In "Poor People," anthropologist Andrew Beatty recalls his fieldwork in Indonesia and portrays specific impacts of poverty easily obscured by generalized references to the poor. In "Return to the Field," he evokes what it's like to revisit the two scenes of his earlier research, encounter changes in individuals, families, and social/religious life, and learn the stark facts about how some things turned out. [more inside]
Researchers have decoded more writing on the 2,000-year-old Antikythera mechanism and found it may have an astrological purpose [more inside]
You're a fortune teller living in the Roman Empire. People keep asking you the same damn questions day after day, and it's hard to always come up with new answers. So you invest in a copy of the Oracles of Astrampsychus, a dice-based prophecy kit, containing 92 common questions and over a thousand possible answers. And here they are.
Three thousand years ago, more or less, a Tyrrhenian farmer was working his land when a little boy appeared before the blade of the plow, as suddenly as though he'd risen from below the ground, or had been transformed from a clod of earth. This boy, who was called Tages, had the wizened face of an old man and the gift of prophecy, and he immediately began to speak on how the future might be discovered. The twelve Etruscan peoples gathered around to listen to him and write down his teachings, from which two schools of divination would develop: haruspicy (the future read in the livers of sheep) and brontoscopy (the future read in thunder.) Translated excerpts from a brontoscopic calendar, which assigns meaning to thunder on every day of the lunar year, may be found here.
Never Too Early Movie Predictions: "Quite possibly the earliest Oscar predictions on the web. Predictions are currently being made through 2017!"
Wheel of Misfortune: The Zodiac of Horror. Austin Coppock gets freaky and fun with archetypes found within the horror genre and astrology.
Cards of Wu. A series of woodcuts in the form of a fictitious deck of divination cards by Ellis Nadler. They're available to buy online as high quality digital prints. [Via]
Urim and Thummim were a mystical medium used by ancient Israelites to divine God's will and, according to some interpretations, to distinguish sinners from non-sinners. Todd Walker believes he has found the Urim and Thummim (in a Goodwill Superstore in Nashville, TN). He would like to share this miracle with you. Quicktime trailer
A small gallery of talking boards and planchettes by various artists. (Warning: navigation is somewhat clunky.) [more inside]
The Victoria Regina Tarot, assembled from steel and wood engravings from nineteenth-century illustrations, now has an online reading generator with several original spreads.
Need to know the future? Try a little haruspicy. Full details, including a script in Greek, here (don't worry, they use an egg). For the animal rights activist, there's a cruelty-free method.