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Occultopedia

The Occult and Unexplained Encyclopedia  
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Entomomancy

        

 
 
Ladybird, by Ratier . . .  —  Buy this art print at AllPosters.com.
 

 

 
 


Derived from the Greek entomos ('insect') and manteia ('divination'), it is the art and practice of divining the past, the present and the future from the appearance and behavior of insects.


To this may be referred the various omens of popular folklore, such as crickets bringing good luck, and ladybirds indicating visitors.

   
           

 
 
Dream, c.1935, by M. C. Escher . . .  —  Buy this art print at AllPosters.com.
 
 
 
 


In Scotland, the seven-spot ladybird beetle — in America called the seven-spot ladybug (Coccinella Septempunctata) — is locally known as King Calowa, and is the preferred insect used for divination, evident by the traditional Scottish rhyme:


"King, King Calowa,
Up your wings and flee awa'
Over land, and over sea;
Tell me where my love can be."


The ancient Greeks had numerous beliefs about portentous insects. Ants were meant to have presaged the death of Cimon, and, also, the great wealth of Midas was foretold by ants coming to him as a boy while asleep and dropping grains of wheat into his mouth. To be bitten by an ant was believed to foreshadow enmity and quarreling. If ants made their nest near a home's threshold, prosperity was indicated.

   
            

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The African Zandes (also spelled Asande or Azande), a central African tribe, practice Myrmomancy — the observations of ants eating food to discern the future. They also use termites and their mounds to make predictions. Polynesian tribal leaders coax a beetle to crawl over a murder victim's grave so that its tracks are prophetically read to indicate the murderer's name.

   
         

 
 
Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate, c. 1944, by Salvador Dalí . . .  —  Buy this art print at AllPosters.com.
 

 

 
 


According to John Potter, bees "were esteemed an omen of future eloquence", and he cites the well-known story of Plato, who, as a baby in the cradle was visited by a swarm of bees which alighted on his lips, thereby predicting his gift of oratory. Obviously this is playing on the idea of words as sweet as honey, mellifluous speech. In fact Plato was known later as the Athenian Bee. An identical tale is told of St. Ambrose. If a bee flew into a house, it was thought to be an extremely lucky omen. To kill a bee presaged bad luck. When bees seemed reluctant to leave the hive, rain was to be expected very soon. The Romans also considered that seeing a flight of bees was a very ill omen. The calamitous defeat of Pompey's army by Caesar at Pharsalus in 48 B.C. was supposedly foretold by a swarm of bees which settled upon the sacred altar. To be stung by a wasp was believed to constitute a warning to be in your guard against jealousy, deception and danger.

   
           

  
 
Roman Augurs Foretell the Future by Observing the Behaviour of Hens. . .  —  Buy this art print at AllPosters.com.
 

 
  


Beetles were constantly observed for divination purposes. If a beetle crossed someone's path, it was considered to be a very lucky omen. The bigger the beetle, the greater good fortune it would bring. In contrast, if a cockroach was seen in a place where it should not be, it was held to presage death. Crickets and grasshoppers were thought to favor travel and generally foretell good news. But if they abandoned a house in which they had been for a long time, coming illness or death was feared. When colonies of gnats disport themselves in the evening sunshine, it was believed that the morrow would be sunny and warm. Large numbers of gnats seen in the spring was considered an omen that the later part of the year would be mild.

   
            

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The most obvious insect related to fortune telling would, however, have to be the mantis. This is the ancient Greek name for the insect, and, is identically the same as the word mantis meaning, a diviner.


According to Suidas this insect was a type of slow, green, locust. It had long, thin fore-feet, and was possibly, though not necessarily, the same as our praying mantis, though exactly what insect it was is unknown. Apparently it was observed for divinatory purposes. Unfortunately not a lot more is known about it and why it deserved its name. Our modern praying mantis is so-called from the prayer-like attitude of the front-legs, but this is only a modern appellation, dating back to the 17th century.

   
          

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Also, here we may note the old superstition of the death-watch. Recorded since at least the 17th century, this was a clicking or ticking noise like that of a watch, which was believed to portend the death of someone in the house within the next twelve hours. It was for many years unknown exactly what it was that produced the noise, however, it was eventually discovered to be a certain beetle that made the sound, apparently its mating call, by striking its head against a hard surface.


