-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.
If you keep on saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet.
From an examination of the caul, there was a prediction about the baby’s future; if red, happy days; if lead-colored, the baby would have misfortunes.
This form of anthropomancy was practiced in ancient Egypt; and Roman Emperor Heliogabalus is said to have done this, too.
Herodotus said that Menelaus, who was detained in Egypt by contrary winds, used anthropomancy by sacrificing two children of the country, and sought to discover his destiny by this method.
It is reported that in his magical operations of anthropomancy, Julian the Apostate, caused a large number of children to be killed, so that he might consult their entrails and a woman was found in the Temple of the Moon at Carra, in Mesopotamia, hanging by her hair with her liver torn out.
This type of anthropomancy divination continued through the period of the Roman Empire and it was believed to have been revived by notorious practitioners of the black arts during the Middle Ages.
The theory was that nothing happened by chance, including a bluebird that represented happiness and a black cat might bring bad luck (in some areas of the world, a black cat represents “good fortune”).
In ancient times such events were frequently interpreted by oracles, and their importance persisted through the Middle Ages, even up to modern times. From them have stemmed countless superstitions that many people still believe may bring them good or bad luck, though the interpretations may vary in different localities.
The Chaldeans divided their alphabet into three sections of seven letters and made a symbolic link to the seven planets to determine various arithmomancies which included numerical values of countries, individuals, and situations; all of which represented certain characteristics used for predicting future events.
Also defined as, “a manner of predicting the ability of mediumship by inspecting the shoulders of the prospective candidate.”
In the East Indies, a type of ritual magic whereby the psychic draws a circle, sits in the middle, mutters incantations, falls into a trance state, and when back in a normal state knows the answers to the questions of the supplicants.
Another explanation states that it was a primitive form of divination in which an entranced sorcerer, seated in a magic circle, became inspired by the devil and upon awakening recounted the predictions revealed to him from that source.