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Methods of divination

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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.


  • A 1
  • B 2
  • C 3
  • D 4
  • E 5
  • F 6
  • G 7
  • H 8
  • I 9
  • J 10
  • K 11
  • L 12
  • M 13
  • N 14
  • O 15
  • P 16
  • Q 17
  • R 18
  • S 19
  • T 20
  • U 21
  • V 22
  • W 23
  • X 24
  • Y 25
  • Z 26
  • See also 27
  • References 28


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 (Latin acus [acut-], needle + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • adromancy /ˈædrɵmænsi/ → see alomancy (from idromancy below, influenced by alomancy)
  • adryomancy→ see hydromancy (metathesis of hydromancy)
  • aeromancy /ˈɛərɵmænsi/: by atmospheric conditions (Greek āēr, air + manteia, prophecy)
  • agalmatomancy /əˈɡɔːlmətɵmænsi/: by statues (Greek agalma [agalmat-], statue + manteia, prophecy)
  • aichmomancy /ˈɛkmɵmænsi/: by sharp objects (Greek aikhmē, spearhead + manteia, prophecy)
  • ailuromancy/aeluromancy → see theriomancy
  • alectormancy/alectromancy /əˈlɛktrɵmænsi/: by rooster sacrifice (Greek alektor, rooster + manteia, prophecy)
  • alectryomancy/alectoromancy: by rooster divination → see theriomancy
  • aleuromancy¹ /əˈljʊərɵmænsi/: by flour; see also chartomancy (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/: 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)
  • arithmancy: assigning numerical value to a word or phrase
  • 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 cleromancy
  • astragyromancy → see cleromancy (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 theriomancy
  • auramancy /ˈɔːrəmænsi/: by auras (Greek aurā, breath + manteia, prophecy)
  • auspicy/auspication → see theriomancy (Latin avis, bird + specere, to look at)
  • austromancy → see theriomancy /ˈɔːstrɵmænsi/: by wind (Latin auster, south wind + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • avimancy → see orniscopy (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
  • biorhythmic divination: by biorhythms
  • bletonism/bletonomancy /ˈblɛtənɪzm/: by water current (named for Monsieur Bleton, a French bletonist)
  • bolomancy /ˈbɒlɵmænsi/ → see belomancy (Greek bolē, arrow + manteia, prophecy)
  • botanomancy /bɵˈtænɵmænsi/: by burning sage or figs (Greek botanē, flora + manteia, prophecy)
  • brizomancy → see oneiromancy (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
  • canomancy /ˈkænɵmænsi/ or /ˈkeɪnɵmænsi/: by dogs (Latin canis, dog + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • capnomancy /ˈkæpnɵmænsi/: by smoke (Greek kapnos, smoke + manteia, prophecy)
    • libanomancy /laɪˈbænɵmænsi/: by smoke or ash from incense (Greek libanos, frankincense + manteia, prophecy)[2]
  • carromancy /ˈkærɵmænsi/: by melting wax (Greek karrō, of wax + manteia, prophecy)
  • cartopedy → see somatomancy (Latin carta, papyrus paper + pēs [pēd-], foot)
  • cartomancy → see chartomancy
  • catoptromancy/captromancy → see scrying
  • causimancy/causimomancy /ˈkɔːzɨmænsi/: by burning (Greek kaiein [kaus-], to burn + manteia, prophecy)
  • cephalomancy → see somatomancy
  • 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)
      • 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 somatomancy
  • cheirognomy/chirognomy → see somatomancy
  • chien tung → see kau cim
  • 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 spodomancy /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)
  • 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 somatomancy (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 scrying
  • crystal gazing → see scrying
  • crystallomancy /ˈkrɪstəlɵmænsi/ → see scrying (Greek krustallos, crystal + manteia, prophecy)
  • cubomancy /ˈkjuːbɵmænsi/ → see cleromancy (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
  • djubed → see scrying
  • dōbutsu uranai: by animal horoscope (Japanese dōbutsu, animal + uranai, prognostication)
  • domino divination → see cleromancy
  • 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)


