Thursday, December 6, 2012


Meaning: divination by ashes.

Usefulness: 2 (I'm a little surprised no-one has yet used it regarding the Ashes, but I'd like to see it used on CSI or a show of that ilk*, while examining a fire or a cigarette butt: "Well," he drawled, removing his sunglasses, "it's clearly time for some... tephromancy." Cue dramatic music.)

Logofascination: 2 (Tephra is Greek for ash, and is the technical word for everything produced by a volcanic eruption.)

In the wildWikipedia's not sure whether there's a difference between tephrAmancy and tephrOmancy - it's quite important, because if there is a difference, one of them involves human sacrifice.

Degrees: 1

Connections: n/a

Which is used in: the -mancy chapter, Book the Third, XXV, the one where Panurge consulteth Herr Trippa.
By tephromancy. Thou wilt see the ashes thus aloft dispersed exhibiting thy wife in a fine posture.
Wikipedia suggests that this method of divination involves interpreting the ash rising from a fire, (Cotgrave mentions ashes blown or cast into the air) but apparently you can also draw or write in ash and see what shapes the wind forms, draw lines in the ash and see where they point (I suspect this method frequently leads to good news) or alternatively see what the ashes of your sacrifices, human** or otherwise, suggest to you at the end of the rite. 

*an old friend called them 'dead body shows'.
**human sacrifice is in no way encouraged by The Management. And if you're going to kill an animal, why waste the meat by burning it? Feel free to sacrifice vegetables, especially carrots. 

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