priestess of bacchus


John William Godward - A Priestess of Bacchus [1890] by Gandalf
Via Flickr:
[Sotheby’s, London - Oil on canvas, 29 x 45 cm]

Divination 101- O

Masterlist of Divination Can be found HERE.

Odontomancy- Odontomancy is divination using teeth. It is unclear whether those who practice this form of divination use the baby teeth (which fall out) or your adult teeth, or some mix of the two. There is very little information on this and I have yet to met someone who practices this.

Oenomancy or Oinomancy - Is Divination by wine. It was originaly used by the priestesses of Bacchus, known as Bacchante. It is a popular form of divination in Europe.

This form of divination can be carried out in several ways:

  • The taste of the wine. This takes an exceptionally good palate on the part of the Diviner. In this form of divination you must not have a particular question. The Diviner clears their mind and drinks slowly letting their mind wander as they taste.
  • The appearance of the wine when it is poured for ritual, usually when pouring unto the ground or unto the altar of a god or goddess. 
  • Sediment interpretation, either at the bottom of a cask or the bottom of the glass. This is the only form of Oenomancy that I use and thus have more information for it.
    When picking the wine for this I suggest the following:
    -Red: For passionate endeavors. Sexual relationships, creativity, personal sexuality, fertility, and personal health (okay, the last one is less ‘passionate’ but I still feel that it fits)
    -White: Intellectual endeavors.School, jobs, where to live, and finances in general. I also call these the ‘things that keep you up at night’.
    -Rose or Pink: Romance.
    - Tawny or Sherry: Family 
    You may either buy a bottle for your question, or use the wine you have on hand. I have not noticed any difference between the two. Pour your wine into the glass (It doesn’t need to be much at all, but hey, I’m not gonna judge) It is important if you are using this form that you do not ‘swirl’ the glass. Drink and think only of your question, interpreting the sediment that remains at the bottom.
    If you are using a cask, the divination is for all who drank, or portents for the year to come.
  • The color of wine. This is more difficult to do today considering how wine is manufactured to be a particular color before we ever see it.
  • Similar to water divination. Pour wine into a glass bowl and set a candle behind it. Using the shapes made by the light, reflections, and your own thoughts while meditating on the wine as a guide to your divination.
  • A cloth or piece of paper boiled in wine. I’ve used this once, I felt no connection with it, but will pass on what was passed on to me.
    -Take a piece of paper or a bit of cloth. White or lighter colors is easiest to use. Do not get stain retardant fabric or wax sealed papers! The cheaper paper/fabrics are best for this.
    -Red wines will give the clearest pictures. You may write a question or a symbol on the paper or cloth. It is not necessary.
    -Set cloth unto altar or in the sunlight to ‘ripen’.
    -Pour wine into a pot. It should be enough to cover the paper several times over.
    -Turn on the heat (or place the item on the fire if you are using a cauldron or cast iron item)
    -Place paper/cloth into the wine and let it boil down. Do not let it boil down to nothing, you risk burning and potentially ruining a pot.
    -Using tongs, or a wooden spoon, remove the cloth or paper from the wine and set aside to dry. Remember that wine does stain, placing this directly on a counter or your altar could leave behind marks you don’t want. Place on a cookie sheet, or a towel. Allow to dry in the sunlight. (Keep in mind that Wine and Sun go together)
    -When dry, read the patterns in the paper/cloth.

Ololygmancy-  divination by the sounds (especially howls) of dogs or wolves. I am not a dog person (unless it’s a greyhound, don’t ask me why, I don’t know either). Don’t get me wrong, I think all dogs are beautiful (they are) and they have a certain charm or mystery depending on the breed. But I am a staunch cat person and harbor a definitive feline energy. For you dog people out there, if you’ve ever felt that your dogs barks or howls were trying to tell you something..that’s a form of this type of divination. If anyone has specific information on discerning the pitch, length, or timing of this please let me know so that I may pass on this information. Credit will be given.

Omoplatoscopy -is divination by observing cracks in burning scapulae (the shoulder blade). Note: Burning human bones is illegal in most states without a special license to do so. Also bones needs a ridiculously hot fire to burn. However. This type of divination can use the bones of any animal with a shoulder bone large enough to read. This is best for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question, though practiced readers can have more complicated divinations.

If the shoulder cracks completely, it is a no, if it doesn’t crack at all, it is a yes.

Omphalomancy - divination from the knots in the umbilical cord. Okay, that short definition is a bit misleading. This form of divination was used only on children born female to determine by the shape of her umbilicus how many children she would then give birth to. The more knotted the more fertile she was deemed to be. Yeah, not my favorite.

