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See also Prophet, prophecy


Augury, omen, portent, sign

Description of this motif: Signs, portents and omens are numerous in Andersen's fairy tales and stories. There are two main types of omens: omens evoked by experiments, socalled divination (asking the God(s) by, for example, tossing dice. Cf. Picturebook Without Pictures's First Evening), and omens that come unexpectedly, e.g. in a dream.

Example :

On another New Year's Day I went to the tower, and this time Ole talked about the "Skaal" toasts that had been drunk with the change of the old year to the new. Then he gave his story of the glasses, and there was sense in what he said.

"On New Year's Eve when the clock strikes twelve, people rise from the table with freshly filled glasses and drink a toast to the new year. (...)

"You see, the first glass is the glass of health. In it grows the health herb. Stick that into your beam, and by the end of the year you may sit in the arbor of health.