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