Seeing the future by means of brazen vessels.
Cattabomancy is a form of divination using vessels made of metal, but especially brass, a metal believed to posses the supernatural power to repel demons and evil spirits.
Ink, oil, perfumed water, or some other liquid is poured into the vessel. After special prayers and incantations are recited, the diviner gazes into the liquid ― without blinking ― until he or she enters a trancelike state and is able to experience prophetic visions.
In another method a brass plate is placed upon a consecrated altar at midnight, while the diviner inquires about the information desired to be known. According to legend, at dawn the answer or answers to the inquiries will be written in dew upon the plate, possibly on a mystical language or symbols conveniently understood only by the diviner.
"When you wish to be informed about matters, take a brazen vessel or dish or phial of any shape you like, and put water in it. If you invoke the heavenly gods, rain water, if the earthly, sea water, if Osiris or Serapis, river water, if the dead, spring water. Hold the vessel on your knees casting into it oil made from unripe olives, and bending yourself over the vessel speak the ordained spell, and invoke whatever god you will ; ask him about what you wish, and he will answer you and will tell you about everything. And if he tell you, dismiss him." — Ancient papyri translation of Cattabomancy divination instructions.
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Sources: (1) Dunwich, Gerina, A Wiccan's Guide to Prophecy and Divination, Carol Publishing Group; (2) Pickover, Clifford A., Dreaming the Future: The Fantastic Story of Prediction, Prometheus Books; (3) Dictionary of the Occult, Caxton Publishing; (4) The Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Edition Handy Volume Edition, Oxford University Press; (5) Johnstone, Jane and Pilkington, Maya (editors), The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Fortune Telling, Sterling.
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