Methods of divination

Methods of 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.

  See also   References 


An arithmancer from Atalanta Fugiens (1618), by Michael Maier
  • abacomancy /ˈæbəkɵmænsi/: by dust (Hebrew ’ābāq, dust + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • acultomancy /əˈkʌltɵmænsi/ (also acutomancy): by needles (from acutomancy below, influenced by Latin acūleus, needle)
  • acutomancy /əˈkjuːtɵmænsi/ → see acultomancy above (Latin acus [acut-], needle + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • adromancy /ˈædrɵmænsi/ → see alomancy below (from idromancy below, influenced by alomancy)
  • adryomancy→ see hydromancy below (metathesis of hydromancy)
  • aeromancy /ˈɛərɵmænsi/: by atmospheric conditions (Greek āēr, air + manteia, prophecy)
  • agalmatomancy /əˈɡɔːlmətɵmænsi/:[citation needed] by statues (Greek agalma [agalmat-], statue + manteia, prophecy)
  • aichmomancy /ˈɛkmɵmænsi/: by sharp objects (Greek aikhmē, spearhead + manteia, prophecy)
  • ailuromancy/aeluromancy → see under theriomancy below
  • alectormancy/alectromancy /əˈlɛktrɵmænsi/: by rooster sacrifice (Greek alektor, rooster + manteia, prophecy)
  • alectryomancy/alectoromancy → see under theriomancy below
  • aleuromancy¹ /əˈljʊərɵmænsi/: by flour; see also under chartomancy below (Greek aleuron, meal + manteia, prophecy)
  • alomancy/Halomancy /ˈælɵmænsi/ (also adromancy): by salt (Greek hals, salt + manteia, prophecy)
  • alphitomancy /ˈælfɨtɵmænsi/: by barley (Greek alphis [alphit-], barley + manteia, prophecy)
  • alveromancy /ælˈvɪərɵmænsi/:[citation needed] by sounds
  • amathomancy /ˈæməθɵmænsi/: by sand (Greek amathos, sandy soil + manteia, prophecy)
  • ambulomancy /ˈæmbjʊlɵmænsi/: by walking (Latin ambulāre, to walk + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • amniomancy /ˈæmni.ɵmænsi/: by placenta (Greek amniōn, amnion + manteia, prophecy)
  • anemoscopy/anemomancy /ˌænɨˈmɒskɵpi/: by wind (Greek anemos, wind + -skopiā, observation)
  • anthomancy /ˈænθɵmænsi/: by flowers (Greek anthos, flower + manteia, prophecy)
  • anthropomancy /ænˈθrɒpɵmænsi/: by human sacrifice (Greek anthrōpos, human being + manteia, prophecy)
  • anthroposcopy /ænθrɵˈpɒskɵpi/: by physical appearance (Greek anthrōpos, human being + -skopiā, observation)
  • anthracomancy /ˈænθrəkɵmænsi/: by burning coals (Greek anthrax [anthrak-], charcoal + manteia, prophecy)
  • apantomancy /əˈpæntɵmænsi/: by chance encounters with animals (Greek apantein, to encounter + manteia, prophecy)
  • arachnomancy /əˈræknɵmænsi/: by spiders (Greek arakhnē, spider + manteia, prophecy)
  • archeomancy/archaeomancy /ˈɑrki.ɵmænsi/: by sacred relics (Greek arkhaios, ancient + manteia, prophecy)
  • ariolation /ˌæriɵˈleɪʃən/: by altars (Latin ariolus, hariolus, prophet)
  • armomancy /ˈɑrmɵmænsi/: by one's own shoulders (Latin armus, shoulder + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • aruspicina: study of entrails [1]
  • aspidomancy /ˈæspɨdɵmænsi/: by sitting in a drawn circle (Greek aspis [aspid-], shield + manteia, prophecy)
  • astragalomancy/astragalamancy → see under cleromancy below
  • astragyromancy → see under cleromancy below (from astragalomancy above, perhaps influenced by Greek guros, spiral, circle, and therefore vertebra)
  • astrapomancy /ˈæstrəpɵmænsi/: by lightning (Greek astrapē, lightning flash + manteia, prophecy)
  • astrology/astromancy/astroscopy /əˈstrɒlɵdʒi/: by celestial bodies (Greek astron, star + -logiā, study)
  • augury /ˈɔːɡjʊri/ → see under theriomancy below
  • auramancy /ˈɔːrəmænsi/: by auras (Greek aurā, breath + manteia, prophecy)
  • auspicy/auspication → see under theriomancy below (Latin avis, bird + specere, to look at)
  • austromancy → see under theriomancy below, /ˈɔːstrɵmænsi/: by wind (Latin auster, south wind + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • avimancy → see orniscopy below (Latin avis, bird + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • axiomancy/axinomancy /ˈæksi.ɵmænsi/: by axes (Latin axis, axis + manteia, prophecy)


