From the Greek phullon ('leaf') + rhodon ('rose') and manteia ('prophecy'), it is the art and practice of divination, this time by omens taken from roses, rose leaves and rose petals.
This method, which originally consisted of smacking rose petals against the hand and then interpreting the loudness of the sound, was a widely popular, if not unusual, form of divination among the ancient Greeks. They used it for determining the success or failure of their activities. If it was a loud sound, the signs were favorable or the answer was yes. If there was little or no sound, the reverse applied.
Rose divination was ruled by the love goddess Aphrodite, to whom the rose was a sacred flower.
One of the most popular uses for Phyllorhodomancy is for love divination. In 18th and 19th century England, diviners employed the rose in various ways in the art of love divination, usually to discover one's future husband. The most frequent method for this was to pluck a rose on Midsummer's Eve, wrap it in white paper, and then put it away in some secret place. The first man to take it from the wearer would be the one destined to marry her. In a similar method, but this time to test your mate's faithfulness, the color of the flower when removed from the paper was of the upmost importance. If the rose's color faded, it indicated your lover had been untrue. If instead the rose's true color was still there, the opposite applied.
Another common form of Phyllorhodomancy, which is very popular among young people, requires the querent to pull off the petals of a rose while making the statements such as "he/she loves" and "he/she loves me not." The statement uttered when the last petal is pulled is supposed to be true.
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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..
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