Man has always been interested in trying to discern his future by means of prognostication, and the methods through which he has done so are wildly varied. The following is a brief descriptive list of just some of the means by which man has foretold what is to come…
Abacomancy: Telling the future by observing patterns of dust.
Acultomancy: Divination using needles, a common practice amongst Gypsies. One method involves taking several new needles (generally 21) and placing them in a shallow dish, and then water is slowly poured over them. The needles invariably move about, and the result is then read.
Aeromancy: Observation of atmospheric changes to tell the future, such as in an approaching storm. This term also often refers to weather prediction through observation and divination through cloud study.
Ailuromancy: Divination by studying the movements and actions of cats.
Ambulomancy: Divination by walking.
Anthracomancy: Divination by studying burning coals; a type of “fire-gazing.”
Anthropomancy: An ancient form of fortune-telling involving the inspection of human entrails (often of sacrifices).
Arithmancy: Divination by means of numbers, similar to numerology.
Astrology: The art or science of forecasting events by observing fixed stars, the sun, the moon and planets, and their interrelationships.
Augury: Divination by the observation of omens and signs. The term originally applied to birds, but is now considered a general term in fortune-telling.
Austromancy: Divination through the observation of the winds.
Batrachomancy: Divination by frogs, toads and newts.
Bolomancy: Divination through arrows. There exist several methods by which this could be done, including shooting an arrow straight into the air and observing it as it falls, or sticking an arrow loosely into the ground and noting which way it falls at a later time.
Bibliomancy: Opening a book at random and reading the first sentence that your eyes fall upon to tell the future.
Brontomancy: Divination through the sounds of thunder.
Cartomancy: The art of card reading to tell the future. Tarot reading falls under this general category, but most often, regular playing cards are used.
Ceneromancy: Divination using ashes, namely the ashes left after a ritual fire, or a fire burned for the purpose of divination, has died down.
Ceraunomancy: Divination by thunder and lightning, or thunderbolt.
Ceromancy: Studying the results of dropping melted wax into water to tell the future.
Cheiromancy: The reading and interpretation of the hand and the lines and markings on it; another name for palmistry.
Chien Tung: A commercially produced form of basic fortune-telling utilizing bamboo sticks in a container; possibly inspired by the I Ching.
Cleidomancy: Divination by using a key suspended from a thread.
Colorology: Divining through the study of color.
Conchomancy: Seashell divination, most often associated with Santeria.
Cromnyomancy: The use of onions and onion sprouts to predict the future; generally limited to being done around Christmas time.
Crystallomancy: The general term applied to telling the future through the use of crystals (see also Spheromancy)
Cubomancy: The use of dice to tell the future.
Cyclomancy: Using a turning wheel to predict the future. A wheel is marked all around with answers to questions or names, then spun, similar to Wheel of Fortune, and the results are used to tell the future.
Daphomancy: Telling the future through the use of a branch of laurel.
Dendromancy: Divining through trees.
Dowsing: A form of rhabdomany; using unconscious human response to make contact with water, oil, metal, minerals and other inert, underground materials.
Empyromancy: Divining the future by placing an object into a sacrificial fire, and then studying the results of the burning upon the object (how it changes).
Floromancy: Using flowers to divine the future (“She loves me, she loves me not” is a form of floromancy).
Gastromancy: Divining “by the belly;” two forms, one of which involved listening to the rumblings of the belly (which has mostly been considered as the results of ventriloquism), and the second referring to the “belly” of a glass vase.
Geloscopy: Using laughter to divine the future.
Gemology: The use of precious, and semi-precious, stones to divine the future.
Geomancy: Divination through the study of earth, such as the results of throwing a handful of dirt upon a hard surface.
Graphology: An interpretation of character and personality traits through handwriting.
Gyromancy: Letters and/or names are placed around a circle, and then someone walks or whirls continually around the circle until he or she gets so dizzy they fall down. This is done repeatedly to spell out a name or answer to a question, and to ensure that the results were not faked.
Hæmatomancy: Using blood to divine the future (how much, direction of flow, shape of blood pool, etc).
Halomancy: Divination through the use of salt.
Hippomancy: Observation of the behavior of horses to determine the future.
Horoscopy: The art of creating horoscopes, or astrological natal charts.
Hydatoscopy: A form of hydromancy using rainwater; considered more “divine” because it came from the heavens.
Hydromancy: Divination by means of the signs derived from water in any form.
Hypnomancy: Divination by means of sleep.
I-Ching: The Book of Changes; ancient form of Chinese divination.
Labiomancy: A type of divination involving the reading of lips.
Lampadomancy: Divination by candles and lamps.
Leconomancy: The study of the shapes assumed by oil when it is poured into a basin of water.
Lithomancy: Divination by signs derived from stones, most often involving the use of a magnetic lodestone.
Lunomancy: Divination by the study of random shadows cast by moonlight upon a face, most often done by full moon, but any moon that casts enough light will work.