Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Divination With The Bible


When I was a kid, I learned two ways to use the Bible for divination purposes. I had no idea at the time (nor did anyone else around me, apparently) that the Bible is simply crammed full to the brim with damning strictures against divination, use of pendulums, dowsing, etc. On the contrary, we figured it must be okay to use the Bible for divination because the Bible is, like, you know, HOLY.

Anyway, the first method I learned was the ever-popular "Bible Dipping" technique, where you posed a question, randomly opened the Bible and (with your eyes closed) pointed to a verse which supposedly gave you Divine Guidance regarding the answer. This worked about as well (and about as clearly) as you might imagine. I can't remember who taught me this form of bibliomancy, but it was probably other kids at school (maybe even at Sunday School, LOL).

The other method was taught to me by one of my aunties and was used to determine that era's all-important and all-consuming question for girls -- "which boy will I marry?" (*gag*) 

To answer this, you needed to hold one of your necklaces over Bible verse Ruth 1:16, which reads --

And Ruth said: Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go, and where thou lodgest, I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.

Then you asked: "will I marry [insert boy's name here]?"

If the necklace pendulum swung in a straight line, the answer was yes. If it swung in a circle, the answer was no. Or perhaps it was vice versa -- who remembers now? Hey, it was decades ago and my memory is not what it used to be.

I noticed, of course, that the Bible verse in question was spoken by one woman to another woman and so how was that really relevant to marital devotion? But this proved to be an issue for another time.


The oscillating pendulum method was also used to determine an unborn baby's gender. I think the same auntie taught me this as well. You didn't use a Bible for it, though. The pregnant woman simply put her wedding ring on a necklace and held it over her belly while asking "will my baby be a boy or a girl?" Straight line oscillation meant "boy" and a circular motion meant "girl." (Note the assumptions from 50+ years ago that every pregnant woman had a wedding ring and only two gender options existed).

So -- did anyone else out there learn these forms of (let's face it) witchcraft when you were young?

45 comments:

LL Cool Joe said...

I'm glad to say no, and I've never heard of it either. As you say it's pure witchcraft.

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Wait, what?
Why didn't anybody tell me that the bible can be FUN???
Well, and now I'm left here wanting to practice all this and not a bible in sight!!!
Darn. Does this mean that I'll have to go get a motel room? Hey, how does one get a bible?
A little help, people!!


XOXO

Mistress Maddie said...

Never heard or learned of any of that. But I tell you...I go to bed with the Bible every night. People are shocked to know that of me. You see, I use it under one of the shorter bed post feet to level the bed out.

Marie Smith said...

I have heard of these practices but never seen them used. Fascinating!

baili said...

Wow knowing that it happened at your part of land as well makes me think that world is big for us the tiny people but for one with great divine plan it is small and runs by same rules.

Yes I remember my mother mentioning something like this and I could never forget that letter from my brother cam right after three days as the man whom she had visited said.

It still happen there.

Linda said...

Haha, yes, I remember that to find out the sexe of a baby! The other "rituals" I don't know. It wouldn't have worked for me, because even if I speak of "my husband", I'm unmarried, never have been married either! It is witchcrafty indeed, those rituals šŸ˜„

Old Lurker said...

As a heathen, I did not learn these Christian practices. But you should not leave us hanging, Debs: which boy did Ruth 1:16 tell you to marry?

pam nash said...

Interesting use of a book. Wonder if ANY book will do??

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Old Lurker -- Blecch, who remembers now? I dodged that bullet anyway. Phew!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ pam nash -- I bet it WOULD work just as well with any other book! I would try the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy myself.

Boud said...

The wedding ring for guessing a baby's sex is familiar. Usually smart people would say girl no matter what it did. Psychology. If the baby was a girl it was right, so there. If a boy, who cares, everyone knows a boy is better.. no complaints either way. Sigh.

I only heard of picking by random stab when it came to race horses. Not very biblical. Also any classic novel. I suspect a lot of preachers do the random stab when it comes to sermon subjects.

Ur-spo said...

If you put a knife under the bed it cut the pain in two.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Ur-spo -- I've never heard that old superstition! The one I was taught is never let knives cross, because that means conflict and bad luck.

Lady M said...

We did levatations as kids - you would message a prostate persons temples while telling them a story of how they died. Then chant about 20 times "stiff as a board light as a feather". The group then tried to lift the person using only their index and middle fingers. It never worked very well but the stories - now those were fun.

Mike said...

Do you remember this bible use?...

"Do you hit a ganglion cyst ('bible bump' on your wrist) with a Bible?
Historical – the bible has been used to hit the ganglion, causing it to burst under the skin. This method is painful, has variable success and a very high recurrence rate and so is no longer recommended!"

I've never had the chance to try this...yet! WHAM!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Lady M -- So cool! Clearly you had great weird friends! A friend and I summoned a spirit using a Ouija Board once when we were about 12. Her name was Natasha and she was very nice, not scary at all. She stayed with us all one summer and then disappeared forever. The Ouija Board never worked for us again after that.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Mike -- Never heard of that one before, but may I just say . . . YIKES!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Lady M -- The spirit's name was Natasha, not my friend's. That wasn't very clear, was it? Anyway, I wrote a post once about the whole experience --

https://shewhoseeks.blogspot.com/2014/10/spooky-ouija-board-fun.html

Frank said...

