Divination

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Fludd's Synopsis of the Divinatory Arts
Fludd's Synopsis of the Divinatory Arts
The English astrologer and mystic Robert Fludd was known for his writings about metaphysical knowledge and astrology, which he illustrated with startlingly-beautiful engravings. This image from the second volume of his masterwork, the Utriusque Cosmi (1619-1621), shows a wheel, with the Ape of Nature at the center, and man at the top. The wheel is divided into seven sections, all representing different kinds of divination, including prophecy, the art of memory, and palmistry. Young magicians studying up on this last divinatory science, take note: don't mix up the lines on your instructor's hand, or you may just predict she died the previous Tuesday, as Harry did.   
Ketham's Zodiac Man
Ketham's Zodiac Man
"What's your sign?" seems the obvious question for this embattled gent, who has a zodiac sign hanging from every conceivable limb. The figure can be found in the Fasciculus Medicinae, a popular late-fifteenth-century compendium of medical treatises from Greek and Arabic medical texts that was published in many editions (we have five). Ketham's "Zodiac Man" embodies the medieval and early Renaissance belief that parts of the body were governed by astrological signs. The planets gave order to the seemingly random courses of health and illness. Your Divination lessons may not connect the dots so specifically from sign to body part, but we've heard tales of Hogwarts professors warning of Mars for fear of burns and accidents, and Saturn
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"What's your sign?" seems the obvious question for this embattled gent, who has a zodiac sign hanging from every conceivable limb. The figure can be found in the Fasciculus Medicinae, a popular late-fifteenth-century compendium of medical treatises from Greek and Arabic medical texts that was published in many editions (we have five). Ketham's "Zodiac Man" embodies the medieval and early Renaissance belief that parts of the body were governed by astrological signs. The planets gave order to the seemingly random courses of health and illness. Your Divination lessons may not connect the dots so specifically from sign to body part, but we've heard tales of Hogwarts professors warning of Mars for fear of burns and accidents, and Saturn, for a diminutive stature.
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Leo, <em>Astronomicae Veteres</em>
Leo, Astronomicae Veteres
Master printer and innovator Aldus Manutius produced some of the finest early books printed in Venice. His extraordinary collection, the Scriptores Astronomici Veteres, included four astronomical texts that date from the Hellenistic period through imperial Rome. This star-studded Leo is one of many constellations illustrating the Greek poet Aratus's Phaenomena, one of the few illustrated works produced by the Aldine Press (they're modeled on earlier woodcuts produced by another Venetian printer, Erhard Ratdolt for his star atlas in 1482). Leo has special resonance for Hogwarts students as the sign of both Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling herself: both were born on July 31, and the lion is the regal animal behind Harry's house
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Master printer and innovator Aldus Manutius produced some of the finest early books printed in Venice. His extraordinary collection, the Scriptores Astronomici Veteres, included four astronomical texts that date from the Hellenistic period through imperial Rome. This star-studded Leo is one of many constellations illustrating the Greek poet Aratus's Phaenomena, one of the few illustrated works produced by the Aldine Press (they're modeled on earlier woodcuts produced by another Venetian printer, Erhard Ratdolt for his star atlas in 1482). Leo has special resonance for Hogwarts students as the sign of both Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling herself: both were born on July 31, and the lion is the regal animal behind Harry's house. Hail, Gryffindor! 
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Schott's Centaur
Schott's Centaur
Gaspar Schott's grimacing centaur looks like he may topple over from the weight of the world on his shoulders...or is that the weight of the heavens? When the centaurs of the Forbidden Forest are first introduced in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, they seem too consumed with star-gazing to worry much about the big school on the hill. That changes when the centaur Firenze is coaxed to teach Divination. Schott, a German Jesuit (Athanasius Kircher was Dumbledore to his Harry) published his Physica curiosa (1662), an astonishing compilation of stories and illustrations about strange births and fantastic creatures.