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"Many witches and wizards, talented though they are in the area of loud bangs and smells and sudden disappearings, are yet unable to penetrate the veiled mysteries of the future."
Sybill Trelawney[src]

Harry Potter and Ron Weasley unenthusiastically gaze into a crystal ball in Divination class.

Divination is a branch of magic[1] that involves attempting to foresee the future, or gather insights into future events, through various rituals and tools.

Human divination

Witches and wizards who are born with the rare natural gift for prophecy are known as Seers, who can forsee the future with their Inner Eye. Non-Seers can learn divination methods, but their success varies. Divination is taught as an elective subject from the third year on at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.[2]

Learned wizards and witches seem to regard the practice of divination with scepticism. Hermione Granger once described it as "woolly" and "a lot of guesswork,"[3] Minerva McGonagall thought it was "one of the most imprecise branches of magic,"[1] and before he decided to take on Sybill Trelawney as Divination professor at Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore was inclined to scrap the subject altogether.[4]


Silver lime wands had a reputation for performing best for Seers and those skilled in Legilimency.

Centaur divination


Firenze teaching Divination class in 1996.

Centaurs have a way of practising divination distinct from that of humans, apparently mainly based around observing the movement of planets, moons, and stars, which they had been doing for centuries by 1996.[5] It can take up to a decade for centaurs to understand what these celestial portents meant.[5] They may attempt to narrow their prediction of when an event will take place by burning certain herbs, such as sage and mallowsweet, and looking for various shapes and symbols in the fumes.[5]

Centaurs seem to have had a low opinion of human methods of divination. Firenze, who taught Divination at Hogwarts, described what "humans call fortune-telling" as "self-flattering nonsense," and voiced the belief that humans obsess over mundane, day-to-day predictions because they are "blinkered and fettered by the limitations of [their] kind."[5]

Known methods


Notes and references

Professors: Sybill Trelawney · Firenze
Known Seers: Calchas · Cassandra Vablatsky · Cassandra Trelawney · Inigo Imago · Mopsus · Professor Mopsus · Unidentified female Seer · Unidentified male Seer
Textbooks: The Dream Oracle · Unfogging the Future
Methods: Astrology · Cartomancy · Catoptromancy · Crystal-gazing · Crystal ball · Dream interpretation · Fire-omens · Heptomology · Ichthyomancy · Palmistry · Ornithomancy · Tarot cards · Tessomancy
Divination at Hogwarts: Divination (class) · Divination Classroom · Divination staircase · Sybill Trelawney's office · Classroom 11

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