Macharomancy

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Macharomancy (Greek makhaira, a short sword or a dagger, and manteia, prophecy; alternative spellings are machæromancy, machairomancy) is a form of divination by interpreting knives, daggers or swords, one of many methods of divination based on the use of weapons (cf belomancy – by arrows, axinomancy – by axes, and other).

There are different methods of macharomancy. Throughout the ages readers gazed into polished knives, daggers or sword blades, interpreted daggers flying and spinning, etc.

One of the most popular methods of macharomancy consists of placing a dagger in the center of the circle with letters and numbers. Spirits are then asked a question, and a dagger is spun. Each time it stops, a reader writes down the letter or number to which the blade points. Spinning is repeated until the answer is spelled out, usually scambled or in an ancient language such as Latin or Greek.

Dagger divinations were very popular among gypsies. Readers place a dagger onto a wooden board about 30 cm, normally used for cutting bread, and spin the dagger. The board is divided into 15 sectors, with each sector having its own meaning. The reader spins a dagger three times and interpret the answer depending on which sector the blade of the dagger points to. One of these three answers (not necessarily the first) would be the answer to the question asked to spirits, while others may be interpreted in some connection to it or sometimes ignored.

The most common answers are below:
1. Yes
2. No
3. Be patient
4. Beware of false friends
5. You will hear the good news soon
6. Wait for a letter
7. This venture will be successful
8. Unexpected guest
9. Love
10. Tears will turn to joy
11. News from afar
12. New admirer
13. Unexpected encounter
14. Travel
15. Important letter

Another divination method, which was popular in Scotland, traditionally performed on August Eve (July 31st) to predict marriages and deaths of the following year consisted of throwing sickles (a semicircular blade attached to a short handle, used for cutting grain or tall grass) into the air and then drawing omens from the positions in which they fall.

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