Uromancy

Uromancy or Urimancy is a divination by interpreting the omens from the urine of human or animal.

Etymology

Derived from the Greek ouron (‘urine’) and manteia (‘prophecy’)

Origin

The origin of Uromancy can be found in medicine, where examination of urine is used as a diagnostic tool.
According to a book entitled The Pisse-Prophet(1655) by physician Thomas Brain, diseases were categorised by uromancers into two types: acute and chronic. The dark coloured urine signified acute diseases, and weak, watery urine signified chronic diseases.

Chemical analysis of urine was performed by looking at the “several colours, parts, contents, substance, quantity, [and] smell”. Brian points out that such urine colouring does not always signify acute illnesses. Brian claimed that urine with any discharge certainly signifies some malady while the clear urine is produced by healthy people.

Methods

Uromancy was practiced in ancient cultures. The basis of the interpretation varies from one culture to another. Some traditions use the color, taste, flow patterns or patterns formed when the urine hits the ground or in a swirling bowl.

During the ancient times, Romans practiced Uromancy by observing the bubbles after urinating in a chamber pot. When there are bubbles and they are large in size and spread apart, a large sum of money will be received. This omen was also good in terms of one’s love life. However, if the bubbles are small and close together, illness and death of a loved one may happen. Having no bubbles in the urine is also a bad luck.

Uromancy was used by some pregnant women to determine the gender of their baby. On the other hand, women who were about to married can also use this type of divination to determine if their marriage will work out and know if how long they will be happy.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, Uromancy was used by witch finders. They place iron nails, pins, needles or half horseshoes in a bottle filled with urine from the accused person and sealed the bottle with a cork. If the accused person got sick or if the cork popped out voluntarily, it means that the person is guilty.

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