Glossary of Divination Types & Techniques
Certainly, dozens and quite possibly hundreds of methods of prediction fit into the category of divination. Since earliest times, humans have sought after signs to predict their future and guide them along the correct path.
Below is an alphabetized list of some of the most common and the most popular divination types and techniques, each with a short definition. Italicized links are bookmarks. Bold Underlined links in the list lead to a longer article about that type of divination.
- Aeromancy: Divination through interpreting atmospheric conditions, divided into several subtypes.
- Austomancy (wind)
- Ceraunoscopy/Keraunomancy (Thunder & lightning)
- Chaomancy (Aerial visions)
- Meteromancy (Meteors, Shooting Stars)
- Ailuromancy: Under Zoomancy
- Alectormancy/Alectromancy/Alectryomancy: Divination through observing birds (often roosters) pick through scattered grains and marking the “cock’s crow” as letters from the alphabet. (e.g. the rooster pecks at three grains and crows, denoting the letter “c”)
- Aleuromancy: Divination through messages written on paper and inserted into dough. (e.g. Fortune Cookies). Another method involves reading the residue left in a flour/water container.
- Alomancy/Halomancy: Divination through interpreting spilled salt.
- Alphitomancy/Cursed Bread: Determining a guilty party by feeding him/her a loaf of barley bread. Those who experience indigestion are considered guilty.
- Amniomancy: Divination by interpreting the caul (the part of the placenta remaining on the head) at a baby’s birth.
- Anthropomancy/Antinpomancy/Splanchomancy: Divination by interpreting the entrails of a human sacrifice.
- Apantomancy: Divination through interpreting objects or beings encountered in a “chance meeting”, for instance, a black cat crossing your path.
- Arachnomancy: Under Zoomancy > Entomancy
- Arithmancy: Divination using numbers
- Arithmosophy: Divination through Michael Bertiaux’s technique of converting words to numbers.
- Gematria: Hebrew numerology, usually interpreting Hebrew bible passages assigning numeric values to letters of the Hebrew Alphabet.
- Numerology: Divination through using dates and words turned to numbers (i.e. C=3), often birthdates and names.
- Aruspicy/Extispicy/Haruspicy: Divination by examining the entrails of a sacrificed animal
- Hepatoscopy/Hepatomancy: examining the liver of a sacrificial animal
- Astragalamancy/Astragalomancy/Astragyromancy/Cleromancy: Divination through dice, originally done with sheep bones.
- Astrology: Divination by the positions of the planets, the sun and the moon
- Genethlialogy/Natal Astrology: Divination of the influence of the stars on birth.
- Horoscopy: Divination by interpreting a horoscope
- Autography/Automatic Writing/Psychography: Written communication with a spirit done unconsciously by a person in a trance or semi-conscious state.
- Axinomancy: Divination by throwing an axe or hatchet and observing the direction of the handle or (sometimes with a saw) interpreting the quivering of the blade.
- Belomancy/Bolomancy: Divination by shooting, tossing, or balancing an arrow.
- Bibliomancy/Stichomancy: Divination by randomly chosen passages in books, most often religious books.
- Rhapsodomancy: Using a book of poetry
- Stoichemancy: Using a book by Virgil or Homer
- Book of Changes: See I Ching
- Botanomancy: Under Pyromancy > Xylomancy
- Brontoscopy: Interpreting the sound of thunder
- Capnomancy: Under Pyromancy
- Carromancy: Divination by observing melting wax
- Cartomancy: Divination by using a deck of cards
- Taromancy: Divination by using a deck of Tarot Cards
- Causimomancy: Under Pyromancy
- Ceraunoscopy: Under Aeromancy
- Ceromancy/Ceroscopy: Divination through pouring melted wax into water
- Chien Tung: See I Ching
- Chaomancy: Under Aeromancy
- Cheiromancy/Chiromancy: Divination through the study of the hand, fingers, fingernails and palms.
- Onychomancy: Divination through interpreting the fingernails.
- Palmistry/Palm Reading: Divination through reading and interpreting the lines and structure of the hand.
- Clairsentience: Any form of paranormal sensing ability.
- Clairvoyance: Also called “second sight”, the ability to interpret or foretell the unseen
- Clairaudience: An auditory form of clairvoyance
- Precognition: Divination through the psychic ability to “see” the future.
- Psychometry: Divination through touching or handling an object
- Cledomancy: Divination through interpreting random events or statements.
- Cleidomancy/Clidomancy: Under Radiesthesia > Pallomancy
- Cleromancy: See Astragalamancy
- Coscinomancy/Cosquinomancy: Under Radiesthesia > Pallomancy
- Crithomancy/Critomancy: Divination through interpreting sacrificial cakes and breads.
- Cromniomancy: Divination by interpreting the sprouting behavior of onions
- Cursed Bread: See Alphitomancy
- Cybermancy: Divination through computer
- Cyclomancy: Divination through interpreting the revolutions of a spinning bottle, top, or turning wheel.