  • electromancy: by lightning and electricity (Greek ilektros electric + manteia prophecy)
  • eleomancy/elaeomancy: by oil (Greek elaion, olive oil + manteia, prophecy)
  • emonomancy → see demonomancy
  • 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 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 /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 cleromancy
  • felidomancy → see theriomancy (Latin fēlēs [fēlid-], cat + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • feng shui → see geomancy
  • 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 scrying
  • 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 (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
  • hakata: by bones or dice
  • haruspicy/haruspication /həˈrʌspɨsi/ → see hepatoscopy (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 theriomancy
  • 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 scrying
  • hyomancy: by wild hogs (Greek hūs, swine + manteia, prophecy)
  • hypnomancy /ˈhɪpnɵmænsi/: by sleep (Greek hupnos, sleep + manteia, prophecy)


  • I Ching divination → see chartomancy
  • ichnomancy /ˈɪknɵmænsi/: by footprints (Greek ikhnos, track + manteia, prophecy)
  • ichthyomancy → see theriomancy
  • iconomancy /aɪˈkɒnɵmænsi/: by icons (Greek eikōn, image + manteia, prophecy)
  • idolomancy /aɪˈdɒlɵmænsi/: by idols (Greek eidōlon, phantom + manteia, prophecy)
  • idromancy → see alomancy (Greek idrōs, sweat + manteia, prophecy)
  • ifá: geomancy patterns generated with palm nuts, opele, cowrie shells, etc... that refer to Ifa Divination texts; a collection of odu Ifa verses.
  • 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
  • keraunomancy /kɨˈrɒnɵmænsi/ → see ceraunoscopy
  • knissomancy /ˈnɪsɵmænsi/: by incense (Greek knisa [kniss-], vapor + manteia, prophecy)
  • kypomancy → see phyllomancy (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 (man see) + Greek manteia, prophecy)
  • libanomancy /laɪˈbænɵmænsi/ → see 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 (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 theriomancy
  • myrmomancy → see theriomancy


  • narcomancy /ˈnɑrkɵmænsi/: by sleep (Greek narkē, numbness + manteia, prophecy)
  • natimancy → see somatomancy (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 (variant of onomancy, influenced by Latin nōmen, name)
  • notarikon/netrikon: by initials (Latin notāricus, in shorthand)
  • nggàm → see theriomancy
  • numerology /ˌnjuːməˈrɒlɵdʒi/: by numbers (Latin numerus, number + Greek -logia, branch of study)
  • 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 (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
  • onomancy/onomomancy/nomancy /ˈɒnɵmænsi/: by letters in a name (Greek onoma, name + manteia, prophecy)
  • onomomancy /ɵˈnoʊmɵmænsi/ → see onomancy
  • onychomancy/onymancy/onimancy /ɵˈnɪkɵmænsi/: by finger· and toenails (Greek onux [onukh-], nail + manteia, prophecy)
  • onymancy /ˈɒnɨmænsi/ → see onychomancy
  • oomancy/ooscopy ˈoʊ.ɵmænsi/ (also ovomancy): by eggs (Greek ōion, egg + manteia, prophecy)
  • ophidiomancy/ophiomancy → see theriomancy
  • ophthalmomancy → see oculomancy (Greek ophthalmos, eye + manteia, prophecy)
  • organoscopy → see organ + -skopiā, observation)
  • orniscopy/ornithomancy → see theriomancy
  • oromancy: by mountains (Greek oros, mountain + manteia, prophecy)
  • oryctomancy: by minerals (Greek oruktos, dug + manteia, prophecy)
  • ossomancy → see osteomancy (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
  • ovomancy → see oomancy (Latin ōvum, egg + manteia, prophecy)


  • 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)
  • 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



    • 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 /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
    • 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 /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)[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)


    • taromancy → see chartomancy
    • tasseography/tasseomancy → see phyllomancy
    • technomancy: by technology (English techno(logy) + Greek manteia, prophecy)
    • temurah: by anagrams
    • tephramancy/tephromancy: → see spodomancy (Greek tephrā, ash + manteia, prophecy)
    • theomancy: foretelling events, prophecy[13] (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 19th·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[14] (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[15] (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)



    • 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]



    • zoomancy → see theriomancy (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. P.G. Maxwell-Stuart, trans. Reprint ed. Manchester, U.K.: Manchester University Press, 2000, p. 160Investigations Into Magic.; 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. ^ 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: New York: Dodd, Mead, 1920, p. 408An Encyclopaedia of Occultism.Spence, Lewis. ; New York: Kensington Publishing Corp., 2005, p. 58The Solitary Druid: Walking the Path of Wisdom and Spirit.Ellison, Robert Lee. ; Reprint ed. Whitefish, Mont.: Kessinger, 1995, p. 236A Manual of Cartomancy and Occult Divination.Waite, Arthur Edward. ; 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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