Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Different Kind of Ouija

Skeptic.com defines divination as an attempt to foretell the future (or discover occult knowledge) through interpreting omens/using paranormal powers.  There are many types of divination practices...some of which end with "mancy."  "-Mancy" comes from the Greek word manteia, meaning simply, divination.

One interesting form of divination is known as alectromancy/alectryomancy. which in short, is letting a chicken choose from a selection of wheat grains.

When the Sun or Moon is in Aries or Leo, a magical cock is selected and a circle is drawn.  The circle is sectioned off, with one letter of the alphabet written in each section.   In each section of the circle, a grain of wheat is placed, and the cock is set loose.  A magical incantation is recited as the cock roams the circle.  The order in which the cock eats the grains will spell out the answer to any question previously posed.

It is said that the sorcerer Lamblicus employed this method of divination to predict the successor to Valens Caesar in Rome.  The cock in question spelled out only four letters:  T-H-E-O.  Consequently, thousands with this sequence of letters in their name were killed.

The illustration above shows 19th century Russian peasants involved in the art of alectromancy.

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