- Dactyliomancy/Dactlomancy: Under Radiesthesia > Pallomancy
- Daphnomancy: Under Pyromancy > Xylomancy
- Demonomancy: Divination by summoning demons to reveal the future.
- Dendromancy: Divination using either oak or mistletoe
- Divining/Dowsing: Under Radiesthesia
- Feng Shui: The Ancient Chinese art of placing objects, furnishings, and buildings to create an harmonious and healthy flow of chi (energy that flows around us and carries the life force).
- Fractomancy: Divination through interpreting the structure of fractal patterns.
- Futurology: Prediction of the future based on existing conditions.
- Gematria: Under Arithmancy
- Genethlialogy: Under Astrology
- Geomancy: Divination by interpreting the lines and figures traced in the earth, either by reading the lines and figures in cast pebbles, dirt, or sand or interpretation of those already existing in the earth’s natural formations.
- Geloscopy: Divination through interpretation of the sound or manner of laughter.
- Graphology: Divination through the interpretation of handwriting
- Gyromancy: Divination by walking or twirling around a circle marked with letters until dizzy and, using the letters at the point where the person falls or stumbles to spell out a prophecy
- Halomancy: See Alomancy
- Haruspicy: See Aruspicy
- Hepatoscopy/Hepatomancy: Under Aruspicy
- Hieromancy/Hieroscopy: Divination by interpreting burnt offerings or slaughtered animals.
- Hippomancy: Under Zoomancy
- Horoscopy: Under Astrology
- Hydromancy/Ydromancy: Divination by interpretation of water, including its color, ripples, ebb and flow.
- Hydatoscopy: Divination by interpreting rainwater.
- Lecanomancy: Divination through interpreting the sounds or the ripples made by stones dropped into water.
- Pegomancy: Divination through the interpretation of sacred waters such as springs, pools, wells, or fountains
- I Ching/Book of Changes/Chien Tung: An Ancient Chinese type of divination to reveal patterns of change through deep introspection and intuitive thought.
- Ichthyomancy: Divination by interpreting the behavior or the entrails of fish.
- Idolomancy: Divination by interpreting idols.
- Iridology: Under Oculomancy
- Keraunomancy: Under Aeromancy
- Lampadomancy: Under Pyromancy
- Lecanomancy: Under Hydromancy
- Libranomancy/Livanomancy: Under Pyromancy > Capnomancy
- Lithomancy: Divination using crystals or semi-precious stones, either interpreting the light from them or by casting them and interpreting their placement as they fall.
- Lychnomancy: Under Pyromancy
- Metagnomy: Divination achieved through a trancelike state
- Meteromancy: Under Aeromancy
- Metoposcopy: Divination through interpreting the lines and wrinkles in the forehead
- Moleosophy: Divination through the interpretation of moles on the body.
- Molybdomancy: Divination through interpreting the hissing sounds made by molten lead or tin dropped into water.
- Myomancy: Under Zoomancy
- Myrmomancy: Under Zoomancy > Entomancy
- Natal Astrology: Under Astrology
- Necromancy: Divination through communication with the dead.
- Numerology: Under Arithmancy
- Oculomancy: Divination by interpreting the eye
- Iridology: Divination through observing the iris of the eye.
- Oenomancy/Oinomancy: Divination through interpreting wine.
- Omphalomancy/Umbilicomancy: Divination through interpreting the shape of the first born’s navel or the knots in the umbilical cord to determine how many children a woman will have in her lifetime
- Oneiromancy: Divination through the interpretation of dreams
- Onomancy/Onomomancy: Divination by interpreting names
- Onychomancy: Under Cheiromancy
- Oomancy/Ooscopy/Ovomancy: Divination by eggs
- Ophiomancy: Under Zoomancy
- Oracle: Making contact with spirits or gods.
- Ornithomancy: Under Zoomancy
- Ouija/Ouije: Divination with the use of a Ouija Board, a board printed with the alphabet and numbers and using a planchette to spell out messages.
- Pallomancy: Under Radiesthesia
- Palmistry/Palm Reading: Under Cheiromancy
- Pegomancy: Under Hydromancy
- Phyllorhodomancy: Divination through the sound made by slapping a rose petal against the hand.
- Physiognomy: Divining a person’s character through interpreting the features of his/her face.
- Schematomancy: Divination by observing and interpreting the face.
- Podomancy: Divination through interpretation of feet.
- Pedomancy: Divination through interpretation of a footprint
- Precognition: Under Clairvoyance
- Premonition: A warning of a future event, typically an accident or disaster.
- Prophecy: A vision or revelation of the future, typically provided by a deity.
- Psychography: See Autography
- Psychomancy: Divination through the interpretation of a person’s soul, i.e. values and beliefs. Soul Reading
- Psychometry: Under Clairvoyance
- Pyromancy: Divination by fire
- Capnomancy: Divination by interpreting rising smoke
- Libranomancy/Livanomancy: Divination through interpreting the smoke made by burning incense.
