A Conversation for Divination
Divination - funny terms
Pimms Started conversation Nov 10, 2004
Interesting overview My impression is that these many methods have odd names partly due to their age (many being coined around the 17th century), but also to add a spurious 'learned' gloss to them as a way of metagrobolizing their subject (metagrobolize: to puzzle or mystify).
I found some of the names of practices unfamiliar, so had some fun searching them out on the Net, and found an error under dowsing:
\Aus"tro*man`cy\, n. [L. auster south wind + -mancy.] Soothsaying, or prediction of events, from observation of the winds (ie nothing to do with special divining rods)
Some other methods of divination don't appear in popular dictionaries eg cledonomancy, but cledonomancy did appear at http://www.homestead.com/ssdivining/MethodsDictionary.html
Geomancy is divination by interpretation of the relationship of shapes made from points - not necessarily 'holes in the ground' (as a cynic I'd phrase it as "is supposed to work by" rather than being emphatic).
n : divination by means of signs connected with the earth (as points taken at random or the arrangement of particles thrown down at random or from the configuration of a region and its relation to another)
Arithmology (not Arithmancy) is the pedants version of numerology, since numerology is constructed from Greek and Latin roots ("study of the occult meaning of numbers," a hybrid from L. numerus "number" + Gk. -logia, from logos "one who speaks (of a certain topic)." A correct formation would be arithmology, from Gk. arithmos "number.")
Arithmancy "divination by numbers," from Gk. arithmos "number" + -manteia "divination."
arithmoliogical typo I think > arithmological
Goetia (from the Greek 'goeteia' meaning witchcraft) is the art of invoking demons or other spirits and obliging them to do the conjurer's will, without falling under their power.
Hope some of these help others puzzled by terms used.
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