Ceraunoscopy or keraunoscopy is the art of divination by observing thunder and lightning. Ceraunoscopy is branched into Brontoscopy (divination solely by thunder), and Ceraunomancy (divination solely by lightning).
From ancient Greek keraunos, thunder, a thunderbolt.
Ancient peoples believed that thunder and lightning were direct communications from the gods and goddesses, such as Thor (thunder) or Zeus (lightning). The Hindu, Etruscans, and Babylonians made extensive use of ceraunoscopy. In the Middle Ages, Europeans believed that thunder and lightning were omens of coming war, floods, or the death of an important person, usually living within a twenty miles radius of the occurrence.
Deities associated with the practice
Tinia, the Etruscan god of lightning, was particularly associated with ceraunoscopy. Similarly, Adad, the Babylonian god of thunder, lightning, and prophecy, was particularly associated with ceraunoscopy.
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