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Unusual Methods of Divination and Fortune Telling

You may think you've already seen the strangest forms of divination by exploring this site, but get ready to be amazed and flabbergasted. You won't believe what some will do to see their future...


Capnomancy refers to divination by the use of smoke. The shape, direction, and speed of the smoke movement all can have meaning. This form of divination was used in sacrifices - if the smoke rose quickly toward the sky, it was a good sign. If it meandered low it was not. In other forms of this divination, tree branches, incense and herbs were burned to create the smoke and get a reading. Sometimes, hands are waved into or near the smoke to create shapes in the smoke which would then be read.


Got any strange markings on your stomach? Or does your stomach have a great talent for rumbling? A gastromantic expert would be able to tell you what these signs and strange noises mean.


A method of predicting the weather. A geta, or Japanese wooden sandal, is kicked into the air. The way it falls predicts how the weather will be.

RIGHT WAY UP — Fine weather
ON THE SIDE — Cloudy weather
UPSIDE DOWN — Rainy weather

Omphalomancy - Belly Button & Umbilical Cord
(Also known as Omphilomancy)

This form of divination takes two forms. One is based on the interpretation of the belly button. Its size and shape reveals the personality and fate of an individual. However as far as it would correlate to body reading, I would say that a deep "inny" would correlate to an introverted personality, and an "outy" to more of an extroverted personality.

According to Dr Gerhard Reibmann, a Berlin psychologist and author of the privately published book "Centered: Understanding Yourself through your Navel", he recommends that to tell how long you'll live, go to a private, well-lit area and carefully inspect your own navel. Then, compare what you've observed with the list of six navel types and their associated characteristics.

1) The Horizontal Navel. This belly button is oblong in shape and spreads sideways across the tummy. People with horizontal navels are complex and highly emotional. This can take a toll on their health. Average life expectancy: 68 years.

2) The Vertical Navel. Also oblong, this belly button stands on end, running up and down along the tummy. It indicates a person who is self-confident, generous, and emotionally stable. Average life expectancy: 75 years.

3) The Outty. A belly button that protrudes outward indicates an optimistic person who approaches life with enthusiasm. Average life expectancy: 72 years.

4) The Concave Navel. This belly button is bowl-shaped or inward. It belongs to a person who is gentle, loving, cautious, sensitive, and prone to worry. People with concave navels are delicate. Average life expectancy: 65 years.

5) The Off-Center Navel. An off-center belly button indicates a fun-loving, unusual individual who experiences wide emotional swings. Average life expectancy: 70 years.

6) The Round Navel. This belly button is evenly shaped and circular. It indicates a modest, even-tempered person with a quiet, retiring personality. Average life expectancy: 81 years.

According to Chinese lore, the best belly button is a concave one, rather than a protruding one, and the deeper the belly button the more children you will have. In these days of reliable contraception, the prediction relates more to the ability to have many children, rather than the inevitability.

Dreaming of your own belly button is traditionally associated with starting up a new venture with possible long-term benefits, and dreaming of someone else's navel denotes a new love affair.

According to Indian Tantric lore, the belly button is also used to diagnose health problems. Following this system, the navel is where energy is received and processed coming in from the universe.

The belly button represents fertility and it is also a reminder of the connection between the generations, in other words it connects you to your past and future. It is also seen being the "centre" of human beings.

The second form of omphalomancy is based on the umbilical cord. A Jamaican old wife's tale holds that the number of knots in the umbilical cord of a newborn baby shows how many more brothers or sisters are yet to come. It is interesting that this one has been verified and it seems to be accurate.

(Also known as Onymancy, Onyomancy, Onuchomancy and Onixomancy)

1. The next time you are getting a manicure (or a pedicure), take your time to gaze at your highly polished nail. You may be able to see your future. This unusual form of scrying was practised by the Arabs who gazed at the sun's reflection off the nail.
2. Diviners in Brazil prepare the thumbnail by coating it with ash and oil to provide a reflective surface for scrying when dry.
3. Another way of divining the future from a fingernail or toenail was to coat it with a liquid which would dry with a lacework of fine cracks and read the design of the cracks.

Also Palmistry and Chinese Palmistry for more details about the meaning of markings on the nail.


The term plastromancy (also sometimes called scapulimancy or pyromancy) refers to divination from turtle shells or bones. This form of divination dates back to the Shang dynasty, circa 1200-1050 BC, and involved heating the bones or shells with fire or a hot instrument to produce cracks. The bones/shells were first hollowed out to allow the flame or heat from the instrument to penetrate. The resulting cracks were then read by the king or the person assigned to the divination. Detailed records of these divinations were recorded and kept. Plastromancy is sometimes regarded as a form of I Ching.

Spider Divination

See my page on this very unusual form of divination used by the Mambila people in Cameroon, Spider Divination.