Soothsayer's Corner

By Leean Lester

Greetings everyone, can you believe that summer is almost gone and that fall will soon be here!?  I found myself in our hot tub late the other night watching clouds during a full moon and saw some awesome clouds.  I thought it would be an interesting divination to look at that goes back to ancient times.

There is actually a name for this type of divination and is called Aeromancy, which means observing events in the air or wind. This can be cloud shapes, weather conditions as well as comets and meteors.  In medieval texts you will find it spelled aerimancy

An off shoot branch of this divination is using the wind where the diviner throws sand or dirt in the wind after asking a question.  The answer was then determined by the nature of the dust cloud. 

Another name for this divination is nephelomancy.  The Italian call this field of divination aeromanzia.  And taking a closer look at the word aeromancy you will find that it is Greek.  The first part aero means air and the second half of it manteia means divination.

This type of divination is not just about predicting the weather, but also an art of foretelling the future by observing atmospheric, air and sky activity or phenomena.  This could be anything from observing the wind currents, cloud shapes, cloud formations, comets, falling meteors, rainbows, the changes in weather patterns, storms or anything else that is of natural origin that can be seen in the sky.

In ancient times people believed that the weather was associated with gods and goddesses, and that it revealed the will of the divine. One such deity associated with the sky is Aditi which is a Hindu Goddess. 

Other types of divination associated with this are ~ Eromancy which is taking omens from the air, Austromancy which is studying the wind and clouds shapes, Anemoscopy which is just studying the winds.  This also involves studying the speed, direction and sound of the wind as well.

This can also include the observation of certain objects like dust or smoke blowing in the wind, especially the shape of dust clouds.  One variation is asking a question, then tossing a handful of dirt, sand or other into the air and watching the different patterns that would occur.  The technical name for this divination of studying clouds is called nephomancy.  This can be pretty detailed divination as it involves observing and interpreting the color, shape and position of the clouds.

The Celtic Druids even made extensive use of this divination and called it neladoracht.  There is even a medieval form of aeromancy where it involves summoning ghosts and specters to take and project images of future events to come on the clouds.

Another form is called chaomancy which means you look for visions in the sky, especially in shapes of clouds and their formations. This form is used mostly by the Hindus, Etruscans (modern name given to ancient Italy and Corsican culture and its people), and the Babylonians.

In modern times nephomancers observe the ever changing shapes of the cloud formations and use it as a form of mediation. 

Below I have listed a few clouds shapes and what they might mean.  I hope that you have found this a fascinating divination and look forward to next month’s one which will deal with things that go bump in the night.  Until then enjoying the changing of the seasons and the wonderful colors of the upcoming fall.

Simple cloud meanings ~

A fish could mean you’ll be swimming in money

A fiddle might be that you’ll be invited to a dance

A hippo may mean that it time to tighten your belt

If a snake it might mean that someone will cause trouble for you

Mountain peaks could mean that you’re climbing towards success

If an anchor it might be that you’re going on a voyage

A hand could mean that you’ll make a new friend

If a parrot it might be mischief is brewing

If flies it might be that you’ll be irritated, annoyed or worried

A clock could mean act now or you may run out of time

If a feather it might mean to take yourself more seriously

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Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2009

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