Alternatively Clidomancy and Chilomancy.
Derived from the Greek kleis ('key') and manteia ('divination'), it is the art and practice of divining the past, the present and the future through the use of a key.
As in other forms of dowsing, the pendulum (or in this case, the key) indicates a yes or no response to a particular question by the direction in which swings or rotates.
The traditional method involved writing a question on a key and placing the key in or with a Bible, which was then hung in such a way as will permit it to turn — the direction of movement dictating the response.
In a variant method, the key pendulum is held over a circle inscribed with letters and numbers, or an Ouija board. The messages are then spelled out.
In another method the key should be hung upon the ring-finger of a young virgin, which then had to softly recite some magical words thrice. This ritual should be performed when the sun or the moon were in Virgo.
In yet another method of Cleidomancy, used to determine guilt, the key was supposed to be inserted into a Bible, specifically the 50th Psalm. The book was then sealed shut and suspended. The suspects names were slowly spoken, and if the Bible turned at the mention of a name, the person was guilty as charged.
In an alternate method, a suitor was chosen by also using the Bible and a key. As the story goes, women used this method by opening the Bible at the passage in Ruth: "Whither thou goest will go," and having carefully placed the wards of the key upon the verses, she would tie the book firmly with a piece of cord, and having mentioned the name of an admirer, she solemnly repeated the passage in question, at the same time holding the Bible suspended by joining the ends of her fingers inserted under the handle of the key. If the key retained its position during the repetition, the person whose name had been mentioned was considered to be rejected. Another name was tried, until the book turned round and fell through the fingers. When that happened, it was held that the name just mentioned was that of the individual who will certainly marry her.
Another form of Cleidomancy involved placing the key in a clenched fist and allowing a pregnant woman to touch one of the two proffered fists. If she touched the one in which the key was held, then it was claimed that the child would be a girl. If she touched the empty one, the child would be a boy.
See Radiesthesia, Sortilege, Divination, Astrology, Acutomancy, Agalmatomancy, Coscinomancy, Cleidomancy, Augur, Stoichomancy, Dowsing, Tarot, Heptameron, Demonology, 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, The Chakra Store, Love Spells -- Use these powerful love spells to help you find and keep your true love, The Tarot 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) Dunwich, Gerina, A Wiccan's Guide to Prophecy and Divination, Carol Publishing Group; (2) Spence, Lewis, An Encyclopedia of Occultism, Carol Publishing Group; (3) Dictionary of the Occult, Caxton Publishing; (4) Pickover, Clifford A., Dreaming the Future: The Fantastic Story of Prediction, Prometheus Books.
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