Derived from the Greek arkhaios ('ancient') and manteia ('divination'), it is the art and practice of divining the past, the present and the future with the aid of sacred relics.
Since the beginning of time people have seen relics as a way to come closer to the divine and thus form a closer bond with the gods. The veneration of relics continues to be of importance even today, so it is not surprising that the ancients used them for divinatory practices.
In the most common form of Archaeomancy, a seer or diviner, a person who foretells the future from omens, would take over the divinatory proceedings.
After the proper prayers and/or invocations are pronounced, the seer fixes his or her gaze onto the relic in question, until prophetic visions appear or until he or she reaches a state of divinatory trance and initiates prophetic utterances.
Other forms of Archaeomancy were dictated by the nature of the relic used. A sacred bowl with water could be used in a divinatory form related to Hydromancy and Scrying, or a sacred tray or flat rock could be used to spread sand or ashes, where divinatory patterns would form. Many of times the relic was a place, such as sacred ancient caves, temples, altars, consecrated lakes, pools, springs, grottos, etc. At the Oracle of Dodona, diviners listened and interpreted the murmur made by a sacred fountain and the sounds and noise caused by the movement of the foliage of the sacred oak outside the temple.
Predicting the future state of the world using archaeological data is also known as Archaeomancy.
See Divination, Haruspex, Radiesthesia, Astrology, Acutomancy, Agalmatomancy, Coscinomancy, Cleidomancy, Augur, Stoichomancy, Dowsing, Tarot, Heptameron, Demonology, Sortilege, Idolomancy, Demonomancy, Tephramancy, Anemoscopy, Eromancy, Austromancy, Chaomancy, Roadomancy, Capnomancy, Pyromancy, Meteormancy, Ceraunoscopy, Zoomancy, Felidomancy, Horoscope, Horary Astrology, Zodiac, Numerology, Bibliomancy, Mystic Gifts and Charms - New Age Gift Shop & Wicca and Pagan Supplies, Love Spells -- Use these powerful love spells to help you find and keep your true love, The Tarot Store, The Chakra Store, Divination & Scrying Tools and Supplies, Unique Amulets, Talismans, Good Luck Charms, and Love Tokens, Powerful Witch Doctor Spell Kits, Powerful Spells - Cast by Andreika the Witch, Webmasters Make $$$, AzureGreen - Celebrating All Paths to the Divine, ISIS - Tools for Your Soul's Journey, and The Pyramid Collection - Myth, Magick, Fantasy and Romance.
Sources: (1) Spence, Lewis, An Encyclopedia of Occultism, Carol Publishing Group; (2) Dictionary of the Occult, Caxton Publishing; (3) Manas, John H., Divination Ancient and Modern: An Historical, Archaeological and Philosophical Approach to Seership and Christian Religion, Kessinger Publishing.
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