-mancy, -mancer, -mantic, -mantical

(Greek: used as a suffix; divination, prophecy, fortune telling; to interpret signs so “practical” decisions can be made [related to -mania])

It isn't so much the things we don't know that gets us into trouble. It's the things we know that aren't so.

—Artemus Ward (1834-1867)

If you keep on saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet.

—Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1991),
Polish-born American journalist, writer.
predivination (s) (noun), predivinations (pl)
The foretelling or foreseeing of events beforehand; a prophecy: In the story Mary was reading, the main character was known for his predivinations of incidents and circumstances that were yet to come.
1. Divination by pebble-stones, distinguished by certain characters, and put as lots into a vessel; which, having made certain supplications to the gods to direct them, they drew them out; and according to the characters, conjectured what should happen to them.
2. Prophecy with pebbles (heaped in a pile).
Psephomancy or divination with stones or rocks.
Word Info image © ALL rights reserved.
Someone who uses stones or pebbles to divine or foretell the future.
Fraudulent or misleading fortune telling; pretended divination.

One example is divination by drawing marked stones from a container.

1. Divination by means of spirits.
2. Divination by interpreting the soul of a person, his/her values, beliefs, and morals.
3. Soul searching or occult communication between souls or spirits.
Divination with fire or flames; a good omen resulted when the flames were vigorous and quickly consumed the sacrifice and when the smoke was transparent, neither red nor dark in color, when it didn’t crackle, but burnt silently in a pyramidal form; but a bad omen when it was difficult to kindle, disturbed by wind or slow to consume the victim.

Mantics also observed flames of torches by throwing powdered pitch into the flames. Another aspect is pyroscopy (based on the burn stains left on a light surface after burning a sheet of paper).

Divination by things seen over one’s shoulder.
rhabdomancy, rabdomancy (s) (noun); rhabdomancies, rabdomancies
1. Divination by means of a rod or wand; especially, in discovering ores, underground springs of water, etc.
2. Etymology: from Greek rhabdos, "rod" + -manteia, "foretell, predict".
Divination by means of a wand.
© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

scapulimancy, scapulomancy, spealomancy
Divination by observing charred or cracked shoulder blades or markings on the shoulder bone of an animal (especially a sheep).

The practice of scapulimancy; that is, divination through the appearance of the shoulder-blade of an animal, which may or may not have been subjected to scorching, is among the most ancient methods of fortune-telling in Eurasia and among other widespread regions of the world.

Oracle bones were in use in the China of Shang-Yin dynasty and the practice has persisted in Mongolia up to very recently and probably still exists.

Methods of using bones for fortune-telling are recorded from areas as far removed culturally and geographically as early China and Greece.

—"Confronting the Supernatural: Mongolian Traditional Ways and Means";
Collected Papers; Harrassowitz Verlag; Wiesbaden, Germany; 1994; page 113.
A modern method of reading character by studying a person’s old shoes.
1. Divination by examining excrement or feces and determining one's future.
2. The act of divining; a foreseeing or foretelling, of future events by the examination of feces; of humans and/or of animals.
Divination by the examination of a person’s appearance or form so as to determine his personal history.
sciomancy (s) (noun), sciomancies (pl)
Divination or fortune telling by interpreting the various shapes of shadows.
A form of divination that includes a specialized form of fortune telling that examines the various aspects, phases, and appearances of the moon.
Divination with a cup.

Cross references of word families that are related directly, or indirectly, to: "divination, diviner; seer, soothsayer, prophecy, prophesy, prophet": augur-; auspic-; fa-, fate; Fates in action; futur-; omen; -phemia; sorc-, sorcery; vati-.

A cross reference of other word family units that are related directly, or indirectly, to: "chance, luck, fate": aleato-; auspic-; cad-; fortu-; serendipity; sorc; temer-; tycho-.