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This article is about the numerous varieties of divination. For divination as a whole, see Divination.

Innumerable methods of divination can be found around the world, and many cultures practice the same methods under different names. During the Middle Ages, scholars coined terms for many of these methods — some of which had hitherto been unnamed — in Medieval Latin, very often utilizing the suffix -mantia when the art seemed more mystical (ultimately from Greek mantis, prophet) and the suffix -scopia when the art seemed more scientific (ultimately from Greek skopein, to observe). Names like drimimantia, nigromantia, and horoscopia turned up, along with a slew of other esoteric (and distinctly Medieval) "sciences" such as phrenology and physiognomy.

Of course, some forms of divination are much older than the Middle Ages, like haruspication, while others (such as megapolisomancy or coffee-based tasseomancy) are born of the 20th and 21st century.

A[edit]

An arithmancer from Atalanta Fugiens (1618), by Michael Maier

B[edit]

C[edit]

D[edit]

E[edit]

  • electromancy: by lightning and electricity (Greek ilektros electric + manteia prophecy)
  • eleomancy/elaeomancy: by oil (Greek elaion, olive oil + manteia, prophecy)
  • emonomancy → see demonomancy[citation needed]
  • empirimancy: by experiment/experience
  • empyromancy /ɛmˈpaɪərmænsi/: by burning (Greek empurios, fiery + manteia, prophecy)
  • enochian chess: by playing a four·handed variant of the game
  • enoptromancy /ɛˈnɒptrmænsi/ → see scrying (Greek enoptron, looking glass + manteia, prophecy)
  • enthusiasm: speeches by those supposed to be possessed by a divine spirit [3]
  • entomomancy/entomancy: by insects (Greek entomon, insect + manteia, prophecy)
  • eromancy /ˈɛrmænsi/: by water vessels exposed to air (Greek āēr, air + manteia, prophecy) — cf. aeromancy
  • extispicy/extispication /ɛkˈstɪspsi/: by the remains of sacrificed animals (Latin exta, entrails + specere, to look at)

F[edit]

G[edit]

H[edit]

I[edit]

J[edit]

  • Jyotish Vedic system of astrology

K[edit]

L[edit]

M[edit]

N[edit]

O[edit]

P[edit]

  • pallomancy: by pendulums (Greek pallein, to sway + manteia, prophecy)
  • palmistry/palm reading → see somatomancy (Latin palma, palm)
  • papyromancy: by folding paper, especially paper money (Greek papūros, papyrus paper + manteia, prophecy)
  • pedomancy → see somatomancy (from podomancy, influenced by Latin pēs [pēd-], foot)
  • pegomancy: by fountains (Greek pēgē, spring + manteia, prophecy)
  • pessomancy: by pebbles (Greek pessos, oval pebble + manteia, prophecy)
  • pecthimancy/petchimancy: by brushed cloth (possibly akin to Greek pekein, to card wool, or pēktē, netting + manteia, prophecy)
  • phobomancy: by feelings of fear (Greek phobos, fear + manteia, prophecy)
  • photomancy: by fields of light (Greek phōs [phōt-], light + manteia, prophecy)
  • phrenology (also organoscopy): by the configuration of one's brain (Greek phrēn, mind + -logiā, study)
  • phyllomancy: by leaves (Greek phullon, leaf + manteia, prophecy)
    • sycomancy: by fig leaves (Greek sūkon, fig + manteia, prophecy)
    • tasseography/tasseomancy (also kypomancy): by tea leaves or coffee grounds (French tasse, cup + Greek -graphiā, representation)
  • phyllorhodomancy: by rose petals (Greek phullon, leaf + rhodon, rose + manteia, prophecy)
  • physiognomy/physiognomancy: by faces (Greek phusis, nature + -gnōmoniā, interpretation)
  • phytognomy: by the appearance of plants (Greek phuton, plant + -gnōmoniā, interpretation)
  • plastromancy: by cracks formed by heat on a turtle's plastron (English plastron + manteia, prophecy)
  • pilimancy: by observing the patterns produced by a collection of human hair.
  • plumbomancy: by observing shapes molten lead makes when poured in water (Latin plumbum, lead + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • pneumancy: by blowing (Greek pneuma, breath + manteia, prophecy)
  • podomancy/pedomancy → see somatomancy
  • poe divination: by throwing stones on the floor, practised at Taoist temples
  • portenta (also ostenta): study of natural phenomena[8]
  • psephomancy: by lots or ballots (Greek psephos, pebble + manteia, prophecy)
  • pseudomancy: by false means, such as Peter Answers (Greek pseudēs, false + manteia, prophecy)
  • psychognomy: by phrenological notations (Greek psūkhē, soul + -gnōmoniā, observation)
  • psychomancy → see necromancy¹ (Greek psūkhē, soul + manteia, prophecy)
  • ptarmoscopy/ptarmoscopie: from ancient Greek the interpretation of sneezes[9]
  • pyromancy/pyroscopy: by fire (Greek pūr, fire + manteia, prophecy)