  • batraquomancy/batrachomancy /bəˈtrækɵmænsi/: by frogs (Greek batrakhos, frog + manteia, prophecy)
  • belomancy/bolomancy /ˈbɛlɵmænsi/: by arrows (from bolomancy below, influenced by Greek belemnon, javelin, or belonē, needle)
  • bibliomancy → see chartomancy below
  • biorhythmic divination: by biorhythms
  • bletonism/bletonomancy /ˈblɛtənɪzm/: by water current (named for Monsieur Bleton, a French bletonist)
  • bolomancy /ˈbɒlɵmænsi/ → see belomancy above (Greek bolē, arrow + manteia, prophecy)
  • botanomancy /bɵˈtænɵmænsi/: by burning sage or figs (Greek botanē, flora + manteia, prophecy)
  • brizomancy → see oneiromancy below (Greek brizein, to be sleepy + manteia, prophecy)
  • brontomancy/brontoscopy /ˈbrɒntɵmænsi/: by thunder (Greek brontē, thunder + manteia, prophecy)
  • bumpology /bʌmˈpɒlɵdʒi/: by bumps on the skin (English bump + Greek -logiā, study)


  • cabala → see kabbalah below
  • canomancy /ˈkænɵmænsi/ or /ˈkeɪnɵmænsi/: by dogs (Latin canis, dog + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • capnomancy /ˈkæpnɵmænsi/: by smoke (Greek kapnos, smoke + manteia, prophecy)
  • carromancy /ˈkærɵmænsi/: by melting wax (Greek karrō, of wax + manteia, prophecy)
  • cartopedy → see under somatomancy below (Latin carta, papyrus paper + pēs [pēd-], foot)
  • cartomancy → see under chartomancy below
  • catoptromancy/captromancy → see under scrying below
  • causimancy/causimomancy /ˈkɔːzɨmænsi/: by burning (Greek kaiein [kaus-], to burn + manteia, prophecy)
  • cephalomancy → see under somatomancy below
  • cephaleonomancy/cephalonomancy/ˌsɛfəliˈɒnɵmænsi/: by boiling a donkey's head (Greek kephalaion, head [with meaning influenced by Greek onos, donkey] + manteia, prophecy)
  • ceraunoscopy /ˌsɛrəˈnɒskɵpi/: by thunder and lightning (Greek keraunos, thunderbolt + -skopiā, observation)
  • ceromancy/ceroscopy /ˈsɛrɵmænsi/: by dripping wax in water (Greek kēros, wax + manteia, prophecy)
  • chalcomancy: by striking gongs or copper bowls (Greek khalkos, copper + manteia, prophecy)
  • chaomancy /ˈkeɪ.ɵmænsi/: by aerial visions (Greek khaos, primordial space + manteia, prophecy)
  • chartomancy /ˈkɑrtɵmænsi/: by things on paper (Greek khartēs, papyrus paper + manteia, prophecy)
    • cartomancy /ˈkɑrtɵmænsi/: by cards (Latin carta, papyrus paper + Greek manteia, prophecy)
      • taromancy/tarotmancy /ˈtærɵmænsi/: by tarot (English tarot + Greek manteia, prophecy)
    • stichomancy /ˈstɪkɵmænsi/: by books or lines (Greek stikhos, line of verse + manteia, prophecy)
      • aleuromancy² /əˈljʊərɵmænsi/: by fortune cookies (of the same origin as aleuromancy¹ above)
      • bibliomancy /ˈbɪbliɵmænsi/: by the Bible (Greek biblion, book + manteia, prophecy)
      • I Ching divination: by the I Ching or the accompanying I Ching manual
      • stoicheomancy/stoichomancy: by the Iliad and the Odyssey or the Aeneid (Greek stoikheion, element + manteia, prophecy; to the Greeks, Homer's writings were held in similar esteem to the Christian Bible or the Muslim Quran, as were Virgil's writings to the Romans, making them the basic — or elementary — reading material in each culture)
