Cephalomancy

Cephalomancy or Kephalonomancy is a form of divination that uses the skull or head of an animal, often a donkey or goat.

Etymology

From ancient Greek kephalos, a head.

Methods

Cephaleonomancy is the a method achieved by roasting an ass's head on hot coals. (Derived from ancient Greek kephalos a head + onos an ass). This method of divination was practiced among the Lombards to determine the culpability of suspected criminals. The animal's head was boiled or baked, then lighted carbon was poured over it, as the name or names of the accused were called out. If the skull crackled or the jaw moved while a name was spoken, the person whose name had been called out was guilty as charged.

In another method of Cephalomancy, diviners concerned themselves with the reading of the skull's shape, using interpretations akin to Extispicy or Phrenology.

See Also:

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Divination for Beginners: Reading the Past, Present & Future -Scott Cunningham
Earth Divination: Earth Magic: Practical Guide to Geomancy - John Michael Greer