get the job done. And maybe you don't really need any of these things, but there is something about being able to touch something, hold it in your hand - it seems to connect heaven and earth, kind of like the Magician card in the Tarot. The Magician is holding one hand up and one down acting as the bridge to bringing ideas into actualization. Again, not unlike something an artist would do.
I like to play with the term 'fortune-teller' – in one sense it can be a fun party game (and yes, I own a turban to wear when reading cards and am still looking for beaded curtains to hang in my 'fortune telling' area. But the other part of me sees it as a tool, a way to go deeper inside myself where I believe the answers to the universe lie when I can connect to it. A way of being able to help to see what 'isn't' there. I think the tools of a card reader, or a palm reader, or a number reader help to see answers to questions about what our place is in this world. I like that there is a tangible tool, something that you can see, that can be held in your hand. That's what all of these 'fortune telling' methods have in common, something that is grounded to the physical plane, something that we can perceive as 'real' that might take us on a journey to something that 'may not be so real.'
So I really want to know - which -mancy do you use? And does it surface somewhere in your art? Leave your reply in the comments and include a photo if you have one.