  • cheiromancy/chiromancy→ see under somatomancy below
  • cheirognomy/chirognomy → see under somatomancy below
  • chien tung → see kau cim below
  • choriomancy /ˈkɒri.ɵmænsi/: by pig bladders (Greek khorion, placenta + mantiea, prophecy)
  • chresmomancy /ˈkrɛsmɵmænsi/: by the ravings of lunatics (Greek khrēsmos, oracular utterance, chresm + manteia, prophecy)
  • chronomancy /ˈkrɒnɵmænsi/: by apt occasion (Greek khronos, time + manteia, prophecy)
  • cineromancy/ceneromancy → see under spodomancy below /ˈsɪnərɵmænsi/ (Latin cinis [ciner-], ashes + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • clamancy (see also Fāl-gūsh): by random shouts and cries heard in crowds, at night, etc. (Latin clāmāre, to cry out + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • cledonism/cledonomancy /ˈklɛdɵnɪzm/: by chance events or overheard words (Greek klēdon, rumor)
  • cleidomancy/clidomancy /ˈklaɪdɵmænsi/: by keys (Greek kleis [kleid-], key + manteia, prophecy)
  • cleromancy /ˈklɛrɵmænsi/: by casting (Greek klēros, lot + manteia, prophecy)
    • astragalomancy/astragalamancy /əˈstræɡəlɵmænsi/ (also cubomancy): by dice (Greek astragalos, vertebra + manteia, prophecy)
    • domino divination: by dominoes
    • favomancy /ˈfævɵmænsi/: by beans (Latin faba, bean + Greek manteia, prophecy)
    • Ogham casting: by Ogham letters
    • runecasting/Runic divination: by runes
  • cometomancy /kɵˈmɛtɵmænsi/: by comet tails (Greek komētēs, comet + manteia, prophecy)
  • colormancy/coloromancy: by colors (English color + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • conchomancy /ˈkɒŋkɵmænsi/: by shells (Greek konkhē, mussel + manteia, prophecy)
  • cosquinomancy/coscinomancy /kɵˈsɪnɵmænsi/: by hanging sieves (Greek koskinōn, sieve + manteia, prophecy)
  • cottabomancy/cottobomancy /ˈkɒtəbɵmænsi/: by wine in a brass bowl (Greek kottabos, cottabus + manteia, prophecy)
  • craniognomy /ˌkreɪniˈɒɡnɵmi/ or /ˌkreɪniˈɒnəmi/ → see under somatomancy below (Greek krānion, skull + -gnōmoniā, interpretation)
  • the crawling baby: by a baby's crawling
  • crithomancy/critomancy /ˈkrɪθɵmænsi/: by barley cakes (Greek krithē, barley + manteia, prophecy)
  • cromnyomancy/cromniomancy /ˈkrɒmni.ɵmænsi/: by onion sprouts (alteration of Greek krommuon, onion + manteia, prophecy)
  • cryptomancy /ˈkrɪptɵmænsi/: by omens (Greek kruptos, hidden + manteia, prophecy)
  • cryomancy /ˈkraɪ.ɵmænsi/: by ice (Greek kryo, ice )
  • crystal ball gazing → see under scrying below
  • crystal gazing → see under scrying below
  • crystallomancy /ˈkrɪstəlɵmænsi/ → see under scrying below (Greek krustallos, crystal + manteia, prophecy)
  • cubomancy /ˈkjuːbɵmænsi/ → see under cleromancy above (Greek kubos, cube + manteia, prophecy)
  • cyathomancy /ˈsaɪ.əθɵmænsi/: by cups (Greek kuathos, cup + manteia, prophecy)
  • cybermancy /ˈsaɪbərmænsi/: by computer oracles (English cyber(netics) + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • cyclicomancy /ˈsɪklɨkɵmænsi/: by swirling water in a cup (Greek kuklikos, cyclical, circular + manteia, prophecy)
  • cyclomancy /ˈsɪklɵmænsi/ or /ˈsaɪklɵmænsi/: by wheels (Greek kuklos, circle + manteia, prophecy)