Q[edit]

R[edit]

S[edit]

  • scapulimancy/scapulomancy (also spatulamancy, omoplatoscopy): by bovine or caprid shoulder blades (Latin scapula, shoulder blade + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • scarpomancy: by old shoes (Italian scarpa, shoe + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • scatomancy: by excrement (Greek skōr [skat-], excrement + manteia, prophecy)
  • schematomancy → see somatomancy
  • sciomancy¹ (also shadowmancy): by shadows (Greek skiā, shadow + manteia, prophecy)
  • sciomancy²: by spirits (of the same origin as sciomancy¹)
  • scrying: by gazing (shortened from descrying)
    • crystal gazing: by reflective objects
      • catoptromancy/captromancy (also enoptromancy, djubed): by mirrors (Greek katoptron, mirror + manteia, prophecy)
      • gastromancy¹ (also crystallomancy, spheromancy, crystal ball gazing): by crystal ball (Greek gastēr, belly [i.e., round object] + manteia, prophecy)
      • hydromancy (also ydromancy): by water (Greek hudōr, water + manteia, prophecy)
  • selenomancy: by the moon (Greek selēnē, moon + manteia, prophecy)
  • shadowmancy → see sciomancy¹ (English shadow + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • Shufflemancy: by the use of an electronic media player such as an electronic playlist, iPod, or other medium wherein one skips a certain number of songs and the lyrics and/or tune of the song is the answer to the divinatory question.
  • sideromancy: by burning straw with an iron (Greek sidēros, iron + manteia, prophecy)
  • sikidy: by drawing sixteen lines in sand (perhaps a Malagasy transliteration of English sixteen)
  • skatharomancy: by beetle tracks (Greek skatharōn, spot + manteia, prophecy)
  • slinneanachd/slinnanacht: by animal shoulder blades (Scottish Gaelic slinnean, shoulder blade)
  • solaromancy: by the sun (Latin sōl [sōlār-], sun + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • somatomancy: by the human form (Greek sōma [sōmat-], body + manteia, prophecy)
    • cephalomancy (also craniognomy): by skulls (Greek kephalē, head + manteia, prophecy)
    • cheiromancy/chiromancy (kī'rə·măn·sē; also palmistry, palm reading): by palms[10] (Greek kheir, hand + manteia, prophecy)
    • cheirognomy/chirognomy /kˈrɒɡnmi, -ˈrɒn-/: by hands (Greek kheir, hand + -gnōmoniā, interpretation)
    • podomancy/pedomancy (also cartopedy): by the soles of one's feet (Greek pous [pod-], foot + manteia, prophecy)
    • rumpology (also natimancy): by buttocks (English rump + Greek -logiā, study)
    • schematomancy: by the face (Greek skhēma [skhēmat-], figure + manteia, prophecy)
  • sortilege: by the casting of lots, or sortes
  • spasmatomancy: by convulsions (alteration of *spasmodomancy, from Greek spasmos [spasmōd-], spasm + manteia, prophecy)
  • spatilomancy: by animal excrement (Greek spatilē, excrement + manteia, prophecy)
  • spatulamancy → see scapulimancy (from scapulimancy, influenced by Latin spatula, splint)
  • spheromancy → see scrying (Greek sphaira, sphere + manteia, prophecy)
  • sphondulomancy: by spindles (Greek sphondulos, spindle + manteia, prophecy)
  • splanchnomancy → see anthropomancy (Greek splankhna, innards + manteia, prophecy)
  • spodomancy: by soot (Greek spodos, wood ashes + manteia, prophecy)
    • cineromancy/ceneromancy: by the ashes of a specifically sacrificial or ritual fire[11]
    • libanomancy /lˈbænmænsi/: by smoke or ash from incense (Greek libanos, frankincense + manteia, prophecy)[2]
    • tephramancy/tephromancy: by tree bark ashes, by sacrificial or ritual fire ashes, or human sacrificial victim ashes (Greek tephrā, ash + manteia, prophecy)[12]
  • stareomancy: by the four elements (Greek stais [stair-], dough + manteia, prophecy)
  • stercomancy: by seeds in bird excrement (Latin stercus, excrement + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • sternomancy: by ridges on the breastbone (Greek sternon, breastbone + manteia, prophecy)
  • stichomancy → see chartomancy
  • stigonomancy: by burning writing onto bark (Greek stizein [stigōn-], to brand + manteia, prophecy)
  • stoicheomancy/stoichomancy → see chartomancy
  • stolisomancy: by fashion (Greek stolis, garment + manteia, prophecy)
  • styramancy: by observing patterns produced by chewing gum, gum wax, or products produced by the L. styraciflua tree.
  • sycomancy → see phyllomancy
  • symbolomancy: by things found on the road (Greek sumbolon, sign + manteia, prophecy)

