Welcome! My name is Professor Swithun, and I am your new professor of Divination here at Hogwarts is Here. Professor Cattercorn formerly led this course; therefore, you will find references to her in Years Two through Five. You may notice some minor edits here and there, but rest assured that you will not be held responsible for any of these small changes on your assignments and exams. I will strive to keep this transition as cohesive as possible. I have exciting plans for Years Six and Seven! I’m working hard to have Year Six prepared and published as soon as possible.


My lovely group of PAs and I are happy to answer any questions or concerns about the course. If you have a question about grading, please send an owl that includes the grade ID for that assignment and why you are appealing. Please be respectful (and remember that we are all volunteers!)


If you have any areas of interest related to Divination that you’d like to learn more about in the upcoming curriculum, now is your chance to voice your ideas! I love to hear from students, and questions, constructive comments, and suggestions are all welcome. My office door is always open to accept owls.


See you in class!


(updated 01/18/2022)

Lesson 1) Intro to Body Divination

The fourth year students begin to file in for their first lesson on a new area of Divination and are met by a peculiar sight.  Professor Cattercorn is standing off to the side of the room, in front of a mirror, and has a most peculiar look on her face. She seemed to be looking at her own reflection, but not, at the same time.  As she came to a conclusion, which was lost and unknown to the students, she covered the mirror in a sheet of silver and turned to the assembly.

Welcome back, Year Four students. I am glad to see each and every one of you have decided to further develop your second sight abilities. I am sad to see that not everyone who was in the previous two years has returned, but I will not be discouraged! The fine art of divination is a talent that not every witch and wizard possess. I hope that everyone had a spectacular break from your studies and that you are all refreshed and ready to go about business as usual.

My own holiday was an interesting affair!  As some of you may be aware, I came to this position from a post at the Ministry within the Department of Mysteries.  Now I see a lot of hands going up.  No, I will not tell you what we do within the Department and, even as a correspondent to the department now with my professorship at Hogwarts, sometimes I am still asked to assist.  What I can tell you is that we discovered a very unique, black mirror.  As you may be aware, a mirror is used for scrying.  Some can argue that this method is similar to crystal gazing, or crystallomancy if you will.  For those of you that continue to stick with me until your Sixth Year, we will get more in detail on this topic.  Suffice it to say this mirror was exquisite.  Not only was it capable of showing future events, but it also allowed the individual the ability to visit those events.  This technique is not unlike the function of a pensieve or, for those that recall recent wizarding history, the diary of Tom Riddle.

Unfortunately, the mirror fell into the hands of a Muggle who fancied himself a practitioner of dark magic and subsequently had to have his memory modified so that he did not remember the object at all. The mirror now resides in the Department of Mysteries for further study. Personally, I would have given my left foot to have the artefact and bring it in to show you, but the Ministry does not take payment in feet and once I helped them research its origins, I was swiftly sent back to the castle. Now that I have had time to tell you a little about my time away from Hogwarts, it’s time to settle into this year's lessons, which unfortunately, do not include black mirrors.

The Art of Reading the Figure
For many centuries, the greatest of the great of those who practice divination have relied on a branch of the art called body divination. Body divination, also known as somatomancy, is the practice of reading someone's past, present, and future solely based upon how the person looks. A lot of you may be wondering how this may be done. How can you look at someone and be able to tell what their future is? The answer is quite simple. There are no two people exactly alike, even identical twins have their differences. As such, each of us are born with different markings, lines, and other such physical marks that set us apart from one another.

Take a look at palm reading for instance: from the lines of one's palm we are able to divine certain things about that person's past, present, or future. The same can be done with creases in the forehead, moles, freckles, hairlines, and the list goes on and on. This year, we are going to focus solely on divining the physical appearance of a person. This may sound kind of dull to some of you, but I assure you that there is much to learn from one’s physical appearance and once you learn some of the basics you will want to research and learn all that you can. When a person comes to you and asks you questions regarding their future, you will find it easier to answer solely from examining their body.

Pictured to the right is an image of the palm reading of Marilyn Monroe, one of America’s biggest stars in the 1960’s. By the end of the class you will be able to do more than just read palms, you will be capable of identifying characteristics from that well-known mole on her face too.


What is to Come
This year, we will be focusing on various forms of divination that can be performed by examining physical features and body parts. We will first focus on palmistry and many of its numerous offshoots, as palmistry is one of the necessary building blocks of any seer’s education. One we have closed that topic, we will move on to an assortment of other physical forms of divination. There is quite a wide range this year; there are ancient practices next to modern ones, and out-of-date forms alongside very reputable ones. This is because the history of divination is equally important as the actual practices described. As I keep telling you, much of divination is still unknown, and just because a practice has been discredited or fallen out of favor does not mean there is nothing it can teach us about the future!

Other than palmistry and its multiple forms, we will be looking at the study of the feet, moles, wrinkles on the forehead, the skull, the eyes, as well as the body as a whole. As with previous years, there will be times that we can not go into as much detail as I would like. Divination is meant to be a broad look at multiple disciplines that allows you to find your niche. This year is no exception! Each of these topics is a study unto itself, and many of the lessons are already quite long without going over each facet in depth. Because of this, some lesson will only cover part of the material, and will include supplementary resources should you wish to pursue that form in more detail. On a similar topic, some of them we will not be going into too much detail at all, or even practicing, but I still would like to give you a history of it and go over what it is generally. Below you will see the jam-packed syllabus for this year that promises to be full of  a whole lot of information.

