Divination 101- Types of Divination C

Capnomancy- a form of divination that uses smoke. A person practicing Capnomancy will watch the smoke from a fire and use the patterns that emerge as signs for their current question. A long thin branch of smoke was considered a good sign, while a short or quickly curling one was considered bad. If the smoke hit the ground then something very bad was going to happen and immediate action was necessary.

Carromancy- also called ceromancy is divination by the melting of wax. The most used version of this is to heat wax to a melting point and then pour into cold water. The shapes that form create a message that can be divined by a reader. This form of divination was first used by the Celts. The most powerful form of it was by a druids vigil candle.

Cartomancy- is divination by using cards. Any and all forms of card reading fall into this category. Using playing cards, Tarot cards, or oracle cards is considered a form and branch of Cartomancy. This is one of the more practiced version of divination and has its roots in Italy. However many cultures adopted their own versions of divinatory cards. The Rider-Waite tarot deck is the most common and accepted form of cartomancy and maintains its position as top tarot deck sold worldwide.

Catoptromancy- divination by using a mirror this form of divination was also called also known as captromancy or enoptromancy. This one is a great deal more difficult to explain. When using catoptromancy a person must use a particular mirror that they have blessed and sanctified for only this purpose. Their is ritual involved and more interpretation than I can list in this short version, but I will transcribe a small excerpt of its use: “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.” -Pausanias

Catoptromancy can also be used by taking a reflective crystal out into the moonlight and diving the way the moon shines off of its surface. A trick used by young unmarried women in older generations was to take her favorite mirror out into the moonlight and ask when will she be married, then count until something passed over the moonlight and disrupted its glow. That was how many months she had to wait till she would met her intended. Have fun with that.

Causimomancy- divination using fire. Fire is a really intense form if divination. This is not the staring into the fire and looking for portents but rather throwing items into a fire and watching the patterns of how (and even if) they burn. It was considered a good omen if something that should burn didn’t.

Ceneromancy- divination using ashes. This kind of divination came from writing a question or problem down on a piece of paper and tossing it into a fire. When the fire went down and the ashes were left a person could look at the patterns that were made and if anything was left of the question they wrote.

Cephalomancy- divination using the head of a goat or donkey. I don’t recommend this one overmuch. The traditional version of this was used for divining the guilt of a criminal. A crime was pronounced, a goat/donkey was killed and their head was placed upon a fire. The judge would recite names until the skull cracked. The person whose name was spoken last was declared guilty.

Chartomancy- is divination by writing in papers.This is not automatic writing which is a psychic talent but rather a type of bibliomancy. Gather up all things written on paper and ask your question. Now open each of your tomes to a randoms section or page and begin to write down the first words that your eye lands on or the first words of each page. By this you will form the answer to your question. Fun fact: the most common use of this was by the Christians to discover whether or not someone was a sorcerer. They would chant to god and open the bible and interpret the first verse upon the page.

Cheiromancy- divination by the hands. Palmistry is the most common version of this. By studying the shape of the hand, the fingers, or the wrist one could discern certain traits about a person. This went deeper by looking at the lines across the palm. Also referred to as Chirognomy.

Clairaudience- divination by hearing things inaudible normally. This can manifest itself in several ways and is often considered a psychic gift rather than a divinatory tool. In order to bring out clairaudience one must sit quietly and wait to hear things. These are messages sent to a person from another realm or plane of existence. It is considered a gift of a Medium.

Clairvoyance- Clairvoyance is divination by “second sight”. Often this gift goes hand in hand with clairaudience. This is the receiving and interpretation of visions. It is also considered a psychic gift of a Medium. Some people can meditate themselves into a psychic state, some have no choice, others drink or imbibe certain substances to receive visions.

Cledonism-  Cledonism (or Cledonomantia) is divination from spoken words. There are several ways to use this form of divination. Traditionally these words had to be pulled from chance situations or encounters. The most common use is to ask a question and then go sit in a public space and listen with ‘open ears’ to the conversations around you. The first things you hear will be an answer to your question.

Cleidomancy- is divination using keys.This is not dropping a bunch of keys on the ground to get an answer. Though if you want to go head, I’m not your parent. What this means is suspending a key from a string and using it in the fashion of a pendulum. Why them, might you ask, don’t you just us a pendulum? Because keys are crafted to open things and symbolically speaking a key can open the mind to another realm of wisdom. 

Conchomancy- divination using shells.This can be done in several ways. By listening to conch shells which are known to have sounds within them. Or by looking at the pattern by which shells or shell pieces arrive naturally upon a beach.

Coscinomancy- divination using a sieve, and a pair of tongs or shears.This is yet another practice solely for the divining of criminals in a crime. Apparently we were hard up for forensics for a long time. Potter who wrote Greek Antiquities says, “It was generally used to discover thieves, or others suspected of any crime, in this manner: they tied a thread to the sieve by which it was upheld, or else placed a pair of shears, which they held up by two fingers, then prayed to the gods to direct and assist them; after that they repeated the names of the persons under suspicion, and he, at whose name the sieve whirled round or moved, was thought guilty.” Good times?

Critomancy - divination using viands and cakes particuarly those made of barely. One would spread the paste for the cakes out over flour and watched the way that it smeared and dried. This would offer them an intuitive answer to their question.

Cromnyomancy- divination using onions. Onions have a long history of being divine. They are used worldwide and are considered sacred to some a stable food source. The visions that one received through the tears caused my onions were considered divine and cleansing. Though by letting the inion grow and watching the roots is another form.

Crystallomancy- Divination via crystal. By meditating opened eyed and staring into particular crystals one can force themselves into a trance state where they can receive visions, hear sounds, or gain intuitions.

Types of Divination, a Masterpost of Sorts

This is meant as an information resource for creative folk, not a complete guide. Be sure to supplement this with additional research. Find the rest of the series, including the previous posts on clergynobilitycommon medieval jobsspirit animalsmythical creaturesstructuring an armymedieval punishmentsarmorpre-gunpowder weaponssiege warfarecastle anatomymedieval clothing, and common terms of medieval life.

Aeromancy: Divination from the air and sky, such as cloud shapes, comets or sky color. Comets in particular inspired prophets of ancient and modern times.
A black hen or white gamecock pecks corn grains from a circle of letters forming words or names that the prophet interprets. Recite the alphabet at daybreak, noting those letters that coincide with a rooster crowing.
Fortune cookies. Answers to questions rolled in dough and baked. Random choice comes true.

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