What Is Sortilege?

by Craig Shrives
Sortilege is divination (i.e., prediction) by the drawing of lots. Latin provides the origin for this term, which literally means to select fate (sors fate + legere to select). The basic premise implies that the randomness of the draw can shape or lie within the scope of one's destiny.

Applications of similar randomness exist today in the form of lotteries, the dealing of playing cards, selection of those for jury service, and even mixing up doubles partners at one's local tennis club. It must be said that in all of those examples one's fate is governed by choosing to take part in the first place.

A well-known use of modern-day sortilege (or weak management) is 'drawing the short straw' for an onerous or unpopular task.

Mumbo-jumbo meter 8/10 (or 1/6 depending on how many take part!)
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