Lesson One

Intro to Body Divination


Lesson Two

Palmistry Basics

Quiz, Essay

Lesson Three

Palmistry: A More Detailed Look


Lesson Four



Lesson Five


Midterm: Test and Essay

Lesson Six

Metoposcopy and Moleosophy

Quiz, Essay

Lesson Seven

Phrenology and Cephalonomancy

Quiz, Essay (EC)

Lesson Eight

Podomancy and Oculomancy


Lesson Nine


Final: Test and Essay

Body Background
Each year, I do my best to explain some of the mysteries behind the workings of divination. It is one thing to say that your Inner Eye does all the work, but quite another to explain how. This year, we have an incredibly wide range of divinatory techniques to explain and I will not have time (nor would you want me) to discuss the magical theory separately. Fortunately, the types of divination in this group operate in a similar way. Many of these practices can partially be practiced without any magical ability at all, if the Muggle in question studies, practices, and memorizes quite a bit of information. However, as you should know, they are really impossible to do properly without magical ability -- and indeed, the second sight. Without magic, they are little more than educated guesses. The body can give clues and hints, just as cards or runes do, and a good reader takes those hints and combines them, using the guidance their ability gives them in order to form conclusions and make predictions.

In terms of how this year fits into the spectrum of study, body divination is another step in the process of weaning ourselves off of tools and relying more on our Inner Eye. It is similar to astrology, which we studied at the end of last year. It may seem contradictory to compare the two, as astrology seems rather abstract when compared to using a person’s physical presence to divine the future. However, both have finally moved away from narrowing the intent of the magic and lack the pseudo-incantations that runecasting and tarot reading do. Just like with astrology, this needs to be compensated for with study, as well as a healthy dose of intuition. Knowing all of the meanings won’t help you a lick if you don’t have the instinct or intuition as to how it combines to make a full picture.

Key Terms
For the final part of this  theory-based lesson, we will wrap up by giving you an idea of what each of these terms (or forms of divination) mean. On their own, these long complicated words can appear quite daunting or, at the very least, confusing. Taking time to do this serves the additional benefit of having all the definitions for these forms of divination all in one place and freeing up our time later in the year.

First, we’ll start off with cephalonomancy. Like phrenology which we will also discuss, cephalonomancy is concerned with a method of divination involving the skull. This is an ancient form of divination in which the skull of a donkey or goat is heated or boiled after which point a reading of the cracks within the skull is performed. We’ll get into why that is and where this practice started later in the year!

Along the same vein, phrenology is the study and divination of lumps and indentations in one’s skull. This can help determine certain characteristics and future. While it is no longer practiced, it is still interesting background information.

Chiromancy is also known as palmistry or palm reading -- but not to be confused with chirognomy (which we will discuss in a moment). Chiromancy is the art of reading one’s past, present, or future in the lines and wrinkles of the participant's hand. The lines identified vary depending on the level of expertise of the reader.

Chirognomy is an offshoot of chiromancy, discussed just a moment ago. Like chiromancy, it deals with the hand but differs in the method of reading it. With chirognomy, you are reading the hand itself as opposed to the lines in the palm. Hands differ in size, shape, finger length, etc. Through these differences we can ascertain certain characteristics that a person may or may in the future possess.

Like both chiromancy and chirognomy, onychomancy deals with the hand. The differentiating factor with this kind of reading lies in the use of reading fingernails instead of general hand characteristics and description or the lines on the palm.

A counterpart to palmistry, podomancy refers to reading the lines in the soles of one’s feet and other foot features.

To move on to a different domain of the body, metoposcopy is a form of divination that divines one’s characteristics, traits, and future in the lines etched into one’s forehead. If you don’t have many yet, don’t worry -- you will!

This next one is quite a bit easier to guess than the others. Moleosophy is a form of divination in which the moles found on the body are read to determine characteristics of a person and how they react with the world around them. It is also useful for determining one’s future. Moles used for this type of reading are usually constrained to the head, but not always.

Oculomancy is a form of divination in which the practitioner gazes intensely into the eyes of a person and divine one’s past, present, and/or future through the reflections within. This is a form of scrying, similar to that of crystal ball gazing, a topic which will be covered in much more detail in Year Six.

Lastly, we have physiognomy. This is known as the art of reading someone’s facial expressions, features, or body structure. This form of divination is one of the forms covered this year that comes the closest to being successfully practiced by non-magical folk, though a dash of magical intuition and listening to your own Inner Eye is certainly an advantage.

With those definitions out of the way, we are free to move onto the details in the following lessons. Enjoy this short first lesson, students! For now, please study the above terms and commit them to memory, as they will be key to understanding the lessons to come. I hope that this year will be full of fun for all of you and I am extremely excited to start it! Until next time, I have prepared a quiz to keep your minds fresh about the upcoming material. Fair fortune!


Original lesson written by Professor Otto Umbridge
Additional portions written by Professor Venita Wessex
Image credits here


In Year Four of Divination, we will be exploring the various methods of physical divination. Enter, and discover more than you thought possible from one glance at the person across the room.
Course Prerequisites:
  • DIV-301

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