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Fortuna: The Sacred and Profane Faces of Luck

(1 customer review)

$17.00

Fortuna: The Sacred and Profane Faces of Luck

Traces the history of good fortune traditions from sacred divination to modern gambling

• Reveals how dice were originally considered sacred objects of divination and details the techniques and meanings of a dice oracle

• Looks at medieval grimoires for fortune-telling and other divination traditions, including those using cowrie shells, bones, coins, cards, sticks, and stones

• Examines how dice became a means of gaming and gambling and how gambling gave rise to specialized lucky charms

Some believe that our future is predetermined, while others assert that we have free will and our future can take many different courses depending on our actions. In ancient times, it was believed that the will of the gods determined people’s lives, and divination or sacrifices to the gods could change or improve one’s future. Of the deities devoted to luck and the future, the Roman goddess Fortuna is most famous, having two shrines in Italy where divination was conducted under her guardianship.

Tracing the history of the culture of good fortune from sacred divination to profane gambling, Nigel Pennick explores the many ways people through the centuries have sought to divine the future, ensure protection, and draw the full benefits from days of good omen. He shows how dice were originally considered sacred objects of divination and reveals the divinatory geomancy techniques and meanings of a dice oracle. Exploring how dice became a means of gaming and gambling, Pennick details the forms of trickery and crooked dice used in games of craps by cheating gamblers and the Dream Books that served as oracles for those who played the policy game. In addition to dice, he looks at how cowrie shells, bones, coins, cards, sticks, and stones were used to form meaningful patterns for interpretation and how these cultural divination practices were often accompanied by texts or oral traditions that explained the meanings of the patterns.

Revealing how divination and gambling are two sides of the same coin, Pennick shows how, whether you are a gambler relying on Lady Luck or a diviner querying the gods, we’re all looking to Fortuna in the quest for a better, richer life.

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Weight 9 oz

1 review for Fortuna: The Sacred and Profane Faces of Luck

  1. Laurie Romano (verified owner)

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