Alternatively known as Pyromantia and Knissomancy.
The art and practice of divination by interpreting the patterns of smoke formed through the burning frankincense, a fragrant gum resin from trees of a genus (Boswellia of the family Burseraceae) of Somalia and southern coastal Arabia. How slow or fast the incense burned, the formations and directions taken by the smoke, as well as its odor, were all taken into consideration.
Frankincense is an important incense resin that was used in ancient times in religious rites and also in embalming, specifically by the ancient Egyptians.
In this branch of Pyromancy, this special embalming resin was used, and after a question was asked, the diviner dropped some frankincense into the fire, which would then burst into flames. Other substances, such as sugar, salt and flour, sometimes were also thrown into this non-sacrificial fire. Smoke patterns and fire behavior were then observed and interpreted by the seer.
Caesar Longinus, in his 'Trinum Magicum Sive Secretorum Magicorum Opus' (1673), mentions this type of divination:
"There is also Pyromantia, in which powdered resin was thrown into the flames. If the flame rose in one, it was a good sign; if lambent and divided, unfortunate; if in three points, a glorious eventum or result; if much dispersed, an ill death; if crackling or snapping, misfortune; if it was very suddenly extinguished, great danger."
Livanomancy, like most divinatory systems, is quite ancient, and has been practiced since time immemorial by the Babylonians, Scythians, Greeks, Romans and Arabians, among others.
See Acutomancy, Pyromancy, Stoichomancy, Horoscope, Horary Astrology, Zodiac, Numerology, Bibliomancy, Kabbalism, Alchemy, Greece, Rome, Alomancy, Pyroscopy, Sideromancy, Lychnoscopy, Daphnomancy, Causinomancy, Lampadomancy, Capnomancy, Botanomancy, Babylon, 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) Buckland, Raymond, The Fortune-Telling Book: The Encyclopedia of Divination and Soothsaying, Visible Ink Press.
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