Ashagalomancy

Ashagalomancy


A system of divination of casting small bones (each associated with particular interpretation). The method is similar to throwing dice. In fact, in later development of this divinatory system dice were utilized. The numbers were associated with letters which formed words related to questions put to the diviner.

In an related preliminary ritual the questions are written paper which is passed through smoke of burning juniper wood.

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Arithmancy

Arithmancy


Divination by numbers (sometimes wrongly called Arithmomancy). The ancient Greeks examined the number and the values of letters in each name of two combatants. They predicted the combatant having the name of the greater value would be victorious. It was by using this science that some diviners foretold that Achilles would defeat Hector.

The Chaldeans also practiced arithmancy. They divided their alphabet into three parts, each part composed of seven letters which they attributed to the seven planets. Through this arithmetic method they made predictions based on the planets.

The Platonists and Pythagoreans were also strongly attracted to this form of divination which is similar to certain aspects of the Jewish Kabbalah.

Anthropomancy

Anthropomancy


Divination of human entrails. This horrid form of divination is very ancient. Herodotus wrote that Menelaus practiced it when detained in Egypt because of contrary winds. Because of his barbarous curiosity he sacrificed two country children in order to discover his destiny.

Also, Heligabalus practiced anthropomancy.


Julian the Apostate incorporated anthropomancy in his magical operations. He had large numbers of children killed so he could read their entrails. During his last experiment at Carra, in Mesopotamia, he enclosed himself within the Temple of the Moon, and having performed all manner of evil within, he had the Temple doors sealed and placed a guard there so no one would enter until his return. However, he was killed in battle with the Persians. When men of Julian’s successor entered the Temple at Carra they discovered a woman hanging by her hair with her liver torn out.


It is speculated that the infamous Gilles De Laval also performed such hideous species of this divination.

Amulets

Amulets


The usage of amulets seems universal stemming from the human desire for protection. The existence seems to extend from the cave dwellers to the present. As objects they come and go with fashion, taking on different designs and shapes, but their purpose remains the same. No matter how civilized a culture may be, the amulets are present.
The term amulet is derived from either the Latin word amuletum or the old atin term amoletum which means, “means of defense.” Pliny, the Roman naturalist, described three types of amulets: those which offered protection against trouble and adversity; those which provided a medical or prophylatic treatment; and substances used as medicine.


Among ancient cultures such as the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Arabs, and Hebrews great importance was placed on the use of amulets. The Egyptians employed them everywhere. The frog protected fertility;
ankhs symbolized everlasting life and generation; the udjat, or eye, was for good health, comfort, and protection against evil; the scarab beetle was for resurrection after death and protection against evil magic. One of the most notable amulets of ancient Egypt is the Eye of Horus

.
Cylinder seals were used as amulets by the Assyrians and Babylonians. Within them were embedded semiprecious and precious stones; each stone supposedly possessed its own unique magical powers. There were various animal shaped amulets; such as, the ram for virility; and the bull for virility and strength.


The Arabs, too, had amulets protecting them against evil. Small sacks containing dust from tombs were worn. They also wore pieces of paper on which were written prayers, spells, magical names or the powerful attributes of God such as “the compassionate” and “the forgiver.”


The Hebrews wore crescent moons to ward off the
evil eye and they attached bells to their garments to ward off evil spirits.


In Africa the natives were discovered having amulets too which the Western explorers and missionaries called
fetishes. The fetish symbolized protection to the natives.
Historically the two most universal symbols of amulets have been the eye and the phallic symbols. Eyes are thought to protect against evil spirits and are found on tombs, walls, utensils, and jewelry. The phallic symbol, represented by horns and hands, is protection against the evil eye.


The names of God and magical words and numbers have generally been thought to provide protection and fashioned into amulets. These methods of gaining protection extend back to antiquity and were extremely popular during the Renaissance to the early 19th century. Accompanying these were the grimoires, books of magical instruction written for and by magicians. In magic, using the name of a deity is the same as drawing down divine power. This is the reason why portions of grimoires resemble prayer books.
The
Tetragrammation, the Hebrew personal name for God- -YHWH and pronounced Yahweh”- – , is believed to be very powerful in magic operations and has been fashioned into amulets by different spellings. It is believed to help magicians in conjuring up demons and give him protections from negative spirits.


The SATOR square
has also been fashioned into amulets. Throughout the centuries attempts have been made to decipher the squire but it still remains unintelligible. It was discovered on walls and vassals of ancient Rome. In amulet form it is considered to be protection against sorcery, poisonous air, colic, pestilence, and for protecting cow’s milk against witchcraft.