  • dactyliomancy /dækˈtɪliɵmænsi/: by finger rings (Greek daktulios, finger ring + manteia, prophecy)
  • dactylomancy /ˈdæktɨlɵmænsi/ : by means of finger movements (Greek daktulos, finger + manteia, prophecy)
  • daphnomancy /ˈdæfnɵmænsi/: by burning laurel wreaths (Greek daphnē, laurel + manteia, prophecy)
  • demonomancy /dɨˈmɒnɵmænsi/: by demons (Greek daimōn, divine power + manteia, prophecy)
  • dendromancy /ˈdɛndrɵmænsi/: by trees, especially oaks, yews, or mistletoe (Greek dendron, tree + manteia, prophecy)
  • deuteroscopy /ˌdjuːtəˈrɒskɵpi/: by second glance or double take (Greek deuteros, secondary + -skopiā, observation)
  • dictiomancy /ˈdɪkʃɵmænsi/: by randomly opening a dictionary (English dictio(nary) + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • divining → see dowsing below
  • djubed → see under scrying below
  • dōbutsu uranai: by animal horoscope (Japanese dōbutsu, animal + uranai, prognostication)
  • domino divination → see under cleromancy above
  • dowsing (also divining, water witching): by a divining rod (of unknown origin)
  • dracomancy /ˈdrækɵmænsi/: by dragons (Greek drakōn, dragon + manteia, prophecy)
  • dream questions: by dreaming
  • dririmancy/driromancy /ˈdrɪərɨmænsi/: by dripping blood (alteration of drimimancy, influenced by Middle English drir, blood)
  • drimimancy/drymimancy /ˈdrɪmɨmænsi/: by bodily fluids (Greek drimus, pungent + manteia, prophecy)


  • eleomancy/elaeomancy: by oil (Greek elaion, olive oil + manteia, prophecy)
  • emonomancy → see demonomancy above[citation needed]
  • empirimancy: by experiment/experience
  • empyromancy /ɛmˈpaɪrɵmænsi/: by burning (Greek empurios, fiery + manteia, prophecy)
  • enochian chess: by playing a four·handed variant of the game
  • enoptromancy /ɛˈnɒptrɵmænsi/ → see under scrying below (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 /ˈɛrɵmænsi/: by water vessels exposed to air (Greek āēr, air + manteia, prophecy) — cf. aeromancy
  • extispicy/extispication /ɛkˈstɪspɨsi/: by the remains of sacrificed animals (Latin exta, entrails + specere, to look at)


  • favomancy → see under cleromancy above
  • felidomancy → see under theriomancy below (Latin fēlēs [fēlid-], cat + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • feng shui → see under geomancy below
  • floriography/floromancy /ˌflɔriˈɒɡrəfi/: by flowers' feelings (Latin flōs [flōr-], flower + Greek -graphiā, representation)
  • fractomancy /ˈfræktɵmænsi/: by fractals (English fract(al) + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • fructomancy/fructimancy: by fruit (Latin frūctus, fruit + Greek manteia, prophecy)


