Alternatively known as Leconomancy.
Generally, divination by using a mixture of water and oil inside a vessel.
Specifically, the art and practice of divination by interpreting the patterns and ripples left on the surface of a mixture of water and oil inside a basin or bowl, specially when small precious stones, or other divinatory objects, are dropped in.
Lecanomancers, the experts in this art, were considered a special class of divinatory priests, and this mode of prediction was widely practiced in Babylon and in many other ancient cultures.
In this branch of Hydromancy a special bowl was used, where the water was covered by a thin layer of animal oil or fat. After a question was asked, the diviner dropped a consecrated stone, usually marked with mystical symbols. Whether or not the oil separated determined the final prognostication.
Another method was to toss an object into a full container of water, or water and oil mixture, and interpret either the image formed by it or else the sound it made striking the water.
Another more intricate method involved pouring oil into a silver vase filled with water, on a clear, moonlit night. The light from a candle would then be reflected onto the liquid by the blade of a knife. The diviner would then concentrate on the image formed in the water/oil mixture to ascertain futurity. In a similar method, the flickering reflection of a candle's flame on the oil was used to determine the future.
In yet another method, the pattern of ripples formed after a consecrated object or a small sacrifice was cast into a pool, basin, or pond, were interpreted.
In a method in which the Lecanomancer used olive oil slowly poured into a bowl of consecrated water, prognostications were obtained according to the following guidelines:
— If the oil divides into two sections, an argument may be in the offing, or consider it a negative answer.
— If the oil forms a ring and not a filled circle, and this ring remains unbroken, a business journey will be extremely profitable, or the sick will recover, or consider it a positive response.
— If smaller droplets of oil emerge or break out from a larger one, it may indicate pregnancy. This is also considered a favorable sign for the sick, for it predicts recovery.
— If oil spreads thinly and covers the entire surface of the water, beware, troubles are certainly ahead.
— Many small, unconnected globules of oil indicate the coming of money or profits.
— A crescent or a star shape is a sign considered extremely fortunate.
In Italy, a different method was used. In a bowl filled with a mixture of water and olive oil, ground black pepper was tossed in. The Lecanomancer, after stirring the pepper, would then interpret the symbols created by the pepper blots in the same manner of tea-leaf readers.
Lecanomancy, like most divinatory systems, is quite ancient, and has been practiced since time immemorial by the Babylonians, Scythians, Greeks, Romans, and Arabians, among others.
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See Acutomancy, Stoichomancy, Hieroscopy, Hieroscopia, Divination, Demonomancy, Scapulomancy, Haruspex, Radiesthesia, Astrology, Agalmatomancy, Coscinomancy, Cleidomancy, Augur, Stoichomancy, Dowsing, Tarot, Heptameron, Demonology, Sortilege, Idolomancy, Tephramancy, Anemoscopy, Eromancy, Austromancy, Chaomancy, Roadomancy, Capnomancy, Pyromancy, Meteormancy, Ceraunoscopy, Zoomancy, Felidomancy, Horoscope, Horary Astrology, Zodiac, Numerology, Bibliomancy, Casting Black Magic Spells, The Chakra Store, Commanding Spirits, 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) Morwyn, The Complete Book Of Psychic Arts, Llewellyn Publications; (2) Walker, Charles, The Encyclopedia of the Occult, Random House Value; (3) Dunwich, Gerina, A Wiccan's Guide to Prophecy and Divination, Carol Publishing Group; (4) Melton, J. Gordon (Editor), Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, Gale Group Publishers; (5) Cunningham, Scott, Divination for Beginners: Reading the Past, Present & Future, Llewellyn Publications; (6) Buckland, Raymond, The Fortune-Telling Book: The Encyclopedia of Divination and Soothsaying, Visible Ink Press.
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