The word inauguration originally referred not to the ceremonial transfer of power but to the act of divination that preceded it.

It makes sense that the state, before embarking on a major endeavor such as a war or a change of government, should consult the will of the gods on the matter. The augurs (diviners) take the auguries (omens) to see what the future will bring.

I haven't heard yet what omens the US College of Augurs got today. (Their headquarters is down on the Mall someplace, I think; I'm pretty sure I walked past it a few years ago.) No doubt tomorrow it will be all over the web.

(State augur. Now there's a job I wouldn't mind having. I hear the benefits are great.)

In the meantime, it seems like a good time for us all to be checking the omens.

I always say: All other things being equal, consult divination.

 

Above: Lituus (diviner's tool), Roman, 2nd century BCE (bronze)