Thursday, March 6, 2014

Reading ashes

Abacomancy

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, quite ancient.

"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."
-- http://www.goatncandle.freeservers.com/oct01/divine.htm

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 Tephromancy.

"Ashes can be read like tealeaves, and for this undertaking, a good dream symbol dictionary or tasseography (tea leaf reading) guide is a must."
--http://www.goatncandle.freeservers.com/oct01/divine.htm

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 newlywed couple.

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