What Is Capnomancy?

by Craig Shrives
Capnomancy is divination by interpreting the movement and shape of smoke from a fire. Often the smoke would be from a sacrificial fire. Capnomancy is a form of pyromancy (divination by means of fire).

Smoke could also be created by throwing jasmine, incense or laurel on hot coals. This would also give off a scent that was factored into the prediction. Another method was to breathe the smoke to assist with the prediction. Sometimes, the smoke would be drugged to induce intoxication to assist with the process.

Capnomancy is believed to have been started by the ancient Babylonians. When sacrifices were offered on sacred occasions, cedar trees were burnt and the smoke was tracked for omens. The general rule was that if the smoke rose from the fire, things were good. If it lingered, that was bad. Capnomancy was practised with fervour by the Druids too. Mumbo-jumbo-meter: 10/10.
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