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The term is from the Latin provideo, meaning "to foresee"; Providentia meant divinatory magic. It was the personification of prophetic or mantic talents, a quality which enabled ancients matriarchs to "provide" for their families by foreknowledge of the stars and seasons, agriculture and food storage. According to Christian usage, Providence was sometimes synonymous with God, but many mystics defined Providence as a female deity. A.G.H.
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