“It is perhaps the survival of this mode of divination which makes the good people say, when a branch is disturbed, that they ‘are going to have a visitor.’”  ~Lewis Spence, from An Encyclopedia of Occultism

When U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt’s mother, Sarah Roosevelt, died at the family estate, Hyde Park, right after she breathed her last, the largest tree on the estate fell over with a crash. This form of divination will likely not produce any results close to that dramatic, but startling revelations are possible with xylomancy.

Mentally set to one side for a moment, the deck of Wood Cards I devised—this is true xylomancy. It’s another one of those divination practices so old, no one knows when it started. Slavonia (the eastern part of Croatia) is usually credited with the origin and regular practice of xylomancy. But it’s probably been practiced in one form or another by shamans and medicine people the world over from time immemorial. It can be practiced at any time of the year, but I’m addressing it now, since the northern hemisphere of the planet is in the winter season. Fallen branches, sticks and twigs show more readily on the breast of the new-fallen snow. The trees have shed their leaves, exposing their branches. A bare landscape is the perfect set-up to start learning this old form of divination.