Derived from the Latin word armus ('a shoulder blade'), it is the art and practice of divination by the inspection of someone's shoulders.
The ancients utilized this type of divination to judge whether a victim was suitable for sacrifice to the gods. Armomancy was also used to determine if a person had psychic abilities.
Many occult authors have mistakenly equated this method of divination with Scapulomancy, which is divination by the observation of patterns or cracks and fissures on the burned shoulder-blade bones of an animal, usually an ox or sheep.
According to Thomas Blount's Glossographia of 1656, Armomancy is "divination by the shoulders of beasts." This was chiefly done to decide the suitability of the beast for sacrifice to the gods. Upon sacrifice, additional forms of divination would come into play, such as Aurispicy, Extispicy, Haruspication, and Scapulomancy.
Lewis Spence, in his An Encyclopedia of Occultism, said of Armomancy:
"A method of divination which is effected by the inspection of shoulders. The ancients judged by this means whether a victim was suitable for sacrifice to the gods."
Armomancy, like most divinatory systems, is quite ancient, and has been practiced since time immemorial.
See Scapulomancy, 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) Pickover, Clifford A., Dreaming the Future: The Fantastic Story of Prediction, Prometheus Books; (3) Dunwich, Gerina, A Wiccan's Guide to Prophecy and Divination, Carol Publishing Group; (4) Buckland, Raymond, The Fortune-Telling Book: The Encyclopedia of Divination and Soothsaying, Visible Ink Press.
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