On the subject of prophecies, men are accustomed to take differing viewpoints. Some say that the predictions of oracles and diviners mean nothing at all, and should be counted as so much nonsense: any “true” predictions they make are solely the result of blind coincidence. Others say that they have independent value as evidence of our imaginative capacity; and that prophecies are, more or less, records of our psychological projections and subconscious desires. Still others believe that they should be seen more as predictions of what might happen, rather than statements of what will happen. As in so many other things, it will be the responsibility of each reader to decide for himself. But it seems to me that we should at least acknowledge that such practices have been around for millennia, and that they are found across the globe within nearly every society and culture.