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Russian folk catoptromancy by Karl Briullov, 1836

Catoptromancy (Gk. κάτοπτρον, katoptron, "mirror," and μαντεία, manteia, "divination"), also known as captromancy or enoptromancy, is divination using a mirror.

Pausanias, an ancient Greek traveler, described as follows:

Before the Temple of Ceres at Patras, there was a fountain, separated from the temple by a wall, and there was an oracle, very truthful, not for all events, but for the sick only. The sick person let down a mirror, suspended by a thread till its base touched the surface of the water, having first prayed to the goddess and offered incense. Then looking in the mirror, he saw the presage of death or recovery, according as the face appeared fresh and healthy, or of a ghastly aspect.

In Ancient Rome, the priests who used catoptromancy were called specularii.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sadowski, Piotr (23 September 2009). From Interaction to Symbol: A systems view of the evolution of signs and communication. John Benjamins Publishing Company. p. 152. ISBN 9789027288905. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Armand Delatte, La catoptromancie grecque et ses dérivés (1932)

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catoptromancy — Please support Wikipedia.
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6 news items

Dread Central

Dread Central
Fri, 09 Oct 2015 12:48:46 -0700

Bloody Mary is an act of catoptromancy, or using a mirror for divination. Repeatedly speaking the name “Bloody Mary” while staring into a mirror in a dimly lit room is said to conjure an apparition. If that's not scary enough, the legend says that the ...

Creative Loafing Tampa

Creative Loafing Tampa
Wed, 18 Feb 2015 14:06:52 -0800

MINER PROBLEMS: A hit on the fringe festival circuit, Butcher Holler Here We Come from Brooklyn's Aztec Economy arts collective comes to the Silver Meteor Gallery this Thursday through Saturday. Crammed into a crawlspace following a coal mine collapse ...


Tue, 10 Sep 2013 19:48:45 -0700

Catoptromancy (a form of divination using a mirror) uses live CCTV feeds from the shopping centre itself to form its ever-changing and collapsing images. This is the first collaboration from Perk and Rowe, who are both preoccupied with the ways in ...

The Quietus

The Quietus
Fri, 30 Oct 2009 18:05:47 -0700

It zooms in on the interstitial bizarre, the psychic labyrinths beneath the pop surface; chance happenings, channelled identities, orgies, séances, catoptromancy and drug rituals all sit naturally in its world. Perhaps the most impressive quality of ...

Valley News

Valley News
Fri, 30 Mar 2012 12:37:42 -0700

MURRIETA – After 17 rounds and three tense hours on stage, Shruti Amin, an eighth-grader from Thompson Middle School in Murrieta, correctly spelled “brockage” (a coin that has been minted incorrectly) on Wed., March 21, to win the 35th Annual Riverside ...

Valley News

Valley News
Fri, 04 Feb 2011 16:29:17 -0800

A sixth grade Luiseno Elementary School student was the winner of a recent Gordon Keifer Memorial Spelling Bee Contest, held at the school Jan. 26. Micaela Bastianelli took first place after spelling “sabbatical” and “scullion” correctly. She is now ...

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