I went through an iChing phase, but as a young adult...does that count?

Tundra Bunny said...

The only divination method I learned as a kid was if you successfully peeled an apple in one piece and threw that peeling over your left shoulder, it would form the first letter of the boy's name you'd marry. Since I never married either, all those peels were wrong, wrong, wrong!

As far as superstitions go, if you accidentally drop or knock a knife, fork or spoon onto the floor, then your next visitor will arrive from the direction the cutlery is pointing. And crossed knives are bad luck.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Frank -- The only thing more obtuse, obscure and unhelpful than the verses resulting from Bible Dipping is the interpretative answers of the I Ching!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Tundra Bunny -- Oh, the magical divinatory power of cutlery! I've heard of that apple peeling method but not until I was an adult. Needless to say, I never tried it since by then I was dead set against marriage. Nice "Garden of Eden" symbolism though.

Sue Bursztynski said...

I have to admit, I’ve never heard of that use of the Bible, but shouldn’t be surprised. There are so many forms of divination that people have used over the centuries.

And, not divination, but I have recently been reading about a form of magic by which a man can “fascinate” a woman with the use of cheese! If any man wants to fascinate me, I’ll have Camembert, thanks! šŸ˜‚

Joanne Noragon said...

My crew used it for both answers. The ones asking the first question were not the ones asking the second, interestingly.

angela said...

Oh we used to do the wedding band on a chain to see what the baby would be.
I have to admit I never used the bible for divination
When “Christians” tell me divination is evil I remind them that on at least two occasions
The stars were used to predict the birth of a deliverer, Moses, and the savour, Jesus himself
That usually shuts them up for a little while

peppylady (Dora) said...

The so called divination. I find it hypercritical the ones in bible such open the bible and randomly pick verse. Is do different that others. It how one interpret it. No one could give me answer what the different between a medium and prophets.
Coffee is on and stay safe

Lady M said...

Thanks for that link - that was a great story of Natasha! And we did not message we massaged the persons temples. We made up the death stories on the spot - usually based on the persons hobbies or passions. That's how we spent many a girl scout overnight.

Richard said...

Yes i have known people who do that! I even tried it a time or two! I hoped i would get something from Psalms or at least Corinthians. What if i got Leviticus? I would have been well and truly f****d. It does remind me of the I Ching.

roentare said...

This is so hilarious again! Sounds like a candyman kind of tricks too. Fun for sure.

Moving with Mitchell said...

I don't remember ever even opening a bible when I was young... except Gideon's in hotels. My sister was brought up with the understanding that if she ate the last of anything, she would die an old maid.

Quinley said...

I've never used the Bible for divination, however, I have used a pendulum a lot-- just for different reasons. And I've used tarot cards a lot-- I still am learning how to use them though. But it's interesting that people have used the Bible for divination. :)
-Quinley

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is my first time hearing about the Divinations regarding the bible.
I did know about the baby gender guessing game, though, and I was thinking the same thing: Most people were married 50 years ago if they were pregnant.

Anonymous said...

I'll stick with the old Magic 8 Ball! Can't be anymore incorrect, right?

E

Martha said...

What a great post! I love it. And yes, these are forms of witchcraft. HAHAHA I'd never heard of bible divination but the oscillating pendulum over a pregnant woman's belly was practiced in the community. And, of course, a lot of Greek coffee fortune telling, which I mentioned in one of my videos. That was extremely popular. Ancient Greeks practiced many interesting methods of divination but then Christianity came along, and, well... Anyhow, we have some bibles in the house. I'm going to try the "bible dipping" technique just out of curiosity! It would be funny if I ended up pointing at a word like "repent". LOL So fitting...

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

My Bat Mitzvah haftorah (a reading after the Torah portion): "Where you go, I will go. Where you live I will live. Your people will be my people and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die. And there I shall be buried." Heavy stuff. Yes, Ruth says this to Naomi. I didn't think about its meaning until now. Women are the most dedicated of lovers, would you agree?

Another cool thing -when 9/11 happened, I opened my Torah book to a random page for some inspiration. My eyes met "Love thy neighbor as thyself."

That's all my "witchcraft" for now.

Liz Hinds said...

I've heard of the dangling wedding ring over a pregnant belly. And I've tried that 'open the bible to a random page' thing. Which was always totally unhelpful!

Liz Hinds said...

Oh I think I have one of those ganglion cysts. I would never be brave enough to bash it hard enough!

Miss Val's Creations said...

I have heard on pendulum for determining the sex of a baby but not of the other bible centric methods. How funny!

Guillaume said...

yes we did these sorts of things. But most of the witchcraft I ever did was with a daisy.

Fundy Blue said...

This is all news to me, Debra! I used to think of Ruth's statement as a description of true love. Now I find it irritating, because I find patriarchy really irritating.

yellowdoggranny said...

holyshit..no wonder people that still go to church are so fucked up...hahha
like being a pagan..we don't have a book...just don't be a dick.

Adam said...

My boss said his friend's daughter got expelled from a Christian school for witchcraft šŸ§™

Kirk said...

No magic in the Bible, just "miracles."

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I bet there are people who would still put their faith in this kind of hocus-pocus and they probably believe the text in the book too!

Rommy said...

I had never heard about things like this until I was an adult! I grew up Catholic and that had its own traditions though.