Bibliomancy

From Academic Kids

Bibliomancy is a form of divination that seeks to know the future by randomly selecting a passage from a book, frequently a sacred text.

The most common procedure involves placing the book on its spine, and with eyes closed, allowing the book to fall open to a random page. Then, with the eyes still closed place a finger on the open page and read the passage indicated.

Among Christians, the Bible is most commonly used, and in Moslem cultures the Qur'an. In the middle ages the use of Virgil's Aeneid was common in Europe.

Because book owners frequently have favorite passages that the books open themselves to, some practitioners use dice or another randomiser to choose the page to be opened. This practice was formalised by the use of coins or yarrow stalks in consulting the I Ching. Tarot is also a form of bibliomancy, the main difference that the pages (cards) are unbound.

Another variant requires the selection of a random book from a library before selecting the random passage from that book. This also holds if a book has fallen down from a shelf on its own.

Bibliomancy is another term for Stichomancy, which means "divination from lines." Some sources refer to bibliomancy as a specialised form of stichomancy, since they think that the "biblio" in bibliomancy refers to the Bible rather than understanding that it refers to books in general.

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