Sortes Sanctorum (Latin) [from sors lot + sanctum holy] Divination of the holy ones; the oracular responses, sayings, or prophecies of the oracles. In a more popular sense, the mere casting of lots, or the attempt to ascertain the future by methods which have been popular throughout the ages. Divination was sometimes resorted to in the early Christian Church, and sanctioned even by Augustine, with the proviso that it must be used only for pure and lofty purposes. One manner probably consisted in picking a passage in holy writ, after praying for divine guidance. In the ancient sanctuaries, however, a genuine divination was practiced by actual seers who based their operations upon mathematics and on the fact that nature foreshadows what is to come to pass, because all her processes are regulated by law, and are consistent sequences of phenomena connected in a causal chain from spiritual originants. Thus the ancient seer or forecaster, taking almost any natural occurrence, or a series of them, could from his trained faculties, forecast what the present series of events in nature were inevitably leading towards. To do this successfully one would have to be a genuine seer, which means employing the awakened intuition and spiritual clairvoyance which lie latent in most human beings.
Drawing the Sortes Sanctorum (Lots of the saints) or Sortes Sacrae (Holy Lots) was a type of divination or cleromancy practiced in early Christianity, derived and adapted from the ancient Roman sortes, as seen in the Greek Sortes Homericae and Roman Sortes Virgilianae.