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The Art of Divination: Practices From Around…

The Art of Divination: Practices From Around the World

by Didier Blau

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This has instructions for divination games based on cultures ranging from the European Tarot to the Chinese I Ching and modern New Age numerology, with varying levels of appropriativeness.

It's a very pretty and well-designed book, and it includes some divination systems that I haven't seen explicated anywhere else. Unfortunately, it also doesn't give any citations and has almost no context for any of them, so I'm not sure I have any reason to believe they were actually used culturally in anything like the way the book describes them. Also, it's very clear from the methods I *do* know something about that this book is making very little effort to reproduce anything like the complexity or significance or, you know, actual meaning of any of the systems it describes. And then there's the errors, like the place where the color blue is labelled "Pink" and the place where the months of year go "jan, feb, mar, apr, mar, jun", which makes me doubt the accuracy in places where the mistakes would be less blatantly obvious.

That said, it gets three stars because if you are interested in making decisions based on a combination of semi-random choices and personal interpretation of vague descriptions, it has a good variety of those, and they are all set out in such a way that you can play them with nothing but the book, a few coins, and a paper and pencil, and they're kind of entertaining. So as a gamebook rather than a book that contains information it's not bad. ( )
  melannen | Jan 1, 2016 |
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