Buffyverse Wiki
Buffyverse Wiki

Divination was the process of gaining insight into future or otherwise unknown events without resorting to innate psychic powers, prophetic dreaming, or visions, instead employing magical tools and resources.


Divination was known to employed by witches,[1] warlocks,[2][3] shamans,[4][5] technopagans,[6] and even non-magic practitioners. Users of divination did not have to possess a large amount of magical knowledge or power to divine successfully, though this could entirely depend on what method they used.

Tara willow magicbox2

Tara reads Willow's palm alongside tarot cards.

For example, Jenny and Drusilla did not identify themselves as witches, but both at one point successfully performed a method of divination (cleromancy[6] and tarot reading,[7] respectivelly). On the other hand, Tara was a long-time practicing witch, but she was unsure in her ability to read palms.[8]

Like other forms of magic, divination could be used to contribute to the addictive effects of magic.[9]





Alomancy involved using salt crystals by casting them into the air and interpreting the patterns that appeared in the air or what landed on the ground.

With Willow's help, Giles tried to use this technique in a locator spell using a sack of kitchen salt over a map surrounded by candles, but found it nonsensical. Willow reminded him that divination spells took patience and focus, something he had taught her, and it would then be trickier due to the change in universal rules.[3]


Casting bones


Cleromancy involved the use of casting lots, bones, and runes, allotting them and using the collected sample to make predictions.

Jenny used casting bones to predict the oncoming chaos caused by Moloch the Corruptor.[6] An unidentified shaman cast bones, which allowed him to foresee the visit he would receive from Darla.[4] This technique also allowed Wo-Pang to foresee Wesley coming to him.[5]

Tarot reading[]

Psy tarot

Tarot reading.

The use of tarot could allow its reader to receive instructions or messages about the future using the images displayed on the cards.

Both witches Willow and Tara owned a deck of cards.[8][9] A psychic hired by Wolfram & Hart also was seen using tarot cards.[10]

In 1997, Drusilla used a deck of tarot cards to predict the order in which each assassin of the Order of Taraka came after Buffy, along with finding the location of the Du Lac Cross in a tomb and discover that Angel was needed for her restoration ritual.[7]

Crystal gazing[]

Tara crystal ball

Crystal gazing.

Aother method of divination involved the use of crystals balls, presumably by gazing into them to see a vision.

The Magic Box sold crystal balls, which, according to Anya, was very popular among amateurs.[11] Giles bought Tara a crystal ball for her birthday despite it being considered cheesy to give to a witch.[12]

Willow and Tara also kept a crystal ball in their room at 1630 Revello Drive that was seemingly smashed to pieces when a demon approached them. However, it turned out it was only an illusion created by the demon when they saw that the ball was still intact.[13] The crystal ball was eventually taken away when Willow wanted to end her magic addiction.[9]


Palm reading


Palmistry was the art of telling another person's fortune by analyzing the lines on their palm.

Tara suggested that the Magic Box hire a real psychic to read customers' fortunes using their palms while Willow suggested that Tara could do that. Tara claimed that she wasn't skilled in palmistry but instead was interested in learning how by observing someone. Willow persuaded Tara to read from her palm, which Tara playfully read it as a "Willow hand" when asked about what she saw.[8]


Amy water gazing


Hydromancy, or water gazing, involved gazing into special water in order to see clairvoyant visions.

Amy used a bowl full of sparkling blue water to see that Buffy and the Slayer Organization drowned in the sea after Twilight's army attacked. However, this vision proved to be false, because they had simply descended into the seas inside a submarine. This was possibly the result of Willow's spell.[1]



Crystal scrying.

Scrying involved the use of a crystal, such as a lodestone, and hovering it over a map. The crystal would be drawn to concentrations of mystical energy in the area represented on the map.

Giles used this method to seek out Pearl and Nash in London. The stone sensed an incredible concentration of mystical energy in Hackney so much that the crystal burst into pieces on the map.[2]

Uses in spell casting[]

Some methods of divination were shown to be used in the casting of some spell. The purpose of using these methods was not necessarily a form of divining, but simply simply a step in the ritual performance.

A deck of tarot cards were used in the enjoining spell to represent the different components in the spell (the heart, the mind, the spirit, the hand). The deck appeared later in Willow and Buffy's dreams when they were manipulated by the First Slayer, cluing them about how the spell was the cause.[14]

The Ritual of Restoration also required the caster to cast stones.[15][16]