Also known as Meteormancy.
Derived from the Greek meteoros ('things in the air, aerial phenomena, as meteors, comets, heavenly bodies') and manteia ('divination'), it is the art and practice of divining the past, the present and the future by drawing omens from meteors, comets, falling stars, and similar phenomena.
In ancient times, the appearance of comets or meteors streaking across the evening skies were often interpreted by diviners as a sign of plague, war, and fearful natural catastrophes such as storms, floods, and earthquakes. In the political arena, such signs presaged a change in sovereignty, or the death of a very famous person.
In The Imperial Dictionary of the English Language (Rev. John Ogilvie), published in 1871, there is an entry for Meteoromancy:
"A species of divination by meteors, chiefly by thunder and lightning; held in high estimation by the Romans."
The ancient Roman augurs also included thunder, lightning, eclipses, ant other heavenly phenomena in such divinations.
Meteoromancy is closely related to Roadomancy and Aeromancy.
According to 19th-century folklore, a falling or shooting star is believed to be a sign that a child has just come into the world. The shooting star supposedly falls over the spot where the baby is born. Many also believe that a wish made quickly and with sincerity on the first star of the evening, or while a falling star streaks across the nighttime sky, will be granted. To others a falling star is thought to be an unlucky omen for those who witness it, even a presage of death (especially of men of great power), or an indication that someone close to you has just passed on.
Meteoromancy, like most divinatory systems, is quite ancient, and has been practiced since time immemorial.
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Sources: (1) Morwyn, The Complete Book Of Psychic Arts, Llewellyn Publications; (2) Walker, Charles, The Encyclopedia of the Occult, Random House Value; (3) Dunwich, Gerina, A Wiccan's Guide to Prophecy and Divination, Carol Publishing Group; (4) Pickover, Clifford A., Dreaming the Future: The Fantastic Story of Prediction; (5) Ogilvie, Rev. John, The Imperial Dictionary of the English Language, University of Toronto Libraries.
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