Alternatively known as Ceraunomancy.
Derived from the Greek astrape ('lightning flash') and manteia ('divination'), it is the art and practice of divining the past, the present and the future by the examination and interpretation of lightning.
The ancient Roman Augurs were practitioners of this method of divination, as well as the Babylonians, Etruscans, Egyptians, Greeks, Mayans and Celts.
A bilingual inscription in Etruscan and Latin from Pesaro commemorates a man named Cafates (Cafatius) who was an accomplished Netsvis (a Haruspex, interpreter of livers), a skilled Trutnvt (an interpreter of portents) and an amazing Frontac or Fulgurator, an interpreter of lightning.
The Greeks associated lightning with male deities. According to Pliny, Jupiter produced lightning that occurred during the day, while night lightning was the creation of Poseidon. It was believed that lightning were fiery bolts thrown down by these gods.
The Romans thought that the appearance, proximity, and brightness of lightning foretold the future success or failure of a newly set up household. According to the Roman author Seneca, the interpretation of lightning included observation of its type, intensity, color, sound, and effect. The ancients believed that lightning was produced by collisions between clouds, undoubtedly provoked by the gods in order to send mortals a sign.
Seneca also said that divination by lightning depended on correctly dividing the heavens into sections. The Eastern part of the heavens was the pars familiaris — the part belonging to one's own people — and the Western part was the pars hostilis — the part belonging to the enemy. Accordingly, bolts from the East were considered favorable omens, bolts from the West were considered to be inauspicious; bolts from the North were the most ominous of all, Northeastern bolts considered lucky and bolts from the Northwest indicating that extremely bad news would soon be arriving. Diviners were supposed to stand outside facing south, and then interpret the lightning signs and omens.
According to most occult traditions, Astrapomancy is a form of Ceraunoscopy.
See Brontoscopy, Diviner, Divination, Astrology, Acutomancy, Agalmatomancy, Divination, Dowsing, Coscinomancy, Tarot, Cleidomancy, Augur, Stoichomancy, Heptameron, Demonology, Sortilege, Idolomancy, Demonomancy, Tephramancy, Anemoscopy, Eromancy, Austromancy, Chaomancy, Roadomancy, Capnomancy, Pyromancy, Meteormancy, Ceraunoscopy, Zoomancy, 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.
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Sources: (1) Walker, Charles, The Encyclopedia of the Occult, Random House Value; (2) Spence, Lewis, An Encyclopedia of Occultism, Carol Publishing Group; (3) Dictionary of the Occult, Caxton Publishing; (4) Dunwich, Gerina, A Wiccan's Guide to Prophecy and Divination, Carol Publishing Group; (5) Johnston, Sarah Iles, Religions of the Ancient World: A Guide (Harvard University Press Reference Library), Belknap Press of Harvard University Press; (6) Cunningham, Scott, Divination for Beginners: Reading the Past, Present & Future, Llewellyn Publications.
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