Most all cultures hold the belief that sacred religious books such as the Koran,
Torah, and Bible possess protective powers. Bits of parchment containing quotes from these books are carried in leather pouches, silver boxes, or like containers as amulets. Ancient pagans wore figurines of their gods as amulets. The remnant of this custom is still seen in the Catholic religion where some members still wear scapulars and medals of the saints.


Many pagans and witches presently wear jewelry fashioned in amuletic designs with their protective purpose in mind.

Amniomancy

Amniomancy


A form of divination practiced by using a caul, or membrane which sometimes envelopes a child’s head at birth. From inspecting the caul wise women would foretell the future of the baby. If its color is red then happy days or good fortune were ahead for the child, but if it is lead-colored then misfortune laid in the child’s path.

Alomancy

Alomancy


 

A form of divination by using salt. The diviner interprets future events by analyzing the patterns in which the grains fall, or travel through the air when thrown. Probably such practices gave rise to the beliefs that spilling salt is unlucky, and throwing a little salt over one’s left shoulder wards off misfortune.

Aleuromancy

Aleuromancy


An ancient divinatory practice which utilized flour. Sentences were written on pieces of paper, each of which was rolled up in a little ball of flour The balls of flour were thoroughly mixed up nine times and then divided amongst the curious, who anxiously waited to learn their fate. The custom lingered in remote areas into the nineteenth century.


Apollo, who supposedly presided over this divination form, was surnamed Aleuromantis.

Alectromancy (or Alectryomancy)

Alectromancy (or Alectryomancy)


An ancient divinatory for that utilized a cock. When practicing this divination a circle which was divided into as many parts as there were in the alphabet was drawn in a closed place. Then a wheat-corn was placed in each section beginning with the first letter, or A. Whoever placed the corn must recite a certain incantation while doing it. The time for this divination is when the sun or moon is in Aries or Leo.


The cock must be young and white. When his claws are cut off he is forced to swallow both of them together with a small roll of parchment made of lambskin upon which have been previously written words. Now the diviner holding the cock must repeat a certain incantation or conjuration. Next, when putting the cock with the circle, he must recite two verses of the Psalms, which are exactly the midmost of the seventy-two verses in the entry on Onimancy, and it should be noted on the authority of an ancient Rabbi that there is not anything within these seventy-two verses which is not of some use within
Kabbalism.


The cock, being in the circle, is observed to see from which of the letters he peck the grains, and upon these others must be quickly placed because frequently some words often contain the same letter two or three times. The letters should be written down and assembled, for they will infallibly reveal the name of the person concerning whom the inquiry was made.


A story of doubt concerns the magician Iamblicus who used this divination to discover the successor of Valens Caesar in the Roman Empire. . However, the bird just pecked four grains that spelled “T h e o.” This left a great uncertainty. The letters could stand for “Theodosius,” “Theodotus,” “Theodorus,” or “Theodectes.” When Valens heard of this divination he had several persons murdered whose names began with these letters. The magician to escape his known fate drank a draught of poison.
This form of divination resembles the use of a planchette or ouija board.
Another form of Alectromacy is sometimes practiced when a cock crows or is heard crowing.


Another version of the above divinatory incident was related by Ammanius Marcellinus in the fourth century AD. In this version the ritual is described somewhat differently. Sorcerers begun by placing a basin made of different metals on the ground and drawing around it at equal distances the letters of the alphabet. Then the sorcerer possessing the deepest occult knowledge would come forth, enveloped in a long veil, holding in his hands branches of vervain, and letting forth dreadful cries which were accompanied by hideous convulsions. Eventually, almost immediately, he would stop before the basin where he became rigid and motionless. He, then, struck with the branch in his hand upon a letter several times, and then proceeded doing likewise on other letters until the sufficient amount was selected to form a heroic verse which was then given out to the assembly.


Wnen the Emperor Valens was informed of this divinatory ritual, he was so appalled that the infernal powers had been consulted concerning his destiny that he ordered that not only the sorcerers but all the philosophers in Rome be severely punished that many lost their lives.


Details of the performance of Alectryomancy are exactly and curiously described in the fourth song of the Caquet Bonbec, written by the 14th century poet Jonquieres.

Aeromancy

Aeromancy


A form of divination of foretelling future events by observing atmospheric phenomena such as when a death of a great man is foretold by the appearance of a comet.


Francois la Tour Blanche stated that aeromancy is the art of fortune-telling by spectres which are made to appear in the air, or the representation by the aid of demons which are projected on the clouds as if by a magic lantern. “As for the thunder and lightening,” he added, “these are concerned with the
auguries, and the aspect of the sky and of the planets belong to the science of astrology.”


Within Christianity an act of aeromancy might be thought of as the phenomena of the star over Bethlehem when Christ was born.