axinomancy

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English[edit]

Alternate forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Latin axinomantia, from Ancient Greek ἀξινομαντεία (axinomanteía), from ἀξίνη (axínē, axe) and μαντεία (manteía, prophecy)

Noun[edit]

axinomancy (uncountable)

  1. (rare) Divination by saws or axes.
    • 1610, Augustine, City of God:
      Diuination generally was done by diuers means [] by hatchets, Axinomancy
    • 1855, Edward Smedley, The Occult Sciences[1]:
      Axinomancy Was performed by balancing an axe on an upright stake, and the names of suspected persons being pronounced, it was supposed to point out the guilty by its motion.
    • 1925, Arthur Bernard Cook, Zeus: A Study in Ancient Religion[2], volume 2, page 702:
      Axinomancy, strictly so called, has varied somewhat in its modus operandi. A hatchet suspended by a cord was used to detect criminals or discover secrets: it twisted and turned in answer to relevant questions.

References[edit]