However, I think it would be interesting to chart a child’s life at birth using the umbilical cord. There has not been a great deal done on this as it was not the historic use.

Oneiromancy -Oneiromancy is divination by dreams, specifically to divine the future. This is not the same as dream interpretation, which are how your own dreams are a manifestation of your emotions, but rather dreams that seem to come from another source. If you believe that a divine being or mythical energy has placed a dream in your mind this would fall under Oneiromancy.

Onimancy - (or Onycomancy) is divination using the Angel Urial. I know little about this form of divination as I do not practice angel work. If someone has more information please let me know and I will edit and pass along here. Credit will be given.

Onomancy -Onomancy is divination by the letters of a name. It was most popular in the Middle Ages, using Latin. It is a sub-group of Arthomancy, and utilizes Gematria, which is a code and number system of Assyro-Babylonian-Greek base which was later adopted by Jewish culture.

By all that I mean that it is complicated.

In Gematria every word is associated with a number based on syllables and the letters. This number would have a numerological effect on the child who was granted the name. Intervals of 18 were especially lucky.

Onychomancy - is divination by the fingernails of a person. In this a persons nail were oiled and placed in sunlight. The reflection (sometimes the reflection off the face of an “unpolluted boy”) was interpreted. The closer to the tips of the nails the symbols were the closer this was to occurring. Each finger was designated for a particular part of the persons life. The thumb was associated with work, the pointer associated with family, it is thought that this fed into palmestry.

Also, the health of a person was determined from the color, shape, and strength of a fingernail.

Oomancy -  is divination by eggs. It is especially popular among Bruja culture, where the egg is a sacred symbol.  It can be done several ways.
-Crack an egg into a water/oil mix. A diviner would read what floats to the top.
-Cracking an egg unto a divination glass and interpreting the pattern. This is done with shell and all.
-Dropping the contents of an egg unto a hot oiled fry pan hard enough to break the yoke. How the yoke spreads will answer your question.

Ophidiomancy -  is divination using snakes in particular but reptiles in your dreams.This differs from Ophiomancy which is watching real snakes.  It is a derivative of the  Greek word for ‘small snake’ which insinuates that smaller snakes are best for this.
-Dreaming of a snake was considered good luck by the Egyptians. However, if a Greek dreamed of a snake sickness was imminent. So…if you dream of a snake I would suggest following your get instinct on if it is a good or bad omen.
-If your dream focuses on the head of a snake, you are in need of guidance, and research into your particular problem.
-If your dream focuses on the tail, you are dawdling and need to push forward.

Ophiomancy - divination by observing the behavior of snakes. It is most important to watch a snake eat in order to use this divination and therefore not for the feint of heart. It a snake does not immediately eat its offered food then you might rethink how you are approaching a problem. If a snake immediately devours its food then you are on the right track of a problem.

Ornithomancy - is divination by the flight of birds. In Celtic Divination the color of the flock was the most important. In Greek, it was the shape of the flight. I would suggest using both of these in order to get an accurate reading for your omen.

  • Black: Transformation
  • White: Purity, Birth
  • Yellow: Friendship
  • Speckled: Spiritual Guidance
  • Green: Growth and New Development
  • Gray: Peace of Mind
  • Red: Fortunate Oppurtunity
  • Brown: Mastery of the Elements, weather

Shape of the Flight:

  • Chaotic:You are in need of seeking a mentor or guide
  • V Shape:You are on the right path, continue forward
  • O Shape:You are not on the right path, your current path will lead you nowhere.
  • If you can see their feet as the fly (not tucked in): Things you thought were gone will return.
  • Hunting Birds (or bird): What you wished for you will receive.

Oryctomancy- divination using excavated objects. It is unclear in my research whether you must find the buried objects by chance, or if the diviner buries many items in the divination grounds and waits until they have forgotten where the items are.

However, the point is when a diviner of this variety has a question they will walk an area until they feel the desire to dig. Then they dig up a single charm and that is the answer.

Ossomancy or Osteomancy -  is divination using bones. It is an umbrella term for any and all forms of divination that use bones, whether it is casting them, burning them, or inking them. Bone divination is very popular and comes in many forms.

Ouranomancy -  Ouranomancy is divination using the heavens, specifically the stars and planets visible at night. It is NOT the mapping of them as per astrology, but rather watching the sky and divining what you see and what thoughts come into your mind as you do see them.