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Apantomancy is a form of divination using articles at hand or things that present themselves by chance.[1] The diviner works him/herself into a state of trance until an object or event is perceived and a divination worked out. This form of divination was used in ancient Rome by the augurs.[2] There is no set of standard interpretations in apantomancy, with the interpretations of events depending on the background of the seer.[2]

A branch of apantomancy places special significance on chance meetings of animals.[3][2] The superstition regarding black cats crossing your path comes from this form of divination.[1] Other common superstitions based on apantomancy are the belief that seeing a buzzard is an omen of death.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Apantomancy". The Element Encyclopedia of the Psychic World. Harper Element. 2006. p. 26.
  2. ^ a b c Raymond Buckland (1 August 2003). The Fortune-Telling Book: The Encyclopedia of Divination and Soothsaying. Visible Ink Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-57859-147-3. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
  3. ^ Edain McCoy (1 March 2004). Advanced witchcraft: go deeper, reach further, fly higher. Llewellyn Worldwide. p. 170. ISBN 978-0-7387-0513-2. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
  4. ^ Tayannah Lee McQuillar (7 January 2003). Rootwork: using the folk magick of Black America for love, money, and success. Simon and Schuster. p. 54. ISBN 978-0-7432-3534-1. Retrieved 29 January 2011.