Entomomancy is a type of augury.

   
          

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See Astrology and Divination, Myrmomancy, Bibliomancy, Numerology, Divination, Demonomancy, 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, Love Spells -- Use these powerful love spells to help you find and keep your true love, Unbroken Curses, Mystic Gifts and Charms - New Age Gift Shop & Wicca and Pagan Supplies, The Chakra Store, 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.

   
           

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Sources: (1)
Spence, Lewis, An Encyclopedia of Occultism, Carol Publishing Group; (2) Dictionary of the Occult, Caxton Publishing; (3) Johnstone, Jane and Pilkington, Maya, The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Fortune Telling Published by Sterling; (4) Pickover, Clifford A., Dreaming the Future: The Fantastic Story of Prediction, Prometheus Books; (5) Dunwich, Gerina, A Wiccan's Guide to Prophecy and Divination, Carol Publishing Group; (6) The Complete Book of Fortune, Bracken Books.
 

 
-- Further Learning

Copyright Info --
-- Videos and DVDs Bibliography --
-- Art and Graphics Basic Navigation --
-- Suggested Reading Additional Online Info --

  


       
Suggested Software:
 
Courses on New Age and Alternative Beliefs:
 
 
 

 
-- aPalmRead: Interactive Palm Reading.

-- CyberTarot (Jewel Case) CD-ROM.

-- Dream Interpreter CD-ROM: Spiritual, Psychological and Traditional Interpretations of Dreams.

-- DRAGON Chinese Fortune Telling For Beginners.

-- Hand Reading Pro.

-- Horoscope Interpreter CD-ROM: Generate and Analyze Horoscopes.

-- Horoscope PRO - Horoscopes, Lovescopes, Chinese Horoscopes, Tarot Reading.

-- Matrix Oracle - Astrology, Runes, I-Ching, Numerology, Fortune Cookie, Compatibility (Friends & Lovers), Yes/No Oracle, Word Oracle, and Electric Almanac.

-- Palmistry for All.

-- Professional Tarot - Personal Edition.

-- Tarot Magic CD-ROM.

--
Ultimate Divination 4 CD-ROM Set: Astrology, Tarot, Palmistry, I Ching.

-- Click HERE for more related software.

-- Click HERE for the best prices on top-selling software titles.
 


Suggested Videos:
 
 

 
-- Ancient Mysteries - Astrology: Secrets in the Stars (A&E DVD Archives).

-- How To Contact Angels and Departed Love Ones A Step By Step Guide DVD.

-- Intention, Belief, Emotion, and Will; Consciousness and The Scientific Basis for Magick and Miracles DVD.

-- Oracle of Delphi Secrets Revealed DVD.

-- Quantum Astrology: Science, Spirit and Our Place in the Cycles of History DVD.

-- Rider-Waite Learning to Read the Symbolism of the Tarot.

-- Rider-Waite Learning To Read The Tarot Intuitively DVD.

--
Secrets of the Occult DVD.

--
Speaking With God: A Mossi Diviner in Burkina Faso DVD.

--
Strictly Supernatural - Tarot & Astrology DVD.

-- The Video Fortune Teller - Tarot, Crystal Ball and Spirit Board.

-- Click HERE for more related videos.

-- Click HERE for the best prices on top-selling DVD titles.
   
 

       
-- Astrology 101.

-- Dream Interpreting.

-- Introduction to Dowsing - A Better Way of Life.

-- Numerology 101.

--
Tarot Cards 101.

-- Angels 101
.

-- The Runes.


--
Handwriting Analysis Basics.

--
Understanding Parapsychology and the Paranormal.

-- Click HERE for more new age and alternative beliefs courses.



