Also known as 'Divination from the Belly', Gastromancie, Gastronomancy, and Gastromantia.
From the Greek gaster ('the stomach') and manteia ('prophecy'), it is the art and practice of divination, this time by omens taken from the belly.
Considered to be an ancient form of ventriloquism, in the most common form of Gastromancy the diviner, standing over a particular grave in the cemetery, would speak with the voice sounding low and hollow, in a sepulchral tone, as if issuing from the ground below. Prognostications were given in a trance-like state.
According to John Gaule's Mysmantia (or Pus-mantia), written in 1652, Gastromancy is divination "by the sound of the belly or signs upon the belly."
Rich Elihu (1819-1875) in his The Occult Sciences (1855), said of Gastromancy:
"Gastromancy, or divination from the belly, is now generally explained by ventriloquism, the voice in both cases sounding low and hollow, as if issuing from the ground. Slaverte enforces this opinion, and adds: - "The name of Engastrimythes, given by the Greeks to the Pythiæ (priestesses of Apollo), indicates that they made use of this artifice." The explanation is only partial, and the text of Isaiah - "thy voice shall die as one that hath a familiar spirit" - is inapplicable in such an argument. Those who are experienced in Clairvoyance are aware that the voice is often reduced very low, in consequence of a change in the respiration. This was the case with some of the ancient Pythonesses, though instances may have occurred when ventriloquism was resorted to, as by the wizards of Greenland in our own time. The surprising illusions of Mr. Love, the polyphonist, may be instanced in proof of what may be accomplished in this way. Another method of practising the ancient gastromancy connects it with crystal-seeing, as vessels of glass, round, and full of clear water, were used, which were placed before several lighted candles. In this case a young boy or girl was generally the seer, and the demon was summoned in a low voice by the magician. Replies were then obtained from the magical appearances seen in the illuminated glass vessels."
Another method of Gastromancy consisted of getting omens from the marks upon someone's belly. It was principally employed by the Greeks and in Medieval Europe.
In yet another method, scrying was performed on water poured into the belly of some receptacle, usually a large-bellied, bulbous glass or vase. According to occult tradition, the scryer in this case was supposed to be either a young, chaste and unpolluted boy, or a pregnant woman. The water used had to be pure, and torches had to be lighted around the receptacle.
Gastromancy, like most divinatory systems, is quite ancient, and has been practiced since time immemorial.
See Anthomancy, Floromancy, Astrology and Divination, Bibliomancy, Numerology, Divination, Demonomancy, Acutomancy, Agalmatomancy, Divination, 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.
Sources: (1) Dictionary of the Occult, Caxton Publishing; (2) Pickover, Clifford A., Dreaming the Future: The Fantastic Story of Prediction, Prometheus Books Publishing; (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; (5) Besterman, Theodore, Crystal-Gazing, Cosimo Classics Publishers; (6) Elihu, Rich, The Occult Sciences, Nabu Press.
| || |