T[edit]

U[edit]

  • umbilicomancy: by umbilical cords (English umbilic(al cord) + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • umbromancy: by shade (Latin umbra, shadow + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • uranomancy/ouranomancy: by the sky (Greek ouranos, firmament + manteia, prophecy)
  • uromancy/urimancy: by urine (Greek ouron, urine + manteia, prophecy)
  • urticariaomancy: by itches (New Latin urticāria, hives + Greek manteia, prophecy)

V[edit]

  • videomancy: by films (English video + Greek manteia, prophecy)

W[edit]

X[edit]

  • xenomancy: by strangers (Greek xenos, stranger + manteia, prophecy)
  • xylomancy: by the shape or texture of wood, or the appearance of burning wood (Greek xulon, wood + manteia, prophecy)[16]

Y[edit]

  • ydromancy1 → see scrying
  • ydromancy2 → see alomancy (from idromancy above, influenced by alomancy)

Z[edit]

  • zoomancy → see theriomancy (Greek zōion, being + manteia, prophecy)
  • zygomancy: by weights (Greek zugon, yoke, balance + manteia, prophecy)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan (1651). "Lastly, to the Prognostics [who] have added innumerable other superstitious ways of Divination[:]...Sometimes in the Entrails of a sacrificed beast; which was Aruspicina..."
  2. ^ a b Del Rio, Martín Anton. Investigations Into Magic. P.G. Maxwell-Stuart, trans. Reprint ed. Manchester, U.K.: Manchester University Press, 2000, p. 160; Dunwich, Gerina. Candlelight Spells: The Modern Witch's Book of Spellcasting, Feasting, and Healing. Secaucus, N.J.: Citadel Press, 1988, p. 51. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "DelRio" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  3. ^ Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan (1651). "Lastly, to the Prognostics [who] have added innumerable other superstitious ways of Divination[:]...Sometimes in the insignificant Speeches of Madmen, supposed to be possessed with a divine Spirit; which Possession they called Enthusiasm..."
  4. ^ Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan (1651). "Lastly, to the Prognostics [who] have added innumerable other superstitious ways of Divination[:]...Sometimes in the aspect of the Stars at their Nativity; which was called Horoscopy, and esteemed a part of judiciary Astrology..."
  5. ^ Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan (1651). "Lastly, to the Prognostics [who] have added innumerable other superstitious ways of Divination[:]...Sometimes, in mere Lottery, as Cross and Pile; counting holes in a sieve; dipping of Verses in Homer, and Virgil; and innumerable other such vain conceipts..."
  6. ^ Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan (1651). "Lastly, to the Prognostics [who] have added innumerable other superstitious ways of Divination[:]...Sometimes in the Lineaments of the face; which was called Metoposcopy..."
  7. ^ Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan (1651). "Lastly, to the Prognostics [who] have added innumerable other superstitious ways of Divination[:]...Sometimes in the Prediction of Witches, that pretended conference with the dead; which is called Necromancy, Conjuring, and Witchcraft; and is but juggling and confederate knavery..."