Suggested Art prints and Posters:

         
In Manibus Fortuna
In Manibus Fortuna Poster
Buy this poster
  He Visits a Fortune-Teller Who Predicts, Correctly, Impending Disaster Ca 1791
He Visits a Fortune-Teller Who Predicts, Correctly, Impending Disaster Ca 1791 Giclee Print
Dahlstrom, C.a.
Buy this poster
 
         
Man Consults a Fortune Teller on a Matter of Some Importance
Man Consults a Fortune Teller on a Matter of Some Importance Giclee Print
Rowlandson,...
Buy this poster
    Circe Invidiosa
Circe Invidiosa
John William...
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In Korea, a Master of the I-Ching Tells a Woman's Fortune in the Street
In Korea, a Master of the I-Ching Tells a Woman's Fortune in the Street
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    Ladies and Fortune Teller
Ladies and Fortune Teller
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The Palmograph Fortune Chart
The Palmograph Fortune Chart
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    Fortune Telling
Fortune Telling
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Apollo Pythias the Greek God of the Arts Including Divination
Apollo Pythias the Greek God of the Arts Including Divination Giclee Print
Buy this Art Print
    Scenes of Divination, Including Haruspication, Pyromancy and Necromancy
Scenes of Divination, Including Haruspication, Pyromancy and Necromancy Giclee Print
Burgkmair, Hans
Buy this Art Print
 
         

-- Click HERE for more related art prints and posters.
 
-- Click HERE for related magazines and periodicals.
 
 

Suggested Books:

               
     
-- A Wiccan's Guide to Prophecy and Divination.

--
African Divination Systems: Ways of Knowing.

--
African Oracles in 10 Minutes.

--
Ancient Egyptian Divination and Magic.

--
Angelic Messenger Cards: A Divination System for Self-Discovery.

--
A Practical Guide to the Runes: Their Uses in Divination and Magick.

--
Beyond Palmistry; The Art and Science of Modern Hand Analysis.

--
Biblical Numerology.

--
Cards of Destiny: A Birthday Book And Daily Divination Guide.

--
Casting LOTS - an Oracle of the Holy Spirit.

--
Crystal Balls & Crystal Bowls: Tools for Ancient Scrying & Modern Seership.

--
Crystal Ball Gazing: The Complete Guide to Choosing and Reading Your Crystal Ball.

--
Divination for Beginners: Reading the Past, Present & Future.

--
Dowsing for Beginners: The Art of Discovering: Water, Treasure, Gold, Oil, Artifacts (Llewellyn's Beginners Series).

--
Dowsing for Treasures.

--
Dreaming the Future: The Fantastic Story of Prediction.

--
Golden Dawn Enochian Skry: Your Complete System for Divination, Skrying and Ritual Magick.

--
Introduction to Medical Radiesthesia & Radionics.

--
Palmistry: The Language of the Hand.

--
Pendulum Power.

--
Radionics & Radiesthesia: A Guide to Working with Energy Patterns.

--
Science and Art of the Pendulum: A Complete Course in Radiesthesia.

--
Scrying for Beginners: Tapping into the Supersensory Powers of Your Subconscious .

--
Stalking the Wild Pendulum: On the Mechanics of Consciousness..

--
Techniques of Pendulum Dowsing: Step by Step Method for Use of the Pendulum in Dowsing.

--
The Book of Divination.

--
The Book of Doors Divination Deck: An Oracle from Ancient Egypt.

--
The Celtic Tree Oracle: A System of Divination.

--
The Complete Book of Dowsing: The Definitive Guide to Finding Underground Water.

--
The Diviner's Handbook: A Guide to the Timeless Art of Dowsing.

--
The Divining Hand: The 500 Year-Old Mystery of Dowsing.

--
The Divining Heart: Dowsing and Spiritual Unfoldment.

--
The Dowsing Rod Kit.

--
The Druid Animal Oracle: Working With the Sacred Animals of the Druid Tradition.

--
The Elements of Pendulum Dowsing (The Elements Of).

--
The Fortune-Telling Book: The Encyclopedia of Divination and Soothsaying (The Seeker Series).

--
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Divination.

--
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Divination: A Practical Guide to the Systems That Can Reveal Your Destiny.

--
The Pendulum Kit.

--
The Psychology of Treasure Dowsing.

--
The Tarot: History, Symbolism, and Divination.

-- Click HERE for more Divination related books.

-- Click HERE for more Dowsing related books.

-- Click HERE for the best prices on top-selling book titles.
 

 

  

Further info:

-- Entomomancy.
-- Divination by insects.
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