armomancy

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin armus (shoulder blade) +‎ -mancy.

Noun[edit]

armomancy (uncountable)

  1. Divination using the shoulder blade of an animal. It was taken from a dead animal and thrown into a fire, and the cracks formed in the bone were then interpreted.
  2. Divination through inspecting one's shoulders. In ancient times, this inspection was to see whether a human was a suitable sacrifice to the gods.

Synonyms[edit]

References[edit]

  • "Armomancy, divining by the shoulders of beasts." -- Coles An Eng. Dict, 1676
  • "ARMOMANCY: A long-forgotten mode of divining suitable candidates for sacrificial rites by inspecting them physically. Any modern survival of such practices is probably computerized rather than divinatory." -- Gibson Complete Illust. Bk Div. & Prophecy, 1973