- Causimomancy: Divination by observing objects placed in a fire
- Lampadomancy: Divination by interpreting the flame of a candle, torch, or lamp
- Lychnomancy: Divination through interpreting the flames of three candles
- Pyroscopy: Divination by burning paper
- Sideromancy: Divination by placing straws on a hot iron and observing the resulting shapes.
- Spodomancy: Divination by interpreting ashes, cinders, or soot
- Xylomancy: Divination by burning wood
- Botanomancy: Divination by interpreting burning or burned leaves or branches
- Daphnomancy: Divination by interpreting a burning laurel branch
- Tephramancy: Divination through interpretation of the ashes of burnt tree bark.
- Rhapsodomancy: Under Bibliomancy
- Radiesthesia: Divination through using a pendulum or rod.
- Pallomancy: Divination using a pendulum
- Cleidomancy/Clidomancy: divining through using a key attached to a cord or string.
- Coscinomancy/Cosquinomancy: Divination using a sieve suspended from shears or tongs.
- Dactyliomancy/Dactlomancy: Divination using a suspended ring
- Divining/Dowsing/Water Witching: using a rod to determine the location of water
- Rhabdomancy: Divination using a stick or rod.
- Schematomancy: Under Physiognomy
- Sciomancy: Divination by using a spirit guide, different from necromancy in that the guide is not summoned
- Scrying: The term for divination by seeking a vision while gazing into a transparent, translucent, or otherwize reflective object.
- Crystal ball gazing
- Crystal gazing
- Fires Scrying
- Ink Scrying
- Mirror Scrying
- Smoke Scrying
- Water Scrying
- Wine Scrying
- Selenomancy: Divination of the appearance and phase of the moon.
- Sideromancy: Under Pyromancy
- Skatharomancy: Under Zoomancy > Entomancy
- Spasmatomancy: Divination by observing convulsions
- Spatalamancy: Divination by interpreting skin, bone, or excrement
- Scapulimancy/Scapulomancy/Spatulamancy: Divination by examining the cracks in the burned shoulder bones of an animal
- Scatamancy: Divination by interpreting excrement
- Spatilomancy: Divination by interpreting animal excrement
- Splanchomancy: See Anthropomancy
- Spodomancy: Under Pyromancy
- Stareomancy: Divination by interpreting the classical elements of wind, water, earth, or fire.
- Sternomancy: Divination by interpreting the marks or bumbs on the solar plexus (breast to belly).
- Stichomancy: See Bibliomancy
- Stoichemancy: Under Bibliomancy
- Stolisomancy: Divination by interpreting a person’s style of dress
- Sycomancy: Divination through writing a question on a leaf and ascertaining the answer through how quickly the leaf dries.
- Taromancy: See Cartomancy
- Tasseography/Tasseomancy: Divination through reading tea leaves, coffee grounds, or wine sediments
- Tephramancy: Under Pyromancy > Xylomancy
- Theomancy: Divination through oracle or direct contact with God.
- Theriomancy: Under Zoomancy
- Tiromancy/Typomancy/Tyromancy: Divination by interpreting the holes in cheese or other types of coagulation
- Transataumancy: Divination by accidentally seeing or hearing.
- Trochomancy: Divination by wheel ruts or tracks.
- Umbilicomancy: See Omphalomancy
- Uromancy/Urimancy: Divination by interpreting urine.
- Urticariaomancy: Divination by the location of an itch. (e.g. your palms itch, you’ll get money or your nose itches, someone is thinking about you)
- Water Witching: Under Radiesthesia > Divining
- Xenomancy: Divination by interpreting meetings with strangers.
- Xylomancy: Under Pyromancy
- Ydromancy: See Hydromancy
- Zoomancy: Divination though interpretation of the appearance and behavior of animals
- Ailuromancy: Divination through observing the behavior of cats.
- Entomancy: Divination by interpreting the behavior of insects
- Arachnomancy: Divination by observing the behavior of spiders
- Myrmomancy: Divination through the interpretation of the behavior of ants
- Skatharomancy: Divination by interpreting the tracks of a beetle.
- Hippomancy: Divination by interpreting the behavior of horses.
- Myomancy: Divination through interpretation of the behavior of mice and rats.
- Ophiomancy: Divination by observing the behavior of serpents
- Ornithomancy: Divination through interpretation of the behavior, flight, and song of birds.
- Theriomancy: Divination through interpreting the movements of groups of animals.
- Zygomancy: Divination by using weights
2. “Divination Dictionary.” Divinity Dice 17 May 2008. 17 May 2008 <http://www.divinitydice.com/dictionary.htm>.
3. Timothy D. Hoare, Ph.D. “Glossary of Important Terms in World Religions.” Dr. Timothy D. Hoare, Ph.D. unknown . 7 May 2008 <http://staff.jccc.net/thoare/glossary.htm>.
4. “Methods of divination.” Wikipedia 15 Mar 2008. 7 May 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methods_of_divination>.