Pneumancy is the art of divination by means of blowing, air, wind, or from the lungs. It exists today in the act of blowing out the candles on a birthday cake.


Derived from the Greek pneuma ('breath') and manteia ('prophecy')

Modern forms

While the ancient art of pneumancy may be lost to us, modern practicioners use this tradition:
A festive cake is prepared on or about the diviner's birthday.

Candles are placed upon the cake, usually in numbers equal to the diviner's age.
The candles are lit, and observers join in a ritual song honoring the auspicious day of the diviner's birth.
The diviner concentrates on a desired future outcome, and blows out the candles.

If all the candles go out with one breath, this is a good omen. More than one breath to extinguish all the candle flames may indicate there will be some difficulty is achieving the future outcome. If the flames go out, but then spring back to life, this is a sign that the diviner's friends are a bunch of wise-asses.

See Also:

You may be also interested in :

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