Alternatively known as Anemosomancy.
From the Greek anemos for wind, it is the art and practice of divination by the observation or study of specific characteristics of winds.
Also said to be the science of atmospheres, Anemoscopy is a form of Aeromancy.
"If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees." —Kahlil Gibran
This type of divination involves the observation of wind direction, strength, and sound, including the shape of dust clouds lifted by it.
A different method is posing a question and then tossing a handful of dirt, sand or light seeds into the air; the answer comes in the form of the small dust cloud made by the flying particles.
Another process uses a pendulum, allowed to move only by the wind, positioned over a circle graph or a set of letters, glyphs or runes. Yet another technique consists of listening to the sound of the wind and interpreting its message.
Anemoscopy, like most divination techniques, is quite ancient, and was once widely popular in the orient, specially in China. On the first day of the first month of the year, the ancient Chinese anemosomancers used to study the winds to foretell the fate of crops, wars, health and other events for the coming year. They listened to the composite sound made by the noise of the wind and of any surrounding people and then determined the pitch of the sound on a musical scale. Based on all these details, they made predictions about harvests, warfare, and future weather conditions.
In this type of divination, winds blowing from the east and south are generally considered a good omen, while those coming from the west and north are seem as bad portents. If a wind blows strong and then suddenly calms and starts up in another direction, it is a forewarning of dire times or circumstances on the way. Small whirlwinds in a dusty area or road indicate coming rain. In the USA, if a strong and sudden wind comes, it is said that a heavy rain may be expected.
The ancient Greeks practiced Anemoscopy in the sacred grove of Dodona, dedicated to Zeus. Psellus referred to this technique:
"There was a mode of predicting by means of the air and the leaves of the trees. The method involved the hanging of striking wands from branches of sacred oak trees in a way that they stroked resounding brass basins when the wind blew. Interpretations were made of these sounds and that of the wind. On a windy day, if one stood still, they could hear tones or perhaps 'whispers in the wind' of the trees as the moving air carried sound vibration."
Aboriginal populations that believed in wind spirits practiced this method of divination as a means of communication with their gods. Native Americans still practice wind divination to this day and age. Anemoscopy was also popular in the British Isles.
You can practice wind divination today by simply using pieces of paper and, if needed, a fan. If the answer sought is just a 'yes' or 'no', write these on two papers; if you need more than that, consider all the possible answers, and write them on as many pieces as necessary. Make sure your pieces of paper are of the same size. You can then drop the papers from higher ground, an upstairs window or such, or use the fan to blow them away from a flat surface, such as a table. The paper that touches the ground first reveals your answer.
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Sources: (1) Pickover, Clifford A., Dreaming the Future: The Fantastic Story of Prediction, Prometheus Books; (2) Schure, Edouard, Great Initiates: A Study of the Secret History of Religions, Garber Communications; (3) Psellus, Michael, Chronographia, Kessinger Publishing; (4) Dunwich, Gerina, A Wiccan's Guide to Prophecy and Divination, Carol Publishing Group; (5) Buckland, Raymond, The Fortune-Telling Book: The Encyclopedia of Divination and Soothsaying, Visible Ink Press.
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