Augury is a Divination Method that is Based upon Natural Occurrences in the Environment
The practice of interpreting natural events and happenings as omens is known as augury. Signs such as the appearance of black cats, clouds, birds and other things are interpreted as signs from the Divine; messages delivered through natural events. The following are some commonly forms of augury and their definitions.
Dust and Dirt, or Abacomancy
Abacomancy is the belief and practice of observing symbols in dirt, dust, sand and the ashes of human remains and using them to foretell the future. This form of divination is rarer than others and the origins of this method of divination are unknown, lost in the past.
Air and Sky, or Aeromancy
Aeromancy is the method of interpreting symbols in the sky. These can include the shapes of clouds and fog and the colors of rainbows and sunsets. As the sun rises and sets, the best time for observations occurs. “Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight. Red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning.” is an old saying based on the practice of aeromancy. It suggests that the color of the sky can act as a warning of good or bad weather to come. Other symbols include especially heavy morning dew (indicating a positive change to come) and a rainbow around the moon (a suggestion of difficult times ahead).
Animals or Apanthomancy
Ever taken note of a black cat crossing your path? Apanthomancy involves messages in the actions of animals. This can also apply to animals that appear as psychic signs in our dreams. These have been viewed as spirit guides who have come to us to deliver a message so practitioners or psychics who believe in the art of apanthomancy will take note of them.
Wind or Austromancy
The strength and patterns of wind and its direction is another natural event which can be interpreted for foretelling. Wind from the East and blowing the same course as the Sun travels is believed to purify, while the west wind will drive out negativity.
Smoke or Capnomancy
The movement of smoke as it rises from fire is understood by believers in capnomancy to create patterns as it lingers. Images perceived in the smoke cam be interpreted in a very similar way to those in dreams
Lightening or Ceraunomancy
Ceraunomancy is an ancient practice. It consists of making predictions based on the movement of lightening. This was seen by ancient Romans as an almost direct communication from the Gods. Lightening in the east was a positive omen, while lightening bolts from the west were negative and those from the north and northwest were to be feared, as bad news would soon follow them.
Water or Hydromancy
The spirits that dwell in the water brought messages to the ancient Greeks who believed in this form or augury. Hydromancy can be practiced by spending time near calm water (a stream or lake on a fine day, or a sacred bowl filled with water are both acceptable) and being ready to receive psychic readings. Simply looking into the water and relaxing may be enough to bring a message, though some prefer to drop in a small stone and ‘read’ the forming ripples.
Fire or Lychnomancy
As water can bring messages, so can its opposite element of fire. Lychnomancy is the divination of flames, by gazing at fire or candle light. Three candles, arranged in a triangle are observed and the patterns of the flames carry meanings to the diviner. Uneven burning will mean danger, while one flame burning higher than the others means a good result will follow. Wavering flames are suggestive of a journey and sudden sparks or crackles predict bad luck to come.
Wood, Branches and Trees, or Xylomancy
Messages found by the examination of wood are a result of xylomancy. In ‘Practical Magic’, the feel-good movie about a family of witches, a dropped broom is regarded as a sign that company is on the way.