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Axinomancy is one of several obscure methods of divination using an axe, hatchet, or (rarely) a saw. Most of the methods involve throwing an axe into the ground, or swinging it into a tree, and interpreting the direction of the handle or the quivering of the blade.[1][2] A form of this is axiomancy, this is when the quivering of the blade of an axe that has been thrust into a wooden table is interpreted by the diviner.

Another interesting method is heating an axe-head in a fire until it glows, and then interpreting the colors and shapes.[1] A variant, attributed to the ancient Greeks, who held it in good repute, is to balance a spherical piece of agate on the edge of the axe (held sharp edge up).[3][4] The direction in which the agate rolls can be interpreted as needed.[5][3]

Some sources claim that Psalm 74 refers to the use of axinomancy to predict the fall of Jerusalem, although in the text the reference to upright axes is not specifically for divination.[6]


  1.  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChambers, Ephraim, ed. (1728). "article name needed". Cyclopædia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (first ed.). James and John Knapton, et al. [1]
  1. ^ a b "Axiomancy". The Element Encyclopedia of the Psychic World. Harper Element. 2006. p. 52.
  2. ^ Arthur Bernard Cook (1925). Zeus: a study in ancient religion. The University Press. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
  3. ^ a b J. S. Forsyth (1827). Demonologia: or, Natural knowledge revealed: being an exposé of ancient and modern superstitions, credulity, fanaticism, enthusiasm, & imposture, as connected with the doctrine, caballa, and jargon, of amulets, apparitions, astrology, charms, demonology ... witchcraft, &c. J. Bumpus. p. 143. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
  4. ^ Edward Smedley; William Cooke Taylor; Henry Thompson; Elihu Rich (1855). The occult sciences: sketches of the traditions and superstitions of past times, and the marvels of the present day. R. Griffin and company. p. 328. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
  5. ^ W. H. Davenport Adams (March 2003). Witch, Warlock and Magician. Kessinger Publishing. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-7661-4671-6. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
  6. ^ Spence, Lewis (Sep 2006) [1920]. An Encyclopaedia of Occultism. Cosimo. p. 57. ISBN 0486426130.