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The Occult and Unexplained Encyclopedia  
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Circe Invidiosa, by John William Waterhouse . . .  —  Buy this art print at


Alternatively Adryomancy, Hidromancy, Hydromancie, Hydromantia, Hydromantie, Hydromanty, Hydrascopy, Hydroscopy, Idromance, Idromancie, Ydromance, Ydromancy, and Ydromaunce

Derived from the Greek hudro ('hydro') and manteia ('divination'), it is the art and practice of divining the past, the present and the future with the aid of water.

There are various different methods of predicting the future by the means of water or rain.

Done with rainwater it was termed Hydatoscopy and with water from a spring, Pegomancy.

Scrying using water was common in ancient times. Any basin of rock filled by rain or by running water would serve as reflective surface, as would any small pool, pond, or lake.


Lovers by a Fountain, by Modesto Faustini —  Buy this art print at AllPosters

Methods of disturbing water — by means of suspended rings or by means of pebbles being dropped into the bowl  —  are also described as legitimate hydromantic techniques, and some diviners were supposed to read from the reflections on the surface or from the color of water, as well as from the movement of water in fountains or the pattern of ripples formed after an object was cast into a pool, basin, or pond.

Some of these techniques are Lecanomancy, Pegomancy, Eromanty and Castronomancy.

A widespread manner of Hydromancy was to fill a bowl with water and to suspend a ring or key on a thread or fine chain hanging, like a pendulum, either beside or inside the bowl. It would then be swung so that it struck the side of the bowl. This would cause ripples to move across the surface of the water, and these would be prophetically interpreted.


The Pool of Sacred Fish at Ayacucho, Peru . . .  —  Buy this art print at

Another method consisted of throwing three pebbles into standing water and divinely decode the circles that formed.

One alleged technique involved a basin full of water which, at the command of the diviner, was activated by spirits in order to vibrate to a point where it appeared to boil and give off meaningful sounds.


Jain Sacred Lake and Vindhyagiri Hill at Sravanabelagola, by Martin Gray . . .  —  Buy this art print at

In another method of Hydromancy, the actions of the sea, its agitation, color and wave patterns, were prophetically interpreted. Lakes water actions were also observed, studied and divinely deciphered. It is said that ancient Germanic wise women were also practitioners of Hydromancy, specializing in river water interpretation. The source, color, whirls and the river's course were all taken into consideration for an accurate prognostication.


The Golden Temple is Reflected in a Pool of Holy Water, by James P. Blair . . .  —  Buy this art print at


Fountains were also used for divination. The fountains of Palicorus, in Sicily, were some of the most popular for consultations, where billets floated if true, and sank if false. The fall of the city of Palmyra is said to have been foretold by similar circumstances. There was a sacred lake near the temple of Venus, at Aphara, where rejected offerings floated even though they were made of the heaviest metals, such as gold and silver. The year before the fall of their city, all the offerings of the Palmyreans sank as usual, but strange to tell, they all rose to the surface again, which prodigy was considered an indubitable warning of its downfall.





The Pool of Bethesda, a pool of consecrated water mentioned in the Gospel of John and recently unearthed in the Muslin quarter of Jerusalem, was supposedly used by Hydromancers to prognosticate remedies and wellbeing resolutions for the inquirer's health afflictions.

Rimualdus in his Consilia in causis gravissimis (1845), describes a method of finding a thief which consisted of lighting a consecrated white candle and placing it on an altar next to a basin filled with water. A virgin would then read aloud the following verse, which had to be written in consecrated paper:


The Mirror of Venus, 1870-76, by Edward Burne-Jones . . .  —  Buy this art print at

"Angelo bianco, Angelo sancto, per la tua sanctita et per la mia virginita, mostra mi che ha tolto tal cosa".

This meant:

"White angel, holy angel, by thy holiness and by my virginity show me who has stolen this thing."

According to the narrative, the water would instantly reflect a diminutive picture of the thief, as though it were a mirror with the thief standing in front of it.


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Hydromancy was seriously employed in Ireland to detect thieves, but in a different manner. The names of the suspects were written on slips of paper and thrown into a basin of Holy water where, by the way they floated, culpability was ascertained. Usually the first paper that floated back to the bank indicated the guilty party.

Paracelsus, in his Nine Books Of the Nature of Things (1674), also describes Hydromancy:


Metaphysics 101; Enroll Today!


"Hydromancy gives its Signs, by the Stars of the Water, by their overflowings, their scarcity, discolourings, commotions, new streams, and washings away of earthly things: in Magick and Necromancy by Nymphs, Visions and supernatural Monsters in the Waters and Sea."

Our modern "tea leaf" and "coffee ground" psychic readings date from this ancient method of divination.


Psychic Powers 101; Enroll Today!


See Divination, Tarot, Demonomancy, Acutomancy, Agalmatomancy, Augur, Anthomancy, Divination, Coscinomancy, Cleidomancy, Stoichomancy, Dowsing, Heptameron, Demonology, Sortilege, Idolomancy, Demonomancy, Tephramancy, Anemoscopy, Eromancy, Austromancy, Chaomancy, Roadomancy, Capnomancy, Pyromancy, Meteormancy, Ceraunoscopy, Zoomancy, Felidomancy, 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.


Wicca, Witchcraft & Magick Class:
The Essentials. Click HERE to Enroll


Sources: (1)
Spence, Lewis, An Encyclopedia of Occultism, Carol Publishing Group; (2) Dictionary of the Occult, Caxton Publishing; (3) The Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Edition Handy Volume Edition, Oxford University Press; (4) Bailey, Nancy (editor), The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Spells and Magic, Sterling Publishing; (5) Pickover, Clifford A., Dreaming the Future: The Fantastic Story of Prediction, Prometheus Books; (6) Dunwich, Gerina, A Wiccan's Guide to Prophecy and Divination, Carol Publishing Group; (7) Buckland, Raymond, The Fortune-Telling Book: The Encyclopedia of Divination and Soothsaying, Visible Ink Press.

-- 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.

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-- Tarot Magic CD-ROM.

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Suggested Videos:

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

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-- 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.

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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.

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-- 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
Buy this poster
    Circe Invidiosa
Circe Invidiosa
John William...
Buy This
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
Buy This
    Ladies and Fortune Teller
Ladies and Fortune Teller
Buy This
The Palmograph Fortune Chart
The Palmograph Fortune Chart
Buy This
    Fortune Telling
Fortune Telling
Buy This
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:

-- Divination.
-- Divination by Water.
-- Hydromancy.
-- Water Divination.
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