Although he is most famous as the solar-affiliated lord of medicine, music and prophesy, in the guise of his familiar, a mouse, Apollo also guards grain. Through this venue, he provides another oracle. Once upon a time, this system of divination, known as “aleuromancy,” was available if one made a donation at Apollo’s shrine. This ancestor of the fortune cookie, is easily reproduced at home.
Whether this oracle tastes good or is even completely baked depends entirely on whether you plan to eat the oracle once its answer is received.
Here’s how it works:
Make a very simple bread dough from approximately one cup of flour, one egg, and one quarter cup of water. Write your choices or alternatives on slips of paper. Place each within a ball of dough. Each ball must appear reasonably identical. Bake these balls so that they’re sufficiently hard. When they cool off, request Apollo’s blessings, then select a ball and an oracle. The oracles that are not chosen can be left outside in an area frequented by field mice as an offering and a thank you.
Adapted from: The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells
Imbolc (Feb 2) was traditionally a time of weather divination, and the old tradition of watching to see if serpents or badgers came from their winter dens may be a forerunner to the North American Groundhog Day. A Scottish Gaelic proverb about the day is:
Thig an nathair as an toll
Là donn Brìde,
Ged robh trì troighean dhen t-sneachd
Air leac an làir.
“The serpent will come from the hole
On the brown Day of Bríde,
Though there should be three feet of snow
On the flat surface of the ground.”
Imbolc was believed to be the day the Cailleach — the hag of Gaelic tradition — gathers her firewood for the rest of the winter. Legend has it that if she wishes to make the winter last a good while longer, she will make sure the weather on Imbolc is bright and sunny, so she can gather plenty of firewood. Therefore, people would be relieved if Imbolc is a day of foul weather, as it means the Cailleach is asleep and winter is almost over and spring is on it’s way. Read more here: Là Fhèill Brìghde.
Other weather divinations include:
- “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; red sky at morning, sailor take warning”. This weather rhyme is a quick way to remember that dry particles in the air causes the sky to look red. Dry air in the west (the night sky), the weather will be dry. If the sky is red in the east (morning sky), wet weather is headed your way.
- “Circle round the moon, rain or snow soon.” A “circle” around the moon indicates moisture in the air, bringing precipitation.
- Catch the cat cleaning it’s ear’s on Imbolc? Tradition says that this means a storm is coming.
- Check out the pine cones. If they are closed, it means wet weather is on it’s way. Open cones predict dry weather.
Crickets have been shown to be very good indicators of air temperature. Count the number of chips a cricket makes for 14 seconds. Add 40 and the sum of the two numbers will equal the temperature to within 1 degree 75% of the time.
I didn’t find much about this subject. Most of the links I followed shared the same information from wikipedia as I have shared below. My own thoughts on the subject are as follows:
This type of divination truly relies on the individuals abilities and confidence. If you’d like to try it, pay attention to the first words, ideas, thoughts, images and impressions that come to you as you look at the word or words. What do they say about the person, the situation… how does it feel when you think about it.
If nothing comes right away, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- If the word was an object, and I picked it up, how would it feel?
- Is it heavy or light? Bright or dull? Colorful or black and white?
- Is there a story associated with it? And if not why not? And if so, what would it be?
- If this word was an animal… how would it sound? Which animal would it be? What would it do?
Allow yourself to be open to any possibility, no matter how absurd or outrageous. Take notes and write down your impressions. Try to engage all of your senses. Sight, Taste, Smell, Sound, Touch … etc.
Literomancy, from the Latin litero, “letter”, mancy, “prophecy”, is a form of fortune-telling based on written words, or, in the case of Chinese, characters. A fortune-teller of this type is known as a literomancer.
When practicing literomancy, the client puts up a subject, be it a single character or a name. The literomancer then analyzes the subject, the client’s choice of subject or other information related to the subject, along with other information he sees in the client or that the client supplies to arrive at a divination.
Some literomancers can read the curves and lines of a signature as signed by an individual, just as a professional handwriting analyst might, but uses instinct and divination techniques rather than applied analysis skills.
Literomancy is practised in Chinese-speaking communities and known as cèzì (traditional Chinese: 測字; simplified Chinese: 测字). The subjects of a literomancy are traditionally single characters and the requestor’s name (Chinese believe that the name can affect one’s destiny). In modern times, elements such as foreign words or even more recently, e-mail addresses and instant message handles have come into use as a subject.
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