Botanomancy is a traditional method of divination by means of burning plant matter such as herbs, tree branches and leaves. The smoke and ashes resulting from the fire were interpreted as omens. Botanomancy is a branch of pyromancy (divination by fire).
The origin of botanomancy can be traced back to the Druids, the priests who worshipped trees and were said to attain powers from them. Oak was considered a special deity.
In some cases questions were written on the bark of trees and then burnt. The ash or smoke were then observed for answers. This method of divination was quite popular among Hebrews and Romans. The Old Testament has references to this divination method.
Branches of vervain or brier were commonly used. Sometimes these branches were scattered in the air.
Botanomancy was used by witches, sorcerers, priests, divine men and others who practiced the occult.
Greeks worshipped fire with extreme respect and thus pyromancy was easily accepted by them. Botanomancy and other forms of Pyromancy were practiced by virgins in Temple of Athena regularly.
There is also evidence of Botanomancy in the Chinese culture.
Another method of botanomancy is cromniomancy, which involves divination by onions.
Today Botanomancy involves observing growth patterns of plants and their other characteristics. Botanomancy still holds firm as an art of divination in many cultures.