Monday, April 18, 2016

Capnomancy / Libanomancy


Not much is written or recorded on capnomancy or libanomancy since much was basis on the diviner's needs or their own interpretations of the images. Both terms means the interpretation of images and omens by reading the rising of the smoke from fires. More traditionally from sacrificial fires. Capnomancy has been recorded being used by the ancient Babylonians around 2,000 and 1600 BC.
     Capnomancy comes from the Greek word for smoke, Kapnos and manteia for divination.
     Libanomancy comes from the Greek word Libano meaning frankincense and manteia for divination. Libanomancy was more of a type of divination from smoke rising from incense on coals. The diviner would read the smokey images and also use the odor and taste of the smoke to make their predictions. In order to seek this specific type of smoke divination the seeker would toss herbs onto coals. Herbs such as jasmine flowers, laurel leaves, poppy seeds, mugwort and tobacco. They would also use the granulated or natural resins such as dragon's blood, frankincense or myrrh. The diviner would breathe in the smoke and by it's smell and the mind altering effects would read the omens then make their predictions. Sometimes the herbs would put the diviner into a trance.
     As I mentioned earlier, capnomancy was traditionally interpreting omens from smoke of sacrificial fires. If the smoke rose lightly from the altar then straight to the ' heavens ' was considered a good omen that the offering was accepted. If the smoke hung about and close to the ground then it wasn't a good omen and the sacrifice wasn't welcome.
    Capnomancy is a mixture of Aeromancy ( divination by observing the air ) and Pyromancy ( divination by fire ). Divination by smoke was thought to have it's beginnings in ancient Babylon where on certain sacred days caphomancy was practiced by burning cedar branches or shavings on sacred fires. A thin, straight plum of smoke was thought to be a good omen while large plumes were the opposite. If the smoke touched or hugged the ground was an indication that immediate action was need to avoid a great catastrophe.
    In 2003, there was a report of a group of people who were making predictions by observing the smoke rising out of the chimneys of New England.
    The Celts and Druids were thought to use mistletoe or oak in their smoke divination.
   Some scholars believe that capnomancy began in Babylon then to Egypt then made it's way through history to Greece and on to Europe.    There were thought to be two types of caphomancy.
     1.) Reading smoke marks as images on a plate or in a candle glass.
     2,) Reading the moving smoke of a wood fire or burning incense.

    Most of the time using smoke divination was mostly during time of war or festivals. From ancient text dating back to 2,000 - 1600 BC, Babylon lists of omens for their smoke divination:
    1.) if the flames blew smokey then your army will defeat an enemies' army.
    2.) if it stops short and afterwards it's flame burns smokey then an enemy will defeat your army.
    3.) if the smoke goes to the right and doesn't go to the left then you will prevail over your adversary.
    4.) if the smoke goes to the left and doesn't go to the right then your adversary will prevail over you.
    5.) if the smoke goes to the east and away from the diviner then the downfall of your adversary.
    6.) if the smoke moves towards the diviner but doesn't go east then your adversary will prevail over you.
    7.) if the smoke goes equally in all directions then it means equal weapons.
    8.) if the smoke clusters then success and profit to the man wherever he goes.
    9.) if the smoke is fragmented then their will be financial loss.
   10.) if the top of the smoke divides in two plumes then it means madness and insanity.
   11.) if the smoke is cut off then the man will be experiencing hard times.

This is one of my strongest form of divination and probably my favorite. I never knew the term for it until I came across capnomancy in a past reading It pricked my interest so I dug.




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