Capnomancy (AKA libanomancy) is a form of divination in which answers are sought by interpreting movement and shape of smoke.
The word capnomancy was derived from the Greek word kapnos (smoke) and manteia (divination). This practice is believed to have started in parts of ancient Babylon. Sacrifices were offered on sacred occasions and cedar trees were burnt, and the smoke was traced for signs and omen.
Capnimancy often involves fire from sacrificial offerings. Thin smoke that rises straight and high is considered good news. If it does not disperse quickly it is thought to be a bad omen.
The altar used for burning humans and animals was a favorite spot for Capnomancy, even for the Druids.
Variations of capnomancy include:
- The study of fumes rising from coal after live poppy seeds are thrown on them.
- Burning certain objects and smelling the smoke to identify omens.
- Smelling fire, especially from burning drugs.
- In astrology, predicting the future by reading smoke rings.