  • galvanoscopy /ˌɡælvəˈnɒskɵpi/: by galvanism (English galvan(ism) + Greek -skopiā, observation)
  • gastromancy¹ → see under scrying below
  • gastromancy² /ˈɡæstrɵmænsi/: by guttural sounds (Greek gastēr, belly + manteia, prophecy)
  • geomancy /ˈdʒiːɵmænsi/: by earth (Greek Gaia|gē, earth + manteia, prophecy)
  • geloscopy /dʒɨˈlɒskɵpi/: by laughter (Greek gelōs, laughter + -skopiā, observation)
  • gematria: by the Hebrew alphabet (Greek , earth + -metriā, measurement)
  • genethlialogy: by birth dates (Greek genethlios, birthday + -logiā, study)
  • grammomancy /ˈɡræmɵmænsi/: by writing individual letters (Greek gramma, letter + manteia, prophecy)
  • graphology /ɡræˈfɒlɵdʒi/ (also graptomancy): by studying handwriting (Greek graphē, writing + -logiā, study)
  • graptomancy /ˈɡræptɵmænsi/ → see graphology above (Greek graptos, written + manteia, prophecy)
  • gyromancy /ˈdʒaɪrɵmænsi/: by dizziness (Greek gūros, spiral + manteia, prophecy)


  • hagiomancy: by saints (Greek hagios, holy + manteia, prophecy)
  • halomancy /ˈhælɵmænsi/ → see alomancy above.
  • hakata: by bones or dice
  • haruspicy/haruspication /həˈrʌspɨsi/ → see hepatoscopy below (Latin haru-, entrails + specere, to look at)
  • hematomancy/haematomancy /ˈhɛmətɵmænsi/ or /ˈhiːmətɵmænsi/: by blood (Greek haima [haimat-], blood + manteia, prophecy)
  • hepatoscopy/hepatomancy /ˈhɛpətɵmænsi/ (also haruspicy, haruspication): by liver (Greek hēpar [hēpat-], liver + -skopiā, observation)
  • hieromancy/hieroscopy /ˈhaɪrɵmænsi/ or /ˈhaɪərɵmænsi/: by studying sacrifices' entrails (Greek hieros, holy + manteia, prophecy)
  • hippomancy → see under theriomancy below.
  • horoscopy /hɵˈrɒskɵpi/: aspect of the Stars at nativity [4] (Greek hōrā, season + -skopiā, observation)
  • hydatomancy: by rainwater (Greek hudatis, raindrop + manteia, prophecy)
  • hydromancy/hydroscopy → see under scrying below
  • hyomancy: by wild hogs (Greek hūs, swine + manteia, prophecy)
  • hypnomancy /ˈhɪpnɵmænsi/: by sleep (Greek hupnos, sleep + manteia, prophecy)


  • I Ching divination → see under chartomancy above.
  • ichnomancy /ˈɪknɵmænsi/: by footprints (Greek ikhnos, track + manteia, prophecy)
  • ichthyomancy → see under theriomancy below
  • iconomancy /aɪˈkɒnɵmænsi/: by icons (Greek eikōn, image + manteia, prophecy)
  • idolomancy /aɪˈdɒlɵmænsi/: by idols (Greek eidōlon, phantom + manteia, prophecy)
  • idromancy → see alomancy above (Greek idrōs, sweat + manteia, prophecy)
  • ifá: by palm nuts
  • iridology: by eye color (Greek īris [īrid-], iris + -logiā, study)
  • isopsephy: by numbers and letters (Greek īsos, equal + psephos, pebble)


  • Jyotish Vedic system of astrology


  • kabbalah/qabalah/cabala: by the Kabbalah (Hebrew qabbālâ, tradition)
  • kau cim: by bamboo
  • kephalonomancy /kəˈfælənɵmænsi/ → see cephaleonomancy above
  • keraunomancy /kɨˈrɒnɵmænsi/ → see ceraunoscopy above
  • knissomancy /ˈnɪsɵmænsi/: by incense (Greek knisa [kniss-], vapor + manteia, prophecy)
  • kypomancy → see under phyllomancy below (akin to Greek kupellon, goblet + manteia, prophecy)