  8. ^ Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan (1651). "Lastly, to the Prognostics [who] have added innumerable other superstitious ways of Divination[:]...Sometimes in Monsters, or unusual accidents; as Eclipses, Comets, rare Meteors, Earthquakes, Inundations, uncouth Births, and the like, which they called Portenta and Ostenta, because they thought them to portend, or foreshow some great Calamity to come..."
  9. ^ Sciences et Voyages No24 Juin 1937 "Divination, magie et tatouages en Bosnie
  10. ^ Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan (1651). "Lastly, to the Prognostics [who] have added innumerable other superstitious ways of Divination[:]...Sometimes in...Palmistry in the lines of the hand; in casual words, called Omina..."
  11. ^ Buckland, Raymond. The Fortune-Telling Book: The Encyclopedia of Divination and Soothsaying. Detroit, Mich.: Visible Ink, 2004, p. 102.
  12. ^ Not all sources agree that tephramancy and tephromancy are synonyms. Some sources claim that tephramancy uses only the ash of tree bark, while tephromancy may use the ashes of any sacrifice. See: Buckland, The Fortune-Telling Book: The Encyclopedia of Divination and Soothsaying, 2004, p. 479; Pickover, Dreaming the Future: The Fantastic Story of Prediction, 2001, p. 183; Dunwich, Candlelight Spells: The Modern Witch's Book of Spellcasting, Feasting, and Healing, 1988, p. 153. Other sources claim that tephramancy utilizes only the ashes of human sacrificial victims. See: Spence, Lewis. An Encyclopaedia of Occultism. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1920, p. 408; Ellison, Robert Lee. The Solitary Druid: Walking the Path of Wisdom and Spirit. New York: Kensington Publishing Corp., 2005, p. 58; Waite, Arthur Edward. A Manual of Cartomancy and Occult Divination. Reprint ed. Whitefish, Mont.: Kessinger, 1995, p. 236; Robertson, John G. Robertson's Words for a Modern Age: A Cross Reference of Latin and Greek Combining Elements. Eugene, Ore.: Senior Scribe Publications, 1991, p. 193.
  13. ^ Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan (1651). "Lastly, to the Prognostics [who] have added innumerable other superstitious ways of Divination[:]...and these kinds of foretelling events, were accounted Theomancy or Prophecy..."
  14. ^ Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan (1651). "Lastly, to the Prognostics [who] have added innumerable other superstitious ways of Divination[:]...Sometimes in the Casual flight, or feeding of birds; called Augury..."
  15. ^ Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan (1651). "Lastly, to the Prognostics [who] have added innumerable other superstitious ways of Divination[:]...Sometimes in their own hopes and fears, called Thumomancy, or Presage..."
  16. ^ Pickover, Clifford A. Dreaming the Future: The Fantastic Story of Prediction. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2001, p. 137.

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