Also known as Amathomancy (from the Greek amathos, for sand), it is the art and practice of foretelling future events by the observation of omens in patterns of dust, or in the dust, dirt, ashes or sand.
The precise origins and method for this type of divination have been
lost in time, but it is certainly, like most divination techniques,
"A variant of this requires the
production of a great deal of ash. Sacred woods can burned, the
symbolic values of the woods chosen to match the criteria of the query.
In the evening hours, once the ashes are cool, they should be spread in
a thick layer over a set outdoor area, whether a clearing in a wooded
area or a second floor balcony. The querent then analyzes his or her
reason for divination and reduces it to words or sigils, and traces the
words or sigils in the ashes. The ashes are then left overnight to the
elements and, if in a rural setting, to any visiting power animal or
curious critter. The results are then assessed in the morning."
This has been known in some practices to include the use of the ashes of the recently deceased.
Spodomancy, Tephramancy or Tuphramancy
spodo-, spod- (Greek: ashes; waste materials)
Gk. tephra "ashes" + manteia "divination," from mantis "prophet."
is a method of divination by means of the cinders, ashes or soot from
sacrificial fires. The specific type of spodomancy that used patterns
formed in the ashes of burn offerings made to the gods was often called
"Ashes can be read like tealeaves,
and for this undertaking, a good dream symbol dictionary or
tasseography (tea leaf reading) guide is a must."
According to a Middle Ages method, hollow, oblong cinders were known as
"coffins", indicating a coming death in the family; oval cinders,
called "cradles", were indicative of the advent of a child. Round
cinders, called "purses", indicated prosperity, and heart-shaped ones
were the sign of a lover.
In Scotland it was said that if a clot of soot fell down the chimney
during a wedding breakfast, it was a portent of ill luck for the