  • labiomancy /ˈleɪbi.ɵmænsi/: by lips (Latin labium, lip + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • lampadomancy /ˈlæmpədɵmænsi/: by flame (Greek lampas [lampad-], light + manteia, prophecy)
  • lecanomancy/lecanoscopy /lɨˈkænɵmænsi/: by a basin of water (Greek lekanē, basin + manteia, prophecy)
  • letnomancy: by secrets (English let no (one see) + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • libanomancy /laɪˈbænɵmænsi/ → see under capnomancy and spodomancy (Greek libanos, frankincense + manteia, prophecy)
  • literomancy /ˈlɪtərɵmænsi/: by a letter in a written language (Latin lītera, letter + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • lithomancy /ˈlɪθɵmænsi/: by gems or stones (Greek lithos, stone + manteia, prophecy)
  • logarithmancy /ˌlɒɡəˈrɪθmənsi/: by logarithms (English logarith(m) + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • logomancy /ˈlɒɡɵmænsi/: by words (Greek logos, word + manteia, prophecy)
  • lots: divination through chance, or the drawing or tossing of lots[5]
  • lunamancy → see selenomancy below (Latin lūna, moon + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • lychnomancy /ˈlɪknɵmænsi/: by candles (Greek lukhnos, lamp + manteia, prophecy)


  • macharomancy: by swords or knives (Greek makhaira, dirk + manteia, prophecy)
  • macromancy /ˈmækrɵmænsi/: by large objects (Greek makros, large + manteia, prophecy)
  • maculomancy /ˈmækjʊlɵmænsi/: by spots on the skin (Latin macula, spot + manteia, prophecy)
  • mahjong divination: by Mahjong tiles
  • margaritomancy /ˌmɑrɡəˈrɪtɵmænsi/: by bouncing pearls (Greek margarītēs, pearl + manteia, prophecy)
  • mathemancy /ˈmæθɨmænsi/: by mathematics (English mathe(matics) + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • mazomancy /ˈmæzɵmænsi/: by nursing (Greek mazos, breast + manteia, prophecy)
  • meconomancy /mɨˈkoʊnɵmænsi/: by sleeping (Greek mēkōn, poppy [i.e., an opiate] + manteia, prophecy)
  • megapolisomancy: by large cities (English megalopolis + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • meilomancy: by moles
  • metagnomy /mɨˈtæɡnɵmi/ or /mɨˈtænɵmi/: by magic (Greek meta-, beside + -gnōmoniā, interpretation)
  • meteormancy /ˈmiːti.ɵrmænsi/: by meteors (English meteor + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • meteoromancy /ˌmiːtiˈɒrɵmænsi/: by thunder and lightning (Greek meteōron, heavenly phenomenon + manteia, prophecy)
  • metoposcopy/metopomancy /ˌmɛtɵˈpɒskɵpi/: by the lines of the forehead[6] (Greek metōpon, forehead + -skopiā, observation)
  • micromancy /ˈmaɪkrɵmænsi/: by small objects (Greek mikros, small + manteia, prophecy)
  • moleosophy /moʊˈlɒsɵfi/ or /ˌmoʊliˈɒsɵfi/: by blemishes (English mole + Greek sophiā, knowledge)
  • molybdomancy /mɵˈlɪbdɵmænsi/: by molten metal (Greek molubdos, lead + manteia, prophecy)
  • moromancy /ˈmɒrɵmænsi/: by foolishness (Greek mōros, dull + manteia, prophecy)
  • myomancy → see under theriomancy below
  • myrmomancy → see under theriomancy below


  • narcomancy /ˈnɑrkɵmænsi/: by sleep (Greek narkē, numbness + manteia, prophecy)
  • natimancy → see under somatomancy below (Latin natis, buttock + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • necromancy¹ /ˈnɛkrɵmænsi/: by speaking to the dead, by corpses[7] (Greek nekros, corpse + manteia, prophecy)
  • necyomancy /ˈniːsi.ɵmænsi/: by summoning damned souls (Greek nekuiā, invocation + manteia, prophecy)
  • nephomancy /ˈnɛfɵmænsi/: by clouds (Greek nephos, cloud + manteia, prophecy)
  • nigromancy /ˈnaɪɡrɵmænsi/: by black magic (Latin niger, black + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • nomancy /ˈnɒmənsi/ or /ˈnoʊmənsi/ → see onomancy below (variant of onomancy, influenced by Latin nōmen, name)
  • notarikon/netrikon: by initials (Latin notāricus, in shorthand)
  • nggàm → see under theriomancy below
  • numerology /ˌnjuːməˈrɒlɵdʒi/: by numbers (Latin numerus, number + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • numismatomancy: by coins (Greek nomisma [nomismat-], coin + manteia, prophecy)


