Friday, March 8, 2013


Meaning: Divination by barley meal or barley bread. Depending on your level of desperation, while eating it the guilty party will choke and die, suffer from indigestion, cough a little, or their stomach will rumble.

Usefulness: 2 (Provides the opportunity to denounce someone as a sorceror - or epithet of your choice - when they choke on their food.)

Logofascination: 2 (Also known as corsned.)

In the wild:  By this theory, irritable bowel is in fact a symptom of a guilty conscience.  One of the few -mancys I can see a glimmer of sense in; bake some indigestible bread and find out who has the most nervous stomach. Allegedly what killed Godwin, Earl of Essex.

Degrees: 1

Connections: n/a

Which is used in: G&P, Book the Third, XXV: the -mancy chapter. We really are nearly done with these words, though there are a few general ones I need to wrap up, and a few odd ones which Rabelais somehow missed. We'll definitely finish them this year sometime.
By alphitomancy, cried up by Theocritus in his Pharmaceutria.
My Greek is sorely lacking, but what I glean from the internet is that Theocritus wrote a poem in which the female narrator casts a spell to entrance her former lover. The spell doesn't seem to have been alphitomancy per se, but it did involve barley.  The ex-lover was an athlete; this may well have been some early commentary on drugs in sport.

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