The space created by the temple, for augury, originally, appears to have been in order to better observe the flight of birds across the sky. To afford them focus and meaning.
Their point of origin, the direction of travel, and the type, and number, of the birds seen being instrumental in formulating a reading, or answer, to a particular question.
Winged creatures, the world over, were once regarded as a symbol for spirituality and, as such, were deemed to be acceptable indicators of the divine will.
The practice of taking auguries later degenerated into animal sacrifice and the examination of animal entrails in order to ascertain this same divine will?
It is difficult to fathom what prompted this change.
Animal and human sacrifices have, it seems, always been acceptable as propitiatory offerings to the gods of barbaric tribes and nations, and at some point these two practices must have become irrevocably mixed…
The notion of ‘time’, in bird, or animal, auguries plays a double role.
The augury usually takes place at a particular time which is deemed significant, to those seeking the augury – a feast day, or a calendar threshold, or a marriage, or a sporting event, or the eve of a battle.
The augury circumvents the normal processes of linear time by predicting an auspicious, that is, a good, or inauspicious, that is, a bad, outcome for the people involved in the event at which the augury is taken, or to which it is directed.
The basis for a belief in the possible efficacy of such rites is simple enough to formulate –
‘All things inform each other, and all things act in conformity with this continuity.’…
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