  • oculomancy /ˈɒkjʊlɵmænsi/: by eyes (Latin oculus, eye + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • odontomancy /oʊˈdɒntɵmænsi/: by teeth (Greek odous [odont-], tooth + manteia, prophecy)
  • oenomancy/oinomancy /ˈiːnɵmænsi/: by wine (Greek oinos, wine + manteia, prophecy)
  • ololygmancy /ɵˈlɒlɨɡmænsi/: by the howling of dogs (Greek ololuzō [ololug-], howl + manteia, prophecy)
  • omoplatoscopy → see scapulimancy below (Greek ōmoplatē, shoulder blade + -skopiā, observation)
  • omphalomancy /ˈɒmfəlɵmænsi/: by navels (Greek omphalos, navel + manteia, prophecy)
  • oneiromancy/oneiroscopy /ɵˈnɪərɵmænsi/: by dreams (Greek oneiros, dream + manteia, prophecy)
  • onimancy /ˈɒnɨmænsi/ → see onychomancy below
  • onomancy/onomomancy/nomancy /ˈɒnɵmænsi/: by letters in a name (Greek onoma, name + manteia, prophecy)
  • onomomancy /ɵˈnoʊmɵmænsi/ → see onomancy above
  • onychomancy/onymancy/onimancy /ɵˈnɪkɵmænsi/: by finger· and toenails (Greek onux [onukh-], nail + manteia, prophecy)
  • onymancy /ˈɒnɨmænsi/ → see onychomancy above
  • oomancy/ooscopy ˈoʊ.ɵmænsi/ (also ovomancy): by eggs (Greek ōion, egg + manteia, prophecy)
  • ophidiomancy/ophiomancy → see theriomancy below
  • opthalmomancy → see oculomancy above (Greek ophthalmos, eye + manteia, prophecy)
  • organoscopy → see phrenology below (Greek organon, organ + -skopiā, observation)
  • orniscopy/ornithomancy → see theriomancy below
  • oromancy: by mountains (Greek oros, mountain + manteia, prophecy)
  • oryctomancy: by minerals (Greek oruktos, dug + manteia, prophecy)
  • ossomancy → see osteomancy below (Latin os [oss-], bone + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • osteomancy: by bones (Greek osteon, bone + manteia, prophecy)
  • Ouija/Ouije: by ouija board (French oui, yes + German ja, yes)
  • ouranomancy → see uranomancy below.
  • ovomancy → see oomancy above (Latin ōvum, egg + manteia, prophecy)


  • pallomancy: by pendulums (Greek pallein, to sway + manteia, prophecy)
  • palmistry/palm reading → see under somatomancy below (Latin palma, palm)
  • papyromancy: by folding paper, especially paper money (Greek papūros, papyrus paper + manteia, prophecy)
  • pedomancy → see under somatomancy below (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)
  • 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 under somatomancy below
  • 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 above (Greek psūkhē, soul + manteia, prophecy)
  • pyromancy/pyroscopy: by fire (Greek pūr, fire + manteia, prophecy)



  • radiesthesia: by rods, pendulums, or other cylindrical tools (Latin radius, spoke + Greek -aisthēsiā, sensing)
  • retromancy: by looking over one's shoulder (Latin retrō, behind + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • rhabdomancy/rabdomancy: by rods, sticks, or wands (Greek rhabdos, rod + manteia, prophecy)
  • rhapsodomancy: by poetry (Greek rhapsōidiā, verse + manteia, prophecy)
  • roadomancy: by constellations (apparently from Old English rodor, firmament + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • rumpology → see under somatomancy below
  • runecasting → see under cleromancy above


