We look at some of the more uncommon types of divination
Other types of Divination:
Aeromancy – The divination of the future from the air and sky by means of using cloud formations, comets and other celestial events such as eclipses.
Alectryomancy – This form of divination involved the use of a black hen that would pick grains of corn from a circle of letters and as such, forming words with prophetic significance.
Aleuromancy – This form of divination involved slips of paper with answers on them being rolled up in balls of dough and baked. They are then mixed up and one is chosen at random, whereupon the prophecy written on the slip will then be supposedly fulfilled. Fortune cookies are a survival of this ancient ritual.
Alomancy – Divination by means of salt, which is where some of our modern superstitions come from.
Alphitomancy – A form of divination which utilises special cakes that are only digestible by people with a clear conscience.
Anthropomancy – An ancient and long outlawed form of human sacrifice.
Apantomancy – This method uses forecasts from chance meetings with animals, birds and other creatures. Some modern superstitions such as “A black cat crossing your path” are said to derive from this form of divination.
Arithmomancy – Commonly known as Numerology, this form of divination applies to the values placed on numbers and letters.
Astragyromancy – Divination with dice bearing letters and numbers. It has evolved into the modern practice of fortune telling by dice.
Astrology – Divination by means of drawing conclusions from the positions and relationships in the starts and planets. This is still practised today.
Austromancy – Divination by studying the winds.
Belomancy – This is one of the most ancient forms of divination and required the balancing or tossing of arrows.
Bibliomancy – Divination by books.
Capnomancy – Divination by the study of smoke rising from a fire.
Cartomancy – Divination by cards. Tarot is a form of cartomancy.
Catoptromancy – An early form of crystal gazing, utilising a mirror which was turned to the Moon to catch the lunar rays.
Cephalomancy – Divination using the skull of a donkey or goat.
Ceroscopy – A form of divination in which melted wax is poured into cold water and drawing interpretations from the bubbles formed.
Chiromancy – Divination from the lines of a person’s hand. Palmistry is a variant.
Cleromancy – Divination by casting of pebbles or other objects. Runestones could come under this classification.
Clidomancy – Divination through a dangling key which answers questions based on swinging patterns. Pendulum divination may have been derived from this.
Crystallomancy – A term for crystal gazing.
Cyclomancy – Divination through a turning wheel.
Geomancy – Divination through tracing patterns in the ground and interpreting them based on standard accepted patterns. A forerunner to doodling.
Gyromancy – Divination performed by people walking around a circle of letters until they got dizzy and stumbled at certain points, thus ‘spelling out’ a prophecy.
Hydromancy – Divination through water, such as the colour, its ebb and flow, or the ripples produced by dropping a pebble into a pool. Tea Leaf readings stem from this.
Lithomancy – Divination through use of different coloured precious stones scattered on a flat surface with meanings given to each. Whichever one reflected the light most was chosen and its meaning was used.
Onieromancy – Divination through the study of dreams.
Pyromancy – Divination through fire. Powdered substances are thrown on a fire and if they kindle quickly then it’s taken as a good sign.
Rhabdomancy – Divination by means of a wand or stick. Very ancient in origin, but the divining or dowsing rod is thought to come from this.
Sciomancy – A term for divination gained through the aid of spirits (metaphysical rather than alcoholic).
Xylomancy -Divination through pieces of wood being picked up at random and their shaped being interpreted.