  • 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 under somatomancy below
  • 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 above (English shadow + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • 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[9] (Greek kheir, hand + manteia, prophecy)
    • cheirognomy/chirognomy /kaɪˈrɒɡnɵmi/ or /kaɪˈrɒnɵmi/: 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
    • sortes virgilianae: by Vergil's Aeneid
  • 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 above (from scapulimancy, influenced by Latin spatula, splint)
  • spheromancy → see under scrying above (Greek sphaira, sphere + manteia, prophecy)
  • sphondulomancy: by spindles (Greek sphondulos, spindle + manteia, prophecy)
  • splanchnomancy → see anthropomancy above (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[10]
    • libanomancy /laɪˈbænɵmænsi/: 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)[11]
  • 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 above
  • stigonomancy: by burning writing onto bark (Greek stizein [stigōn-], to brand + manteia, prophecy)
  • stoicheomancy/stoichomancy → see under chartomancy above
  • stolisomancy: by fashion (Greek stolis, garment + manteia, prophecy)
  • sycomancy → see phyllomancy above
  • symbolomancy: by things found on the road (Greek sumbolon, sign + manteia, prophecy)


  • taromancy → see under chartomancy above
  • tasseography/tasseomancy → see under phyllomancy above
  • technomancy: by technology (English techno(logy) + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • technical analysis: by patterns in the chart of a financial instrument
  • temurah: by anagrams
  • tephramancy/tephromancy: → see spodomancy (Greek tephrā, ash + manteia, prophecy)
  • theomancy: foretelling events, prophecy[12] (Greek theos, god + manteia, prophecy)
  • theriomancy /ˈθɪəri.ɵmænsi/: (also zoomancy): by animal behavior (Greek thēr, wild animal + manteia, prophecy)
    Russian peasant girls using chicken for divination. A XIXth·century lubok.
    • ailuromancy/aeluromancy /aɪˈlʊərɵmænsi/ (also felidomancy): by cats (Greek ailouros, cat + manteia, prophecy)
    • alectryomancy/alectoromancy /əˈlɛktri.ɵmænsi/, /əˈlɛktərɵmænsi/: by rooster behavior (Greek alektruōn, cockerel + manteia, prophecy)
    • augury: by bird formations[13] (Latin augur, diviner)
    • hippomancy /ˈhɪpɵmænsi/: by horse behavior (Greek hippos, horse + manteia, prophecy)
    • ichthyomancy /ˈɪkθi.ɵmænsi/: by fish behavior (Greek ikhthūs, fish + manteia, prophecy)
    • myomancy /ˈmaɪ.ɵmænsi/: by rodent behavior (Greek mūs, mouse + manteia, prophecy)
    • myrmomancy /ˈmɜrmɵmænsi/: by ant behavior (Greek murmēx, ant + manteia, prophecy)
    • nggàm: by spider or crab behavior (Mambila nggàm, divination)
    • ophidiomancy/ophiomancy: by snakes behavior (Greek ophis [ophid-], snake + manteia, prophecy)
    • orniscopy/ornithomancy (also auspicy/auspication, avimancy): by bird migration (Greek ornīs [ornīth-], bird + -skopiā, observation)
  • thumomancy /ˈθjuːmɵmænsi/: by one's own soul, presage[14] (Greek thūmos, soul + manteia, prophecy)
  • topomancy /ˈtɒpɵmænsi/: by geography and geological formations (Greek topos, place + manteia, prophecy)
  • transataumancy: by things accidentally seen or heard
  • trochomancy /ˈtrɒkɵmænsi/: by wheel ruts (Greek trokhos, wheel + manteia, prophecy)
  • turifumy: by shapes in smoke (Latin tūs [tūr-], incense + fūmus, vapor)
  • tyromancy/tiromancy /ˈtaɪrɵmænsi/: by cheese (Greek tūros, cheese + manteia, prophecy)


  • 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)


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


  • water witching → see dowsing above


  • 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)[15]


  • ydromancy → see under scrying above


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

See also


  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.
  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. ^ 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..."
  10. ^ Buckland, Raymond. The Fortune-Telling Book: The Encyclopedia of Divination and Soothsaying. Detroit, Mich.: Visible Ink, 2004, p. 102.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ 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..."
  13. ^ 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..."
  14. ^ 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..."
  15. ^ Pickover, Clifford A. Dreaming the Future: The Fantastic Story of Prediction. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2001, p. 137.

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